This week, we talk for entirely too long about Phenomenon. John Travolta plays a Joe Sixpack who gets hit by a ball of light only to get super smart and somehow learns how to bend the laws of physics. It’s like The Matrix if Neo were a corn farmer, and the matrix was actually a massive brain tumor.
What’s interesting about this movie is that it’s so dependent on just a few roles that even though the script was really strong, the casting absolutely made this movie. I mean, Travolta and Forest Whitaker as best friends doesn’t exactly seem all that great on paper, but it all came together. I would say Robert Duvall’s casting was probably the easiest, because he’s the ultimate ride-or-die-pal and he could play the small town doctor to a tee (and does). I’m not even a Kyra Sedgwick fan, but she’s charming as hell here.This movie is packed with That Guy’s, from the Area 51 scientist in Independence Day to Roger Podacter from Ace Ventura.
The Crow is the 1994 neo-noir fantasy film based off of the 1989 comic book series by James O’Barr. Contrary to popular belief, The Crow is not played by Brandon Lee, who tragically died during the filming of the movie. The Crow is played by an actual crow, well…not any actual crows. Only ravens were used in the movie. The idea is that the crow is supernatural. Brandon Lee plays Eric Draven, an innocent young man who is brought back to life by the mysterious Crow one year after him and his wife are brutally murdered. From there it’s a full-on revenge story.
*Please note that we spoil pretty much every M. Night Shyamalan film* Oh, boy. We’ve got a deep, dark brooding movie this week in The Sixth Sense. This was M. Night Shyamalan’s first feature film, and damn did he hit a home run on the first pitch. Haley Joel Osment absolutely carries this movie, and for as good of a job as Night does, if they couldn’t find a child as good as him, then this movie would have been doomed from the start. Outside of Toni Collette, he acts everyone else off the screen, and it earned him an academy award nomination for Best Supporting Actor.
The deliciously 90’s classic Hackers is on tap for this week’s episode. We’re talking rollerblades, techno, dial-up modems, and 30 year olds playing teenagers. This movie has it all. It was the major feature debut of Jonny Lee Miller (Dade Murphy / Zero Cool / Crash Override), Angelina Jolie (Kate / Acid Burn), and Matthew Lillard (Cereal Killer). Seeing as these are all of the starring roles, we have one question; WHERE THE FUCK DID THE $20 MILLION BUDGET GO TO? We think it’s got to be the “cool hacker CGI” effects, but I’m pretty sure there’s somebody walking around with at least 5 mil in their pocket. Although…on reflection, I bet one of the producers realized this was going to be a flop really early on and started siphoning money off to recoup what they were absolutely going to lose (and did).
This week, we have a very important episode*. The Untouchables is a film that we’ve been trying to recast for a while. The first time we tried to recast it, the movie had dropped off the streaming services 6 hours earlier. Once we found out it was available again, we pounced on the opportunity. Except…..I had water pooling in my basement (every homeowner’s nightmare) and had to postpone the recording by several hours. We barely made it through the first segment or so, until I’m pretty sure Mike actually fell asleep. However, we regrouped and recorded a really fun pod last night.
The movie itself is a total classic, although I was personally disappointed by the music. It happened to be nominated for the Best Music Oscar, but I still call “bullshit”, it’s not good.
Set at the turn of the century, prohibition laws are driving the showdown between Eliot Ness (Kevin Costner) and Al Capone (Robert De Niro). Sean Connery delivers as the “beat cop who’s seen everything” role. As far as those roles go, I really think this is one of them that is to be judged against all future ones. Connery crushes this (see the “that’s the Chicago WAY!” and the “That endeth the lesson” speeches). There are also some surprisingly fun performances by Charles Martin Smith (who is third billed!), Billy Drago (at creepy as ever), and Patricia Clarkson, who I’m usually not a fan of, but does a great job with this role.
* It’s really not important at all.
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