Meet Joe Black

January 28, 2012 5 Min Read

Review by: Al Barnes

Plot: What’s it about?

Bill Parrish (Anthony Hopkins) has “Death” knocking at his door-literally. Joe Black/Death (Brad Pitt) is there to make a deal, postpone Bill’s passing for a short time and allow Joe to hang around and have a chance to experience the earthly delights of life in a mortal body. The story is inspired from the play/movie “Death Takes A Holiday”. As Bill, who is a rich and powerful man looks at his life and his two daughters Susan, (Claire Forlani) and Allison, (Marcia Gay Harden) he starts to review what he has accomplished in life and what is really important now that he knows he is leaving. Joe on the other hand is like a boy in a man’s body who experiences things such as peanut butter for the first time and is amazed at the taste and texture. Brad Pitt does a great job with this character; his facial expressions and body movements make you anxious to see Joe’s next first and how he will react. Joe’s life quickly becomes complicated when he unexpectedly falls in love with Susan. As Bill moves closer to his final days he is betrayed by Drew (Jake Weber) the new rising star in his corporation. A devastating blow to a man who thinks that knowing he is dying was the low point in his life. Bill and Joe both are surprised at what feelings they cling to as their time comes to a close. Bill’s lifetime of experiences comes down to moments and Joe’s moments become a lifetime, an irony that lends to many of the thought provoking issues this movie puts in front of you.

When this movie came out in the theater I thought I wanted to see it then changed my mind, something didn’t feel right. After it came out on DVD a friend of mine bought it and said he really liked it. I thought I would give it a try and was really surprised at how much I enjoyed it. Even though it is three hours long the movie doesn’t drag at all and it is hard to go wrong with Anthony Hopkins, whom I feel as an actor is as good as it gets sorry didn’t mean to rip that off and Brad Pitt who isn’t just a “Hollywood Hunk” but a good actor. Hopkins and Pitt were also together in Legends Of The Fall, a must see DVD release. What we see in these 3 hours is the culmination of almost two decades of work by director Martin Brest to bring this movie to the big screen. Just too much to say about this movie and I probably said more than you wanted to hear, so it’s best if you see it for yourself.

Video: How does it look?

This is what DVD is all about, from beginning to end nothing but super clear images day or night. Made my big screen come alive, hope yours (big screen) is one of the good ones.

Audio: How does it sound?

Again this is what DVD is all about. Well-balanced dialogue and musical score are crystal clear, set your volume up. The musical score is very orchestra minded with a 40’s sound and uses every bit of the AC-3 (5.1) digital capabilities of DVD. Don’t even try this with VHS.

Supplements: What are the extras?

Set aside some time to view all the special features on this disk. There is a good mini documentary about the director’s work on this film. Also a good cast/crew bio and interviewsĂ mostly about how they are all in awe of Anthony Hopkins but still good. It even has Internet links if you play it on your computer’s DVD.

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