I saw The Boys From Brazil last night. Greg Peck as Josef Mengele? Talk about casting against type. Olivier should have played him, but he played a mild mannered Nazi hunter. He was so much more convincing as the dentist-from-hell in Marathon Man than Peck was as Mengele.
W : )
I saw The Boys From Brazil last night. Greg Peck as Josef Mengele? Talk about casting against type. Olivier should ... He was so much more convincing as the dentist-from-hell in Marathon Man than Peck was as Mengele. W : )

Interesting that you should refer to Peck and Olivier.

Both of them played General Douglas MacArthur, Peck in MacArthur, Olivier, in Inchon.
Olivier, I'm afraid, was terribly miscast.
And speaking of more recent movies, I just happened to catch City of Ember. I'd seen the coming attractions and I'd thought, just based on that, that Bill Murray seemed amazingly miscast and having seen the movie all I can say is Bill Murray seemed disastrously miscast.

This is a pretty much completely straight YA science fiction adventure and essentially everyone plays it straight. And Bill Murray sorta kinda does his best to play it straight in the role of the mayor.

The trouble is, Bill Murray is constitutionally incapable of "playing is straight." In fact, he really can't "play" anything. As an actor he really just has a persona. Anyone who's seen Bill Murray in anything has seen it. It's this sort of sort of wise-ass self-mocking, slyly winking at the fourth-wall persona. Whether it's Ghostbusters or Groundhog Day or even Lost in Translation it's the same character.

That's why, when he actually tries to act to try to create a genuinely different character, like in Razor's Edge it's a disaster.
There are actors who can actually do that. Play completely different characters. Ralph Fiennes, yes. Ben Kingsley, yes.

Bill Murray no. He can do one thing quite well, but just that one thing.
And every time he comes on screen in this strraight YA science fiction adventure it strikes as bad and as discordant a note as you could possibly imagine. It is a disaster.
Now, I have no idea how this movie came about I suppose it got greenlit in the aftermath of LOTR when a bunch of companies were looking for big fantasy projects that had a similar feeling to them. And since both of its main characters were teenagers they were obviously looking to fill in the "name value" with the adults who had supporting roles.
But they also, apparently, either couldn't afford or couldn't make the schedules of any a-list names so I'm betting they just started going down the list.
Because that's what they do. They make lists of names. Who do we want for the dad? Who do we want for the Mom? Who do we want for the Mayor?

And I'm betting that Bill Murray was not first on the list for the Mayor. Or second, or third, or fifth. Probably not even tenth.

He was probably just the first, given the money and given the schedule that they could get.
Probably just an oddball choice that the casting person just stuck on "Hey, what do you think about Bill Murray for the mayor? Maybe that could be a fun choice?"
And everybody probably just shrugged because it was fifteenth on the list and they said, "Yeah, sure whatever" because they never actually thought that they'd get that far down the list.

Next thing you know he's in the movie and it's a horrible choice.

NMS
Yeah, but I don't think Bill Murray ruined "City of Ember."

It's not like he had enough screen time to be the blame for the film's poor showing.
I watched it on Pay Per View because the blurb sounded interesting. I could tell the book it was based on was probably really good. The film, however, was just ... weak.
It had no "oomph."
Even "The Chronicles of Narnia" was better than "City of Ember," and "Narnia" was not a good film.
I'll tell you what was a semi-passable tween flick: the latest "Escape to Witch Mountain," starring Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson. The man is charm incarnate.
CoE had no charm. It was blah.
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I would like to usher Wordsmith into the small and elite group of MWSmers who have started 100-post threads.
Wordsmith, as you reflect on this milestone in your newsgroup career, do you have any advice for posters who would like to launch a topic as successful as this one?
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I would like to usher Wordsmith into the small and elite group of MWSmers who have started 100-post threads. Wordsmith, ... career, do you have any advice for posters who would like to launch a topic as successful as this one?

You could start by telling us how your humble beginnings prepared you for the dizzying heights you've reached today. You know, you were born a poor sharecropper's son, and then found out you were adopted ...

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I would like to usher Wordsmith into the small and elite group of MWSmers who have started 100-post threads. Wordsmith, ... do you have any advice for posters who would like to launch a topic as successful as this one? .

Sure. Stay in touch with current events. Study. Research. Network Da usual stuff.
W : )
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