Tom Cruise’s latest flick, Valkyrie, is set in Nazi Germany, and it’s not a comedy, so why does its new trailer (embedded below, or streaming in a higher-quality clip at Yahoo) leave me snickering? Is it the eye patch? Or the way the lightning crashes as Cruise declares "We have to kill Hitler" in his Serious Thespian Voice? Maybe it’s that awful line, "When the S.S. catch you, they will pull you apart like warm bread." (Mission: Carbs!) Or maybe I can no longer separate the tabloid staple from the actor. Whatever the case may be, I’m kind of wondering — especially in the face of Lions for Lambs bombing this weekend — how many other folks share my inability to take Tom Cruise seriously anymore?
Tag: Tom Cruise (51-60 of 86)
So this morning we posted EW’s countdown of the top 25 biggest celebrity scandals of the past 25 years. (Online-only bonus: Check out Nos. 50-26 here!) Anyway, the full list of 50 is chock-full of things that make me die inside, including Ted Danson performing blackface while roasting then-girlfriend Whoopi Goldberg (No. 40), Woody Allen marrying Soon-Yi Previn (No. 6), and Michael Jackson dangling baby Blanket (No. 5). Other usual suspects on the list: R. Kelly, Lindsay Lohan, Britney Spears, Mel Gibson.
Now we want to hear from you, P-Dubs: What did we forget to include? Maybe it’s too recent to go down in the annals of "xx"-dom, but seems like Denise Richards’ nasty split from Charlie Sheen (who’s already on this list, natch) and her subsequent involvement with friend Heather Locklear’s ex, Richie Sambora, is tawdry enough to deserve a spot here. What say you?
Three fall movie trailers, which have me respectively feeling: (A) nada; (B) mixed emotions; and (C) the excited tinglies.
Lions for Lambs (Nov. 9) It doesn’t get much more Oscar-bait-y than Meryl Streep starring in a Robert Redford-directed political drama about the war in Afghanistan and its implications in Washington and the world of academia. So how come the trailer plays so stiff and turgid? Lines like, "What is relevant is the implementation of a new strategy" don’t help, but the thing that’s really bogging me down is Tom Cruise’s performance as a powerful U.S. senator. Take his big, hoo-hah question to Streep’s reporter: "Do you wanna win the war on terror? Yes or no? This is the quintessential yes-or-no question of our time. Yes or no?" Doesn’t he deliver this in almost the same exact tone that he once asked Matt Lauer, "Do you know what Aderol is? Do you know Ritalin? Do you know now that Ritalin is a street drug? Do you understand that?" Maybe my perception’s been thrown off by the photo of Cruise dirty dancing with Katie Holmes in that copy of Us that I accidentally bought last night — yes, accidentally! it can happen! — but I can’t take "Serious Cruise" seriously anymore.
Perhaps it’s only a war in my mind because I’m desperate to see more of Deadwood‘s Timothy Olyphant (pictured, right) at the moment. But play along: Will Olyphant (currently the baddie in Live Free or Die Hard) or his Las Vegas lookalike Josh Duhamel (left), featured in next week’s Transformers, emerge the bigger star this summer? And by “bigger star,” I mean “the one who’ll get offered the roles they’ll both be considered for first.”
The reasons I’m on Team Olyphant:
• He finally found a hair length that doesn’t make him look at all slimy. With that killer smirk, you know this took some work.
• He’s already shown range, while Duhamel has primarily shown skin. (Not that I’m complaining.)
• He uses double guns as assassin Agent 47 in October’s Hitman. And I love double guns. (I hope you’re growing your hair back, Mister.)
• He’s the sports reporter for Indie 103.1 FM‘s morning show with Joe Escalante, which is way cooler than dating Fergie. Olyphant had appeared on the program to promote the third season of Deadwood, and heard the station was planning on hiring a sports guy. He just started calling in every morning. That was over a year ago. Some recent highlights:
Tom Cruise: Superspy, samurai… Nazi? Reports indicate that he’s planning to play one of the Third Reich rebels who tried unsuccessfully to assassinate Hitler in an upcoming film. Rumors about Cruise’s career moves are like catnip to us entertainment journalists, and coverage of this one hasn’t disappointed. According to the ever-reliable Fox News, "many" think that the film is part of an elaborate effort to get the German government to soften its unfriendly stance on Scientology. (Huh?!) To the wags over at Best Week Ever, it’s yet another piece of evidence that Cruise’s career is in irretrievable free-fall.
For a more plausible explanation of this perplexing development, however, you may want to look back at EW’s own Cruise files. Back in August, our own Daniel Fierman reported that Cruise was quietly looking to add more comedic roles to his seriously serious résumé. A couple of months ago, when word got out that Cruise was indeed teaming with Ben Stiller in guaranteed yukfest The Hardy Men, PopWatch noted the light-hearted turn in his role choices approvingly. But this latest news shows the Hardy project was just a distraction. He isn’t interested in easy buddy-flick giggles. No, Tom’s into some dark, absurdist stuff. Just imagine him in a Nazi uniform, that trademark deranged gleam in his eye, shouting at Goebbels and Himmler to stop being so "glib." Talk about humor via discomfort! Of course he hasn’t announced this project as a comedy — playing it straight is the key to the gag. This guy’ll out-Borat Borat by the time the film is through. I know I’ll be in stitches.
addCredit(“Tom Cruise: Mark Sullivan/WireImage.com”)
All three of these deals have been reported in actual newspapers recently, but one of them is, apparently, pure fiction. See if you can spot the fake project:
A. Cable channel AMC has greenlit a new series that will be a remake of The Prisoner, the classic 1960s British brain-bending drama that starred Patrick McGoohan (pictured).
B. Victoria Beckham will star as an alien bride in The Thetan, a Tom Cruise-produced sci-fi movie inspired by Scientology lore.
C. ABC is Americanizing the BBC sudser Footballers’ Wives, with Superman Returns director Bryan Singer attached to shoot the pilot.
(See the answer after the jump.)
addCredit(“The Prisoner: Everett Collection”)
OK, so it’s PopWatch confession time. Sometimes, on Friday afternoons, when it’s all down to searching YouTube for Jane’s Addiction videos and dreaming of mojitos, my colleague Annie Barrett and I like to play a game called "Celebrity Roleplay." And with the Most Blessed Wedding of Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes slated for this weekend, we decided to take a crack at enacting their ceremony. After Annie and I arm-wrestled for rights to wear Kate’s white Target gown (she won, naturally) we assumed our roles and exchanged vows. And they went a little something like this…
Tom: I vow to go for it!
Katie: You vow to go for it!
Tom: I respect women.
Katie: You respect women.
Tom: I love women.
Katie: You love women.
Tom: I promise to save you and Dakota Fanning from the blood-sucking aliens that have put the Northeastern United States in peril.
Katie: I miss Pacey.
Tom: Kate! (broad grin)
Katie: (in monotone) My name is Kate.
Tom: I vow to take you in my arms and kiss you passionately at public sporting events.
Katie: I vow to fake it, too.
addCredit(“Katie Holmes and Tom Cruise: SGPItalia/FilmMagic.com”)
Take that, Sumner Redstone! Tom Cruise is now a studio mogul, just like you! OK, I’m not saying that today’s announcement — that Cruise and partner Paula Wagner are resurrecting United Artists — is entirely about scoring ego points against the Viacom chief who not only declined to renew Cruise’s Paramount deal but who also continues to dis Cruise in interviews. But surely that has to be part of it. A word of warning, though, to Tom: if you want revenge against the studio chief who kicked you to the curb, become a studio chief yourself is an awfully expensive way to do it; just ask ousted Disney honcho-turned-DreamWorks founder Jeffrey Katzenberg, whose brainchild has now been all-but-absorbed by… Redstone’s Paramount.
addCredit(“Tom Cruise: William E. Amatucci Jr./WireImage.com”)
As all of you know, Tuesday is Cruise-Day. And you know what that means: All pants are half off! Wait… that’s half an old Michael Jackson joke. So hard to keep the vicious derision properly targeted! Tell you what, let’s just spin the wheel and see exactly how The Excitable One will climb out of the pit he gone and dug for hisself. His choices, based on a published report:
– Lions for Lambs, a political indie drama about U.S. soldiers in Afghanistan. Redford may direct and play a role. Cruise is being wooed to play a congressman, Meryl Streep a journalist.
– The Ha-Ha, adapted from a Dave King novel by Chuck Leavitt. Cruise would be born on yet another fourth of July, playing a Gulf War vet rendered mute by his injuries who’s charged with the care of a 9-year-old. That’s right: rendered mute. Which is why Tom’s publicist must be pushing hard for this one.
– Selling Time, a Fox drama from Spike Lee (the new, studio Spike Lee) about a man who (according to Variety) "sells back chunks of time in his life for a chance to relive and change the worst day of his life." I don’t really know what that means. But maybe that’s ’cause I haven’t paid the $15,000 to ascend to that level of understanding.
Conspicuously absent from this list is the comedy Cruise was reportedly developing (or, at least, exploring) with Judd Apatow (The 40 Year-Old Virgin). Perhaps it was decided that it was, er, a bit too soon to laugh with, at, or near Cruise? We know that’s not the case, don’t we, PopWatchers? So tell me: What should our boy Tom do next? Besides change Suri’s dirty Thetans?
Though we’re not convinced by the word on the street that Paramount plans to send Tom Cruise’s Mission: Impossible character, Ethan Hunt, out to pasture and replace him with a new superagent played by Brad Pitt, it sure is fun to think about! We found ourselves imagining a schoolyard tiff between the two buff action stars. And it goes a little somethin’ like this…
Tom: You? The next Mission: Impossible star? Seriously?
Brad: You got a problem with that?
Tom: No, except you got beat up by a girl in your last movie.
Brad: So? You got smacked down by Matt Lauer on The Today Show!
Tom: You broke up with America’s sitcom sweetheart!
Brad: Well, you looked ridonk on Oprah’s couch!
Tom: Remember your bad blond dye job?
Brad: Remember how Nicole Kidman towered over you on the red carpet?
Tom: Remember when you wore a skirt in Troy?
Brad: Oh yeah? Remember when your baby mama was on Dawson’s Creek?
Tom: Well, it’s better than having your baby mama star in Taking Lives!
Brad: At least my baby mama has an Oscar!
Tom: She does?
Brad: Yeah. For Girl, Interrupted.
Tom: Whoa. Totally forgot about that.
Brad: Yep. It’s on our mantel.
Tom: Fair enough.
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