Re: Why did they bother...
It is my considered opinion that casting actors according to their ethnicity is the worst part of Affirmative Action. Not casting the best actor for a role because he is not the right race is the definition of racism.
Disagree if you like, but it won't change my opinion.
That is neither a "considered" opinion, the worst (or any) part of Affirmative Action, or the definition of racism.
And since you apparently choose to wallow in your own ignorance without any desire to change when presented with new information according to the last part, why don't you just keep your charming views on race considerations in casting out of the forum and restrict your commentary to the quality or lack thereof of the movie, mmkay?
'First Contact' is the tale of a man who just wants to cash in on his creation so he can get wasted on an island full of naked women, but his fans keep insisting that he's a saintly visionary who has profoundly altered the world. AKA - 'I Don't Want to be a Statue: The Gene Roddenberry Story.'