I've been bothered by some things I've read on blogs and forums recently. It's an attitude really. An attitude that says "if that guy is rich and famous, but has made some misstep, then he is an douchebag". It's almost like dealing with cinematic hipsters. You know the type. They listen to unsigned indie bands and tell you that your favorite musician is a sell out. Guess what hipster, my favorite musician was unsigned once, but now they're rich and famous because they didn't suck. Even if they did put out that bad album a couple of years ago, it's not like their talent has suddenly vanished. Eat it, hipster.
This goes out to the keyboard warrior I met in some chatroom last week who bravely typed, "I would never pay to see a movie with Tom Cruise in it.". Tom Cruise does not suck. So he jumped on Oprah's couch? Big deal. Scientologists are stupid? Sure they are, but that doesn't mean Tom isn't talented. Besides Scientology, here's a few other things he's been in: War of the Worlds, Magnolia, The Color of Money, Minority Report, Rain Man, Collateral. No self-respecting cineaste would say all those movies are bad. He's usually pretty good in his lesser work as well. To me, that's the mark of someone with a real passion for their job. Just because this guy is richer, better-looking, and more talented than you (and me) doesn't mean you shouldn't enjoy his films. I'm really looking forward to his upcoming sci-fi films "Oblivion"and "All You Need Is Kill".
M. Night Shyamalan. I'll admit that "The Happening" wasn't close to being good. "Lady In The Water" and "The Village" weren't great, but certainly not deserving of their horrid reputation. "Signs", "Unbreakable" and "Sixth Sense" were great films. Three great films are more than some directors make in a lifetime. Also, you can't discount three. There's no way some moron accidentally comes up with 3 great stories. Maybe "The Last Airbender" was awful, but who cares? It's based on a cartoon. No one bitched that much when the live-action "Scooby-Doo" movies came out.
Now the trailer has been released for "After Earth" starring Will Smith and his son Jaden. This looks like the kind of film that could put M. Night's career back on a winning path. Already I've heard it dismissed by many of my movie-loving peers because of Shyamalan's name on the poster. Get over yourselves. This man has a brain that is more imaginative than most. Don't write him off.
One of the most unjustly reviled figures in cinema is Uwe Boll. No one cares that "Rampage", "Seed" and "Stoic" are brilliant commentaries on the nature of violence, only that he ruined some video game adaptation that they were looking forward to. "House of the Dead", "Blood Rayne", "Alone In The Dark", and "Dungeon Seige" and their sequels take up a lot of Boll's filmography. Gamers get mad because these adaptations suck, but why would he make a serious effort to change that? The producers obviously don't care because they keep hiring him to direct. Video game movies are generally pointless anyway.
The problem is, those who watch video game movies are usually internet savvy. To put it another way, the same dumb kids who care about video game movies are the ones who bitch on the internet. Those who enjoy Boll's other films spend much less time being obnoxious on forums. This is a director who has worked with Jason Statham, Ray Liotta, Burt Reynolds, Michelle Rodriguez and even the great Ben Kingsley. To all the idiots who bash him online, he's got a message for you in the picture to the left.