The problem plaguing Tom Cruise was clear. Everyone was angry with him for taking himself way too seriously. There was the whole “psychology is made up” strangeness, the video where he talked about how he was an authority on the mind, and the oddball Oprah couch zaniness.
Then he did Tropic Thunder in an effort to tell the general public “Hey, I can make fun of myself too! Look, I’m harmless!” And, you know, it kind of worked, though he’s not all the way back just yet.
So I’m proposing a radical solution for what ails Cruise, at least so far as public perception is concerned. I don’t think the musical thing is the route to go. He needs to take a bold step, and that step is towards Paul Thomas Anderson’s now dead anti-Scientology project. Finance that puppy and release a press statement that says the following:
“In an effort to support the freedom of expression, religion, and speech I’ve signed on to Paul Thomas Anderson’s “The Master.” I’m still a proud Scientologist, but I recognize that it takes different strokes to rule the world. I worked with Paul previously on “Magnolia,” and though he does about 100 takes of the same scene, I’m willing to follow him down the rabbit hole once again. After all, the last time I was nominated for an Academy Award was with PTA, he’s as gifted as they come. Hopefully, this project will show everyone I’m ready to act, seriously act, again.
Watch your back, Daniel Day-Lewis!”
This would work! Because the problem was that Cruise took himself too seriously, so we couldn’t take him seriously. He parried with the comedy, allowing us to continue not taking him seriously. Now, for act three, he’s got to go all Yoda on us. Back to serious craft, Mr. Cruise, and don’t dilly-dally. Hit us with the good stuff, the “real” Tom Cruise, the guy who gave life to characters in The Firm, Rain Man, and A Few Good Men. People will support you T-sizzle, if only you give them half a chance.
I’m amazed that Ghost Rider 2 has a budget above $263 dollars. Because I see the expenditures as follows:
$100: To buy the original comics, which clearly no one read before shooting the original.
$50: Six tickets to see Paranormal Activity 2, which was made for FIFTY TIMES less money than Ghost Rider.
$63 Hair products for Mr. Cage.
$50 To Purchase vintage Atari 2600 to handle “flaming skull” CGI if unable to find the previous one they used.
Everything else in the budget should be donated to charity. Terrible movies shouldn’t get sequels, and they sure as heck shouldn’t get sequels that cost more than a trip to the Dairy Queen.
I generally stay away from personal relationships and gossip, because really, who cares, but I’m forced to enter the fray for this particular thought exercise.
You see, Taylor Swift recently took a bat to Camilla Belle (10,000 B.C.) with the following song:
The lyrics to this hit piece are tremendous for a few reasons:
1. It’s about Joe Jonas (pronounced Yo Yonas).
2. Joe Jonas dated Taylor Swift, and then dropped her for Camilla Belle, causing Swifty to write this little ditty.
3. She alleges Belle is best known for her work on the mattress? Hey now!4. The lyrics hold Jonas blameless, he’s just a pawn in the larger Swift vs. Belle battle, the closest approximation we’ve got to Tupac vs. Biggie going at the moment.
5. In fact, Joe (Yo) Jonas (Yonas) is an object, because you can’t “steal” a person.
6. She hates Belle’s vintage dresses.
7. She despises Belle’s continual frown.
8. She feels Belle’s prep school upbringing didn’t infer her a level of sophistication.
Simply delightful. Now then, to the news of the day, our girl Swift is dating none other than Jake Gyllenhaal. Clearly, I hope everything works out and they get married, as I hope everyone gets married, because I am married, and it is a cult. But if it doesn’t work out, can you just imagine? Could we be headed for another classic Swift takedown? Might it go a little something like this?:
I just saw Brothers and you know that film sucked on wheels /
And when we dated I towered over you when I wore high heels /
But now we’re broken because of sex scenes you did with Hathaway /
Guess she doesn’t know that Swifty gonna make her pay/
And so on, and so forth. Taylor Swift could be the entertainment gift that keeps on giving, because very few artists are compelled to bring personal vendettas into their work. It was pretty much just rap and Carly Simon prior to this. Ideally, perfect world, Jake Gyllenhaal can then make a retaliation film called Swift Justice. C’mon, you know you’d watch that.
On that note, I hope you have a weekend free of angry relationship rhymes.
Laremy is the lead critic and senior producer for a website named Film.com. He’s also available on Twitter.