Combustible Celluloid
 
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With: John Cusack, Bobby Coleman, Amanda Peet, Sophie Okonedo, Joan Cusack, Oliver Platt, Richard Schiff, Howard Hesseman, Anjelica Huston
Written by: Seth E. Bass, Jonathan Tolins, based on a book by David Gerrold
Directed by: Menno Meyjes
MPAA Rating: PG for thematic elements and mild language
Running Time: 110
Date: 10/19/2007
IMDB

Martian Child (2007)

2 1/2 Stars (out of 4)

Mars and Tykes Forever

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

The real-life sci-fi writer David Gerrold, who created the Tribbles for "Star Trek," wrote an autobiographical novel about a gay sci-fi writer adopting a troubled child. Director Menno Meyjes further fictionalizes the story by removing the gay factor, and by having everyone learn valuable lessons before the happy ending. John Cusack plays the widowed writer, and the full-lipped, floppy-haired Hollywood moppet Bobby Coleman plays Dennis, who pretends to be from Mars. Despite the film's laziness and mawkishness, however, Martian Child has some lovely sections. Amanda Peet plays the writer's friend, and their relationship nicely takes its time. And the cinematography by Robert Yeoman (The Darjeeling Limited) sometimes places the characters within quiet, reflective moments, like in a moving car, surrounded by restless patterns of light.

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