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Scott Ventura >> Movie Commentary >> October 1999 >> Blast From the Past

Blast From the Past

Movie Commentary by Scott Ventura


Scott's Rating:
4 / 5
Times Seen:
Viewing Date:
October 1999
IMDB Name:
Blast From the Past (1999)
Hugh Wilson
comedy, romance
MPAA Rating:
PG-13 for brief language, sex and drug references.

Adam and Eve

Brendan Fraser and Alicia Silverstone make a cute enough couple. As with almost all romantic comedies, it takes a while for them to end up together, although at least one of them is interested in the other for the entire time. Silverstone is made to play a little poutier than usual, and it cuts severely into her character's warmth. Of course, it gives her a heart of ice for Fraser's warmth to melt. The few times Silverstone smiles, though, she absolutely lights up the screen, teasing with her radiant charm.

I was hoping for a bit more comedy about the awkwardness of the transition. Perhaps I was expecting to see another variation on the theme of The Brady Bunch Movie. There are some great reaction shots in the movie, as when Adam first talks beef with a butcher, played by a nearly stone-faced Todd Susman. You may remember him as Officer Shifflet from "Newhart". Annie O'Donnell and Fred Pierce also get a nice moment trying to comprehend Adam's wonderment looking at the sky.

The funniest performance, though, belongs to Dave Foley as Troy. I'm already a fan of Foley's work on "Kids in the Hall" and "NewsRadio". He even did a nice job voicing Flik in A Bug's Life, but he gets to play a much more interesting character here. It's a shame that he doesn't appear until almost an hour into the movie.

Who is that?

When I watched Blast, I was completely sure that the soda jerk, who becomes Archbishop Belkner, was also in The Truman Show. I went crazy, though, trying to figure out who it is! Based on the credits for Truman, he had to be either Paul Giamatti or Adam Tomei, but neither of them seems to be in Blast. Based on the credits for Blast, it's Joey Slotnick, who isn't credited in Truman. I've been assured recently by a helpful guy named Mario Lanza (no, not that Mario Lanza) that it is Slotnick, and that there is a definite similarity between Slotnick and Giamatti. Thank you, Mario!

DVD Comments

The overall navigation of the disc's menus are wonderfully intuitive. There are direct links to major portions of the disc on every screen. I didn't make a single wrong guess about where a cursor movement would take me. This is only the second disc on which I've seen the neat trick of having the menu button jump to the scene selection menus with the current scene selected. For extras, there are cast bios, a trailer, and the Love Meter. I was a little puzzled by this last item, which didn't strike me as consistent with the movie.

The biggest complaint about the disc involves some less-than-readable text. Much of the text is a little small for comfortable reading. Any time another movie is mentioned, the movie's name is dark red on green, a very difficult combination. The subtitles were also slightly substandard when it came to non- English dialogue. Most discs at least mention the language being spoken without including the specific text. In one case, the French dialogue appears in the subtitles in French, but in another, German and French are used interchangeably, but neither is mentioned.

See the IMDB information on Blast From the Past's DVD or compare prices at DVD Price Search.

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Copyright 1999-2001 by Scott Ventura. All rights reserved.