Thursday, July 19, 2012

The Green Mile (1999)


I’ve heard great things about this movie but for some reason I’ve never seen it until now.  It’s not that I avoided it deliberately but rather it wasn’t on my movie radar you could say.  I have wanted to see it for years and for a modest five dollars to own on DVD I finally did.  It’s worth that price with no doubt and the cast of the movie was what kept me into the movie.  At three hours in length you need something to keep you drawn in and shoddy acting won’t do that so I was pleased to say the least.

The story is solid and creative for starters.  The one part of it I didn’t bite on was when big old Jon Coffey was holding those two girls all bloody and dead.  Whether or not he did it when this scene is revealed early on in the movie is irrelevant.  When I saw the fifty white hillbillies all armed with a shotgun rushing toward him in the open I was almost certain they would have blown him away beyond recognition.  We’re talking about 1935 and a black man with two dead white girls at his side is going to get you killed fast.  When I was watching it I felt the father would charge right up and get instant retaliation but that doesn’t happen.  To me that scene was not very convincing considering the extreme situation poor Jon was in but the movie would be short had he died there.  I didn’t like that part but once I put it behind me and decided to give the rest of the movie a chance it worked out OK.

Taming Wild Bill?
I’d like to get into some of the performances, most notably David Morse as ‘Brutal’.  Why start with this guy right?  Well I’m not a fan of his from Disturbia to 16 Blocks but in this movie he did well and that’s vital because he’s more of a main character.  Now having Tom Hanks at your side for most of the movie is going to help anyone but I’ll admit he stepped up in a movie that needed strong acting to pull off the story.  Tom Hanks was amazing as usual so I don’t need to waste time going on about how well he did.  Michael Clarke Duncan did a pretty good job too.  I wouldn’t say he blew away all other performances because he didn’t but the fact he wasn’t dominating the screen time really helped you appreciate the scenes he was in.  Plus the mystery of what his character really is still resonates with you after the movie ends.  Michael Jeter one of my Jurassic Park III guys was here too and he did much better in this one I’ll say, ha-ha! 

The man I knew was in it before I watched, thanks to my wife spoiling it for me, is the magnificent Sam Rockwell.  I do want to say I wish I didn’t know he was in this movie because it would have been so awesome to first see him appear.  If you couldn’t tell already I’m a fan of his and his character of Wild Bill was brilliantly performed.  He really played the role of a completely wacked out killer to perfection.  For me him being in this movie made me like it more than I would have in the end.

I honestly don’t want to get into much of this movie but I do want to hit on the death of Jon Coffey.  When I found out he was innocent of killing those girls I naturally wanted to find a solution to free this man.  The explanation for him wanting to be killed is very well written.  It’s revealed how painful his life is with all the evil that goes on in the hearts of mankind.  He can feel extreme pains every second of his life and although he does have the ability to heal people no matter what their affliction he wants it to end.  The burden of such a gift is unbearable and it appears as though he has been at this lifestyle for years.  When he decides to share part of his gift with Paul (Hanks) it’s as though he wants to pass the torch somewhat just so his death is understood.  It’s not as sad as it could have been had they not known he was innocent but it still is tough to watch this man get fried for doing no wrong. 

All in all it is a lengthy movie and I had to take a ten minute break at one point to just be able to continue on.  Long movies aren’t exactly my taste but this one really does justify it.  I do recommend watching this but be prepared for it, set aside three hours or more to enjoy it.

Rating: 9 of 10