Tuesday, 19 June 2012

Exceptions Do Exist

Some time ago, I reflected on how my tastes seemed to change almost overnight for no obvious reason; I went from liking McDonalds to never eating it and listening to Radiohead to finding them depressing. Certain actors like Russell Crowe and Mel Gibson also triggered similar feelings of disdain. In his early years before Scientology and splitting from Kidman, I was quite a fan of Cruise but these days I'm more wary of him. Returning from my mini break in Sweden and Lithuania, I was in desperate need of a film catch-up, having shamefully still not watched Avengers Assemble. A triple bill later and I've seen a glimmer of the old Cruise again.

These days, I'm unable to bring myself to watch anything with Crowe or Gibson as the lead but occasionally and somewhat apprehensively I make an exception. The last Gibson films I genuinely enjoyed were Braveheart and The Man Without A Face back in the early-to-mid 9Os. Although it received a mixed reception, Jodie Foster's The Beaver is my exception to the "no Gibson rule" and I have to say reminded me Gibson was once a great actor and could play sympathetic characters before he started displaying hateful personality traits. Early Crowe (Romper Stomper) clearly indicates talent and films like A Beautiful Mind show he can in fact pull-off non action roles but I am yet to see him release anything that will convince me to watch him again on the big screen.

Actors like Simon Pegg on the other hand are incredibly likable but as much as I want to root for his films, he does seem to make some appalling career decisions (Burke and Hare, Paul...). My triple bill begins with his latest film, A Fantastic Fear Of Everything. About twenty minutes into the movie, I know I'm wasting an hour and forty minutes of my life and this is undoubtedly the worst film Pegg has been in. It is also bizarrely the debut of Crispian Mills as writer/director - once front man for 90s psychedelic rock band, Kula Shaker, and the son of Hayley, who I'm a huge fan of. Before seeing the film, I'm already suspicious but an Empire review suggests it could be quirky so I decide to give it a go and immediately regret the decision.

After thoroughly enjoying Avengers, my final film for the night pitted my patience against two actors I often dislike: Russell Brand and Tom Cruise. Rock Of Ages is a return to less glamorous roles for Cruise like his brief but hilarious stint in Tropic Thunder as Les Grossman. Although those less than keen on musicals may not enjoy the film, rock lovers will appreciate the soundtrack, romantics its cheesy plot line and Cruise is undeniably great in this feel-good air-pumping flick. It's predictable and Brand as usual quite obviously plays himself but thankfully a less irritating version, making Rock of Ages an all round winner.

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