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« Elysium (2013) | Main | Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters (2013) »

August 6, 2013

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MBI

"Among the awesome tidbits of Lawrence Wright's Scientology exposé Going Clear is the part where it's revealed that studio polling discovered Tom Cruise is sexually repugnant to women, meaning that if a Tom Cruise film had any hope of attracting a female audience, it had to resist showing Tom in bed."

Where was this? Both me and my girlfriend read Going Clear and neither of us remember this part.

Manny Kreisman

That's the biggest crime the film perpetrates Alex. It decides its going to steal the most essential elements from the best Sci-fi films, and then does absolutely nothing inventive or interesting with any of them. This film is an example of what happens when you let someone who is essentially an interesting set designer write and direct a movie. Just like the incomprehensible Manila sequence in 'Bourne Legacy' is what happens when you let a stunt coordinator direct the end of an action movie. Also agree the story is screaming for the Sharon Stone in 'Total Recall' treatment. This movie is a shiny, timid, bore.

Alex Jackson

Actually, if you haven't seen the movie you may be surprised to discover that the sex scene with its ominously heavy synthesizer score is the best moment of the film and promises something *else* that the rest of the movie fails to deliver. How much more interesting would it be if he was comfortable living like that, but not really happy? If just there was something more devious about Vicka character. The movie steals from STAR WARS, THE MATRIX, WALL-E, PLANET OF THE APES, and most depressingly MOON; it could have only helped if they stole that plot point from TOTAL RECALL as well.

Lon Nol Lol

@mike

By "religion" I assume you mean "pathological crank cult invented as cash cow by hack science fiction writer". Go google 'xenu' and be enlightened.

Alpha-narcissist Cruise is for me now a red flag on a movie. Minority Report and War of the Worlds proved that even when he starts off provoking your interest by playing a damaged or massively flawed character, by the end he's pretty much contractually obliged to be wearing a halo. How I wish he'd played opposite the equally tiresome Travolta in Battlefield Earth....

Mike

In regards to the whole sex scene thing...

I think Cruise is starting to make movie choices based on how much he can show off his body. First he had a shirtless ledge scene in Mission Impossible 4, he spent all of Rock of Ages wearing only leather pants, and there's a scene in Jack Reacher where he walks around shirtless while the lady lawyer stares goo-goo-eyed mesmerized at his pecs. I don't remember him in his previous movies ever going to such lengths to show off his upper body and naked chest. Why start the obsession now?

Honestly, I think Tome Cruise is going through a midlife crisis and so he needs to be in movies where younger women find him not just attractive but the sexist stud ever. It's the equivalent of Sharon Stone in Basic Instinct 2. "Look how great I look for my age!" Yeah, OK, but so what? If it doesn't serve the story and it's just for vanity's sake, then we're back to Hollywood Ending (2002) where Woody Allen is lusted after by three women (Tea Leoni, Debra Messing, Tiffani Amber Thiessen) whose combined age is not much more than his own.

Forget that it's sick and revolting. It's also pretty embarrassing for all involved.

Michael Moses

why is the new filmfreak site worse than the old one?

KayKay

Great review as always Walter. But, I too am a little curious as to why the Cruise-Kurylenko pairing in particular curdles your milk of human kindness? This is pretty much de rigueur in Hollywood right? And Richard's given some pretty good examples.

At least Cruise is in great shape for a 51-year old. Coulda been worse. We coulda been seeing beer-bellied, man-boobed Ray Winstone banging the luscious Hayley Atwell. In a toilet. (The Sweeney)

And as an Indian, let me tell you that when it comes to age-disparity in leading man to leading lady casting, Hollywood is a mere novice compared to the Indian film Industry (particularly the South Indian Film Industry) which routinely pairs men in their mid to late fifties with 21 year old women. And it's not uncommon for these same 21 year olds, once they reach the decrepit age of 40 and above , to then be cast as mothers. Of the same heroes they once acted opposite as love interests.

cLint fLick

because mike, if he ripped on Jews, who would publish his books?

John

In response to mike, while I understand where you're coming from I think the observations are both pointed and valid in this point, even if they were expressed in Walter's increasingly inarticulate and curmudegeonly way (or as Maximillian might put it, like a "classhole." And then "Like" all his reviews on Facebook). If the central conflict in this film was between memory and, well, oblivion, even if that memory is destined to be carried on in half-remembered rituals by others long after you are dead, there's something about an infinite line of Tom Cruises that is unavoidably Scientologist in its design. Like Walter said, he finds Tom Cruise a likeable and capable actor, but when he's reminded of all his personal foibles on screen he finds it unnerving. Well, this movie is destined to provoke those associations, even if by accident.

Ultimate Dawgins

Richard, to answer the question posed in your last paragraph: Because young women are hot, old women are gross, and Hollywood is run by men. This is not necessarily a bad thing; I would not like to see (or even imagine) the grizzled likes of Susan Sarandon banging Ryan Gosling. Yuck.

To quote Martin Mull, "When men get old, they look like Sean Connery. When women get old, they look like Sean Connery."

Anyway, great review by Walter. I love the list of "Cruise-isms." So true. He certainly enjoys running. I wonder why Cruise isn't in awesome movies anymore. Why, for instance, is Matt Damon in the upcoming Elysium, a sci-fi epic which looks promising, and Cruise chose this one. Maybe he truly is, as many have said, a complete nutcase and getting worse with age--though I don't think the multi-millionaire superstar deserves any sympathy just yet (at least not until he completely self-destructs and goes the Nicholas Cage straight-to-video route).

I'm also really sick of Morgan Freeman playing the sage/"magic negro." When was the last time he stretched or did anything remotely interesting as an actor?

mike

HA! HA! Ripping on a person's religion is so edgy! You should pick on a Jewish person next! COMEDY GOLD! You are so hip.

Mr. Pinkham

"what does it take to make an on-screen relationship with an obvious age gap plausible, watchable and perhaps captivating instead of grotesque, ridiculous and laughable?"

Ruth Gordon and a Cat Stevens soundtrack.

Richard Archer

Chuckled at the comments about the age discrepancy between Cruise and Kurylenko/Holmes ... but, guys, age gaps in Hollyweird (in the movies and otherwise) ain't nothin' new by a long shot. Thirty-five-year-old Marilyn Monroe cozied up to 60-year-old Clark Gable ("The Misfits"); Jimmy Stewart at 46 romanced a 25-year-old Grace Kelly, then at 50 smooched another 25-er in Kim Novak; and of course in the '50s and '60s young Audrey Hepburn got matched with practically every 50-ish actor in Tinseltown. (Thanks to IMDB for the ages, btw.)

A good question to ask is, what does it take to make an on-screen relationship with an obvious age gap plausible, watchable and perhaps captivating instead of grotesque, ridiculous and laughable? (And while we're at it, what's behind Hollywood's obsession with old men/young women relationships anyway?)

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