Friday, August 04, 2006

Movie Cooties and Marquee Names

Over at his blog, Jason Pinter, aka The Man in Black, asks people whether Mel Gibson's (and Tom Cruise's) recent forays into general fuckwittedness will cause people to avoid their movies.

As I stated in the comments, it really doesn't make any difference to me. The fact that Tom or Mel is in a movie doesn't, in itself, make that movie more or less interesting to me. If the movie interests me, I won't NOT see it because Mel Gibson's in it. If I see a trailer for a movie that, for some reason, grabs my attention, but I see Tom Cruise's name on the credits, I won't go, "Euuuuw! Tom Cruise! He has movie cooties!" On the other hand, their names on the marquees don't make me say "I MUST see this! NOW!"

Which begs the question: who ARE your marquee names? Which actors or actresses WILL draw you to a movie, even if you might be dubious at best about its plot, subject matter, etc.?

Who are the actors who, as the saying goes, you'd pay to see read a phone book?

My own: Robert Duvall. John Cusack. Nicolas Cage. Alan Rickman. Michael Caine. William H. Macy.

Will Ferell's getting there, although after the suck-fest that was Bewitched, I'm still wary. Steve Carell looks promising.

Oddly, there are very few actresses left in this category for me. Frances McDormand and Maria Bello are the only ones who come immediately to mind. Holly Hunter used to be one, but she seems to have dropped off the face of the earth.

The floor is open for your nominations....


Lori G. Armstrong said...

Wow, Dusty, you've stumped me. It's not the star - male or female - as much as how interesting the movie looks. I don't watch many movies anymore, very few look worth the time. Maybe it makes me lowbrow, but I'm not one for small experimental "indie" films either. I like movies that make me laugh. Or thrillers with lots of explosions. Seeing angst and the downtrodden masses? I'll pass. I can read the newspaper for that. Entertain me. That's it.

David Terrenoire said...

I don't do it so much with actors as with directors. Tim Burton (especially if he's working with Johnny Depp), Scorsese, the Coen brothers, David Lynch, Tarantino, Richard Linklator, Spike Jonze, Michael Moore, Errol Morris, DA Pennabaker, and Barbara Koppell will almost always get my money just on name power alone. I'm sure I'm missing a few, but that's a pretty good start.

I can't think of a single actor who carries that kind of weight.

JD Rhoades said...

Entertain me. That's it.

*puts on tap shoes*

Stacey Cochran said...

Yeah, I tend to work from the top down; i.e., I am more likely to see a film because of who is directing it or producing it. Jerry Bruckheimer, Stephen Spielberg, Scorsese, even somebody like Sophia Coppola because I would like to see what she would do behind the lens.

I like Bill Murray, Jack Black, Peter Jackson, the guy who directed Napoleon Dynamite and Nacho Libre though his style can get a little cloyingly idiosyncratic, Jodi Foster in that thriller on the airplane where she is not sure whether her daughter is alive or dead.

I love thrillers when they are not pretentious and horror films when they are not overly gory.

The Thing by John Carpenter, Aliens by the guy who did that Titanic movie, Minority Report, Jurassic Park, Jaws.

catalyst said...

Jack Nicholson, Robert Duvall

nathan singer said...

My two all-time favorite actors are Morgan Freeman and Kathy Bates. I've never seen either of them put in anything less than a stellar performance. But their presence still isn't always enough to get me to watch a film. I'm also more likely to go with a director: Tim Burton, DEFINITELY Terry Gilliam (my favorite), etc. I'll see anything Charlie Kaufman writes as well. I'll usually see something Johny Depp is in, not just cuz he's great, but he picks interesting projects usually and we seem to share a similar idea of "interesting." Although I've enjoyed the two Pirates movies, normally I LOATHE big budget action flicks. I much prefer underground experimental stuff. And romantic comedies? Unless one someday stars Depp, is directed by Gilliam and was written by Kaufman I will continue to avoid them like toxic sludge.

Jason said...

After the two "Pirates" movies and "Secret Window," Johnny Depp for sure.

Lori G. Armstrong said...

An excellent shuffle-ball change pattern Dusty :)

Reminds me that I love old movies - with Fred, Ginger, Cyd, Gene...when those come on AMC I'll drop everything.

David Terrenoire said...

Hey, how about actors I will go out of my way not to see?

Adam Sandler and Drew Barrymore are at the top of the list. Fortunately, they're often in the same movies so I can miss two people I loathe by missing one movie.


Kristy said...

I will choose to avoid a movie because I've grown weary of the star's fuckwittedness. The same way I won't frequent a restaurant whose steaks I really love, but whose owner told me that if I didn't watch my weight I'd lose my husband. He won't get my $120 anymore, and Mel won't get my $7.50 anymore. (Although I have to say that I ditched Mel a while ago.)

My list is very similar to yours, Dusty. But Holly Hunter will still bring me in, every time. Let's see, add to the men: Kevin Kline, I'm throwing Robert Duvall in there again because he deserves to be counted three times, hmmmm...

For women: Jodi Foster, Glenn Close, I'm sure there's more, why is this so hard?

Depp doesn't do anything for me, and I'm still hoping that Adam Sandler will do something interesting like Punch Drunk Love again. And I like Drew Barrymore, but more for her handling of the business rather than her acting.

And if I type that verification word in WILL someone actually gobh me? I'm not sure what that is, but it sounds interesting...

Rae said...

Completely anti Mel Gibson, even prior to the latest round of silliness; he's the only person whose films I'll go out of my way to avoid.

Directors who interest me: Clint Eastwood, the Cohen brothers, Ridley Scott, Tim Burton, Rob Reiner.

Actors whose choices of role interest me: Meryl Streep, Johnny Depp, Jack Nicholson, Viggo Mortensen, Denzel Washington, Natalie Portman,
Hilary Swank.

I'm sure there are more, but it's Sunday morning, fer cryin' out loud ;-)