And you thought I was controversial in the Music Midtown Piece.
“Lana sucks. How could you defend her?”
“Lorde’s performance is typical of an artist from New Zealand, blah, blah, racist.”
“Eminem is the greatest lyricist of our time”
Well, I plan on making equally bold statements in this piece, because something has been bugging me lately. What should I do about Edge of Tomorrow? The newest Tom Cruise flick has been receiving major critic and viewer praise, and it has unleashed a torment of mixed emotions about the befuddling career of Tommy boy. Before this movie, I was content treating Tom Cruise with the laughable disdain that I believe he has well-deserved. However, after this movie, and my immediate “blind-squirrel-trips-over-a-nut” cynicism, I made a shocking realization. This dude has been in some pretty amazing movies.
Edge of Tomorrow was simply the most recent installment in a body of work as long as my arm that has multiple huge hits. He has seven movies that are rated at least 90% on Rotten Tomatoes including Risky Business (98%), Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol (93), Color of Money (92), Minority Report (91), Edge of Tomorrow (90), Born on the 4th of July (90), and Rain Man (90). To put this in perspective, that surpasses critically-acclaimed actors like Leonardo NoOscaro (2, and I can’t claim credit for that joke), Brad Pitt (3), Ben Affleck (4), and Morgan Freeman (6). This propels him to the ranks of titans such as Matt Damon (9) and Samuel L. Jackson (7). Cruise has also scored highly on my some of my personal metrics – Top Gun (10 out of 10 Bald Eagles), A Few Good Men (93% Rotten Tomato Snub), and Knight and Day, which scored highly on my believability charts (just kidding, that movie was literally garbage).
He has also populated other movies that were rated less than excellent due to bad casting choices, or pathetic direction. Stacey Jaxx was the only memorable character from the regrettable Rock of Ages. Jerry Maguire is named after Cruise’s character as if to try to beat the memory of Zellweger out of my mind. His portrayal of David Shawn in Taps was as good as could be allowed for a slightly juvenile story. And let us please not forget his beautiful performance as Les Grossman in Tropic Thunder, which is surprisingly amazing for a comedy with the actor formerly known as Jack Black, a black-faced Robert Downey, Jr., and pre-McConaissance Matthew McConaughey.
Now, you might have a glimpse into my inner turmoil surrounding this actor, because despite this laundry list of upside, I will never bring my self to look forward to one of his movies. Is this because movies like Knight and Day and Oblivion exist? This can’t be it, because if I let bad movies define an actor’s career, I would remember Leo for J. Edgar and Pitt for Mr. and Mrs. Smith. The prospect of this makes me shudder, so it must be something else. It can’t even be the selection of rolls, because Samuel L. Jackson and Robert DeNiro have mountains of crap to accent some of the most unforgettable characters ever portrayed.
I cannot even put Cruise on my list of most overrated actors/actresses – Morgan Freeman and Emma Stone to name a couple – because I know I am not alone in my general disdain for Cruise movies. And, I tend to neglect public image when analyzing an actor or actress, so as much as I would love to blame the Oprah incident and pretty much everything else surrounding that relationship, I can’t.
And this is where the impasse remains. Maybe somebody – a family member, a friend, a psychiatrist – can help me overcome this. Until then, I will choose a new object at which I can direct my frustration.
Today, it is Rotten Tomatoes. Curse you Rotten Tomatoes for being the most lackadaisical judges of film excellence. Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol scoring higher than Fight Club (80), Inception (86), Inglourious Basterds (89), Shawshank Redemption (91), and Grand Budapest Hotel (92)? Curses for not giving Lego Movie 100%. The plot was simplistic Random Critic #163? You’re simplistic! Woe to you for having the most user friendly movie-review site, and for having the best iOS app for enabling my movie trailer addiction. You are so easy to use that I can’t bring myself to deleting your stupid app off my phone.
You don’t have to be second-best IMDb. Your #content is better. Your database bigger. Your reviews fairer. Arise o’ sleeper! Seize the day, and bury Rotten Tomatoes back into the Rotten Soil from whence it came. Do us all a favor and allow me to forget Tom Cruise.