Someone dial 9-1-1, these stars are in need of some medical attention!
Posted Wednesday, November 4, 2009 at 4:15 PM Central
by John Couture
So, there I was sitting in my doctor's office this morning for my annual physical and three things popped into my head.
First, I'm so glad that I'm still young enough that my physical doesn't involve re-enacting the "Moon River" sequence from Fletch. "You using the whole fist, doc?"
Second, always schedule your yearly appointment in the Summer when less people are sick. I'm sure that I caught something in the cess pool of airborne germs that was my doctor's waiting room this morning.
Finally, while I got a clean bill of health and another year's affirmation to go forth and prosper, it dawned on me that Hollywood could use a physical to help its ailing stars get back to feature film success. Think about John Travolta's before Pulp Fiction came out. It was literally on life support and had that movie not burned up theater screens when it did, we may have lost the last 15 years of his body of work.
Fair enough, those that point out Battlefield Earth make a good point, but I still contend that as a whole, we are better off as fans of film for his career resurgence than we are without it.
That got me thinking about the current state of affairs in Hollywood and whose careers need a shot in the arm. Of course, some stars are much further along the great beyond of infomercials than others, so I broke the group up into three distinct categories in terms of their level of need of medical attention.
CriticalThe least severe cases simply need a shot in the arm. These chaps have either fallen off the radar or gotten mixed up with the wrong crowd. A stiff round of antibiotics should be enough to get them back up on their feet.
- Edward Norton - I love me some Edward "don't call me Ed" Norton and thought he hit his peak in American History X and Fight Club, but he's been rather hit or miss in the last decade or so. His work in The Illusionist proved that he's still got it, so a swift kick should be enough for him to regain his stardom.
- Luke Wilson - While his brother has been in need or actual medical attention (and hopefully psychological attention after his failed suicide attempt), Luke's career is the only thing that needs help for him. Old School was a long time ago and sitting around waiting for sequel isn't going to cut it any longer.
- Orlando Bloom - He was the last R. Pat before R. Pat even existed. And then something happened. Oh yeah, Peter Jackson finally ran out of endings for The Return of the King. Of course, that's not entirely fair, I mean he did do alright for himself in those Pirates of the Caribbean movies, but unless there's a massive rewrite to The Hobbit, he'll have to look for fresh material to get back on the proverbial horse.
- Casey Affleck - What happened? It seemed that with Gone Baby Gone and The Assassination of Jesse James..., Casey had finally stepped out from his big brother's long shadow, but sitting on your butt for two years without filming a movie isn't the best way to kickstart a film career.
- Jason Lee - To be fair, Jason's lack of work lately has been due to his recently deceased TV show, but come on man, Earl is dead and the public will surely turn on the Chipmunks soon. The good news is good bud Kevin Smith got him a bit part in his next movie A Couple of Dicks, so that's a start.
Intensive CareNext up the ladder are former Hollywood heavyweights that have had to step down in class the last few years due to their lack of work. These stars will require more than a band-aid to get their careers back on track. If they don't stop the bleeding soon, it might be too late.
- Eddie Murphy - What happened Eddie? It seems that you were on top of the world and then you decided you wanted to reach into outer space for Pluto. Well, just like that rock got its planet status revoked, you got served walking papers from superstardom. Thankfully, the success of Shrek prevented you from falling off the map completely, but if Imagine That is indicative of your future work, then I'm afraid the prognosis isn't good.
- Mike Myers - Is there a Shrek epidemic up in this joint? I understand that there's a fair amount of trade off between animated success and live action success, but this is ridiculous. The world's obsession with ogres is waning and it's time to get back on bike, so to speak. The Love Guru was DOA, but Inglourious Basterds showed some signs of life. Your career is at cross-roads, it's time to make a choice.
- Julia Roberts - Quick quiz, name Julia's last starring role that grossed over $100 million. Still waiting? Give up yet? If you guessed Ocean's Eleven, give yourself a pat on the back. Ocean's Twelve doesn't count given that she's barely in it. I understand being a mother comes first to her, but come on, even Garth Brooks is coming out of retirement.
- Ben Affleck - Poor Ben. When he was married to J Lo, he was as hot as hot could get and now, he would have trouble booking a Geico ad opposite the gecko. Oh, times have changed and while he's settled into a nice life with wife Jennifer Garner and their family and taken more work behind the camera, the man still has the acting chops to rule Hollywood. If he so chooses.
- Kirsten Dunst - Poor Kiki was never able to turn her Spider-man gig into the sort of mainstream success that she's clearly capable of. If you look at her earlier stuff, there's real promise, but something went wrong when her Spidey sense started to tingle. The good/bad news? There's always Spider-man 4 in 2011. I hope she's able to turn it around in time to take full advantage of that exposure.
Life SupportThis is the last stop before Hollywood Gardens and the final resting place of their acting careers. These actors and actresses still have a heart beat, but it's faint and one more misstep will almost surely cause them to flat line. Tread lightly as we expose those stars whose careers need a quick hit from the defibrillator to keep their pulse going.
- Uma Thurman - You know that good friend that you hope to have when you're on life support who refuses to pull the plug on you? Well, for Uma that friend is Quentin Tarantino. He is single-handedly keeping her career alive, but she's going to need something more if she wants to continue to earn a living in Hollywood.
- Geena Davis - There was a time when Geena was the top actress in Hollywood, but those days are long past. Sure, she had that whole TV show based on being the President of the United States, but did you know that The Long Kiss Goodnight was the last non-Stuart Little movie that she was in? Not just starred in, been in period. Yeah, it's time for a comeback darling.
- Chris Tucker - Talk about doing nothing with what is given you, Chris has zero ZERO film roles since he made Rush Hour in 1998 (except for the two sequels naturally). What? Was he under exclusivity not to make any other movie, at all? Somehow I doubt it. And he's not just a one trick pony, up until then he showed great promise in comedies across the spectrum. At some point, even the Rush Hour money has to dry up, no?
- Meg Ryan - Hello? Anyone home? Meg was pretty much America's original sweetheart and she couldn't pick a loser. Hit after hit after hit. And now? Nothing. It seems that all of her movies bomb. She's gone more artsy and indie which is respectable sure. And I'm not going to complain about her revealing role in In The Cut, but enough is enough. She needs to find her way back into our hearts.
- Michael Keaton - Sure, he could probably retire and simply say, "I'm Batman" for the rest of his life, but I, for one, want to see him regain his comic brilliance. I remember growing up to his iconic turns in Mr. Mom and Gung Ho, but lately I'm feeling let down. Come on Michael don't let this become the curse of Beetlejuice, you are better than that.
So, how did we do? Did we leave off some obvious Hollywood deadbeats? Which stars do you want to see get their careers back in the fast lane?