Friday, January 15, 2010


Joshua is a movie released in 2007 that offers nothing special by way of plot of action. Then why see it? Because "Joshua" is played by then-9-year-old Jacob Kogan, who recently played young Spock in the new Star Trek movie. Kogan was so charming on stage at a recent Star Trek convention that I thought I'd take a look at his only other released film.

However, while not dreadful, it's dreary. Sam Rockwell and Vera Farmiga (lately of Up in the Air) give birth to a baby girl and her older brother, Joshua, is all but forgotten, particularly by the mother. Jacob, who is very much on the precocious side, starts to do a few little things around the house to make them wish his baby sister had never been born.

I think the movie could've been improved by showing us how Jacob prepared for some of the things he perpetrated on his unsuspecting parents, a film technique that was probably tossed aside in the sake of surprise. There isn't much surprise left, however, after about the first 15 minutes when we realize that Joshua is not the kind of kid you mess with.

Many of us older filmgoers are familiar with Patty McCormack's Bad Seed. Joshua is one step beyond that. We assume at one point that Joshua has done some internet research to find out what law enforcement agencies might do about a bad parent. That's almost fascinating, but we have no sympathy for a mother who doesn't seem to care. We do care, however, about the father, ably played by Sam Rockwell, who's destined for bigger roles in bigger films. Joshua, however, is just a point of fascination, not of caring or sympathy. Nothing in this drama makes us care at all about him, just wonder about him.

It's a rather boring journey to a very dark place. Thumb's down.


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