Tuesday, June 8, 2010

3 Reasons Why Tom Cruise Is Cooler Than You

He has a truly gorgeous daughter with clothes that cost more than a large down payment on your car. He's got a smokin' wife with newly added Broadway credits and lovely cozy life with the man of her dreams (3rd time's the charm?), And of course, a truly respectable career (thank God [not his] that's settled again). With Sunday night's Les Grossman dance off with J-Lo and her booty at the MTV Movie Awards/Twilight Fan Fest, it looks like Cruise it truly back in the saddle with his career hitting high notes again. Like it used to be all the time. He's back son! Respect his conglomerate. He's powerful, he might be the best paid actor around period. He's very, very good in front of the camera. Period. He can draw a huge numbers and then please the crowd on top of it. And then, just when you thought you knew him, he dawns a fat suit and balding wig, and throws you something fresh, and most importantly, funny. 

As an actor myself, studying theater and film for years now in school, I have a most grand appreciation for this man. I have a respectable collection of his films, and have studied him intensely, watching the way he releases his lines, and holds himself with his characters. His film presence is important to me, as well as many others. The way his swag flows into the camera, and the strings he pulls for himself behind it, is a way of saying, "I'm raw, and this is why."

But wait! There's more!

1. His Right Hook
Just when you think you know what's up, he gives you something not unlike a twist, be it a scene, or a whole film, this guy knows how to stay as fresh as the grapes in Donnie Jepp's Vineyard. Before I get into all the other mumbo, a serious plus in his cool-points is the fact that he fights the insurance companies and has been doing his own stunts for years now. Always pushing the bill, like in 2000's M:I 2, he used chalk and his hands only, when he free climbed that cliff in the opening shot. (Seriously he threw a big fit about not be able to do it with no harnesses or wires) And he keeps the adrenaline going with his close to dropping summer flick, Knight & Day. Jumping off 40 foot buildings, on top of speeding cars and whizzing by on blazing motorcycles. At 47 years old, he hasn't lost any edge in his ability to excellent himself into a good scene of action. Not many other actors around in this game, can say the same (short of pure stunt men and martial artist actors which of course don't count).

Consider the later point of the 90's for him son. Mission Impossible,  then Jerry Maguire, then a Kubrick film (his last one!), then Magnolia? Take this for example.

With M:I 1 in 96', he told the studio (Paramount) he wanted more than just his paycheck. Knowing full-well what video tape sales were doing for studios, he asked for 22 % of the full gross of those sales. Ya see, 80 % of the profit gross from VHS sales were kept by the studio, and the remaining 20 % were dolled out to the other multiple profiteers. Cruise had a 22 % stake in that 20 % (still with me?), so on top of everybody else, his 22% share, was shared, watering down his beer, so to speak. 1/5 of the real gross? So he said naw son, told the studio he wanted "100 percent accounting", and he grabbed 70 milli from that deal (box office gross participation, television rights sold, and VHS sales) Cruise single-handedly opened the door for others to take advantage of a precedent still here today with DVD's. He bumped
up his gross participation with 2000's M:I 2 to 30 percent and doubled his 20 to 40% of the (now) DVD sales. At the end of the day, his total pay out was 92 million dollars. Just think about that for a second. Acting, producing, script approval, BAM! But those weren't his glory days. He keeps doing this move, and got over 100 million fucking dollars  with 2005's War Of The Worlds.

With another Mission Impossible in the pipeline, (producing with JJ Abrams), and his rep all repaired, he should get more and more flocking to the theater this time. Bringing in high money, and most importantly, the accolades he deserves (shame about the polarization of his personal life, blocking out the coolness of M:I 3). With his hilarious turn as an over-exaggerated studio boss, Les Grossman, in Tropic Thunder and all over MTV, he's got people smiling at him again, in the best way possible. Cause he BAAAAAWWLIN"! A fat suit, a bald wig, silly glasses, too much hair and a whole lot of gutter-trash mouth (and bling bling). Winning over the hearts of not just his fellows thespians, but audiences alike.

2. His Staying Power
Much like a bad penny, the chick who goes to all the same clubs and bars, or spot on Monica's dress, this guy isn't going anywhere. 

Oprah's couch? Uht-uh boyo. He was just a little too excited about finding a lovey-dovey chick to chill with after Penelope Cruz. lol. So what? He fell in love, good for him he freaked out about it. That's what your supposed to do when it hits you. Cruise had this to say to the public about his calf exercises:
"It was a moment, and it was real. I just felt that way, and I feel that way about her. I can't even articulate it, to be honest. That feeling, that connection. Just who she is and what she means to me." 
Crazy Scientology rants? Yelling at Matt Lauer on TV? Dispelling the use of prescription drugs in the case of Brooke Shields? Well, okay... Yeah... He got a little carried away. But he publicly apologized to both parties and has been openly friendly with them. Oprah still loves him and had him on the show for 2 hour special and DVD giveaway his 25 year mark in film. He doesn't hop around anymore and certainly doesn't blast his religion all over the face of America. That South Park episode was funny though, seriously. So just when you thought he was down for the count, when M:I 3 under-performed, he comes back at you with Tropic Thunder, a secret role the film makers were trying to keep a surprise. So when you first see a fat balding, bling bling Cruise, yelling and cursing at Steve Coogan, you don't even recognize him. It was fuckin' awesome and, like Downey in that film, was completely funny and got everyone patting him on the back.

3. His Career Shine
At--surprising if you didn't know it--47 years old, like recently polished platinum, taking a look back through the catalog of Cruise's career will show you all sorts of Hollywood Screen Iconography. Risky Business, Top Gun, Rain Man, A Few Good Men, M:I Franchise, Maguire, Magnolia, Minority Report, Les Grossman. All these are things that will never go away, like it or not, these are things, that will be in the books, forever... Plaaaaya! ...Plaaaaya!

Edward Jay Epstein, a Hollywood economist (BA from Cornell and Ph.D from Harvard) went on to say in a 2005 article entitled, Tom Crusie Inc., this about Cruise as producer and entity in Tinseltown today:
"Paramount, despite its bluster, needs Tom Cruise, who stands—along with George Lucas, Steven Spielberg, and Jerry Bruckheimer—as one of the handful of producers who can reliably deliver a billion-dollar franchise—and, without one, Paramount's fortunes are dismal. So, while Cruise, for better or worse, emerges as one of the most powerful—and richest—forces in Hollywood, the media remain totally fixated on the fact that he's a Scientologist and the anachronistic notion that he is fabricating his love life, like Gene Kelly in Singin' in the Rain, just to get publicity for himself and to fool the press."
I also have a preview in the loop for Cruise and Diaz's upcoming summer flick, Knight & Day, the action-comedy that looks as good as I was hoping. And now it seems via Movieweb that Cruise has a Les Grossman pic in the pipeline?"We're working on it," he beamed. "Yup, we're working on it."

Nice (well see). Les Grossman, paired with the smash hit Valkyrie was all he needed to get back into the public's love and support. It was a shame about M:I 3, cuz that one was the best of them. Now, he's got Brad Bird (The Incredibles, Ratatouille, The Iron Giant) coming at you in the big chair, directing Cruise (with JJ Abrams producing) M:I 4.

Just watch how he walks around with his head high now. Being a baller again. Calm and collected again. Calculating and lovin' life again. Things will only get better and better for him. Just watch, it's already happening sucka...

(MTV Movie Awards Intro)

Munki out.

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