Tuesday, June 08, 2010

Tom Strikes Back: 80s Edition

As you certainly know by now, the following celebrities died in recent weeks:

Gary Coleman

Rue McClanahan

and Dennis Hopper.

Mr. Coleman was "Arnold," McClanahan was "Blanche," and Hopper was (to me at least) "Frank."

The saying goes that Hollywood deaths come in threes. My saying goes that Tom Cruise's intermittant anger can never be predicted accurately. He hasn't lashed out at anyone for many months. So many months that you might have been lulled into complacency and comfort.

But the events of recent days should serve as a warning to you to never truly let your guard down. Tom may act out at any time.

"But wait," you may say. "You always have a theory. Something that ties them all together. How can you possibly tie together the chld star of Diff'rent Strokes, Golden Girls, and Easy Rider/Apocolypse Now/Blue Velvet?"

Part of the answer is right there in front of you--Tom loved the '80s and so did these three actors . . . may they rest in peace. None of them had such cultural impact and widescale success as in the 1980s, including Mr. Cruise. Sure, Tom has done quite well for himself in the 1990s and early 2000s but we all know that without his success in the 1980s we would have a better chance of celebrating William Mapother right now than Katie Holmes' husband.

So, Tom wanted to clear out some of the 1980s competiton. (Are you changing the locks on your windows Mr. Hanks?) But just as important as that, Tom was experimenting with Method acting.

Let me explain.

We all know that Mr. Cruise has been nominated for Academy Awards in the past. And we also know that he has failed to win the golden statue. Furthermore, we know that his greatest cinematic success in the last few years has been the few minutes of screen time in which he portrayed foul-mouthed studio executive Les Grossman in the movie Tropic Thunder. He won such good will for that role, in which he submerged himself into a character so carefully--and with the aid of quality makeup and other cinematic prosthetics--that some people didn't even realize it was Cruise in the role.

This was a revelation to Tom.

You see, a common criticism of Cruise's undeniably successful films in the past was that no matter who he was playing, you always knew that it was Tom Cruise on the screen. But in the case of Les Grossman, he managed to establish some cinematic distance between himself and the audience. This was such an important discovery to Cruise that he began investigating Method acting. This style of acting preparation encourages the actor to give oneself completely to the character, submerging into the fiction both on and off set until the job is done. In this way, the actor can best understand the character and present a "realistic" performance that is cinematically authentic.

As a new proponent (and a bit untested in the style), Tom's Method needs some work. And it is due to this uncertainty that Stars of the 80s were punished.

For, you see, Tom Cruise resubmerged himself in the character of Les Grossman recently to perform commercial bits and promotional moments for the MTV Video Music Awards. To get back into character, he turned his mind over to the Grossman characteristics of extreme arrogance, foul-mouthed pomposity, and general bad dude. In this guise, Cruise's nature of personal uncertainty was combined with "Grossman's" arrogance into a volatile, murderous mix.

You've been warned.