'The Human Stain' and 'Alien'

"The Human Stain" is spotty and "Alien" is still scary in today's Foxlight.

How's this for a miscasting call? Nicole Kidman (search) as a dairy farmer-postal worker-janitor?! Wait, it gets better. Sir Anthony Hopkins as a 71-year-old black professor? It's not a sketch on "Saturday Night Live" -- yet -- it's the Oscar-baiting "The Human Stain." (search

Did I mention the young Hopkins character actually sounds like he's from New Jersey, while the elder Sir Tony doesn't even bother to lose his Welsh accent? Get SNL on the line, this is comedy gold.

Unfortunately, it's trying to be something a lot more important. Miramax pushed the release date back after mixed Toronto Film Festival buzz. Great performances don't make a great movie, according to most reviews. In limited release this week -- the film goes wider in the weeks to come.

The only other new movie opening is an old one. The scariest film ever made for my $10. Though the first time I saw it it was probably more like $2. The 1979 stomach- and eye-popping "Alien." (search

It opened on around 336 screens Wednesday and should make at least $1 million before the weekend is over. We get a few deleted scenes added back in and a chance to remember what a righteous babe Ripley was back then.

When I saw this in 1979, no one could hear me scream because I was all alone in a theater on Hilton Head Island. It was a matinee, the theater was about 50 degrees and I didn't sleep for a week after.