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Overall Rating

Awesome: 15.15%
Worth A Look: 18.18%
Just Average42.42%
Pretty Crappy: 21.21%
Sucks: 3.03%

3 reviews, 15 user ratings

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I Am David
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by Peter Sobczynski

"All the power and punch of an old 'Dondi' comic strip"
3 stars

Sometimes when an artist comes out with something completely different from what they are known for, the results can be thrilling-the change-of-pace seems to invigorate them and sends them to places that you never suspected they could go. Other times, though, the results are pretty dire and you simply wonder what made them want to do such a thing in the first place. “I Am David” is an example of the latter; it was directed by Paul Feig, creator of the classic TV show “Freaks and Geeks”, but even those whose auteurist radars are incredibly fine-tuned will have a hard time discerning any trace of his gifts in this film, one that is as well-meaning as it is dull (and believe me, it is incredibly well-meaning).

The film takes what should be an extraordinarily moving story-in 1952, a young boy (Ben Tribber) escapes from a Bulgarian prison camp (thanks to Jim Caviezel, once again sacrificing himself) and sets off on an extended journey to Denmark-and somehow figures out a way to sap all of the excitement, drama and emotion out of the proceedings. Part of the problem may be that the film is far too episodic for its own good-there never really seems to be any degree of urgency or effort to David’s quest (no matter how long he has been traveling, he never seems particularly worse for wear)-and part of it may be that Feig doesn’t really seem to have a firm grasp of the details; all of the characters that David encounters along his way seem just a little too broad to be believed. This is most evident in the extended sequence that finds David in Italy; he runs into shopkeepers reminiscent of the pizza chef from “The Simpsons”, he proves his heroism by saving a girl from a burning barn that she has been tied up in (she claims she was playing with her brothers-either she is in denial about something or Italian kids really do play rough) and when the girl’s rich family takes him in, the setting is so opulent that it feels as if he was dropped right into the middle of “The Leopard”. That sort of approach might work on television (where subtlety is not always appreciated, as any “Freaks and Geeks” fan can tell you) but it doesn’t quite come off on the big screen.

The biggest problem with the film is that there is never a single moment where I could understand why Feig would want to tell this story in the first place. There is never a moment of passion or excitement and even the heavy-duty emotional moments feel oddly muted; for all of its good intentions, it has all of the power and punch of an old “Dondi” comic strip. I can see how it might work on television-the kind of thing where you can watch with one eye while doing other stuff without fear of missing anything important-but there is nothing about it that would make a trip to the multiplex to see it worthwhile.

link directly to this review at https://www.hollywoodbitchslap.com/review.php?movie=8452&reviewer=389
originally posted: 12/03/04 01:22:59
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User Comments

5/16/11 Chris. Surprised at haters. 5 stars
1/28/11 fartvenugen sickly sweet and worst of all, dull. 2 stars
9/22/06 Scott A I absolutely loved this movie. I bought the DVD. Story, scenery, music is first-class. 5 stars
10/16/05 Ry Good Movie, great story 4 stars
8/19/05 saulg worth expeeriencing 4 stars
8/12/05 Simon It's a comforting movie. But frankly, i'm not comforted by mediocre films. 3 stars
6/24/05 Rob Demsick The only character I didn't want to bludgeon with a pencil was Jimmy C. Zero plot .Painful 1 stars
6/18/05 Quigley jim caviezel truly has played jesus in more than just the passion of the christ. good film. 4 stars
12/25/04 mcanones beautiful, awesome, want a part 2 of it 5 stars
12/03/04 tushar sweet movie 3 stars
11/27/04 Padraig Quinn It's the yellow brick road except David's trip didn't start out in Kansas. 5 stars
11/22/04 Phyllis Kelley sweet, believeable,great music&scenery 4 stars
11/12/04 Dean Collins Sweet movie 4 stars
1/02/04 Leo Flavin Why can't hollywood make more movies like this! 5 stars
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  03-Dec-2004 (PG)
  DVD: 05-Apr-2005



Directed by
  Paul Feig

Written by
  Paul Feig

  Ben Tibber
  James Caveziel
  Joan Plowright
  Francesco De Vito
  Adrian McCourt
  Paco Reconti

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