Saturday, November 18, 2006

"Sphere" review

Sphere (1998)

Directed by Barry Levinson
Writing credits Kurt Wimmer

Dustin Hoffman .... Dr. Norman Goodman
Sharon Stone .... Dr. Elizabeth 'Beth' Halperin
Samuel L. Jackson .... Dr. Harry Adams
Peter Coyote .... Captain Harold C. Barnes
Liev Schreiber .... Dr. Ted Fielding
Queen Latifah .... Alice 'Teeny' Fletcher
Huey Lewis .... Helicopter Pilot

Will Hollywood ever get tired of ripping us off? Why not give audience members what they want? Is that too radical? Is it more satisfying to be deceitful and laugh at all the suckers who pile into movie theaters? This movie was a total, unashamed lie.

So an alien ship lands in the ocean. The usual gaggle of scientists check it out. They find, yes, a sphere. It's big and shiny. So it turns out that Mr. Sphere can make your worst fear come to life. OK. Fine. So thankfully, a lot of their fears revolve around things in the ocean. One person hates jellyfish and another hates squids. Now here's where the problem lies.

So if I fear a giant squid, logically a giant squid should attack. Right? RIGHT?! Where's the monster? I would expect this kind of cheap laziness from a B movie but this flick had some dollars thrown at it. Where's the squid? In other words, WHERE'S THE PAYOFF?! Wow. Ripped off yet again. Denied a monster. The ending is what seals the deal on it's lameness.


How to resolve the sphere dilemma? How can we really stick it to the audience to let them know they've been taken? Their solution? They think the sphere away and it flies off into space. Yes. Think your troubles away. Ugh. I tried that trick with this movie but no dice. All I can see is Hollywood laughing their heads off at another successful con job.


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