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Youth Without Youth (2007) Elder statesman Francis Ford Coppola tackles what seems like a real labor of love.  For the viewer it may simply be a labor.  Coppola’s story of an old, WWII era scholar who de-ages 35 years after being struck by lightning is a movie blossoming at every turn with fantastic visuals, but it comes up short on any kind of cohesive story.  It seems intentional on Coppola’s part to ramble with this creation.  He throws one idea after another at the screen but he can’t bring all that he’s brought to the table together.  Tim Roth plays the professor, a man spending his life looking for the roots of human communication and culture.  His quest to dig for the origins of language and culture is a fascinating journey, to himself at least.  Coppola can’t instill his journey with much meaning to the viewer.  There’s supposed to be romance here as well, but like so much of the film, it too feels like a large excuse for flashy cinematography.  In short, it all looks wonderful, but doesn’t add up to a lot.

The Quiet Earth (1985)– If you scour through list of the greatest science fiction films of all time you may occasionally run across this Australian curiosity.  Don’t let your curiosity get the better of you.  A man wakes up to find he is the only man left alive, possibly on the entire planet.  He quickly loses his grip on reality until he finds another survivor of this unexplained holocaust.  A good idea unflatteringly executed.  Ends on a note of utter befuddlement.

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