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Supporting casts are being misused

The Baltimore Sun

What's heartening about movies like Stephen Frears' The Queen and Martin Scorsese's The Departed is their bench strength. Helen Mirren and Michael Sheen were wonderful in The Queen, but so were their court and cabinet. An array of crack character actors supports the top names in The Departed.

So it's infuriating to see directors Joel Schumacher of The Number 23 and Walt Becker of Wild Hogs trash their casts.

In The Number 23, Mark Pellegrino (of Capote) and Ed Lauter (who's been doing super work since The Last American Hero in 1973) virtually evaporate.

Wild Hogs reduces the fifth-billed Ray Liotta to a parody of himself, and even Oscar winner Marisa Tomei to flashing a few smiles at William H. Macy.

With movie costs skyrocketing, it's insane that any filmmaker wouldn't take advantage of an exploitable item on the budget: the supporting cast.

michael.sragow@baltsun.com

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