1. JACK VALENTI
Must every failure in Hollywood be elected to run something? Valenti’s ban on screeners is the equivalent of rigging the game in an already stacked deck – small films will not stand a chance come Oscar time. The MPAA president insists his screener ban is meant to combat piracy not, as many have suggested, to elbow smaller films out of award season competition. If that’s the case, why hasn’t he issued a similar ban on the screeners studios sent to critics throughout the rest of the year? Why limit the piracy fight to award consideration tapes and DVDs? Because the truth is Valenti’s real concern isn’t with statutes, it’s with statuettes.
2. CUBA GOODING, JR.
Repeat this statement: “I am we taught it.” Has any one person done so little with an Oscar? In fact, name one good film Cuba has made since “Jerry Maguire.” Radio, Rat Race, Instinct, Snow Dogs, Boat Trip – yep, it’s been a string of crap for Cuba and there seems to be no stopping him.
ANTI-FREEZE: A regular part on a respectable cable series.
3. JOE ROTH
He left Disney to, “Reinvent the business of film making,” and to “Produce better, smarter films.” (His words) Since then his Revolution studios have pumped out nothing but ridiculously stupid movies that lose money. Some of his past accomplishments: America’s Sweethearts, Tomcats, “The One,” The Animal, “The New Guy.” Uh, somebody please help us, which should these be classified as – better or smarter? This year he gave us two truly oppressive films, Hollywood Homicide, and the title that should lead to his expulsion from movies, Gigli. Things are so bad, his development deal with Harry Knowles actually looks like a smart move in light of recent failures.
ANTI-FREEZE: Jump while you still have a golden parachute.
4. HARRISON FORD
Two words: Hollywood Homicide. Please, Harry. Consider hanging up the whip after “Indy IV.”
ANTI-FREEZE: A cameo in “Star Wars: Episode VII.”
5. BRITTANY MURPHY
She should only play crack whores (Spun) and leave the comedy (Just Married, “Uptown Girls”) to people who can actually do it. She is not Lucille Ball and never will be, so please just stop trying.
ANTI-FREEZE: A steady diet of… well, let’s just start with a steady diet.
Post-Gigli, post on again, off again wedding plans, post did Matt Damon call it off or was it the psychic? They can be considered a singular cinematically poisonous being that we should all run and hide from. Kevin Smith must be praying every night that “Jersey Girl” isn’t the melt-down that Gigli was.
ANTI-FREEZE: Press black out. Always leave them wanting more, not less.
7. MEL GIBSON
The former Road Warrior spent 2003 shooting his Jesus flick “The Passion of Christ” and then shooting at critics who charged him with creating an anti-Semitic movie. If that’s not bad enough, Gibson refused to publicly distance himself from remarks made by his father, an unrepentant asshole writer who happily stated in a “New York Times” interview that the Holocaust never happened and that the Second Vatican Council was a Masonic plot financed by Jewish influences. Gibson further created problems last summer when he pointedly excluded Jewish theologians and journalists from rough-cut previews of his film (he changed his tune amid growing criticism). We have yet to see “The Passion of Christ” to judge whether there is reason for genuine concern, but if what we’re hearing is correct then Gibson should consider pulling his Braveheart kilt over his head and going back to Australia.
ANTI-FREEZE: Turn the other cheek.
8. NIA VARDALOS
She became the indie film sweetheart with a one-hit wonder My Big Fat Greek Wedding. But the endless ethnic jokes and feral slapstick of the film actually seemed intellectual and sophisticated when compared to the obnoxious TV version, which was such a Hellenic horror that we wanted to slap Nia with a bouzouki for thinking Greek lightning could strike twice. Her television show was canceled and, according to rumors, she was a nightmare on set. Nia was proud for not selling out, but will probably be begging to sell out by this time next year. We hope she saved some money from her big, fat, fifteen minutes.
ANTI-FREEZE: My Big Fat Greek Divorce.
9. VIN DIESEL
A Man Apart was a waste. He asked for too much money to be in 2 Fast 2 Furious and the movie made a mint without him. Vin just repeated that wisdom with “XXX 2”. The hype surrounding this cement-head reminds us of the “Simpsons” episode where a parade was held for an inanimate carbon rod.
ANTI-FREEZE: Um. We’ve got nothing. He’s done.
10. CHRISTOPHER WALKEN
We love Walken’s over-the-top brand of lunatic acting, which often makes the most execrable film palatable, but why is he slumming in junk like The Country Bears and Kangaroo Jack or even Gigli? Does he really need the money that badly?
ANTI-FREEZE: Cowbell! Seriously, Walken makes one good movie and all is forgiven.
Get the rest of the list in the next part of FILM THREAT’S FRIGID 50: THE COLDEST PEOPLE IN HOLLYWOOD 2003>>>