Tom Cruise

The 10 Worst Movies Based on Real Political Events

Last week, everybody got a big chuckle (some more than others) out of The Hollywood Reporter’s scoop that Michael Bay — best known for making movies about cars transforming into giant robots and blowing shit up — is in talks to helm 13 Hours, a political drama about the 2012 attack on the US embassy in Benghazi. And while most of those titters come from the participation of meathead entertainment maker and short-short connoisseur Bay (and from speculating on the various ways in which he could fumble the attack’s narrative, in light of its subsequent status as a political football), there’s also some rightful skepticism about the ability of anyone in Hollywood to make this particular “political drama,” since that’s a subgenre the movie industry seems so inclined to fuck up. So on this most political of days, let’s take a quick walk down that hall of shame, shall we? … Read More

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Don’t Underestimate the Importance of Earwax or the Badness of ‘Titanic’ : Links You Need to See

Have you seen those nifty black cotton swabs from Muji? They look really cool — well, about as cool as cotton swabs can look — but they actually suck. The whole point of cleaning your ears is looking at the resulting honey-colored gunk, a pleasure that’s wholly denied by the black cotton swabs! But, apparently, we shouldn’t even be cleaning our ears, regardless of the color of the cotton swabs. … Read More

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The 10 Greatest Lip-Sync Scenes in Pop Culture History

This weekend, the Bill Hader-Kristen Wiig dramedy The Skeleton Twins rolls out in limited release, and it’s well worth a look. When I saw the film at Sundance earlier this year, I had one immediate thought: that lip-sync scene is gonna be huge on YouTube. It’s part of a long tradition in pop culture, wherein a mood of camaraderie, eccentricity, or affection is established by having our characters throw themselves into a live, mimed performance of a recorded classic. These are a few of our favorites. … Read More

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“I Took Part”: Werner Herzog on Truth, Fiction, and ‘Parks & Recreation’

When you get down to it, what’s even more odd and interesting about the fact that Warner Herzog talked about Parks and Recreation last night is how it came up. It’s not like the conversation, in front of a full house at the Brooklyn Academy of Music, pivoted from some other point about television comedy; mere moments before, Herzog was talking about Bavaria’s King Ludwig II, “the only other person who could have made Fitzcarraldo.” Up on the screen behind him came an image of the king’s famed “fairy tale castle,” which reminds Herzog of Disney World, and then he added, “Just ten days ago I acted in a tiny cameo part in a TV show called, uh, Parks and Recreation?” The audience laughed and cheered, and he went on to explain how he’s playing “an elderly guy who sells his decrepit house to the young couple who are the leading characters in this, and directly to the camera, I address the audience and I say, ‘You know, I lived in this home for 47 years. And I decided to move out now and sell this because I’m moving to Orlando, Florida, to be close to Disney World.’ I’ve never seen the show, but I hope they kept some of it.” … Read More

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25 Things You Didn’t Know About Stanley Kubrick’s ‘Eyes Wide Shut’

Stanley Kubrick’s Eyes Wide Shut celebrated its 15th anniversary this week. The film stars Tom Cruise as a restless doctor, Bill Harford, whose curiosity takes him on a nightlong sexual odyssey that threatens his life and marriage. Nicole Kidman — who was Cruise’s real-life spouse at the time — plays his wife, Alice, whose sexual fantasies and equally wandering eye rattle her husband’s deepest insecurities. Sex, marriage, and mystifying symbolism: a combination only Kubrick could make as compelling as he did. Here are 25 facts, details, and asides about Eyes Wide Shut you might have… Read More

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Why Isn’t ‘Edge of Tomorrow’ Director Doug Liman a Household Name?

The overwhelmingly positive reviews that are greeting the new Tom Cruise actioner Edge of Tomorrow (out, erm, tomorrow) are a hearty mix of enthusiasm and surprise — enthusiasm at the film’s brainy wit and overall inventiveness, surprise that such elements are contained in such a blandly titled, seemingly generic Summer Action Blockbuster. Some have decided that the responsible party here is Tom Cruise, and the appreciations have followed suit; LA Weekly’s Amy Nicholson dubs him “our last real movie star,” Movies.com’s Jacob S. Hall calls him “the greatest living movie star.” Fair enough; Cruise has a long and storied filmography, a history of well-chosen collaborators, and he’s terrific in the film. Yet oddly little of this high praise has made its way to Edge of Tomorrow’s director, Doug Liman. Then again, this is nothing new; Liman is one of the most successful and reliable directors in Hollywood who somehow still has not become a household name. … Read More

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Remembering (and Reconciling) the Brilliance of Philip Seymour Hoffman

The first reactions, unsurprisingly, were shock and sadness. And then the timelines started to fill with clips from over two decades of rich, varied, heartfelt work, and with each new one, his death sounded another little jolt: “Oh God, right, he was in that too.” But there was one common thread in Philip Seymour Hoffman’s work: he was an actor of remarkable control. Many of his best performances conveyed that control, and even when he played disorderly characters, there was never a fear of Hoffman losing control of them. And that, more than his age or his persona or the sordid details of his death scene, may be the most shocking thing about his passing: that it was so clearly the death of a man who had lost control of a crippling… Read More

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