Hey folks, Harry here... K-PAX is the film that UNIVERSAL Studios is pinning quite a bit of hope and excitement behind for the fall/holiday season. The execs and marketing people see it as a 'quality blockbuster' that is more than the typical studio fare and is intelligent science fiction with a difficult unconventional resolution that they will not be changing no matter what the reaction may be. And our first reaction, from the lovely Desiree is way positive. But then with Kevin Spacey and Jeff Bridges... what'd you expect? Here ya go and remember... ya got to wait till October 5th before seeing it...
Hi. First of all, I have been a big fan of your site, especially Alexandra DuPont’s reviews in the past. Its good to know there are other girl geeks out there who love film as the next guy.
Anyway, by some act of a god I was able to see the first screening of K-Pax, starring Kevin Spacey and Jeff Bridges tonight in La Jolla. I have not heard one thing about this movie – but I knew seeing Kevin Spacey’s name on the opening credits, it must be interesting.
Kevin plays a psychiatry patient named Prot who says he is from the planet K-Pax. Jeff Bridges plays Dr. Powell, the doctor who is trying through out the film to debunk Prot’s story and prove that he is really human and from Earth. But that’s the thing. Prot is so good at explaining his story and describing where and what his planet is, he even has the world’s best astronomers left perplexed and astonished. There’s a great scene where Prot is brought before them in an observatory and is asked to draw/map out K-Pax’s rotation in the solar system. He succeeds, mapping out this difficult, if not confusing, diagram complete with mathematical equations, leaving each doctor in awe of how this guy knew that. Prot is put under observation in the psych ward and its during this time he connects with each patient, even to the point of helping them more so than the good doctor can. This frustrates Dr. Powell as Prot has promised he will take one of them back with him when he returns to K-Pax, thus stirring up excitement and anxiousness amongst the patients. Its during Prot’s visit to the Powell’s house on the 4th of July when something happens, leading Powell to try alternative measures of getting to Prot – hypnosis. During these sessions, which Kevin Spacey does an excellent job of becoming different characters, we find out some of Prot’s past and“incident” that may have lead him to where he is today. Powell has to act quick as Prot has told everybody that the date of July 27th he will be returning to K-Pax.
Now if I could compare this to any sort of movies in thepast, it would have to be The Fisher King meets Usual Suspects. Yes, I know both starred the leads in this film, but that’s how I would describe this to friends. The Fisher King in part because Jeff Bridges’ character is along for the ride, there when revelations happen and the full tilt of the climax is upon us. And because one of the psych patients in the ward reminds me of Michael Jeter. Usual Suspects because Kevin Spacey once again leads us astray. And by“astray,” I don’t mean Verbal Kint/Kaiser Soze. I mean you think you believe and then you believe and then you think you believe and then you believe and then once again, you think you might believe. I appreciated the fact that many psychiatrists deal with this on a daily basis, but as Powell reveals, after talking five minutes with them, you can find holes in their stories. He isn’t able to do this with prot – at all. I liked this film. Yea, it was a little slow in some parts, but just when I was about to open my mouth to yawn, I would be frozen in mid opening because of a revelation or a possible weak spot in Prot’s story. Harry, this is a film I hope you see early. I would like to get your take on it. A definite discussion is much anticipated after this film opens.
Thanks for your time.