Friday, May 2, 2008

Flushed Down The Johns

A coworker and I were recently casting the movie of our office. There’s the guy that’s built like Brad Pitt, there’s the guy that’s short and dark like Tom Cruise, there’s the big bald guy like Vin Diesel, there’s the attractive working mom like Jennifer Garner, etc. When casting myself, the first and only name I could think of or want was John Cusack. I feel like I grew up with him and, based on some of his films, we seem to share similar tastes and sensibilities.

But, then I reflected on what John’s given us the last 10 years or so and I realized he may promote himself as the left-of-center thinking man’s (and woman’s) movie star, but he’s really as full of crap as the next guy. How can someone feel he deserves some some street-cred and then go on to star in Must Love Dogs, Martain Child, and Serendipity? John Cusack doesn’t even make movies that “John Cusack” would go to anymore.

There have been the occasional bright spot. Ice Harvest was great, but ignored. Being John Malkovich is an obvious classic, but I forget he’s even in it. I had to go back to 1994 to find two good and challenging roles in a row (The Road To Wellville and Bullets Over Broadway, both ensemble pieces (hint)). Instead, I see dreck like America’s Sweethearts and Pushing Tin.

Ok, I’m sure all of you are wondering why I would skip High Fidelity, since it’s such my kind of movie. Good point. I’m realizing HF is not aging well and I have a hard time even watching it now, after it was among my all-time faves upon its release. He just talks to the camera the whole time?! Plus, his character isn’t likable and seems to act selfishly and illogically a lot. The scene where he finds out his #1 married her childhood sweetheart makes me cringe every time now. Yes, it’s good and a definite highlight comparatively. But, it’s not as great as we thought it was when it came out.

John seems to still be coasting on the goodwill afforded him from his 80s work, specifically Say Anything, Better Off Dead, One Crazy Summer, and The Sure Thing. Back then he embodied the every-teenager and seemed to represent all of us on screen, whether we were cool or not. He was normal looking, normal acting, smart, had good taste, funny, and seemed vulnerable at the same time. Now, he’s a bloated, pasty bore who can’t make up his mind what color to dye his hair to hide the grey. I’m serious on this. Most of the time it’s black, but in the right light, like on his episode of Inside The Actors Studio (yawn), it’s a sort of cherrywood brown. It looks like he uses the same box of Clairol Paul McCartney is into these days. Plus, does he only wear black now?

And, honestly, he isn’t much of an actor. He has no range. It spans from “normal guy obsessed with a woman” to “normal guy obsessed with death”. Even when he does try to act, like in 1408, he’s hard to even look at. That movie was terrible.

His new movie is called War Inc. and he says it’s sort of “punk rock” Hmm, a punk rock war movie from a total sell-out, sounds riveting! Good luck, buddy. We love you, but we aren’t buying this act anymore.

Which brings me to the biggest sell-out of all-time: Johnny Depp. Oh man, does this guy work the most perfect con ever. He says he is anti-establishment, yet has no problem allowing his likeness to appear on Happy Meal boxes. He claims he only did acting to support himself while his band tried to get signed. Where’s that band now, John? Obviously, taking a backseat to pirate movies. He says he agreed to do the Pirates almost "as a joke", but he likes cashing $20 million paychecks as much as the next guy. He says he doesn’t want to sell himself on his looks, but he doesn’t think of that when he poses for the cover of countless magazines, including Rolling Stone like 3 or 4 times in the last 4 years. Of course, Rolling Stone is to hard news what Johnny is to rebellion – a total poser. Plus, how gay is that cover photo! These guys are nihilists?

Don’t get me wrong, he’s a good actor. I would have given him the Oscar for the first Pirates, even if Finding Neverland and Sweeney Todd were boring mush. I’m just not buying this BS anymore. Put the necklaces and bracelets down, take a shower, and come clean. You’re a total poser and you know it.

Tune in next time for the second installment of “Actors who were once cool, but now are only mugging, clowning shells of their former selves” starring Robert DeNiro and Al Pacino.


Eric Petersen said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Eric Petersen said...

Who am I in your movie cast? If you say Chris Elliott your a dead man!

Farrah said...

I agree with you about John C., but you know I take issue on Johnny Depp.....

RR said...

Which begs the question... who's carrying the torch these days? Where'd all the anti-posers go? We need someone to look up to?

I suggest jack white, and so help me god, jon, if you go off on him, I will hack this blog every day for the rest of its life.

Jon Lamoreaux said...

Jack is the real deal, no doubt. Who carries the torch for movie stars is unclear. Phillip Seymour Hoffman is a personal fave. He seems to be more about the work. I would say George Clooney, but I'm beginning to become suspicious of him. Matt Damon also seems very legit.