Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Mission: Give Me a Damn Break

Oh, we all know the many reasons to dislike Tom Cruise these days. You don't just have to be Nicole Kidman or Brooke Shields or Katie Holmes's parents in order to get your hate on for the wee tabloid magnet. You could simply be non-fans of the Celebrity Baby Name Generator trend that yielded "Suri" as the new "Apple." Or perhaps you read that hefty-ass Scientology exposé in Rolling Stone (you know, the one that drove Kirstie Alley crazy? -er?) and made the correct decision to be freaked out by any-and-everyone associated with that freaky cult.

Me, I've managed to forge new territory in the field of hating Tom Cruise. Because here's the thing: I'd really like to be able to see Mission: Impossible III. It's weird. I wasn't exactly enamored with the first M:I movie, and I never even saw the second one. I don't like Tom Cruise, so why would I? But this third one...for one thing, it's the big screen directorial debut of J.J. Abrams, and much as I may harp on Lost from time to time, I was (and still kind of am, I'll admit with only a bit of shame) a huge Alias fan, and I'm interested to see what he's going to do with a franchise that essentially says, "Go frigging nuts, so long as you pack this shit with enough close-ups of Tom."

Goddamn that Tom Cruise. War of the Worlds was one thing. I was able to not see that and didn't miss anything besides twitchy-ass Tim Robbins and Dakota "Junior Miss Lucifer" Fanning. But check out the cast for M:I-3: chock full of actors I really like and would jump at the chance to see in the same movie if not for a certain couch-jumping, child-bride-abducting, litigious A-lister.

Let's go down the list, shall we?

Keri Russell: She's was excellent when paired with Abrams on Felicity. Then she went away. She was very good as part of the Upside of Anger ensemble last year, and it's nice to see her in such a high profile project.

Phillip Seymour Hoffman: Okay, so I wasn't always the biggest fan of the recent Oscar winner. Words like "overrated" and "irritating" maybe have been bandied about. But I really liked him in Capote, and when you realize that he's made a shitload of movies, the ones where I liked him (Magnolia; State and Main) tend to stack up against the ones where he was super annoying (Red Dragon; Cold Mountain). From the looks of the trailer, he's in scenery-chewing mode, but...it's a ludicrously-plotted explosion-happy espionage summer blockbuster. There's scenery to spare.

Laurence Fishburne: Who doesn't love Laurence Fishburne? He's like the chocolate sprinkles of movie stars. Sure, it can be delicious without him, but it's even better if he's around.

Billy Crudup: My Billy Crudup fixation is well-documented. I'll see him in pretty much anything.

Simon Pegg: I like him enough that I actually spent five minutes trying to figure out what the hell Doctor Who was all about just because he was in the particular episode I stumbled upon. Then I changed the channel in bewildered disgust. That Shaun of the Dead goodwill can only take you so far.

Michelle Monaghan: Everyone tells me she was excellent in Kiss, Kiss, Bang, Bang. Until that comes out on DVD, I'll say that she was better than I anticipated in North Country.

Jonathan Rhys Myers: Shut up, he was really good in Velvet Goldmine!

Ving Rhames: Eh. Though I will always remember him fondly for blubbering like a crazy person and foisting his Golden Globe onto an unsuspecting Jack Lemmon.

Greg Grunberg and Carla Gallo: Tertiary characters on cult TV shows rule! Grunberg rocked Felicity and Alias; Gallo was awesome on Undeclared and Carnivàle. What's not to love?

Damn that Tom Cruise and his evil Scientologist agenda! This is a perfectly viable summer movie. Why does he have to ruin it, and everything else, by existing? Can't he follow his fellow cult members' examples and make really shitty movies and gain a lot of weight?

You know, fuck it. I'm just gonna see it. Cruise is going to be all over TV and the internet this summer anyway. It's not like avoiding this movie will keep his creepiness out of my life. And what else am I gonna see this summer? Superman? Not effing likely.


Sticky Keys said...

Jonathan Rhys Myers: Shut up, he was really good in Velvet Goldmine!

Thank you for acknowledging this piece of utter awesomeness. He gets an automatic pass on most things due to his role in that movie.

I LOVE Phillip Seymore Hoffman! He and Alan Ruck used to be my favorite "Hey, It's That Guy!" team (along with Paul Giamatti who kind of jumped ship and that skittery guy with the jacked up teeth (you know, he was in The Usual Suspects, The Island (which, heh), and Armeggeddon).


I'll be at the Grand on opening day, despite Crazy Cruise, it looks like it's going to be a blast.

Ali said...

Doesn't Cruise understand that the last thing he and his zombie bride need right now is more publicity? This M:I:3 hysteria is putting off more people (at least that I know of) than it is generating interest.

I truly admire Ben Affleck for keeping a low profile over the last few years. That way, when he makes his "comeback", there will be more willingness to hear him out/see what he has to offer.

Thought Criminal said...

I'm glad someone mentioned the Scientology expose in Rolling Stone. The entire time I read that, I was thinking "And they think Tom Cruise is one of these more highly enlightened beings? WOW."

As fucked up as he is as a person, I've always sort of liked his movies. The MI series is a lot of fun. Defintely worth the 7 bucks to see it when you live in a town where the movie theatre is one of the only air conditioned places to go sit for two or three hours in the summer.

wolfchick said...

Sigh. I so used to love Tom Cruise. (Yes, I can't help but crush on gay men. Shut up.)

Stix, Steve Buscemi wasn't in The Usual Suspects, but I still love you.

aaron c. said...

fishburne = chocolate sprinkles!

That's funny on so many levels that I can't begin to count them all...even though he's more butterscotch than chocolate.

And, much love for the nod to 'Seed of Chucky' and the zatfig-tasticness that is Jennifer Tilly. Now, where's my overwatched copy of "Bound"?

adrian said...

Aw, why won't you see Superman?

Also, for more non-"Dr. Who" Simon Pegg, you really should check out his show "Spaced". 14 episodes of perfect tv.

wolfchick said...

The Superman thing I get. At the very least perhaps he objects to the Man of Steel reimagined as Jesus Christ? Seriously, have you seen the Messianic trailers for this thing? Eesh. You'd think Mel Gibson directed.

Not that this is going to stop me from seeing it, but as far as superheros go, I'm anticipating X3 more. (Director irony. Heh.)

Also, put me on the Fishburne-Sprinkles love train. Personally I prefer rainbow to chocolate, but then I would.

Sticky Keys said...

Steve Buscemi! Thank you, and he wasn't in The Usual Suspects? Who am I thinking of? That movie had to have a bumblind character and Mr. Buscemi is just made for that.

Wait! Not TUS, sorry, the one where they all have colors for names and walk really slow and someone loses a thumb. He was in that right?

And I am also waiting with baited breath for Affleck's comeback. I still love that kid.

Word Veri says to "pkljb" which obviously mean to "poke eljay buddy". You need a livejournal for reals.

Joe R. said...

Reservoir Dogs

wolfchick said...

You come to NYC and I'll get an LJ. :P

My word veri says "opnssx," which can mean so many, many things. I prefer not to read into it lest I get insulted.

mathan said...

I was sold on M:I:3 when I first heard Mr. Hoffman threaten to kill Cruise in front of his lady love, because really isn't that what we've all dreamed of, every night, for the past year?

Judi said...

I thought I was the only one afraid of Dakota Fanning!

This is my first time here -- I love your writing at TWOP and am so happy to have more to read! Thank you!

Sticky Keys said...

Did you see this Joe? That was really Billy Crudup! No, really! I thought, that can't be Billy, I know Billy, and you sir are no Billy! I know, he's put on some weight, and an American accent, but it was him!