20 February 2011

Movies: Safe House

Safe House (1998) http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0120051/

Guess how good this movie is.
Plot: Ex-DIA operative (?) named Mace Sowell suffers from Alzheimer's and thinks a presidential candidate is out to get him, so to keep sharp he has his pool boy pretend to invade his house so he can shoot him with a paint gun. His daughter thinks he's crazy so she hires a pretty young maid to feed him health food and babysit him.
Stars: Patrick Stewart
Less big stars: Hank Garrett, Hector Elizondo
oh, and Kimberly Williams-Paisley (Father of the Bride, According to Jim - as if anyone's ever seen either)
and a bunch of other nobodies.
Oh and this movie went straight to Showtime in 1999.

My guess: somebody had a bunch of cash laying around and decided they wanted to write and direct a movie starring their favorite actor Patrick Stewart. That's about the only way I could imagine this thing coming about. I've seen much lamer movies than this, but based on there being four credited writers I'm guessing the other writers punched up the story as best they could. Oh well, the writer/director probably got his wish to see Patrick Stewart naked in the shower. At least the pool boy's lines were all delivered as terrible impersonations of Bogart and Jimmy Stewart - I think the comedian that played the pool boy did it on purpose knowing full well how lame it was.
Slow, plodding pace, shot almost entirely in Mace's house with a couple visits to the psychiatrist and once to the maid's house - which could have all been the same place redressed. They probably spent more money on Patrick Stewart the "nerve center" of Mace's house than they did on locations.
Poor Patrick Stewart - it looks like he did best he could with the character until they wanted him to break down crying, I think he just phoned that shot in 'cause they probably couldn't pay enough by that point in production.

Seriously - this 3-1/2 minute clip of Patrick Stewart on "Extras" is much better, just watch it instead:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fg_cwI1Xj4M

(original post 7 Jun 2010)

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