Joe the King Reviews
i thought, as an eight year old child, what a weird and dark movie. it shows a kid smoking, a teacher giving the same kid a spanking, curse words, a mother yelling at her son, etc.
that's a lot for an eight year old , i must say, to absorb and take in and fully come to grasp with the point and plot.
but when i look back at it now, 6 years later, 6 years wiser, i've come to the conclusion that i would think that it was a pretty powerful movie, if i watched it today.
Things have become so dire that Joe often has to source his food from stolen candy boxes or from left-overs in the sink at work. Things are getting worse and worse, and something has to give. The turning point in this film centres around Joe breaking into his place of work and stealing a wad of cash. He spends most of it on records for his mother (who is an avid record collector, but whose collection was obliterated by her drunken husband) and stashes the rest of it. A gash in his leg is what gives him away, and his mother opts to send him to a juvenile detention centre as she has no time to watch after him and make sure that he does the right thing.
Noah Fleiss was fantastic as Joe. The majority of the film centres around Joe's relationship with his father, Bob Henry, and one of the more emotional scenes between the two occurs toward the end of the film just before Joe is taken to the detention centre. Kilmer gave a great performance as an alcoholic - he was a pathetic tiny man trying so hard to be big and tough. It was equal amounts of amusing and saddening. Some of the best scenes in this film involved both Fleiss and Kilmer - defnitely worth a watch for their performances if nothing else.
This was actor Frank Whaley?s directorial debut and I?ve read that he made a few mistakes in making this movie. I couldn?t tell. All I know is that whatever he did, he had me from the start. Val Kilmer and Ethan Hawke also appear in the film as part of Joey?s ?extended? family.