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Phenomenon

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Here's a fun concept. Let's put together a film with heavy sci-fi elements and themes in the vein of Twilight Zone and mash it together with a poorly motivated romance and have John Travolta stare at trees for the majority of it. That sounds like punishment.

Guess what though? It killed it. The box office loved this film despite the critics apprehensions. Flocks of people wanting to see some feel goodie type jobbers fled to the theater thinking that John Travolta was making a huge comeback (it was over 2 years later) and that he was good at acting as he did great at looking confused in Pulp Fiction. 

That's neat and all but here's the deal with this film. It's a continuous set of missed opportunities to be something truly good. It seems that a writer had a fantastic concept in a man given super-powers and then can accomplish nothing with them but have his life ruined by them and a pariah to his former neighbors. That's good stuff. However, the studio clearly stuck their damn noses in and said, "Well we need to have an hour of it be taken up by a romance. That'll get the ladies involved." In this case they were right when it came to cash, but relegates this film to the folks at Stinker Madness to expose it's flaws.

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Face/Off

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When two men really don't like each other it's time to break the laws of medical science and do a face/off and then a face/on, while facing off. Inspiration demands much wiping of loved ones faces on, in case they get their faces blown off.

So let's start out with the science of said face/swap. Nope, can't work. The movie explicitly tells us that Cage and Travolta's characters (Troy and Archer, respectively) have two different blood types. So the face wouldn't even stay on. The body would reject the swap and then you'd really have a face off....onto the floor. Hey try not to step on your face. Then there's the height difference, hair lines and color, body hair amounts, eye color, dental structure, weight gain/loss, shoe size and the most damning of all differences -- the ding dong. Mrs. Archer must be only boning him when she's lit up like a X-mas tree because she can't tell that he husbands winky has gone from 4 inches and dropping left to 5 inches and constantly erect. Nice.

The sad thing about Face/Off is that there is really not as much action as people remember. There's only two sequences that are really actioney and they bookend an hour and half of not much happening action-wise. Good thing for the viewer is that during these slow points, Cage and Travolta are delivering some of the most outlandish acting we've seen this side of Wicker Man or Troll 2. They make a GREAT bad acting duo as they try to out over-the-top each other. It's chemistry, yes, and is the real draw for this film.

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