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Meet Joe Black


I am watching more movies nowadays. They are a pleasant respite from the 4th-generation-war theater that is in some ways dragging on while we race to the epic, titanic, grand melee between good and evil, light and dark that seems destined to happen quite soon.

I know, I know, I should be meditating, seeking the great spirit, becoming ONE with The Cosmos, finding my inner peace connecting with The One… or at the very least, reading poetry, philosophy and otherwise growing in spirituality or preparing for The Transition. But decent movies are my time off for good behavior.

The challenge is to find wholesome, entertaining movies in a medium packed with garbage. Our antique, grandfathered Netflix DVD/Blue-Ray subscription is half the answer. For $5.99 we get two videos per month one at a time. What I really get is a good predictive inference based on the ratings I gave to movies we have already watched. When my Netflix queue gives a movie we have yet to see 4 or 5 stars, we rather reliably enjoy it.

I then check with my local tiny-town library’s online catalog and reserve a few at a time from the western Montana network of public libraries. Between the two sources, we almost always have a decent movie in DVD or Blue-Ray format sitting on the shelf below our big-to-us monitor that most people would call “a TV”.

As far as I know, there is absolutely nothing worth watching on broadcast television. So when reading, researching, immersing ourselves in art or music doesn’t quite provide the mutual mental resting state we want, we may agree it is a movie evening.

Last night it was Meet Joe Black.

(1998) Directed by Martin Brest. With Brad Pitt, Anthony Hopkins, Claire Forlani, Jake Weber. Death, who takes the form of a young man, asks a media mogul to act as a guide to teach him about life on Earth, and in the process, he falls in love with his guide’s daughter.

As with nearly all that we watch, it was almost completely in classical North American English with a rich selection of descriptive adjectives and adverbs instead of the modern, minute selection of profane substitutes and mostly shouted grunt-level conversations. It had actual acting, portrayed honest emotions, touched us deeply, and gave us genuine food for thought.

Particularly noteworthy was the depiction that fits my current thinking wherein our spirits occupy these mortal vessels, then move on – and that transition to the next realm is not to be dreaded when the time is right.

Of course each of this world’s 4,000 religions describe their version of that next place in detail, but this movie leaves it open. Any of those could fit, or something else altogether.

Without spoiling anything, the ending was creative, satisfying and thought provoking, as was the entire movie.

Yes, I do recommend it.