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Linda-Marie Singer is the Movie Maven

The Show Biz Maven

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Linda-Marie Singer - Click to Enlarge SPHERE

Sphere! It’s Here! Sphere!

Click to Enlarge Reviewed by The Show Biz Maven

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Excuse me, but have you seen the Barry Levinson film SPHERE? It’s 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. Let’s just say it was before your SnobzMaven’s time. But let’s not get too technical for no one is really sure about anything here, except that there’s 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 sphere’s mystery. Stone, who portrays biochemist Beth Halperin, is at last in a cerebral role and nearly as convincing as David Letterman, the Olympian. But it’s not entirely her fault. Looking around we see that Stone hasn’t 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. There’s 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 Crichton’s 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 SnobzMaven’s 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 movie’s 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 film’s $70 million price tag. In the end when Hoffman and Jackson decide to remain silent, they look down and see that they’re holding hands. Well, it’s just for a moment.

With love & knishes from The Show Biz Maven.

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Email: shobzmaven@aol.com
Web: http://www.i.am/lindamarie  

 

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