Tag Archives: John Sayles

The Brother from Another Planet (1984)

Moving on, we find writer/director/producer John Sayles, whom I first encountered through my mother and the 1997 jungle bloodbath, Men with Guns. But let’s not even go there.

Instead, let’s go back two weeks ago, to the Hollywood Video by my apartment-hive. I’d planned to fill some of the gaps in my girlfriend’s cinematic knowledge base with a little classic Star Trek. Low and behold, I spot this little bundle of weird and I felt…almost compelled. Worst case scenario, I was in for 108 minutes of bad blaxploitation comedy. Like I can’t get through that in my sleep…

Was I ever blind sided. This is no ordinary blaxploitation comedy. I’m not even sure it has a right to the label. No gunplay, no kung fu, no hookers, no afros…a few evil white guys to be sure…but what movie doesn’t have those?

Instead, Brother From Another Planet has a conscience, and Lord help us it’s a social conscience. This is a movie with Something to Say. Released just after E.T., Brother is an attempt to re-imagine the proverbial immigrant story and turn it on its head. While it succeeds in this, it does so at the expense of the little things like pacing…structure…stuff of that nature. Like me, this movie has a bad case of the Rambles. And by the ninety minute mark I was itching for it to shut the hell up. {More}