Monday, August 01, 2005

Face/Off - for real?

I don't know how I missed this one, but thanks to Fried Rice Thoughts' New York correspondent Mis Hooz for sending it my way. As a result, she's been promoted to New York Bureau Chief. Or Science Editor. Honestly, it's whatever the hell she tells me it is.

Depending on the week or month (or what time of day I'm watching it), I think Face/Off is either one of the most ridiculous movies I've ever seen or one of the more intriguing action flicks of the last ten years. The way members of John Travolta's family brush their fingertips over each other's faces? That's kind of corny. That part when Nicolas Cage's eyes nearly bug out of their sockets when he screams "DIE!" to Travolta? I love that. I do the same thing when I kill spiders crawling on my wall. The idea that Travolta's face could just fit over Cage's skull perfectly, and vice versa? That's probably a little silly. (Of course, I like movies about men who dress up like bats. Hi, Mr. Glass House, I'm a stone.)

But according to this New York Times article, that whole face transplant thing isn't a far-fetched concept. Not for federal agents going undercover or someone who wants to look like Brad Pitt or Nicole Kidman. But for patients who have suffered severe facial disfiguration from burns or cancer, he or she might have a chance at getting a normal-looking face again.

Of course, there are plenty of risks, chief among them the possibility of the body rejecting the skin. What would be the physical or psychological ramifications from that? And if that happens, what are the patient's options?

I'm not sure I'd like to watch that movie. Unless Travolta and/or Cage got killed at the end.

(Image from, via Image Metrics PLC)