Thursday, November 09, 2006

are you for real or are you bluffing?

Brooklyn Brown's post on movies today started me thinking about one of the most nefarious aspects of good movies. Yes, there is a dark side, an underbelly to fine film fare. And here it is: a well-crafted film can trick you into thinking actors have talent that they do not actually possess. You may think this is a side effect of a good script or a good director. But it is a serious problem. Because I have wasted hours watching those actors in other movies, hoping that they will live up to the glimpse of greatness I caught in them once. Here are my examples:
  • Front and center, and by far the most egregious example is Out of Sight. This immensely watchable movie is responsible for duping me into believing that Jennifer Lopez has the makings of an actress. Pretty much every movie she has subsequently made proved that belief to be completely misplaced.

  • Since I swore off the new Star Wars movies until the very last installment came out (and even that, I only endured on television), I went into Shattered Glass with an open mind. It had two actors I am especially fond of- Peter Sarsgaard and Steve Zahn. However, the main role was played by none other than Hayden Christensen. I know you are probably wondering how I managed to sit through an entire movie that revolved around him, but he was perfectly cast in it. He was the perfect whiny, entitled b*tch who had no concept of telling right from wrong. It took viewings of Life as a House and the Star Wars movies to realize he may not have been acting.

  • Richard Linklater owes me a lot of money. See, he made this fantastic movie a while back. No, not that one. I'm talking about Dazed & Confused. Endless supply of quotes perfect sense of time and place, oh, nostalgia. Problem? The introduction of one Matthew McConaughey. He played a lovable sleaze who trolled around trying to relive his high school days and hit on teenagers. McConaughey really pulled a great snow job, because the next time I saw him, he had popped up in a John Sayles' film- Lone Star. He was only in it for about 10 minutes, which is probably why I didn't realize he was soon to become an unwashed generic actor. That was a big disappointment.

I know you all can probably come up with even better ones. These are just the ones that led to viewings of particularly horrible movies.

In other news, do you know that you can download a free Lily Allen song from iTunes this week? You really should indulge- infectious little Smile has been just the thing to keep me from losing my mind today.

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