31. HALEY JOEL OSMENT
His arrival into the land of pubic hair and acne is as awkward as Halle Berry’s acting in the X-Men. And we get to watch! It’s almost like witnessing the Olsen twins’ first menstruation scene … only bloodier.
ANTI-FREEZE: Grow up.
32. COLIN FARRELL
You know Colin is wading in the shallow end of the talent pool when more attention is given to his well-publicized off-screen boozing than to anything he’s done for the camera. The incessant hype surrounding him does not obscure his painfully stolid acting and complete lack of on-screen charisma, and it is no wonder that he always gets overshadowed by scenery-crunching co-stars like Bruce Willis, Al Pacino or Tom Cruise. And we won’t get started on his dull attempts at a Yank accent (which, in his favor, is easier to comprehend than his thoroughly indecipherable natural Irish brogue). We support giving him a one-way ticket home on Aer Lingus – though hopefully without one of his films as the in-flight entertainment (because we don’t dislike him THAT much).
ANTI-FREEZE: Dialect coach.
33. HARVEY WEINSTEIN
The Miramax honcho goes after Academy Awards with the same grace and finesse of the Cookie Monster going after a plate of Oreos…and it ain’t a pretty sight. His shameless award-obsessive behavior around Oscar season has become an annual embarrassment, with the Miramax “For Your Consideration” marketing blitzes growing in decibel levels while shrinking in good taste. Indeed, Weinstein’s overkill in trying to buy a Best Director Oscar for Martin Scorsese is credited for denying the filmmaker that long overdue prize at the last Academy Awards go-round.
ANTI-FREEZE: How about buying a couple small indie films at festivals like you used to? You know, like Clerks. And then actually release them.
34. STEVE, ROBIN & EDDIE
Steve Martin/Robin Williams/Eddie Murphy – most of the forays made by this trifecta of once groundbreaking comedians into the world of dramatic acting have proven financially and critically unsuccessful (One Hour Photo notwithstanding). These days, Martin and Murphy take the safe route of appearing in flaccid remakes (“Father of the Bride” and “Cheaper by the Dozen” for Martin, “The Nutty Professor” and “Dr. Dolittle” for Murphy) and dull studio comedies (Bringing Down the House, Daddy Day Care), while Williams attempts to rid himself of the stench of cinematic offal like “Patch Adams” and Bicentennial Man.
ANTI-FREEZE: A live comedy extravaganza, a la The Original Kings of Comedy, might restore some luster to their careers. They could call it the “Collective Apology for Flubber/Out-of-Towners/’Metro’ Tour.”
35. RICHARD ROEPER
Yes, we know it is bad form for critics to diss their peers, but we really need to openly question why Roger Ebert selected this knucklehead to replace Gene Siskel. I mean, when was the last time YOU even watched that show. Ebert’s program was the television show of record for film criticism, but it has become unwatchable with Roeper. C’mon, think about it. Roeper? Every weekend, this moron tries to bring some substance into what he’s talking about, but ends up sounding like an amateur who might have just dug into a few film books right before taping. He’s grating on the nerves, hell on the mind, and Siskel is up there probably thinking, “Even Harry Knowles would have been a better choice!”
ANTI-FREEZE: Quit. It’s the only honorable thing to do.
36. KATE HUDSON
She went from Almost Famous to being almost infamous for her antiseptic romantic comedies (“How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days,” Alex and Emma, About Adam, Le Divorce). Unless she gets herself into some quality films quickly, we expect to see this not-so-great Kate slumming in sitcoms by the end of the decade.
ANTI-FREEZE: Nude photo shoot in “Hustler.” It may or may not help her career, but at least we would all get to see her naked.
37. GEORGE LUCAS
The intensely negative critical and popular reaction to the first two prequels wasn’t enough, was it? You had to make sure you went and alienated every Star Wars fan out there by refusing to release the un-“improved” Original Trilogy on DVD. We don’t care if you want to make Greedo shoot first, or fill every square inch of the frame with useless background material, just so long as you give us the option of seeing the movies the way we remember.
ANTI-FREEZE: It’ll be tough, but keeping as far away from “Indy IV” as possible would be a start.
38. GUS VAN SANT
Gerry and Elephant…talk about a double dose of disaster. If Gus wants to have a wet dream, he should grab a towel and not a camera.
ANTI-FREEZE: Try making a film without a Gay subtext.
39. JOHN CUSACK
The King of the Prestige Flops. Have you ever noticed how many of Cusack’s films sour the critics and bore audiences, yet he is still treated with respect and awe? We have to admit being fans ourselves, secretly rooting for him to succeed, but two of his most well-regarded films, High Fidelity and Being John Malkovich, actually grossed under $25 million despite intense publicity campaigns. Perhaps things are changing: Cusack is such a bad-luck charm that the producers of Identity conspicuously kept his name and face out of the film’s poster art, while the Runaway Jury producers kept their PR focused on old hams Dustin Hoffman and Gene Hackman!
ANTI-FREEZE: “Tapeheads 2.”
40. COURTNEY LOVE
Sure you’re a good mom, great actress and fine musician… And Emmanuelle Lewis is tall and just taking a break from acting. Once the Cinderella darling of Hollywood, now she can’t even get arrested. Well, maybe arrested.
ANTI-FREEZE: Spend more time developing projects than getting into petty public pissing contests.
Get the rest of the list in the next part of FILM THREAT’S FRIGID 50: THE COLDEST PEOPLE IN HOLLYWOOD 2003>>>