Last night I watched the 1998 sci-fi/thriller movie Sphere. Despite boasting a star-heavy cast featuring Dustin Hoffman, Samuel L. Jackson, and Sharon Stone the film was a big bust and lost millions at the box office and was generally shat upon by critics. I remembered liking the film the first time I saw it years ago however, and since I generally distrust all form of pop film review anyway, so I decided to put it on last night at 2am when I should have been going to bed.
The film centres on a psychiatrist, Hoffman, and an crew of elite scientists assembled to potentially make first contact with an alien lifeform believed to be trapped on a massive vessel at the bottom of the ocean. The eponymous sphere refers to a massive golden-coloured alien object that the crew finds on board. After one of the crewmembers mysteriously enters the sphere the crew mission is haunted by bizarre creatures and accidents, putting the mission in jeopardy.
On the surface I realize that this sounds like the plot line for the most typical, cliché sci fi film ever, but it’s really something entirely different. In Sphere there’s xenomorph running around in the shadows tearing apart crewmembers; the only monster is the crewmembers themselves and the darkness they conceal from each other. Far from being a cliché B movie, Sphere is actually a reasonably intelligent and thoughtful psychological suspense movie. I’ve written before about public bias towards science fiction, and I think Sphere suffered from a lot of that, because it’s a pretty good movie and doesn’t deserve the reception it received.
It’s not a perfect movie, far from it. There’s some inconsistent acting and the storytelling is uneven and imprecise, probably due to misediting, but it’s still a solid and somewhat thought provoking movie that has some top-tier acting, particularly from Jackson and Hoffman. Definitely worth seeing.
Holy shit this is good. This is Baby Eagle, a band fronted by former Constantines guitarist Steve Lambke, doing a reworked cover of the Cons’ song Shower of Stones from their last album, Kensington Heights. I like the album version but it never properly captured how brilliant the song was to see live.
I miss the Constantines so much.
This is a song by a Norweigan singer named Ida Maria who I hadn’t heard of just a day or two ago, and now I can’t stop listening to it. It’s got my hooked in that almost dangerous fashion where I’m at risk of overplaying it and ruining it, at least for a few months. Every time the chorus comes along I want to crank up the volume regardless of how loud it already is. I literally may like this song enough to damage my hearing. It’s the type of song I want to blast in my bestickered headphones right before I walk into work in the hopes that it might cheer me up just a little bit for my shift.
It’s a pretty simple, vaguely punkish 3 minute song with a catchy hook. It’s not too complicated and the lyrics aren’t anything profound or insightful. It’s just catchy and vaguely angsty. Some of my friends might say that I like it more than I really should, and they may be right. I’m a sucker for this stuff.
This is comedian Duncan Trussell. He’s a big proponent of expunging the vampires from your life. He’s got an excellent new podcast called The Duncan Trussell Family Hour. So if you don’t want psychic vampires sucking your lifeforce dry, you should check him out.