“I want to fly where no seagull has flown before. I want to know what there is to know about life!”
An adventurous seagull is banished from his flock, but returns to dispense newfound philosophical wisdom.
This live-action film version of Richard Bach’s bestselling parable is a curious combination of stunningly photographed nature movie and ridiculously campy new-age psychobabble. While watching shots of seagulls picking through a trash pile, soaring through the air, or cocking their heads at each other, it’s impossible not to imagine the MST3K crew adding their own snide commentary to the proceedings (or to provide your own); indeed, I was pleased to see that JLS has at least been thoroughly lampooned in writing by the Stomp Tokyo review site (see link below). It’s full of countless quotes which are meant to be dead-serious, but instead will either make you laugh out loud or groan:
- “There’s got to be more to life than fighting for some fish-head somewhere!”
- “I’ve gone everywhere and everywhen I can think of–“
- “I am a perfect expression of freedom, here and now.”
- “I only wish to share what I’ve learned — the very simple fact that it is right for a gull to fly!”
But JLS‘s most egregious sin is its length — it runs for two long hours when it could easily have been reduced to one or less. With that said, the movie still has its hardcore devotees (see various posts on IMDb, for instance), and is an invaluable snapshot of 1970s spiritualism — after all, books don’t become major bestsellers unless they strike some kind of a chord with people. In addition, it’s full of gorgeous cinematography, and fans of Neil Diamond will doubtless enjoy hearing his heartfelt ballads.
Redeeming Qualities and Moments:
- Beautiful cinematography — though a little goes a long way–
- Some cool, stylized imagery of birds silhouetted against the sky
- Neal Diamond’s appropriately majestic score
No, this this certifiably “bad” (albeit utterly sincere) movie is worth a look simply for the unique period in American history it represents.
Posted on December 22nd, 2006 by admin
Filed under: Original Reviews