I swear I don’t know how this happens: I receive a movie from Netflix, and I have no idea why I ordered it. Sometimes I think the little chipmunks that keep the wheels of Netflix rolling get a bit bored and randomly hurl those little red envelopes into somebody else’s queue. I can hear ‘em now, “You want ““Annie Hall?”” screw you, you’re gettin’ “”The Exorcist!”” That or I’m just losing it, which is the most logical explanation (Oh god, now I sound like Spock).
Anyway, I opened one of my red envelopes the other day and gazed in wonderment at what I saw: “Blast from the Past.” What? After damn near hurling the thing across the room like a miniature Frisbee, I read the synopsis; it sounded pretty entertaining and boasted an impressive cast: Christopher Walken, Sissy Spacek, Brendan Fraser, and the deal closer, Alicia Silverstone.
If you haven’t seen “Blast from the Past,” it’s a quirky comedy set during the Cold War, specifically The Cuban Missile Crisis, and the Walken character (Calvin) is a “mad” scientist who’s anticipated a total nuclear (or nuuklar, as George W. would enunciate it) holocaust and has built a bomb shelter under their house. Except this is not your father’s bomb shelter; it’s literally a replica of their house, and is stuffed to the gills with supplies.
In short, after Calvin forces pregnant wife, Spacek (Helen) into the shelter, his “holocaust” happens in the form of an airplane that crashes on top of his house. That’s enough for Calvin, as he activates the locks, and the two are shelter-bound for the next thirty-five years (that’s when the locks are programmed to disengage). A few months after the couple enters the shelter, Helen gives birth to Adam (Brendon Frasier).
Calvin and Helen raise Adam as if time has stood still and by Adam’s 34th birthday, the locks unhinge, and Adam eventually makes his way to modern society (the ultimate fish out of water). One of Adam’s desires is, of course, to get married and in a very well-done meet cute, Adam runs into Eve (Alicia Silverstone), and, as one would expect, they eventually fall in love.
As I was watching “Blast,” I sat there and realized how much I miss Alicia’s presence from the movies. For starters, she’s one of the most beautiful women on the planet. Heck, while only six-years-old, her father took some pictures of her, and the next thing ya know, she’s doing commercials. And she isn’t the product of LA; she was born in San Francisco.
After some minor TV appearances, she made a splash in the 1993 movie “The Crush.” Although reviews for the flick were tepid, Silverstone was a standout, and won “Best Villain” and “Breakthrough Performance” at the 1994 MTV Movie Awards; her career was about to take off. She caught the collective eyes of rockers Aerosmith and quickly became a star in a slew of incredibly popular MTV videos (back when MTV actually had an iota on influence in the MUSIC business) that pretty much put her on the radar of the Hollywood elite, including one Amy Heckerling. Amy was writing a little movie at the time titled “Clueless,” and Silverstone was perfect for the role of the popular, materialistic, daddy’s girl (Cher), who is hell-bent on transforming Tai (the brilliant, late Brittany Murphy) into a popular chick, among other things.
“Clueless” is, well, I don’t have to tell you what the movie is, except that it rocketed Alicia to big time stardom, and she was hailed as the spokeswoman for an emerging young generation. It nabbed her the role of Batgirl in the Batman franchise of the day, and the icing on the cake; she signed a deal with Columbia Tristar worth $10 million for her own production company, First Kiss Productions. In 1997, her first release under First Kiss was “Excess Baggage,” which critics didn’t warm up to. I read half of the screenplay and saw the movie; the critics got it right on this one.
It’s not like Alicia’s been stuck in a bomb shelter for the last 10 years; she’s done movies and TV, such as a spot on “Children’s Hospital” and “The Art of Getting By,” and she’s completed filming for “Vamps,” which teams her up with Amy Heckerling once more. She’s also completed “Butter” and “Ass Backwards” is in post-production.
So, all of us Alicia fans can rest assured, she’ll be hitting the big screen soon with what looks to be some pretty solid material.
What do ya think, “Clueless II?” Nah, some classics need to be left alone; I think Alicia would agree with me on this one.