Jobu debuts a new series of posts designed to expose bad casting and bad acting in Hollywood movies Yes, it’s still sports related.
As we all should know by now, my favorite movie is Major League. One of the things I liked most about the film was the realism of the on-field action. They guys actually looked like they’d played baseball at some point or another in their lives. They even say that Charlie Sheen could actually get the ball up to the 80s when he dialed it up as Rick Vaughn. Unfortunately, this isn’t always the case in movies. Often times actors are cast because of their acting abilities and no one notices that they lack even a hint of athletic ability. The other day, I was watching TV when I tuned to one of the HBOs and found Snake Eyes, starring Nicolas Cage. What I saw in this film has inspired this series of posts. Enjoy.
If you don’t know the plot of this movie, here’s a quick summary. Nicolas Cage plays Nick Santoro, a crooked Atlantic City detective who, because of his best friend, Commander Kevin Dunne (Gary Sinise), gets a front row seat to a prize fight. Naturally, Sinise is there to work security for the Secretary of Defense, who is also taking in the fight. Long story short, the SOD is assassinated and Cage finds himself in the middle of it all.
Stan Shaw plays the part of Lincoln Tyler, an aging World Champion who is coerced into taking a dive to save a family member under threat from the conspirators. The “knockout” creates the diversion needed for the murder plot to come to fruition. Anyway, this isn’t a film review, so I’ll stop with the plot details and get to Stan Shaw. One thing you should know about Stan is that he’s a real life martial arts black belt holder and professional instructor in karate, judo and jujutsu in Chicago. He also played a boxer in three other movies before this: Rocky (Dipper, 1976), Tough Enough (P.T. Coolidge, 1983) and Harlem Nights (Jack Jenkins, 1989).
It makes a lot of sense for Director Brian De Palma to cast Stan in this role. However, the only parts of the aging, overweight world championship boxer that Shaw got right were the “aging” and “oversight” parts. Shaw was 46 years old when he took this role. His body looked significantly older. The only thing that possibly saves this role is that George Foreman had won the heavyweight championship at age 46 just four years before this movie was made. This role could be explained as an homage. But at least Foreman looked like he could hit you hard. Shaw’s swings don’t even look like discernible punch types. Is it a hook? A jab? He looks like an old lady swinging a newspaper at a stranger on the bus because she thinks he’s eyeballing her purse. Also, the hair doesn’t help that image either. Seriously. In fact, I’m pretty sure he was actually having a heart attack during filming, and they didn’t have the money to pay him for another day, so they just filmed it and moved on.
I couldn’t find a good clip on Youtube to really showcase the badness, but the trailer is embedded below. Feel free to watch this on your TV for the full effect. Unfortunately, it’s actually a pretty terrible movie. Nicolas Cage is his usual ridiculous self, but at least Gary Sinise is cool as the best friend turned evil bad guy… I guess that’s a spoiler, but the movie spoils that so early that I don’t feel so bad.
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