Tuesday, March 8, 2011

The Arrival of Charlie Sheen

With all the recent news of Charlie Sheen's (b. 1965) disastrous lifestyle choices, I had to cover him in something.  I didn't want to chose something the he was actually good in, like Platoon (1986), Wall Street (1987) or Major League (1989).  He has 66 titles listed on IMDb, so let's see...how about The Arrival (1996)?  I can't help myself, so if you haven't seen The Arrival, go see it now and then come back to read this post.  I'll wait.  There are spoilers below.

The Arrival is a sci-fi flik about aliens setting up shop in Mexico and trying to prepare the Earth to be more hospitable to them when they finally take over.  It's called terraforming and they are raising the temperature of the atmosphere by shooting great balls of fire into the sky.  (And nobody seems to notice these things for some reason.)

The hero of the story is Charlie "I'm tired of pretending I'm not special" Sheen who is a radio astronomer.  He intercepts a signal from the aliens and is promptly fired by his boss, who happens to be one.  (An alien...not a signal.)  He then sets up his own radio telescope by re tasking all the satellite TV antennas in the neighborhood, for his own use.

The basic story is actually pretty good, but the details cause it to fall apart when you start to think about it in a scientific way.  Just to think that all those satellite TV customers would go without reception for more than a day is impossible!

Charlie acts quite disturbed all through this film.  Maybe it wasn't acting.  He looks very disturbed with a spiky haircut and a silly beard, not to mention those wild eyes.  Even his character's name is weird, Zane Zaminsky.

The rest of the cast is better, and some of the special effects are very good.  The aliens have a cool little ball that they can put in a room and suck everything in sight into it...including a huge radio telescope.  And when they run, they kink their legs backwards.

The short-lived love interest is played by Lindsay Crouse (b. 1948) as another scientist who discovered the same invasion, but she is killed by scorpions while Charlie is taking a bath.  Lindsay has 77 titles, including some very well known TV series' as a regular.  On the big screen you can find her with Paul Newman in The Verdict (1982).

Denise Richards and Charlie Sheen in happier days
The bad guy and former alien boss of Sheen is played by Ron Silver (1946 - 2009).  Silver has 82 titles listed, and was a former president of Actors Equity.  He did lots of TV including "Rhoda" in the 1970s, and his work on the big screen is also extensive with some big hits.  Silkwood (1983), Romancing the Stone (1984), Oh God! You Devil (1984), Mr. Saturday Night (1992), and Timecop (1994).  More recently he had a regular role on "The West Wing."

Most of the cast appears to be Mexican, as the movie was largely shot on location.  In fact, this entire movie is populated by Bit Actors rather than big stars.

As much as I like to let people live their own lives and learn from their mistakes, I do believe that Charlie Sheen should seek professional help.  Please, Charlie, get some help!


  1. I enjoyed your review of THE ARRIVAL, and hope Charlie Sheen will get his head and act together. If you want to see Ron Silver in a bad movie, though, check out the 1998 thriller THE WHITE RAVEN. People tend to either love or hate it; see it for yourself and decide! :-)

  2. Thanks, Dorian. I haven't seen that one. Silver can certainly play an evil one! He has a permanent smirk on his face.


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