me, but have you seen the Barry Levinson film SPHERE? Its a sci-fi movie about an
alien aircraft or an aircraft possibly with aliens that landed three hundred years ago, or
maybe thousands of years ago somewhere in the Pacific. Whatever. Lets just say it
was before your SnobzMavens time. But lets not get too technical for no one is
really sure about anything here, except that theres a sphere in a spaceship out
there with magical powers and his name is not David Copperfield.
Dustin Hoffman and Sharon Stone play an unlikely psychiatrist and
biochemist selected to be part of an elite team recruited to solve the spheres
mystery. Stone, who portrays biochemist Beth Halperin, is at last in a cerebral role and
nearly as convincing as David Letterman, the Olympian. But its not entirely her
fault. Looking around we see that Stone hasnt much chemistry to go on with fellow
crew members Samuel L. Jackson, Liev Schreiber and Peter Coyote.
To show some intensity though, the director has put her in short
cropped hair and a nondescript diving suit. Theres an added degree of suspense over
some past relationship with Dustin Hoffman who was once her psychologist, who knew that
she was a nut bag, suicidal, druggie, and also in love with him. For some men
who have loved Stone, these qualities have apparently meant nothing.
Based on Michael Crichtons novel, SPHERE was adapted for the
screen by Stephen Hauser and Paul Attanasio. Little children watching the show when The
SnobzMaven was present seemed gripped in fear as hundreds of jellyfish surrounded crew
member Queen Latifah. They also seemed terrorized when the monster typed back
in English to the crew: I AM HERE.
However, the real terror was in listening to some of the dialogue
dished out by Stone. For instance, when she made her first dive she let it be known:
This is great, you guys. Wow! she said. Once she got her first glimpse of the
spacecraft, she uttered the timeless words: Oh, my God! It is The
SnobzMavens hope that she will be cited for some award in convincing the audience to
keep a straight face.
Terror can fill any space reads the ad for the film.
Before rushing out, The SnobzMaven suggests you read the checklist:
1) Are you into eerie little jellyfish?;
2) Monsters from outer space named Jerry?;
3) Rotting space ships?;
4) Putrefied corpses?;
5) Queen Latifah?
By the movies end, Hoffman, Stone and Jackson all agree not to
tell the government anything about their experiences in the sphere. The fact that they
discuss this openly in a security room is the real black hole in the picture.
But then so is the films $70 million price tag. In the end when Hoffman and Jackson
decide to remain silent, they look down and see that theyre holding hands. Well,
its just for a moment.
With love & knishes from The Show Biz Maven.
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