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March 09 2005

Amber Benson Pop Culture Con Article. It talks about her appearance at the con, as well as her film Chance. And the site also features a fairly scathing review of Chance.

The Chance review is not a particularly glowing one, though I did agree with him on some points.

Of course, the writer then says :
Indeed, the show [BtVS] is too self-congratulatory for its own good, while the movie version, featuring Kristy Swanson, Rutger Hauer, and Pee-wee Herman, hit the right balance of silliness and supernatural.

So much for his taste. :)
Agreed, NickSeng. "Self-congratulatory" is one of those buzzy review words that says absolutely bugger-all. I suppose it means that the show actually takes itself seriously in its themes. How dare a "genre" show aspire to rise above "silliness and supernatural"! Thank goodness we have people like this reviewer to tell us what's really hip and what really matters . . .

And his comment that Chance's apparent bisexuality is there simply to keep fans of Tara and Willow "hooked" is complete tripe. Chance is supposed to be a sexual and out-there kinda gal; it's a character comment, not a sop.

I'm also not sure he's correct in saying that SMG had a "series of filmic flops" before Scooby-Doo and The Grudge. Seems to me (without checking) that I Know What You Did Last Summer and Cruel Intentions both did pretty well.

(added) NickSeng, I moved your mention of the review into the main link, so that it wouldn't be linked to again.
You know, the more I read that review, the more I wanted to see this - everything that the reviewer said that was trying to be negative had the opposite effect. For example, "As an actress, Benson is naturally good at two moods -- horny and pissed off" just made me want to see AB portraying horny and pissed off (personally, I hope not at the same time!). I don't think I ever saw her do either of those on BtVS so now I want to see more.

I guess that "it's only recommended that hardcore devotees take this Chance" must mean I fall into the masses of hardcore devotees!.
I'm also not sure he's correct in saying that SMG had a "series of filmic flops" before Scooby-Doo and The Grudge. Seems to me (without checking) that I Know What You Did Last Summer and Cruel Intentions both did pretty well.

It is debateable if SMG is specifically the reason for the box office success of any of the films she has appeared in, but she does have an impressive record. 'I Know What You Did Last Summer', 'Scream 2', 'Scooby Doo', 'Scooby Doo 2' (contrary to claims to the contrary) and 'The Grudge' were all successful worldwide. 'Cruel Intentions' performed reasonably well at the box office, although its biggest success came on video and DVD.

'Simply Irresistible' was a box office flop. I've always liked this film, but I seem to be in the minority. 'Harvard Man', her best film in my opinion, sank without trace, but surely nobody was expecting box office fireworks with this one.

I would be very surprised if anyone could point me in the direction of a leading actor who has not appeared in films that have failed to perform to expectations. SMG is 'small scale'. She is not a major star by any stretch of the imagination, but her career seems to have gone pretty well so far. Hard work, a lucky break with BtVS and some genuine talent seem to have done the trick.

I can't add much about 'Chance'. I did have the opportunity to buy a copy a while back, and was very tempted, but the cost made up my mind for me. School fees, mortgages, food and other 'non-Whedon' related expenses take priority. I do hope to get to see it one day.
So much for his taste. :)


Since I own a copy of the Chance dvd, I guess that makes me a "hardcore devotee" which is fine by me. Chance is a fine little indie film, nonlinear and quirky with its filmmaker's humor and style firmly stamped on it. It has many other charms to recommend it -- JM's performance as well as Andy Hallett's cameo, the storytelling/direction, the musical asides, the bizarre turn of the mother/father storyline, etc.

Considering the constant flow of craptastic fare at the multiplexes these days, it's a shame that Chance hasn't found a wider audience.
"...may have quite the uphill battle with Chance.."

MAY have? MAY??? Where's this guy been?

Benson isn't having an uphill battle with this thing because it's not Whedon-related. It's an indy film in a world where without a major corporate entity backing you up, you're going to have an uphill battle. I don't care if your indy film is about King Arthur, unless you have gobs of money to throw at asses like Luke Thompson to 'convince' them to say nice things about you that the corporate entity can then put in expensive tv commercials and movie trailers about your work, you're gonna have an uphill battle.

And such corporate entities don't like investing in a talent like Benson unless she does stuff that has a high chance of being successful. Why, might you ask? We can just go back and look at Tru Calling to see why. Had Eliza Dushku said she'd do "Faith the TV series" instead of Tru Calling, she might still have a regular gig. Because she chose to venture out with a whole new character that aside from the spookiness and the occasional dry wit had little or nothing to do with her previous success, the boat sank on its maiden voyage.

People with lots of money don't like investing in something that won't make them lots of money. That's the uphill battle Amber Benson is fighting. It has nothing to do with how good she is or the quality of the film Chance. It's all politics and economics. Frankly I'm surprised anything artistic and sincerely heartfelt ever gets made and shown to the general public, considering the corporate atmosphere that plagues cinema.

Don't they still make Care Bear movies? Didn't Police Academy make it to EIGHT before they quit that franchise? Sheesh.

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