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josephk
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Joe the King (1999)
28. Apr 2002 at 18:51
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Joe the King (1999)
Directed by Frank Whaley
Boy actors: Peter Tambakis, Noah Fleiss, James Costa, Benjamin Styx.

A nicely done come-of-age tale set in a 1960s American town, staring Noah Fleiss in the title role and Val Kilmer as his (beer-bellied!), somewhat abusive father. Some have described this film as being very bleak, but for some reason I didn't really get that impression. Joe's childhood is not an easy one, that's for sure, but I didn't find its portrayal to be particularly depressing. Instead, I had the impression that young Joe would survive and not let himself be crushed by the harsh conditions of his youth.

Joe and his older brother are seen in two different periods, a few years apart, so the four boys listed above play the two characters at different ages. My personal favourite is Peter Tambakis, but all of them provide excellent performances.

Most of them have also played in several other films. Among others, Peter was in The Sixth Sense, Noah was in Storytelling (recently released in theatres) and James Costa was in L.I.E., which I am going to see in a couple of weeks on the big screen. (More on that later - I am VERY excited about this one!) Unfortunately, IMDb doesn't have any other listings for Benjamin Styx.
« Last Edit: 29. Jun 2008 at 04:59 by Zabladowski »  
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Joe the King (1999)
Reply #1 - 29. Apr 2002 at 22:12
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I thought this one was a very moving and poignant film, josephk, and I have it on both dvd and vhs. Noah Fleiss was excellent in my opinion, and I was rooting for his character with all my heart, even if I did find his situation perhaps a bit more bleak than you did.

I think mainly this movie is an indictment of bad parenting. Val Kilmer was excellent as a disfunctional father, and I hated him. I guess that's why I thought he did such a good job of acting the part. Smiley

Love,
Sir Jacob
  
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josephk
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Joe the King (1999)
Reply #2 - 29. Apr 2002 at 23:43
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Sir Jacob, I think I need to see this one again. You're right that the situation is quite bleak, but I thought in the end the feeling we were left with was not necessarily all negative. I don't want to give the ending away, in case some haven't seen this one yet, but I thought there was still some hope for little Joe, in the end, in spite of all the hardships he has to endure. The more I think about it, though, the more I wonder whether that's not just my memory playing tricks on me....
  
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