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It Came from the Sky (1999)
Intense in a subtle way
This is one of those independent movies where you can tell by watching just how much the actors got into the material. Arguably, they all shine magnificently here in this intriguing piece. The vast majority of the action in this movie takes place in the living room and kitchen of a house, and the close proximity of all the characters to one another heightens the tension incrementally, making their moments seem much more real and easy to relate to.
The movie follows a couple, the Bridges, who are growing apart under the stress of taking care of their disabled son. While their marriage is on the brink of collapse, their living room roof literally collapses when a plane carrying a mysterious and wonderfully romantic couple crashes on their house. What happens in the next few hours in the characters' lives is a transformation as they come to terms with their secrets and insecurities.
The acting here is solid by seasoned pros. Bleethe is surprisingly good (I had always assumed she wasn't particularly talented given her "Baywatch" stint, but the girl can actually act), and Ritter and Williams are so convincing, you feel like they are a real estranged couple. Lloyd proves he is even more effective as a dramatic actor than a comedic one (if you can imagine that), and Zegers brings real compassion to his portrayal of a disabled boy without falling into schmaltzy stereotypes we see so often on film.
Kudos to the writing and the casting.
Decent indie flick with subtle ending
I have had the opportunity to catch this independent film and was impressed with it, despite the lack of excitement in the plot. The acting was very good by everyone involved. Amy Madigan played the part of a guilt ridden mother who is tired, yet well intentioned and determined to make up for her younger daughter's condition. Yet, in the process, she has neglected her older sister, who is more interested in playing with her savant-syndrome sibling and living in a world of escapism.
The men in the movie are very powerful in their secondary roles. Christopher Lloyd, in a very understated role, shows us why he has such versatility. He plays a teacher who is dedicated to his profession and literature research, yet starved for a meaningful relationship. He and Madigan connect very well in their scenes together, yet both know nothing more can come from their friendship. Their wordless goodbye is nothing short of brilliant, an acting lesson for aspiring performers.
And in a small role, Fred Savage is fun to watch.
You can tell why this movie was based on a play, it's probably very good on stage. On screen, it's not particularly exciting, but it's nonetheless very thoughtful and powerful in its subtleties.
If you get over your bias, you'll love this show
I'm the kind of person who likes strong ensemble comedies with wit and the occasional farce, like "Frasier", "Taxi", "Seinfeld", "Everybody Loves Raymond", etc.. So when I heard about "Stacked", I had my doubts as to how funny it could be. Pamela Anderson...is it possible for her to be intentionally funny? I figured I would watch the first episode if, for nothing else, to see the genius of Christopher Lloyd and the spunk of Marissa Jaret Winokur. They did not disappoint, and the show had me laughing out loud in bits where those actors weren't even present.
Basically, this is a surprisingly smart show. Anderson has the ability to poke fun at herself and not take everything so seriously. She knows she's not Olivier, and she doesn't try to be something she isn't. Maybe that's why I found the character so endearing. Winokur has great delivery, and a gift for physical comedy. Scolaro and Gold are deft comedians, who know how to wring the humor out of their lines and expressions. Lloyd is great and proves he can still make you laugh without even opening his mouth. His slightly grumpy retired physicist character is the perfect foil to everyone else.
If you come into watching this show with an open mind, you'll like it. If you come into it with a hatred for all things Pamela Anderson, you could easily find yourself surprised at her charm and the wit of the show. If your head is so far stuck up your butt in your prejudices, then you wouldn't like this, even if it were Oilivier performing "Hamlet". Bottom line: this show is a lot better than the unfunny formula comedies littering the airwaves right now ("Joey", "Freddie", basically anything where the title is someone's name) and has a strong cast, solid acting, witty writing and the potential to be a great show.