Monday, August 10, 2015

Where are they now? Flatliners

By +Brad Naylor

Think back 25 years (if you can), what was showing in movie theaters? A group of med students tinkering with the afterlife, betting their lives on who can be dead the longest before being resuscitated by their peers. That's right, it was Flatliners, the movie which is the oft used hub of 'six degrees of Kevin Bacon'

Damn right some lines shouldn't be crossed
Five medical students investigate the grey area of near death experiences by taking turns having their heart stopped and then being revived, each one taking it one step further and going one step closer to death. They begin having flashbacks to their past, where they have wronged others. The flashbacks intensify until suddenly the flashbacks become waking nightmares where the wronged get their revenge, physically. The group continue to battle their previous sins looking for a way to atone for them and finally put them to rest. They ultimately face their demons and by the end of the movie, they make amends and have learned their lesson.

Kiefer William Frederick Dempsey George Rufus Sutherland was born in London, UK in 1966 and was instantly transplanted to California by his actor dad, Donald. His breakout movie was Stand by Me and was closely followed by his role as David, the vampire leader in The Lost Boys. Kiefer lost his way a little in the 90's after reprising the role of Doc in Young Guns 2, but then the new millennium brought Jack Bauer and 24 to TV and Kiefer was reborn to a whole new audience.

Julia Roberts is the only woman who has a larger mouth than both Cameron Diaz and Kristen Chenoweth and as such is one of the highest paid actresses in Hollywood. She had already charmed the movie world in Pretty Woman earlier in the year and this role is often overlooked because of that. Julia continued to cherry pick roles and has had an incredibly successful movie career averaging 1.2 movies per year, unlike her acting brother Eric, who takes any role offered to him, and averages 8 movies per year. Julia still earns more than him.

Kevin Bacon is the center of the acting universe as defined by the Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon, a game in which an actor is chosen and the contestants have 6 steps to find a connection to Kevin Bacon via a chain of movies in which successive links have co-starred. You can also use familial connections. Flatliners has become one of the main hubs of this game since it opens up so many links to so many other actors. Now I have run out of space to talk about his acting career. Footloose, Tremors and Apollo 13.

William Baldwin is one of hundreds of actors called Baldwin, many of which are related at some point. He almost has his own six degrees of separation going on with numerous acting brothers. His acting career consists of Flatliners, Backdraft and then mostly TV stuff. Or was that Stephen? No, Stephen was in The Usual Suspects. It might have been Daniel, cos he was in Born on the fourth of July. Wait, there were 3 Baldwins in Born on the fourth of July, and so was Kyra Sedgwick who is married to Kevin Bacon (see, 6 degrees). I give up, but there was definitely a Baldwin in this movie.

Oliver Platt is the least memorable of the Flatliners Five, maybe because he is the only one who didn't have a near death role in the movie, or maybe he is such a good character actor that he blended in. With many character roles and TV ventures he kept himself pretty much off the Hollywood radar. None of his acting roles identify him as being tall but Oliver is almost 6ft 4, putting him at least 6 inches taller than most of his co-stars in Flatliners. By a tenuous link of marriage and parentage, Oliver is a third cousin of Prince William Windsor, future King of England, however the link is more than 6 degrees, so he has as much chance of taking the British throne as I do.

This just about covers the principal roles in the movie, and as past experiences have shown, readers lose interest at about this point. I can write pretty much anything here since 95% of readers have already scrolled down to comment, or have clicked a link and been whisked away to another page.

Have you ever had a near death experience? Did it awaken ghosts from your past who have an ax to grind? Do you know someone who has a bigger mouth than Julia Roberts? Do you know someone who is more than 6 degrees away from Kevin Bacon? Share with us so that we know that people are actually reading this.

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