Joe the King
Entertainment: +1 1/2
Acceptability: -4

Children need lots of love, attention, and guidance as they grow up. When those things are missing the results can often be disastrous. Joe Henry (Noah Fleiss) is a 13 year-old who needs those things. But his alcoholic father Bob (Val Kilmer) and his workaholic mother Theresa (Karen Young) are either too drunk or too busy to provide Joe with those crucial qualities. So, Joe begins to live life his way. His parents wont feed him? Well then fine, hell steal from his job at the restaurant just so he can eat. When dad breaks stuff in the house during his drunken rampages? Fine, hell steal some money to replace the broken items. Joe has his own logic and way of looking at the world, and this leads him in the slow, downward spiral chronicled in the film. JOE THE KING is wonderfully acted by Noah Fleiss and Val Kilmer, who delves into a different type of role than he usually plays. However, its slow moving proceedings and meandering plot will not help it at the box office.

The subject matter in this film deals with a child being let down by every adult involved in his life. This is due in part to the many evils common to our society, like alcoholism, abuse, busyness, and just plain irresponsibility. Several tense scenes occur in the film, mostly due to the abuse and neglect evident the Henry home. Even the teachers and administrators at Joes school let him down by their lack of real interest in him. This happens despite Joes numerous attempts to cry out for attention. For example, the opening scene shows Joe acting up in class. His teachers response is to take him to the front of the class, pull his pants down and spank him. This kind of behavior is disturbing, yet is seen time and again in the ways the adults in his life fail him. The film is filled with foul language, including 63 f-words, 18 s-words, and 18 regular profanities. While providing some insight into childhood neglect, JOE THE KING will oppress many with its offensive language.

Preview Reviewer: John Adair
Distributor: Trimark Pictures, 2644 30th St., Santa Monica, CA 90232

Crude Language: Many (22) times - Mild 9, Moderate 13
Obscene Language: Many (91) times - F-word 63, s-word 18, other 10
Profanity: Many (21) times - Regular 18 (G 2, GD 8, J 1, C 3, Swear to G 3, C sake 1); Exclamatory 3 (Oh God)
Violence: Few times Mild (child spanked, boy hits girl, man hits child, child bleeds from a cut)
Sexual Intercourse: None
Nudity: Once (male rear of child); Near Nudity - Once (woman not wearing bra)
Homosexual Conduct: None
Sexually Suggestive Action/Dialog: Few times (reference to self gratification, references to womens breasts)
Drug Abuse: Many times (smoking, alcohol-drunkenness)
Other: Child smokes; alcoholic and abusive father causes some tense scenes; child urinates in food
Running Time: 93 minutes
Intended Audience: Adults

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