Last night I rewatched Frequency starring Dennis Quaid and Jim Caviezel. Trust me, it wasn’t intentional. But, with no NBA Finals and a baseball team that is rapidly becoming uninteresting, what I am supposed to do? Go outside? Surely you jest.
For those of you who don’t remember this 2000 film, it’s a genre-defying story (mixing the cop thriller, sci-fi, and “feel good dad” genres) about a police officer (Caviezel) who accidentally realizes he can converse with his long dead father (Quaid) in 1969 via ham radio. This is apparently due to some side effects of the Aurora Borealis. Don’t worry, the science isn’t important. Caviezel predictably begins altering his 1999 present reality by advising his father how not to die in 1969, etc. There’s also a serial killer thrown in for good measure. The rest is unimportant.
However, I did find some interesting tidbits which are worth mentioning now that the film is basically ten years old.
- No one has mobile phones yet. Weird. I am pretty sure I had one in 1999. Anyways, it is so odd to watch “newer” old movies or TV shows (like mid-90’s Law & Order episodes where Lenny has to find a pay phone to call the station) where the characters don’t have mobile phones. Especially, when they could easily escape from a predicament with something so simple.
- Michael Cera has a bit part as Caviezel’s best friend’s son. If only he knew then that he would be making millions playing George Michael Bluth in 2-3 films a year. I am all for the gravy train kid, but feel free to mix it up a bit in 2010. Thanks.
- Caviezel tells the 1969 version of his best friend to buy Yahoo! (dude, ever heard of Microsoft?) stock when he grows up. Ah, the 90’s. Google was just a glimmer in two unwashed Stanford students’ eyes.
My main observation in watching this film, however, was simply this: what the hell ever happened to Jim Caviezel? This guy was being groomed as the next big male lead following in the footsteps of aging leading men like Kurt Russell, Dennis Quaid and others. Check out his resume of films between 1998-2004:
- The Thin Red Line – Terence Malick’s critcally-acclaimed and critically-boring WWII epic. That’s right. It’s a boring movie about FREAKIN’ World War II! No wonder it got so much praise. That’s quite a feat.
- Frequency – Caviezel apparently turned down a role as Cyclops in X-Men to take this role.
- Pay it Forward – I can’t remember a recent movie which was made solely to beg for an Oscar more than this one. It was rewarded with zero nominations. I take that back. It got two Blockbuster Entertainment Award nominations, winning one for HJO’s performance.
- Angel Eyes – J-Lo has done more of a disappearing act than Caviezel. She hasn’t appeared as a credited actress in a mainstream film since 2005’s Monster-in-Law.
- The Count of Monte Cristo – The single greatest revenge story ever. Plus, it has sword fighting. Can’t really screw this one up.
- High Crimes – Part of Ashely Judd’s serial killer/sociopath phase of movies, including Eye of the Beholder, Kiss the Girls and Twisted.
These are not all blockbusters by any means. In fact, I would only count two as worth rewatching: Frequency and The Count of Monte Cristo. But, they certainly are all mainstream, widely-released films starring other successful actors.
This six-year run culiminated with Caviezel’s turn as Jesus in The Passion of the Christ. Since then he has appeared (with a minor role) in only one film which qualifies as a mainstream, widely-released film — Deja Vu. Otherwise, nada. According to Wikipedia, he was doing voice over work as — you guessed it — Jesus in a New Testament audio dramatization as late as 2007. Not exactly the stuff that is gonna land you on Conan’s couch.
Is it really just the whole Passion of the Christ typecast thing? Or, is this what happens when you associate with Mel Gibson? Come to think of it, I haven’t seen Danny Glover around lately. Dammit, Mel! It is you.