Pop and Me

January 28, 2012 9 Min Read

Review by: Matt Brighton

Plot: What’s it about?

As mothers and their daughters seem to have special relationships, so do fathers and their sons. Parents often dream of what their future daughter or son might grow up to be, but the one thing that is and always will be is that their offspring will be theirs, through thick and thin, no matter what happens. Pop and Me is the story of a real-life father and son team, Chris (Me) and Richard (Pop) Poe, of Los Angeles, California. Chris is one of three sons who has grown up and lived a relatively normal childhood. His father was very outgoing and had saved enough of his hard-earned money to take the entire family around the world when they were younger, which serves as a central point for Chris. What Pop and Me is essentially about is the relationship between Chris and his father as well as fathers and their sons all around the world. We may be seperated by languages, religions or stereotypes, but what was most touching about the documentary is the fact how similar fathers and thier sons really are. Now don’t go thinking that just because this guy and his dad are making a movie that they’re the ideal father and son…because they certainly are not. They have feelings and emotions just like everyone else, and on more than one occasions, those feelings are shown wheather they be happiness, anger or sadness.

A good majority of the movie takes place on locaion throughout the world. Richard Poe (Pop) has been divorced, but has raised his kids. While talking to a friend of his, he is asked “What are you going to do in the last third of your life”? That questions gets to him and he then realizes that he is entering the twilight of his life, though only 54 years old, he comes to the conclusion that he has grown up, been married (and divorced), had his kids and raised them and has had some trouble in his job. So the inevidable conclusion does indeed come up…so now what? Taking his life savings again, he decides to take one of his sons on another trip around the world. Though it’s a far cry from the earlier, happier trip with the whole family, Chris relishes the opportunity to spend time with his dad. As I mentioned before, the relationship with Chris and Richard isn’t a storybook one. Richard is very controlling and as Chris has grown up, he’s not the little boy he once was and can now stand on his own two feet and offer his own opinons as to what can and should go on. The journey takes 180 days and leads the family from Los Angeles to Philadelphia to New York (in the United States). Once they get abroad, they start to bicker, which for two people to spend so much time toghether (even though they’re father and son) does start to get a bit old. Overall, they find that fathers and sons are just as the same as they are. Fathers are inherintley proud of their sons, no matter what they do, and they see that no matter where they are, the love is there. In a bit of a twist, they attend a Julian Lennon concert and the father boldly asks him during a break if he would comment on his realtionship with his father (Beatle’s great, John Lennon). It’s odd, but this movie could have been about nothing else than how Julian bashes his late father. Sure, he loves him, but as far as fathers go, it’s very apparent that John Lennon wasn’t the best father out there. Julian tends to realize this, and has gone on with his life. Pop and Me is a very original documentary, in the sense that the two aren’t exactly filmmakers, just two ordinary guys who happend to have an 8MM camera and a cameraman handy. Ultimately, I don’t think that I could recommend a film more. While touching and somewhat sappy at times, you get a real sense for who these pepole are and how people the world around are just the same when it comes to their offspring.

Video: How does it look?

Pop and Me is shown in a full frame format, which is somewhat expected seeing as how the entire documentary was shot on a type of home video. The image appears to be purposely aged, though some footage of Chris and his brothers is obviously around thirty years old. Grain and scratches plague the image throughout, though as I mentioned, it appears to be added to give the movie that “documentary” type feel. Ironically enough, the deleted scenes that feature Julian Lennon appear to be shot on a DV camera, and the image is outstanding. This, of course, leaves the impression that either they filmed this section with a different camera, or my above comments were correct in the sense that the grain and “aging” were purposely added. Either way, this is one of those movies that video and audio quality really take a backseat to what is actually taking place on screen.

Audio: How does it sound?

The audio is just as bad as the video, though there is a debate throughout the entire movie wheather or not to wear wireless mic’s…so it’s safe to assume that the father son duo weren’t out to remake Jurassic Park! The 2.0 mix does it’s job and that’s to convey the dialogue in a manner suitable enough to where we can hear what they’re saying, and it does. I didn’t really expect much here, and it’s a good thing too…cause you don’t get much. Then again, I don’t know of too many documantaries that feature a DTS or 5.1 soundtrack; do you?

Supplements: What are the extras?

A very intersting section of bonus materials here, as MGM is usually stingy with thier extras unless it’s a “major” title. An audio commentary headlines as the most major feature complete with Chris and Richard Poe jabbering away during the entire movie. It really is nice to see them so excited about what they have created, though it being a documentary by the same two people, you kind of hear everything twice (there’s only so many ways a certain scene can be told…right?) Still, it’s a nice feature and one that adds to the value of this film. As mentioned earlier, an extended interview with Julian Lennon does nothing to enhance John Lennon’s image as a “family man”, but it’s nice to see that he really did open up, if even for a bit. Some deleted scenes are included and I think they should have been included back in the film, but I guess the filmmakers decided that they ultimately slowed the movie down a bit. Still, from MGM, this assortment of goodies is a nice thing to see, especially in such a “low brow” feature as this. I have to say it though…good work.

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