Back in the days of old, people went to see movies because of who was starring in them. It didn’t matter who the producer, director, screenwriter, etc. were. They were invisible. The more I learned about movies, the less I saw them for the star. More often, I’d see who the director was, as they had the biggest impact on how entertaining the movie would be.
John Cusack is my exception to the rule. I eventually wind up seeing just about everything he does. I can’t help it. I like the guy. He’s played characters I could associate with at every stage of my life. When I was a kid, he was in “childish” comedies like Better Off Dead and One Crazy Summer. When I hit my teen years, he gave me something more sophisticated in Say Anything. While I was going to college, he gave me comedies that squared well with my sensibilities in Bullets Over Broadway and Grosse Point Blank. Finally, when I was crossing over into becoming a real adult, he was doing the same in High Fidelity.
Since the nineties, he’s subsidized the films he’s wanted to do with big movies like Con-Air. The difference then was I had seen a great movie of his recently enough that it was no big deal. Now we’ve got 2012 coming our way and of all the dumb Hollywood movies on tap over the next months, it looks like the dumbest. Unfortunately, it’s been many years since the last great Cusack film. He tried with War, Inc, but it fell flat and probably set his career back a few years. Grace Is Gone was okay, but straining with effort to be deep.
When he makes great films they also tend to be unique ones. I checked IMDB to see what he had coming up. I’m happy to report that Hot Tub Time Machine may just be stupid enough to be funny. It probably won’t be a great film and seems to be in terms of tone, a riff on The Hangover. In the end, though, I’ll take that over most of the other crap that comes out.
Oh, and about 2012 – I don’t know if there’s anything left for Roland Emmerich to destroy. He blew up major cities in Independence Day, then destroyed AND froze them in The Day After Tomorrow. Now he’s wiping out everything. His next movie will have to involve planets colliding or galaxies crashing into each other. I swear the guy must masturbate to earthquake footage.