Movie We Hate from Actors We Love
In honor of Brandon’s obsession with Tom Cruise and the critical failure of “The Mummy”, the writers picked some of the movies they hate from the actors they love.
Our very own Brandon Sparks has a big obsession with the greatness of Tom Cruise, and he has made it known on numerous occasions through this publication and on our podcast. However, he was incredibly disappointed in Cruise’s most recent outing, The Mummy, when he saw it in theaters opening day. Critics are even saying that The Mummy is Cruise’s worst movie ever (Brandon disagrees, because Cruise’s worst movie is easily Rock of Ages even though he is superb in it). Brandon has once said, “Cruise might be in bad movies occasionally, but the man is never bad in a movie.” In honor of Brandon’s love for Cruise and the recent critical failure of The Mummy, the writers of @CineNation thought it would be a good idea to talk about the movies they hate from the actors they love.
(opening intro written by Brandon Sparks)
Cowboys and Aliens — Olivia Wilde
By Alex Bauer
When the 4th season of House M.D. premiered, I was stoked. At the time, the FOX show was my favorite show on television. And, with the new season, Greg House — the series’ main character — was getting a new team. In the second episode of that season, viewers were introduced to a slew of new characters, with one of them only referred to “13”. Played by Olivia Wilde, her character became an instant favorite. Blunt and wickedly smart, “13” was the epitome of cool, and I became a massive fan of Wilde.
Sadly, she left the show to do movies. Her choices have not been the greatest. The worst and bleakest choice of Wilde’s is Cowboys & Aliens. The film itself is messy, stupid and insulting to filmgoers. And, I think, I saw this in theaters…
The film stars Daniel Craig, Harrison Ford, Adam Beach, Sam Rockwell and a host of other really talented actors. For me, Olivia Wilde was the draw to this film, and even she could not save this film. The mixture of western and sci-fi elements are puzzling and infuriating. I understand that reality may differ when it comes to these genre flicks, but, holy hell, even the film did not follow its own rules. It’s ambitious and, at points, visually pleasing. The costumes are decent — especially the western outfits. But, I’m a sucker for a great western. The messy plot and headache-inducing amount of action just drags this film to unwatchable levels. Also, the name is awful and a real hard sell to those fans who on the fence about seeing a film like this. This was a summer blockbuster trial and failure.
Thankfully, Olivia Wilde has done masterful work in other films, but stay away from Cowboys & Aliens. It’s bad.
Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice — Jesse Eisenberg
By Dan LeVine
Looking for a stoner who discovers he’s a secret agent? A pizza delivery guy who’s forced to rob a bank? Perhaps a depressed college grad stuck with a minimum wage job? Need a loner trying to survive in the zombie apocalypse?
Look no further than Jesse Eisenberg.
There’s not a working actor today that can do anything similar to what Jesse Eisenberg does. He plays characters that are awkward, troubled and closed off from the world. And yet, despite these character flaws, he’s always relatable, if not likable.
This brings us to the biggest superhero movie disaster of the last few years. Batman v. Superman was a movie fans had been begging to see for years, but it ended up being a plotty mess with too much CGI destruction and zero heart or humor. (I counted one joke in the film.)
Now, I know it’s fun to hate on BvS: DoJ and its cheesy title, but the film did have a few high points. Affleck had a great new take on Batman, Cavill did the best with what was given to him and Gadot gave us a kick-ass sneak peak of her awesome Wonder Woman.
But the character I most looked forward to seeing in the film was Superman’s most dangerous rival, Lex Luthor, who was to be portrayed by Eisenberg. It was the perfect casting choice. The role of Luthor has been played by Gene Hackman, Michael Rosenbaum, John Shea and Kevin Spacey, but Eisenberg had the potential to bring something unique to the character. He has already shown he can play a modern-day genius and his neurotic characters are usually pushed to their limits. What if he were to cross that boundary into pure insanity?
But to my surprise and disappointment, Eisenberg was surprisingly goofy and unbelievable in the role. Here’s hoping that when he reprises the role in November’s Justice League he tones down the silliness and puts more genuine Jesse Eisenberg into the role.
The Sorcerer’s Apprentice — Alfred Molina
By Sean Randall
Alfred Molina may be one of the greatest actors you don’t realize you know. Master of both stage, with three Tony Award nominations, and screen, Molina currently has 99 film credits and 77 television credits over the past 40 years, according to IMDb. You likely know him for his absolutely stellar turn as Dr. Otto Octavius in the still-really-good Spider-Man 2. His performance stands as one of the greatest villains in a comic book film to date, up there with both Jack Nicholson’s and Heath Ledger’s Jokers. He was also in Raiders of the Lost Ark, Boogie Nights, Magnolia, and The Da Vinci Code, while also playing the voice of The Devil in Rick and Morty and Multi-Bear in the amazing cartoon Gravity Falls. He delivers amazing performances in ANY role, no matter how small or terrible. He, Julia Stiles, and John Goodman are three actors that I will be incredibly happy to see in any movie they’re in.
But with 176 film and television credits to your name, you’re bound to have some stinkers. And I don’t even mean The Da Vinci Code, which was boring but whatever. The movie of his that I have seen and simply could not stand was The Sorcerer’s Apprentice.
For most people, this story would be a cautionary tale. “Don’t be too enamored with actors. They will disappoint.” But most people are dumb, because I have yet to see Molina disappoint, and y’all need to simmer down. The problem here is that I went to see the film The Sorcerer’s Apprentice in theaters the same day I watched Toy Story 3 with a 90% reasoning of “OMG Alfred Molina is in it!” And guess what? He’s great. Absolutely fun to watch in the film. But those of you who know the film know Nic Cage is in it, too. And, well… actually, he’s really great in the movie. The role has just the right amount of crazy energy to fit Nic Cage’s wide-eyed freneticism perfectly. Unfortunately, Jay Baruchel, whom I’ve enjoyed in other works, plays what is perhaps the most irritating, annoying, “I wanna punch this guy in the throat so badly” protagonist that I believe has ever existed in cinematic history. Between that and the story not being the best in the world, I am angry to have Alfred Molina’s immense talents wasted in this film.
Perhaps the real lesson here is: Read reviews first, and maybe be suspicious of live-action renditions of brief animated sequences from old Disney musical anthology films… *cough cough*
Dude Where’s My Car — Ashton Kutcher, Seann William Scott, Jennifer Garner, and Turtle
I nearly used this joint to vent a superficial contention with Interview with the Vampire. But I don’t hate that movie. Never hate a movie. Its jagged camp exists within Anne Rice’s novel and the film is by no means awful. Movies not thorned by plentiful vines, without aims as inciseful as a romance drama cum queer cinema site deserve the berating more. Maybe not bloodsucking, but I’m thinking munchies. PG-13, chain cinema outings far out of sight from aesthetic or thematic motive. Outside of the taste periphery, what has become now a Seth Macfarlane wasteland, where the qualms can get heated thunderdome-style. A millennium-turn winter release channeling summer vibes, Dude, Where’s My Car? stumbled out of Alcon Entertainment in the first batch of their productions, the only film distributed by 20th Century Fox before AE struck a deal with Warner Bros. off the Muniz starring dog-flick heart-tugger My Dog Skip. Dude’s got a puppet in it, too, a shaggy Jim Henson outcast, pipe-possessive bong brain with fur. “Nelson, your dog’s a stoner!”
The cast, Ashton Kutcher, Seann William Scott, Jennifer Garner, an uncredited Andy Dick, Queer as Folk’s Hal Sparks, bounds into stereotypical slapstick personae and elevate a 12-year old’s lined-page doodle into a cult classic through troupe-forte elocution. The film’s MAD Magazine-esque trash is established early, a couple of neighbors accelerating their cars straight into our unpretentious, endearing stoners. Zoltan cult member ‘Jeff’ is played by someone with major IMDB cred as Turtle.
Trans jokes before the second reel, and a homoerotic makeout beg the thinkpiece. Whether blind child or playboy giantess, nobody is safe in this unpretentious-apolitical-slackerverse. Box-office indicates audiences that year preferred the crass megaphone of Big Momma’s House to both Dude and another teen-male-marketed Seann outing, Road Trip. The Farrelly Bros. were leading the slapstick comedy charge of the late-90’s into a late heyday of studio output, going strong still in 2000 with Me, Myself and Irene and Nancy Meyers busted into that year’s top five. Ya know, back when Mel Gibson could be on the bill of anything titled What Women Want. Still, Dude, Where’s My Car? churns its stupidity into tasty artifice akin to movie theater ‘butter flavored’ topping. Pick your poison, I guess.
Collateral Beauty (Literally the Entire Cast)
The cast of Collateral Beauty is pretty close to my dream cast. Will Smith, Kate Winslet, Edward Norton, Keira Knightley, Michael Peña, Naomie Harris, and freaking Dame Helen Mirren. That’s not a movie, that’s an Oscar ceremony. I mean the cast has a total of 19 Oscar nominations amongst them. You would think with the acting caliber of this cast, you would at least get a mediocre outing like The Gangster Squad, but oh no!
I love these people so much, and that’s what made this movie even more painful. You can tell they are trying their hardest to make this movie work, but nothing can save this movie. Watching the cast in this movie is like watching one of your best friends in a bad relationship and you can’t do anything about it. You are watching them say whatever to try and convince themselves it is going to turn out well, but you just know it won’t.
The movie is trying to be a modern-day twist on A Christmas Carol, but it is chock full of flaws and cringe-worthy dialogue. Will Smith’s character has lost his daughter to a rare form of cancer, and he has shut off from the world. He is the head executive of a successful advertising agency, which he runs with his best friends (played by Edward Norton, Kate Winslet, and Michael Peña). After his daughter’s death, he talks to no one. All he does is write letters to “Death”, “Love”, and “Time”…and occasionally plays with dominos. The company is losing money because of Smith’s lack of involvement, so his best friends decide to sell off the company. However, they can’t get Smith to sign the papers, so they decide to hire actors to play Death, Love, and Time (Helen Mirren, Kiera Knightley, and Jacob Latimore). They plan to tape the encounters Smith has with the actors and then cut the actors out of the video to show that Smith has gone crazy and can’t run the company. That’s some terrible friends. They even pretend not to see the actors when they interact with Smith. It’s gaslighting, but it’s friendly gaslighting.
I get that the film means well. There are even glimmers of hope in some of the scenes, and that’s because the actors are so great. The scenes might work on there on, but when you put them altogether it doesn’t. Even these great actors can’t save the flawed story they were given.