Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Forget O.J., Sam Waterston had the best performance in "Capricorn 1". No joke!

When you think of actors in the 1978 government cover-up movie, "Capricorn 1", most people remember OJ Simpson and James Brolin.

Here's a quick recap of the movie.  Elliot Gould plays a reporter chasing the story of 3 astronauts the government plans to make disappear after faking a moon landing. They manage to escape their captures and head in different directions. One of them will make it back to society and prove that those son-of-a-bitches set them up. They would shoot a flare when caught. 

OJ goes down first. In one of his best performances ever he bakes in the afternoon sun on his hands and knees eating dirt, staring into the sun believing he sees birds. They were helicopters from Haliburton equipped with machine guns. As agreed he set off a flare to let the others know he was about to be killed. Poof..bang!

James Brolin faked out the choppers, finds cover in a cave inhabited by a rattle snake and wins the battle. Then in "Man vs. Wild"style, he eats snake sushi. Elliot Gould will save him with a crop duster plane piloted by Teli Savalis, eventually delivering him to a press gathering eulogizing all three astronauts.

The performance that is lost is Sam Waterston. Yes, the same guy from Law & Order. His character cannot finish a joke, he never gets to the punchline. During his desert ordeal, his mountain to climb… is a mountain to climb. They start the scene at the bottom. He starts telling a joke. The scene goes on for about fifteen minutes and he still hasn't finished the joke. Just as he reaches the top and he's almost finished...no punchline. If there was one, I couldn't hear it over the grunting. Haliburton helicopters. Poof…bang! Dangit!

This Smackum! Award goes to Sam Waterston for taking an agonizing climb in 1978 and making it unbearable.
 
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