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Scotty the Zombie Slayer Meets Pope Obi-Wan

If John Malkovich were to walk into your bedroom some night in the pitch black and say "Be absolutely quiet, or you will die a particularly grisly death."  You, or anyone, could immediately respond: "Oh, c-mon, you're just John Malkovich trying to scare me. Your voice is unmistakable."

A good actor, maybe great, but even with John I think there is such a thing as "over-exposure."   When the phone voice of the kidnapper is heard, i just laugh now-- and say oh my, it's John again!  He gets lots of work.  Good for him.  Not so good for my willing suspension of disbelief.  Yet, I remember seeing many films in which Olivier played minor roles and I never recognized  him until the credits blew his cover.

Maybe that's the difference between a true character actor (Olivier), and an actor of a very particular character (read nature).

As the post heading suggests, I had problems seeing the faces of Simon Pegg and Ewan McGregor in their new contexts within the films Star Trek, and Angels and Demons, respectively.   I suppose that the reason for this is that I am just getting too old, and it becomes too difficult to keep the alternate artificial realities straight in my head. 

Both of these movies contain a form of anti-matter.  How weird is that? It opened some door to vigorous cross-threading.

That sci-fi element in Angels and Demons was enough for me to see McGregor as a disguised Jedi fighting the evil Emperor, brandishing a, er, brand like a light saber?  Flying the priestly helicopter, and parachuting-- how Jedi is that? Was it all a Jedi mind trick gone horribly wrong? That Ron did nothing to alter Ewan's Obi-Wan looks and gave him a robe for God's sake (pun apology) puzzles me-- why not make him something else-- somehow more like Richard III? 

And I really like Simon Pegg, but he is a shrunken Mr. Scott to my eye. The makeup department evidently liked his "Sean of the Dead" look, because they did nothing to make him look different, or were too subtle for me.  Is that an axe in his hands?  My favorite part of the film was the surprise humor when he gets teleported into the "fluidic dilithium transfer tubes" --or whatever the hell they were-- on route to a giant salad grinder which may have been some non-engineer's idea of a dilithium turbine engine. Dunno.  I don't recall there ever being a giant salad grinder in the engine room before, do you?

And seeing these films within a few days of each other, I found myself doing ever stranger cross-referencing.  The crowds of the Vatican reminded me of zombies and I became very paranoid that either Simon Pegg or John Malkovich-- perhaps both-- would suddenly enter the fray. This worried me far more than the anti-matter explosion problem.

Langdon showed a lot of courage though. By 10 p.m.  I would have been halfway to Naples.

I am still worried that Simon or John will show up and plan to sleep tonight with the light on.


( 10 comments — Leave a comment )
May. 18th, 2009 04:38 am (UTC)
My response to John Malkovich in that context would be rated NC-17.
May. 18th, 2009 05:01 am (UTC)
Does that mean you would make John your new boy?
May. 18th, 2009 08:04 am (UTC)
Well, he's hardly a boy.
May. 18th, 2009 01:48 pm (UTC)
Yes, but perhaps he could "play" a convincing boy? Well, I suppose one should not joke about such things.

I think if the IRS ever audits me, I will be put in a small room with John, who will confess he moonlights with the IRS to keep his edge, to keep real.
May. 18th, 2009 05:21 am (UTC)
It is an example of how John Malkovich gets into everything that this post did not start out about him at all, and yet he got the intro and the exit lines all to himself. Amazing.

Actually this is due to watching him in "The Changeling" earlier this evening.
May. 18th, 2009 05:42 am (UTC)
Question regarding "The Changeling": Shouldn't the butcherer's cousin have known whether the kids had managed to get away? He rode along on the pick-up when they escaped that night. Unfortunately I had to leave the theatre for a few minutes so I don't know whether I missed something or it was real loose thread.
May. 18th, 2009 02:19 pm (UTC)
The movie disturbed me so that I wanted to deny it was possible that such events could happen in the real world at all. Where was her circle of friends? Could single mothers have been that vulnerable back then?

I wanted to know how much was changed from the events upon which the movie was based before I commented more on it. But I guess it was real enough...

This link suggests that the writer used up to 95% actual records to construct the dialogue and plot.


Boy the actor playing Northcott was almost a dead ringer for him!

In the real events Northcott also had a female accomplice. In the interview where Sanford is picking out photographs, I thought he said he was unsure, and that some boys escaped. But I agree that if he had searched as was shown, he would have known. However fragile an excuse, that search scene was a creation of what a survivor remembered or constructed and thus a viewpoint "version" as opposed to what really happened? We always treat shown memories in films as though they are revealed with total camera accuracy, when of course in real life they are not.

Edited at 2009-05-18 04:21 pm (UTC)
May. 18th, 2009 06:03 am (UTC)
Angels an Demons doesn't bear any critique at all. All that bs about the horrible church and the illuminati, the construed clues, etc. more than I can take in such a brief period of time. However, by simply going into vegetative mode, I was able to enjoy it as an action movie. It profits from the modified ending (yes I confess I read the book) too. But of course, in that mode I didn't make all the cross references you mentioned either, they should have cast someone else as the jedi in vows, period.
Star Trek I did enjoy a lot, it was refreshing, bold in its twists without becoming outright irreverent. I went prepared to leave if it turned out to be the eleventh rumination of the same old cud, but I ended up staying and being quite amused. By the way, the red stuff was not anti matter, and it did not explode, but generate an intense gravitational field upon ignition. Actually it was more akin to the black holes that some people are so concerned might appear within the LHC.
May. 18th, 2009 02:45 pm (UTC)
I too enjoyed Star Trek and the alternate universe idea helped to make that possible because those characters could never have grown into their former selves, nor should they... and Joculum could cite Taussig or somebody here, noting we can't go back to our sixties frame of reference any more.

Is it just me, or does one have to be ADD to enjoy movies these days? Star Trek just seemed to rush by at warp speed. I wanted at least another hour of it, but it was gone almost before I could get a grip on it.

I really liked Spock's space ship, Kirk's early sense of being invulnerable. When Kirk tells young Spock that 4% odds, or something like that, was plenty good enough to work with, that made the character for me.

I am not sure the magic substance in either film had much real physics behind it. The "anti-matter: in A&D seemed to cause an implosion rather than explosion with cool effects. The red stuff from Star Trek-- black hole starter-- made me wonder if the sudden elimination of matter via anti-matter would create the initial gravity well and start a black hole. But I don't know if the universe had "sucking chest wound" in it, whether it would care or not? Would matter be drawn in like a black hole?

I was suspect of the tiny amounts of red stuff previously used versus the whole supply of it going off at once, and I felt that the final event might have been much more than could have been locally escaped, or even been too close to earth, etc., but obviously Spock must have calculated all that without informing me.

Edited at 2009-05-18 02:59 pm (UTC)
May. 18th, 2009 02:54 pm (UTC)
I did not find the Angels and Demons plot to be very convoluted at all since the Illuminati insurgence was faked and only tangentially related to true history. However, the whole movie hinges on understanding the psychology of the Irish priest and how he could have gone so far astray. That information was implied in his character, but not well developed, and not fully satisfying to me.

I assume that the book (I read Da Vinci Code, but not Angels and Demons) is more revealing on that account?
( 10 comments — Leave a comment )
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