Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Species - The Ensemble Cast That Shouldn't Have Been

[Above (from left to right): Forest Whitaker, Marg Helgenberger, Ben Kingsley, Alfred Molina]
Species is a hell of a entertaining sci-fi adventure.  There's nudity mixed in with gore, science mixed in with police work, and of course, Alfred Molina mixed in with Natasha Henstridge.  

My only problem with Species is that there's just too many damn actors.  Kingsley is the head scientist.  Whitaker is the pseudo-psychic with a love for feeling feelings.  Helgenberger (that lady from the original CSI) is another scientist and Michael Madsen is the "I don't give a shit" guy who works more with weaponry than test tubes.  As far as Molina's role, I have no idea why he's even in this movie.  Most of his lines are delivered off-screen.

Here's my hypothesis: the screenwriters wrote one (maybe two) roles for scientists.  When it came time to cast, the director had no idea who to cast.  So he cast them all.  Everyone who showed up to the test screen was immediately given lab coats and a fifth of the dialogue.

It makes you wonder what other movies started out with one role and blossomed out to an ensemble cast.  I heard a rumor that Angels in the Outfield was really about a father and son who liked to play catch.  Then they couldn't decide who to cast as the dad so they hired on an entire star-studded baseball team.

Monday, July 27, 2009

The Return of the Living Blog

For all of you still bothering to check in here from time to time...thanks.  Between a thesis, a move, and a job change, life has been insane.  Now everything seems to have settled down.  In other words, I'm back.

Here are some things I feel should be said:

1. Netflix Instant Watch through the X-Box 360 is fantastic.  The only downsides are the lack of selection (especially under the TV category) and the "Your connection has slowed down so please enjoy Point Break in the all-new Super Blurry mode" message/feature.

2. Blockbuster Exclusives are bittersweet.  It's great that the film is going to see the light of day and I'm sure having at least a couple of copies in every Blockbuster in America is appealing but for those of us who rent elsewhere (i.e. Netflix), it's almost like Guy Madden's My Winnipeg and the great animated Fear[s] of  the Dark don't exist.  (Although, they do exist and you should track down a copy of each.)

3. G-Force beat out Harry Potter's second weekend?  How...who...ah hell, I don't know.

Anyways, I'm back.  Here's a picture of Diane lane for you because you've been so patient.