Nate's DVD Collection ~ K-PAX
“I would like to begin by asking if you know why you are here.”
“Of course, you think I'm crazy.”
“I prefer the term ill. Do you believe you are ill?”
“A little homesick perhaps.”
“Where is home?”
“K, capitals P, A, X. K-PAX is a planet...but don't worry, I'm not going to leap out of your chest.”
And so begins a relationship that has slowly developed it's own subculture over the years. Star Wars has it's Jedi street preachers, Star Trek has it's Trekkies and Dancing with the Stars has it's...well...dancers I suppose...who want to dance...with people of a certain celebratory nature.
Based on the novel by Gene Brewer, K-PAX is about a man calling himself “prot” (Spelled in lower cases for you trivia buffs) who claims to be from the planet (take a drink if you hear this word) K-PAX. After hearing about all of the wonderful and beautiful things on a place where none of the troubles and pains of Earth can get to you, (take two drinks if you go a whole scene without hearing this name) prot is gathering followers faster than the only train out of NowhereVille pulling quickly out of a crowded station.
In the meantime Doctor Mark Powell (Gene Brewer, for fans of the book) is desperately trying to discover prot's true identity, all the while being flummoxed by prot's unique abilities and the growing level of believers both inside and outside of the hospital.
K-PAX in book and movie form
Directed by Iain Softley
Alternate Ending: Director Iain Softley's first choice for the ending of the film. More closely related to how the book ended.
The Making of K-PAX Featurette includes never-before-seen behind-the-scenes footage with cast and crew interviews.
Audio Commentary with Director Iain Softley
Storyboards to final feature comparison
The Making of K-PAX through photos by Jeff Bridges
What I Like About It
It's hard to not talk about the book when discussing this movie. Both versions of the story have developed their own following and each for their own reasons. It's well contained story that never out right identifies itself is a particular genre and the movie simply follows that criteria.
But okay, this is a DVD/movie review, not a book review, so I have to play it fair.
First off Jeff Bridges and Kevin Spacey are perfect together. This movie could have been nothing but those two sitting in a room and talking for two hours and you would still have a successful film.
There's a fine line between genuine actors and movie stars and not one person chosen for this film was chosen because of star quality. There is very real talent and very real work going on in this film and you can see that even without doing the research and watching the “Making of” movies.
The extras are very eye opening. Particularly the commentary by Softly. Softly is perhaps the second strongest driving force behind this movie, which you may say is a no-brainer given that he's the director. But come on, you know there are directors out there who didn't give to craps about how the movie looked so long as they were making a buck or two off of it. The people in charge of Battlefield Earth are proof of that.
What I Don't Like About It
This more of a comment on all movies that involve the mentally ill or the clinically insane, but I guess I really can't escape noticing that even when a movie is primarily set in a mental institution the patients are still comic relief.
Granted K-PAX doesn't outright invite you to laugh at these people. In fact some of them you do wind up feeling empathy for, especially the ones who are so obviously desperate to go to K-PAX. But all in all that was about it.
Should I Buy This DVD?
You get a lot of bang for your buck with this one. My used copy only cost six dollars and for the hours of extra features you could certainly pay a lot more.
As a gift idea it's great for fans of comedies, drama, science fiction. People who like Kevin Spacey, Jeff Bridges, Kathy Bates or Alfre Woodard or just movies set in New York will probably like this.
Can My Kids Watch This
There's one really violent scene in which a man has his neck snapped, plus the implication that a woman and her daughter were raped and murdered beforehand. Other than that, however, this is fairly tame. If you let your kids watch it you might just want them to close their eyes or look away when this scene comes.