Cranky Hanke’s Screening Room: Stars you just don’t like

Everyone has an actor or two whose name on a film increases the chances of attending said film—or possibly even demands it. That’s natural enough, though it’s often incomprehensible to the outsider. But more and more, it seems to me that I encounter the opposite outlook—folks who wouldn’t see a movie on a dare because some performer has so alienated them that the very idea of looking at them on the screen is a deal-breaker.

I was reminded of this in myself on Friday morning when I bumped into some movie on TCM (an obvious B picture I didn’t recognize) and saw that it starred Gene Raymond. The name probably means nothing to most of you. If he’s remembered at all, it’s likely more for him having married—at the insistence of MGM studio boss Louis B. Mayer—Jeanette MacDonald than for his acting appearances. Something about Raymond has always seemed kind of smarmy to me and I just don’t like watching him. It’s largely avoidable, since the only of his movies I’m prone to watching with any regularity is Flying Down to Rio (1933)—and that’s a case of Fred and Ginger plus Etta Moten singing “Carioca” cancelling out the Raymond factor.

Gene Raymond is a pretty specialized case for me with classic era movies. There are a few performers I don’t much care for. Walter Pidgeon ranks up there with the most boring actors of all time, but I don’t hate him. I’m not wild about Greer Garson or Lana Turner either, but the latter only becomes a deal-breaker in the 1950s, while the former has to paired with Walter Pidgeon (a fairly common occurence) to keep me at bay. The only name that comes to mind as being in the Raymond league is June Allyson, who isn’t in anything I’m likely to want to watch anyway.

What slightly surprises me, though, is the rancor with which so many current stars are attacked by readers. It’s not quite weekly, but it’s also far from rare that I hear from someone who categorically refuses to see a movie based on the presence of an actor. Setting aside those who object to a performer based on said performer’s politics—Jane Fonda, Barbra Streisand and Sean Penn rank high on this list—I’ve seen certain names with frequency. I’m not certain that there’s a clear winner—or loser, if you prefer—to be found, but my guess is that Julia Roberts is near the top of the list. Leonardo DiCaprio, Jennifer Lopez, Sarah Jessica Parker, Cameron Diaz, Tom Cruise and Robert Downey, Jr. are also fairly often cited. I don’t see a very clear connection with these names.

Perhaps I’m mellowing with the years—though this seems unlikely to me—or perhaps it’s a case of greater exposure to these folks in the past ten years, but apart from Sarah Jessica Parker and Tom Cruise, I don’t see the reason for the vitriol. Now, there was a time when I would have agreed on Julia Roberts, but that’s from her Pretty Woman (1990), Sleeping with the Enemy (1991), Dying Young (1991) phase. I’m ambivalent about most of her films up to Ocean’s Eleven (2001), but after that—along with some clunkers, sure—she made Confessions of a Dangerous Mind (2002), Closer (2004), Charlie Wilson’s War (2007) and Duplicity (2009). I have no issue with those movies, nor with her in them. To me, they more than offset her early movies. I don’t even blame her for the problems with the current Eat Pray Love. Those belong to the material.

Much the same is true with Leonardo DiCaprio. Once he hooked up with Martin Scorsese for Gangs of New York (2002), I’ve tended to appreciate his work—even if his 2008 choices, Body of Lies and Revolutionary Road, left a lot to be desired. I have the sense that a lot of people are simply still holding Titanic (1997) against him—or maybe it’s Critters 3 (1991). I don’t know, but I don’t get the antipathy. I finally saw Danny Boyle’s The Beach (2000) not that long ago and while it’s one of two Danny Boyle pictures I’d call a failure—the other being A Life Less Ordinary (1997)—there’s nothing wrong with DiCaprio in it.

Jennifer Lopez has been in some awful movies, but I don’t find her to be the problem with any of them—apart, of course, from deciding to be in them. Somewhere at some time someone actually thought Gigli (2003) was a good idea. My own belief is that letting Martin Brest direct anything is unwise. Meet Joe Black (1998) should have settled that. I’d put Cameron Diaz in the same category. She can be good—Gangs of New York (2002), In Her Shoes (2005)—but her career choices (or maybe options) are another matter.

Sarah Jessica Parker is another matter. I understand the antipathy there. I don’t always mind her, however, unless the film is built mostly around her. Yes, I do mean Sex and the City (2008) and its dismal sequel, but I’d also throw in Failure to Launch (2006) and Did You Hear About the Morgans (2009). I think she’s fine in The Family Stone (2005). And her turn in Tim Burton’s Ed Wood (1994) as Dolores Fuller perfectly suits the film. Granted, it didn’t suit the real Dolores Fuller—who kept calling her “Sarah Jurassic Parker” when I talked to her (starting a habit I find hard to break)—all that well

Having taken a dislike to Tom Cruise from the very beginning, I definitely understand the deal-breaker factor there. That said, I do like Magnolia (1999), Vanilla Sky (2001) and Minority Report (2002). I also think his performance in Lions for Lambs (2007) is very good, but that the movie is simply a well-intentioned mess. At the same time, my problems with most of the other films he’s in do not rest on him, and I don’t find him a reason to try to avoid a movie—even when that option is open to me. He probably does come closest, however, to an actor I just plain don’t like.

There’s a certain perception that Robert Downey, Jr. is smug and full of himself that some people find off-putting. I grasp that, but I don’t exactly understand it because he doesn’t seem unduly that way to me. I find him an engaging performer who almost always brings something to a role that makes it worth watching. And I’ve seen him elevate movies I otherwise didn’t much care for by his presence. The prospect of even sitting through The Soloist without Downey in it is a grim one indeed—no matter how hard the movie tried to be high-minded and artistic.

Is there a common factor with this set? The only one I can see is that they’re all high-profile and they’ve all—DiCaprio not so much—lived pretty public private lives that have been tabloid and TV entertainment (which is a lot like the tabloids) fodder as a result. That’s probably on the unfair side. I certainly can’t say I find LindsayLohan’s private life admirable or even verging on rational. That doesn’t mean I like Mean Girls (2004) or A Prairie Home Companion (2006) any less—or her performances in them. I don’t see her name and groan. I know people who do. On the other hand, I prefer seeing Jennifer Aniston on a tabloid cover than on a movie screen. I don’t dislike her, but I find her a dull, uninteresting performer. I’d probably like her better if I could work up the enthusiasm to dislike her.

There’s a perception that I don’t like today’s crop of comedians—especially, Adam Sandler and Will Ferrell. Actually, I’ve liked both of them on occasion, but mostly when they’re acting and not when they’re being funny in their traditional roles. To a degree, I thought Ferrell successfully bridged the gap with his latest film The Other Guys. The same might be said of Jim Carrey and Jack Black. At the same time, I think Chris Rock is immensely talented, but most of his movies just aren’t very good—and sometimes they’re worse. I always go to one of them hoping it’ll be worth his talent, though.

So what do you say? Whose presence in a movie is likely to be the deciding factor for spurning the film sight unseen?

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About Ken Hanke
Head film critic for Mountain Xpress from December 2000 until his death in June 2016. Author of books "Ken Russell's Films," "Charlie Chan at the Movies," "A Critical Guide to Horror Film Series," "Tim Burton: An Unauthorized Biography of the Filmmaker."

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113 thoughts on “Cranky Hanke’s Screening Room: Stars you just don’t like

  1. luluthebeast

    WILL Ferrell is the main actor that keeps me out of a theater, although I did go back and watch STRANGER THAN FICTION on your recommendation and he did do a good job and it was a fine movie. Sarah Jessica Parker turns my stomach and I have never understood the deal with Jennifer Aniston, she’s cute but can’t act her way out of a paper bag. We went to see MARLEY because Mary will see anything with a dog in it that’s “cute”, but the dog did a better job than Aniston.

    While there are a number of actors that will get me to see a movie on their name alone I find most of them interchangeable and go to a movie because of it’s story,f/x or monster and don’t really care who’s in it.

  2. Ken Hanke

    June Allison has been a detestation of mine for years….Lana Turner is a close second.

    I’d say we have something in common.

  3. Ken Hanke

    I find most of them interchangeable and go to a movie because of it’s story,f/x or monster and don’t really care who’s in it.

    While f/x are the last thing that’ll sell me on a movie (I’d far rather see The Giant Claw than Avatar) I’ll admit that I’m much more drawn or repelled by factors other than actors.

  4. Ken Hanke

    Shia LeBouf. A charisma black hole.

    You realize you came to the wrong guy for an argument. I’d add Hayden Christensen, but let’s be honest, he’s no star and he’s not likely ever to be. LeBeouf, sadly, probably is a star.

  5. propagate.eustress

    I’m so glad you mentioned Tom Cruise, he makes my stomach turn. Fully agree on J. Aniston too, I always wondered why no one noticed she can’t really act. Management is one of only two or three movies I have actually just given up on getting through. (I will usually force myself through just to see what happens or if there is any redemption…) There is also that one who I think is better in commercials than she was in movies…

  6. georgethebastard

    Interesting topic. She’s not an actress (and maybe this is why), but Madonna drags anything she is in to subterranean levels. “Swept Away” would have been awful no matter what, but she really killed scenes in “Dick Tracy” and “Four Rooms”.

    Going way back, I’ve always had to fast forward through the scenes with Allen Jones in the MGM Marx Brothers films.

    Hands down, though, when I see Robin Williams associated with a film, that’s a clear sign to stay way way way way way away. I particularly cringe when I hear he’s brought more to a role than his usual character, as if he’s just reinvented the wheel.

    I have one more avoid at all costs actress, but I’ll really get banned, so I’ll stop here.

  7. Steph

    I’m one of those folks who find Robert Downey Jr. insufferably smug. I felt this about him as early as Weird Science;always hated his guts. I feel the exact same way about Will Smith.

    Another vote here for Tom Cruise and Will Ferrill.

    I’ve also NEVER understood the justification for the eubiquity of Sarah Jessica Parker (model?, movie star? producer?). I did, however, LOVE her in ED WOOD. She had Dolores Fuller down perfect.

  8. Arlene

    Hmm… Tom Cruise- to me, he epitomizes “smarmy”.

    With you on June Allyson. An hour with her, and I’d need a shot of insulin. She was singularly unattractive and her very voice dripped with sugar.

    Cornell Wilde always set my teeth on edge. Everything about him always seemed too forced and earnest to me. And his good looks were never quite good enough to compensate.

  9. luluthebeast

    THE GIANT CLAW had a much better story than AVATAR did. I saw AVATAR for the f/x and that was enough for me.

  10. brianpaige

    I don’t hate DiCaprio and in fact tend to see his movies, but it almost seems more in spite of him than because of him. The guy has just never convinced me in anything. Honestly, can you really see Leo beating up some Italian mobsters like he did in The Departed? Or being a Afrikaner in Blood Diamond?

    Curiously, there could be a follow up column on character actors that alienate viewers. For instance, at this point anything with Rob Corddry or Ken Jeong is likely to make me stay far, far away.

    Oh wait, Dakota Fanning is someone that drives me up a wall, if anyone considers her a star exactly.

  11. mule

    Martin Landau easily…..the guy was a creep as far back as “The Man Who Was Never Born”.

    What a douche!

  12. Me

    Ive always thought people started not liking Dicaprio once he hooked up with Scorsese, that he was maybe to blame for Scorsese’s sub par films in the 00’s.

    I would add Michael Cera and Jesse Eisenberg in there too a lot of people seem to dislike them.

  13. LYT

    I’ve rarely liked Ben Affleck as an actor, and when he’s the lead, the movie usually sucks. Not always because of him, but Pearl Harbor, for one, was definitely the worse for having him in it.

    I do think he has a lot of potential as a director, and as a character actor if he chooses to be — his best role ever is as the smarmy fratboy in MALLRATS.

  14. Ken Hanke

    Management is one of only two or three movies I have actually just given up on getting through.

    I fell asleep during it at a screening with the director present at a film festival. I saw most of it, though, and giving up on it was a wise choice.

    There is also that one who I think is better in commercials than she was in movies

    I always thought June Allyson hit her stride when she advertised Depends. Gotta admit, though, that you’ve got me curious here,

  15. Ken Hanke

    Madonna drags anything she is in to subterranean levels. “Swept Away” would have been awful no matter what, but she really killed scenes in “Dick Tracy” and “Four Rooms”.

    I’m trying to think of any argument to be made in her favor and I keep remembering Shanghai Surprise and realizing the futility of that idea.

    Going way back, I’ve always had to fast forward through the scenes with Allen Jones in the MGM Marx Brothers films.

    Oh, I can’t go with that one. I actually kind of like him in A Night at the Opera and probably would like him okay in A Day at the Races if he didn’t sing that lousy “Blue Venetian Waters” song. Besides, there are so many worse romantic leads in the Marx oeuvre. Almost everyone looks great next to Kenny Baker (the singer, not the midget) in At the Circus. (And yet I have no problem with Baker in the 1939 film of The Mikado.)

    Hands down, though, when I see Robin Williams associated with a film, that’s a clear sign to stay way way way way way away. I particularly cringe when I hear he’s brought more to a role than his usual character

    I’m mixed on this one. It’s generally true, though there are a few exceptions for me to the “more” category — One Hour Photo, Death to Smoochy, Insomnia, The Night Listener, World’s Greatest Dad come to mind. (I have a special soft spot for The Night Listener for having seen it horrify a couple of uptight upright women out of the theater because “we didn’t realize this was about homosexuals and we just can’t watch that.” I find that a worthy accomplishment.) This does not mean I can forgive Patch Adams, R.V., Man of the Year, License to Wed, Toys, Mrs. Doubtfire, and, though I know it’s heresy in many circles, The Fisher King. And the list doesn’t stop there.

    I have one more avoid at all costs actress, but I’ll really get banned, so I’ll stop here.

    Well, I haven’t the power to ban anyone and since I think in unlikely you’re going to say Aline MacMahon, Carole Lombard, Jean Arthur, Mae West or Diana Rigg, you’d probably be safe with me even if I disagreed.

  16. Ken Hanke

    I’m one of those folks who find Robert Downey Jr. insufferably smug.

    Actually, you are one of the folks I had in mind.

    I felt this about him as early as Weird Science;always hated his guts.

    See, that just seems way out of proportion in terms of priorities for me. I save that level of ire for people like Glenn Beck.

    I feel the exact same way about Will Smith.

    I’m no fan and he gets more annoying to me with every film, but I rarely hear much negative about him — and in fact I caught a lot of crap for thinking Seven Pounds was not only awful, but hysterically funny.

  17. Ken Hanke

    Cornell Wilde always set my teeth on edge. Everything about him always seemed too forced and earnest to me.

    Yeah, but his Chopin is pretty darn funny for just those reasons.

  18. Ken Hanke

    THE GIANT CLAW had a much better story than AVATAR did.

    Bela Lugosi Meets a Brooklyn Gorilla had a better story.

    I saw AVATAR for the f/x and that was enough for me.

    I just don’t care that much about special effects that I’ve ever seen a film because of them.

  19. Ken Hanke

    Honestly, can you really see Leo beating up some Italian mobsters like he did in The Departed? Or being a Afrikaner in Blood Diamond?

    Actually, if I don’t think about his early films, I don’t have a problem with that.

    Curiously, there could be a follow up column on character actors that alienate viewers. For instance, at this point anything with Rob Corddry or Ken Jeong is likely to make me stay far, far away.

    At this point, I can’t think of anything they’re in that didn’t have plenty of other reasons to stay away from without factoring them in.

    Oh wait, Dakota Fanning is someone that drives me up a wall, if anyone considers her a star exactly.

    Whether she’s a star is in the remains-to-be-seen category. I found her terrifying as a child star — always reminded me of Bette Davis in What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?. But I liked her fine in The Secret Life of Bees and The Runaways. The Twilight movies…well…

  20. Ken Hanke

    Mel Gibson and Bill Paxton.

    I think the Mel Gibson problem has pretty much been taken care of by Mel Gibson. Paxton’s an interesting choice. He seems kind of negligible to me.

  21. Ken Hanke

    Martin Landau easily

    I don’t think you’ll get a lot of backing on that. At least not from me.

  22. Ken Hanke

    Ive always thought people started not liking Dicaprio once he hooked up with Scorsese, that he was maybe to blame for Scorsese’s sub par films in the 00’s.

    Well, since I am not in agreement with any aspect of that statement…

    I would add Michael Cera and Jesse Eisenberg in there too a lot of people seem to dislike them.

    Cera has probably crashed and burned after the box office failures of just about everything post-Juno. I don’t think Eisenberg has made it to star status yet. I’m kind of doubtful he will.

  23. Ken Hanke

    I’ve rarely liked Ben Affleck as an actor, and when he’s the lead, the movie usually sucks. Not always because of him, but Pearl Harbor, for one, was definitely the worse for having him in it.

    I’m no fan of Affleck as a movie star, but I do think Pearl Harbor would have been a moose felation party with or without him.

    Let’s see what The Town brings.

  24. Anna

    Ok, I have 5 major people that I have problems with. I will never go see anything they are in right after I see their name attached.
    The first,’HUGE’one would be Will Farrell. I just can’t stand that man. No other grates on my nerves faster than him. Seeing him or even hearing his voice just makes me ill.
    The second would be Johnny Depp (I am sorry, to all the people who love Depp.). He grates on my nerves because everytime I hear his name I feel he should be sleeping with Tim Burton because Tim owns him. His dramas even lack luster. If Burton was on the sidelines cheering him on I somehow feel he would perform better. In his early career Johnny was great, but those were the days without so much Burtonism. Even in interviews together Burton does all the talking for the two. Johnny very rarely is Johnny anymore. He just usually plays dress up and runs around like a bafoon.
    The next, 3rd & 4th (Sorry again), are Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie. I just feel thay are the biggest pretenders in the world. I do not believe there is any actual love there. It is all just basically for PR purposes. They make each other popular and look good to the public. I just feel their is a rivalry between them. She has an Oscar – he doesn’t. His looks are fading, hers aren’t. I think if she found a bigger, more popular star than Brad (such as Depp or Downey) interested in her. She would dump him. To watch them perform, makes me sick. I don’t want to watch people act to rival each other then try to kiss up to each other later. They do almost everything “APART” anyway, why keep up the act. I feel about them the way alot of people feel about Tom Cruise, I guess.
    The 5th would have to be Robert Pattison(spelling-sorry) from the Twilight series. I just don’t think the young man has any talent what-so-ever. His other movies go nowhere because he lacks acting ability. The only thing he can do right is play a vampire, for the young masses. When this series ends, I believe his career will also. It is sad when someone is part of a cult fad and that is all. I can’t stand to hear his name though because young people can’t stop saying how great he is. He gets awards over ‘good’ actors in good performances. That is another thing that grates on my nerves. Sorry so long.

  25. he next, 3rd & 4th (Sorry again), are Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie. I just feel thay are the biggest pretenders in the world. I do not believe there is any actual love there.
    Who cares?

  26. Ken Hanke

    I will never go see anything they are in right after I see their name attached.

    The question that arises in my mind is whether this is hyperbole or an actual statement of fact. I mean — setting aside Will Ferrell, since there’s no progression of distaste — when did this become the rule? How is it possible to know whether the observations on these actors holds true if you don’t see the performances in order to judge them? What, for example, is the cut-off point with Johnny Depp? Surely, it can’t be Edward Scissorhands, so is it Ed Wood or Sleepy Hollow or what? I’m not a big fan of Brad Pitt and I’m no fan at all of Angelina Jolie, but when did you start avoiding everything they’re in? I tend to agree with you on Robert Pattinson, but there’s not a huge body of evidence yet, so I’m cautious on that score.

  27. lisi russell

    I’m with Jeremy and Anna. And luluthebeast: An actor won’t keep me away from a movie, though my teeth may grate. [A movie would keep me away from a movie – I would have to be blindfolded and kidnapped to see Sex in the City.] It’s irrational, but when I was a kid Ethel Merman terrified the hell out of me. Carol Channing likewise: does she have a speech impediment that distracts me? June Allyson is painful. Madonna’s acting depresses me. When she moves, her neck doesn’t. I can’t bear Brad Pitt post Thelma-and-Louise but I’ll see his movies because he generally gets interesting ones – I liked him in Inglorious Basterds. Shia LaBouf has no charisma. DiCaprio’s best work was Grape and the Rimbaud/Verlaine film, in my goofball opinion. He’s unbelievable as a man. Tom Cruise bothers me on posters but when I see him in the movies, I think he’s a good actor in spite of the glaring eyeballs – love those eyeballs where you can see the damn moon or sun reflected in them. Robert Pattison Twilight is a bore. As for the other side of the coin, actors I would go see act in a paperbag would include Christopher Walken, Charles Laughton, Oliver Reed, Cillian Murphy for some reason and Bela Lugosi. Is there a movie where the last meets a Brooklyn gorilla? Tell me where.

  28. Dionysis

    Yes, this is an interesting topic. A few names come to mind for me, many the same usual suspects cited by others: Sarah Jessica Parker high on the list, Robin Williams (with few film exceptions), Jack Black (I find him highly irritating), Will Ferrel, two named Schneider (Rob and John, dislike them both, but maybe they don’t rise to the level of real actors), Tom Cruise, Seth Green, Dakota Fanning (so far, anyway, but maybe she’ll improve), Keifer Sutherland I struggle with at times, Parker Posey and most any former rapper (Mark Wahlberg and Mos Def excepted). Yes, and June Allyson too.

  29. Ken Hanke

    Carol Channing likewise: does she have a speech impediment that distracts me?

    She is annoying etched in my mind crying, “Raspberries” in Thoroughly Modern Millie and I don’t think I can ever get over that.

    As for the other side of the coin, actors I would go see act in a paperbag would include Christopher Walken, Charles Laughton, Oliver Reed, Cillian Murphy for some reason and Bela Lugosi. Is there a movie where the last meets a Brooklyn gorilla? Tell me where.

    I can’t really argue with that list. And, yes, there really is a movie called Bela Lugosi Meets a Brooklyn Gorilla (doesn’t it make you just feel better about the world in general to know that such a thing exists?). You not only get Bela, but you get a pair of Martin and Lewis impersonators, who are alarming to behold. Now, I could hook you up with this if you insist, but if T’other Ken objects, you didn’t get it from me. And, by the way, I am waiting for an e-mail from you…

  30. Ken Hanke

    two named Schneider (Rob and John, dislike them both, but maybe they don’t rise to the level of real actors)

    Rob Schneider is just the penalty we pay for the fact that people insist on going to Adam Sandler movies.

  31. Good thread Ken.
    For another that you might consider…actors we’ve seen too much of. Harrison Ford comes to mind.

  32. Ken Hanke

    Good thread Ken.

    Thank you.

    For another that you might consider…actors we’ve seen too much of. Harrison Ford comes to mind.

    That certainly has possibilities.

  33. shadmarsh

    Paxton’s an interesting choice. He seems kind of negligible to me.

    I know he isn’t a star in the general accepted sense, but his appearance in a film is a no-go for me. I hated Aliens mostly because of him, and on a similar note I refuse to see any James Cameron film.

  34. Ken Hanke

    I refuse to see any James Cameron film.

    I can think of a number of good reasons for that!

  35. Rick

    tom hanks…. can’t stand him…. won’t see anything associated with him

  36. lawrence benner

    seth rogenpatow
    leonardo’s accent coach should be boiled alive- good god, can’t you see he’s incapable?
    eddie murphy, adam sandler (okay, punch drunk love- name another one . . .) “the beef” kid . . . aniston, jolie, parker: yes, yes, yes
    someone tell mr tarantino: eli roth can’t act
    thank god that guy from napoleon dynamite seems to have faded into the utah sunset . . .
    and, oh yeah- seth rogen

  37. LYT

    “The 5th would have to be Robert Pattison(spelling-sorry) from the Twilight series. I just don’t think the young man has any talent what-so-ever. His other movies go nowhere because he lacks acting ability.”

    His other movies like HARRY POTTER AND THE GOBLET OF FIRE? Seriously, no-one piled on his key performance in that one. I understand hating TWILIGHT, but that seems more the nature of the role than the actor, and subsequent stuff like REMEMBER ME has been cashing in on that one role. If you were to judge Kristen Stewart or Dakota Fanning based only on the TWILIGHT movies, they’d come off poorly too, but they have a wide range of other stuff.

    And Ken, I don’t claim Pearl Harbor would have been a masterpiece without Affleck, but the closeups on him trying to emotionally react to stuff for damn sure made it worse than it needed to be. Same goes for ARMAGEDDON. I realize this is a distinction you won’t go with me on, but I generally enjoy Michael Bay as an action filmmaker, except when Affleck is the lead.

  38. Mike

    Awesome, trashy tabloid time at the Xpress…

    He’s not really a star by any stretch of the imagination, but, man, do I loathe Danny McBride. That confused smug thing he does that supposedly passes for acting is beyond irritating.

    I’ll second (third, fourth, eighteenth? – I’ve lost count) the hatred for Will Ferrell, too. He’s got exactly two characters: dumb, loud guy and not as dumb, not as loud guy. Both are horrible extensions of over-exposed SNL skits.

    OH! And could someone tell me why Jonah Hill is getting lead roles? He’s got about as much range as a deer caught in a poacher’s floodlamp. It’s like he flunked out of the Michael Cera School of Acting or something…

  39. Ken Hanke

    someone tell mr tarantino: eli roth can’t act

    Someone tell Mr. Roth that he can’t direct and we’d really be getting somewhere.

  40. Ken Hanke

    If you were to judge Kristen Stewart or Dakota Fanning based only on the TWILIGHT movies, they’d come off poorly too, but they have a wide range of other stuff.

    I have to admit I have a hard time getting past the Twinklight stuff where Stewart is concerned. In fact, I think I would have liked Adventureland, but all I kept seeing was Bella Swan. That said, I don’t think there’s enough evidence on Pattinson yet to make a judgment call. I just kinda think that Pattinson exists mostly to prove that there are guys with heads more like the Frankenstein Monster than James Van Der Beek.

    I realize this is a distinction you won’t go with me on, but I generally enjoy Michael Bay as an action filmmaker, except when Affleck is the lead.

    You’re right. I can’t go there. I’ve hated every Michael Bay film I’ve ever seen. He’d be the anti-Christ except Robert Zemeckis beat him to it.

  41. Ken Hanke

    Two things that are particularly interesting about this so far — 1. None of the people who tell me how much they hate, loathe, despise and abominate Julia Roberts have weighed in on that, and 2. A surprising number of folks don’t like June Allyson.

  42. I just don’t get Julia Robert. She can be added to the Harrison Ford, don’t wanna see any more of ’em, thread.

  43. Ken Hanke

    I just don’t get Julia Robert.

    I’m perfectly cool with seeing more of her performances. What I’ve had enough of are her in specific Julia Roberts vehicles.

  44. Ken Hanke

    Splain, please..
    maybe that “vehicle” is what I’m tired of.

    Okay, a movie like Closer or Charlie Wilson’s War or even Ocean’s Eleven is just a film that she acts in. A movie like Eat Pray Love or Mona Lisa Smile is specifically designed to showcase her and the things she’s noted for as a personality/movie star — as such it’s a vehicle. The others aren’t built around her.

  45. dennis burgess

    hahaha bill paxton, edward burns, angelina jolie, and lately morgan freeman.

  46. “Eat Pray Love or Mona Lisa Smile is specifically designed to showcase her and the things she’s noted for as a personality/movie star—as such it’s a vehicle. “

    Ok…that explains why some are like “enough, already.” My first reaction to E.P.L.

  47. Ken Hanke

    Ok…that explains why some are like “enough, already.” My first reaction to E.P.L.

    That reaction would only be exacerbated if you saw it, which I’m guessing you didn’t. And that’s coming from someone who really wanted to like it because of the director’s previous film.

  48. Ken Hanke

    hahaha bill paxton, edward burns, angelina jolie, and lately morgan freeman.

    Wait a minute…Edward Burns is still around?

  49. For another that you might consider…actors we’ve seen too much of.
    I suspect Ken might have a fairly different list to most people, seeing as he’s forced to sit through many more of a star’s vehicles than the rest of us. I’m not sick of Michael Cera, but I’ve only seen him in a couple of films, none of which were NICK AND NORAH’S INFINITE PLAYLIST.
    I’ve only seen Seth Rogan in one leading role.
    I can’t say I’m sick of Harrison Ford, but I’ve only seen him in two films in the last twelve years – the most recent of which was two years ago.

  50. Ken Hanke

    I suspect Ken might have a fairly different list to most people, seeing as he’s forced to sit through many more of a star’s vehicles than the rest of us.

    That’s more or less true, but Mr. Souther takes a lot of that particular abuse. There are actually more directors I’ve seen enough of, I think.

    I can’t say I’m sick of Harrison Ford, but I’ve only seen him in two films in the last twelve years – the most recent of which was two years ago.

    So? I’ve only seen one James Cameron film in about the same length of time and it wasn’t long enough.

    There are other categories to explore. Consider: Actors whose continuing popularity mystifies you (John Cusack heads that list for me). Or what about: Actors I’m tired of making excuses for because they keep being in crappy movies.

  51. Ashley

    You don’t like Greer Garson? REALLY? She’s my favorite actress of all-time. A brilliant artist and a true class act. Just watch her in Random Harvest. No other actress could have played that part and made it so incredibly believable. In the hands of any other star, it would have been terribly cheesey – true schmaltz. In fact, I teach a film class to high schoolers and they all love her as well.

    Very interesting to see how so many people detest Jennifer Aniston. I saw a great article on her. My boyfriend and I always talk about how we can’t stand her. The article said that the thing is, we just don’t care about her. She’s the same in every film. She’s milquetoast, if you ask me. And unlike Lana Turner (who was only good in Imitation of Life and Madame X in my opinion), she doesn’t have the face of an angel. People are interested in Jen only because we want to see her happy and married with children. But she never does it. So no one cares anymore. Her movies are terrible. Seeing her continue to play Rachel is terrible. The end.

  52. “Consider: Actors whose continuing popularity mystifies you (John Cusack heads that list for me). Or what about: Actors I’m tired of making excuses for because they keep being in crappy movies. “

    Or actors who can do no wrong…..John Trivolta is tops for me. Also, Gene Kelly & James Garner.

  53. lisi russell

    Re Actors whose continuing popularity mystifies you – John Cusack, oh, yes, and I’ll be slaughtered for this one but Jon Malkovich, who is beginning to irritate me. Re Actors I’m tired of making excuses for because they keep being in crappy movies: Meg Ryan.
    Re Actors who can do no wrong: Charlotte Rampling, Tilda Swinton, Malcolm McDowell, Terence Stamp (even in the not-to-be-mentioned Spoonbenders).

  54. I know Judge…but unlike Tom Cruise…John’s not in my face with his weirdo religious sect…so for me to each his own.

  55. Ken Hanke

    You don’t like Greer Garson? REALLY?

    I’m sorry. I just find her dull. Maybe if she hadn’t worked for MGM, she’d have been more interesting to me.

    People are interested in Jen only because we want to see her happy and married with children

    They are? I never cease to marvel at the obsessions with the private lives of public people the obsessed don’t actually know.

  56. Ken Hanke

    Or actors who can do no wrong…..John Trivolta is tops for me. Also, Gene Kelly & James Garner

    So, are you including Battlefield Earth?

    Actually, I’m not sure I have any actors who can do no wrong. I might watch them in anything, but that’s not the same thing.

  57. “So, are you including Battlefield Earth?
    Actually, I’m not sure I have any actors who can do no wrong. I might watch them in anything, but that’s not the same thing. “

    Well I’m not obligated to watch everything that comes down from the movie making machines… So if Battlefield Earth is a bad film with Trivolta in it, I missed it…I will say the ones I’ve seen him in (from the early years on Cotter,) Saturday Night Fever, Urban Cowboy, Pulp Fiction, A Civil Action, Primary Colors whatever it is…he comes across well to me. Plus I approve of how he’s aged.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cy3IkXrgv3I

  58. Ken Hanke

    Re Actors whose continuing popularity mystifies you – John Cusack, oh, yes, and I’ll be slaughtered for this one but Jon Malkovich, who is beginning to irritate me.

    Malkovich’d be a lot less irritating if he’d stop being in seemingly everything he’s offered, which seems to be the case in the past several years. His presence in the third Transformers movie may be the Lucky Strike that breaks the Camel’s back.

    Re Actors I’m tired of making excuses for because they keep being in crappy movies: Meg Ryan.

    I never cared much for her to start with — which didn’t keep me from liking Kate and Leopold. I’m tired of making excuses for Chris Rock. I know Justin gave up making excuses for Gabriel Union some time back. There’s one actress whose name keeps escaping me that I publicly stated I’d had enough of making excuses for — oh, wait, it’s Diane Lane and the movie was Untraceable.

    Re Actors who can do no wrong: Charlotte Rampling, Tilda Swinton, Malcolm McDowell, Terence Stamp (even in the not-to-be-mentioned Spoonbenders).

    Not wholly unreasonable, but having seen Malcolm McDowell in The List I would remove him from my list faster’n Spoonbender would cross off Terence Stamp. I will say that, to date, Chiwetel Ejiofor has done no wrong. And that includes 2012 and Salt — neither of which are exactly inspiring movies.

  59. Or what about: Actors I’m tired of making excuses for because they keep being in crappy movies.
    Oh boy. That could be a long list.

    Anna Faris and Steve Carell spring to mind. Chris Walken has been in some absolute tripe, but he’s never let me down with his contribution to anything he’s in.

  60. Amie Sparks

    Total agreement re: Julia Roberts. Why does she bug me? Eat Pray Love was destined for disappointment with or without her, but Julia Roberts for Liz Gilbert? Really?

  61. Killarue

    Okay, I am no movie buff, but I really just don’t see the appeal of J. Roberts. I put her in a category wtih T. Cruise as better in supporting roles, for which I have seen them in films that I did like. It may just be envy then. ha Of course, they both rode the formula film thing too long and seem to be specifically liked for their visual appeal over their acting abilities. I would also add S. Bullock to the list and agree with the person who has trouble accepting Dicaprio in some of his roles.

  62. propagate.eustress

    I got so distracted by the sick feeling Cruise creates, I forgot Nick Cage and Owen Wilson! Shanghai Express is the only movie I have seen with Wilson where he didn’t distract me from the rest of the movie with his goofy self conscious lack of ability… As for Cage, he whines and always seems to play a self-obsessed character, which has become a trait I know associate with him.

    I remember liking Meg Ryan once upon a time, until that hostage movie set in S. America…??

    As for above, the one I prefer in commercials (and on posters with cute animals), perhaps you have forgotten she was ever an actress, it was that bad.

  63. LYT

    “He’d be the anti-Christ except Robert Zemeckis beat him to it. ”

    Seriously? I understand disliking his whole new motion-capture trip, but BACK TO THE FUTURE (the original) is pretty much a perfect movie. As is ROGER RABBIT, though the book it’s loosely based on is even better.

    Honestly, Ken, tastes differ, but please don’t tell me you can’t give any props to those two movies.

    Julia Roberts and Will Smith are among the actors I dislike the IDEA of, and often loathe their movie trailers, but usually find that in the movie itself they’re quite good.

  64. Ken Hanke

    Julia Roberts for Liz Gilbert? Really?

    Well, that presupposes a knowledge of the real person.

  65. Ken Hanke

    Shanghai Express is the only movie I have seen with Wilson where he didn’t distract me from the rest of the movie with his goofy self conscious lack of ability…

    I think you mean either Shanghai Noon or Shanghai Knights. (Shanghai Express is something else altogether.) There’s a lot of Wilson’s stuff I don’t care for, but I find him just right in the Wes Anderson films.

    As for Cage, he whines and always seems to play a self-obsessed character, which has become a trait I know associate with him.

    Not a huge Cage admirer by any means, but I don’t think I’d ever have described him that way.

  66. Anna

    Just speaking of people you are tired of seeing. I have a question for you Ken. Mine would be about the appeal of the so-called ‘Frat Pack’. Does anyone else appreciate their acting or even their type of humor ? I believe, it consist of Ben Stiller, Steve Carrell, Will Farrell, Jack Black and The Wilson Brothers. Also, Ken why are Ben Stiller and Owen Wilson in so many movies together?(something like 10 films now). Do they actually act better and are they funnier together. I admit that I have seen most of the ‘Frat Pack’ guy’s movies, however, it is always the same thing most of the time. Is anyone else tired of them all, or are they all truly funny ?

  67. Ken Hanke

    Honestly, Ken, tastes differ, but please don’t tell me you can’t give any props to those two movies.

    I’m actually fairly ambivalent about them and they’re fine in and of themselves, but they don’t cancel out Forrest Gump, The Polar Express, Beowulf, A Christmas Carol and certainly not this upcoming remake of Yellow Submarine, which I view with something way beyond grave misgivings and gloomy foreboding.

    Julia Roberts and Will Smith are among the actors I dislike the IDEA of, and often loathe their movie trailers, but usually find that in the movie itself they’re quite good.

    That’s truer for me for Roberts than Smith. I think Hitch was the last time I really liked him. And something tells me that Men in Black III isn’t going to undo Seven Pounds for me. Of course, if Roberts does another Eat Pray Love she’ll be on thin ice, too.

  68. Me

    OH! And could someone tell me why Jonah Hill is getting lead roles? He’s got about as much range as a deer caught in a poacher’s floodlamp. It’s like he flunked out of the Michael Cera School of Acting or something…

    Jonah Hill surprised me in Cyrus he’s probably the best actor out of that Apatow bunch.

    He’s not really a star by any stretch of the imagination, but, man, do I loathe Danny McBride. That confused smug thing he does that supposedly passes for acting is beyond irritating.

    Have you seen East Bound and Down he’s pretty funny in that?

  69. Amie Sparks

    I disagree. Liz Gilbert is already a breathing character who we get to know intimately by following her spiritual journey and changing thought patterns in The Book. My problems with Julia are twofold: 1) she bugs me. everyone thinks she is beautiful, and I don’t. Ok I’m just as shallow as everyone else. I don’t like the way she looks and her voice is irritating. 2)I would have cast someone different – they really should have consulted me first.

  70. Ken Hanke

    Just speaking of people you are tired of seeing. I have a question for you Ken. Mine would be about the appeal of the so-called ‘Frat Pack’. Does anyone else appreciate their acting or even their type of humor ? I believe, it consist of Ben Stiller, Steve Carrell, Will Farrell, Jack Black and The Wilson Brothers.

    For me, this is purely a case-by-case thing. I think we can pretty much take Luke Wilson out of the mix, since he hasn’t done anything of comedic note in a while now. The fact is that I don’t find any of these people inherently funny with the possible exception of Steve Carell. I have, however, liked all of them in individual films. I like Stiller in Zoolander, The Royal Tenenbaums and Tropic Thunder. I like Carell in Little Miss Sunshine and Date Night. I like Will Farrell in Stranger Than Fiction, think he’s miscast in Melinda and Melinda and find him tolerable in The Other Guys. I like Jack Black in School of Rock and even more in Be Kind Rewind. Owen Wilson was okay in those Jackie Chan teamings, but I think his best work is in the Wes Anderson pictures, Royal Tenenbaums, The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou, The Darjeeling Limited.

    Also, Ken why are Ben Stiller and Owen Wilson in so many movies together?

    Wilson, I think, tends to show up in a kind of guest capacity more than as an equal partner in Stiller’s films. Why? I have no idea. It may simply be that they like working together or it may just be good for the box office.

  71. Ken Hanke

    I disagree. Liz Gilbert is already a breathing character who we get to know intimately by following her spiritual journey and changing thought patterns in The Book.

    Which is still presupposing a knowledge of the real person — or at least the person she presented in her book. The movie has to concern itself with issues of a bankable star to appeal to people who haven’t read the book, too.

  72. Amie Sparks

    I still disagree with you. What about people who actually have read the book? What about appealing to us? It’s just disappointing when the persona and energy created by the original writer are tainted by the box office, particularly when the work is so strongly character-driven – that’s all I’m saying. I paid to go see the movie in the theater against my better judgment because a friend wanted to see it. In my mind the character played by Julia Roberts and the character in the book are two different characters. Because Julia bugs me.

  73. Ken Hanke

    I still disagree with you.

    It’s kind of a moot point since neither of us had anything to do with casting it.

  74. lawrence benner

    i use “Seth Rogen” as a more generalized term to refer to any former cast member of “Freaks and Geeks” starring (either as the primary star or part of an ensemble cast) in a Judd Apatow movie where bittersweet life lessons about the true nature of masculinity are learned.

    i thought this would be obvious.

  75. Ken Hanke

    i thought this would be obvious

    Did someone take issue with it?

  76. DrSerizawa

    I guess I have a fair number, mainly because they are terrible actors who come and go with regularity. A tendency to spew idiotic insulting statements to their own customers only increases my distaste… well if they don’t like us, why shouldn’t I reciprocate? Actors who ball up their chances by screwing up theor own lives and careers and then expect to be allowed more chances when there are dozens of far more deserving candidates for the chance at acting success turn me off also.

    Currently I’d call Megan Fox. Another one which will pain me severely next weekend is Lindsay Lohan.

    However the specific actor is never entirely a deal breaker or deal maker for me. For example Robin Williams’ horrid unwatchable atrocities “Patch Adams” and “Bicentennial Man” sent me not-quite-screaming from the theater. Later I was able to overcome my distaste enough to venture in for the excellent “Insomina” and “One Hour Photo”.

    Oh yes, And count me in with the group who would rather see “The Giant Claw” than “Avatar”.

  77. LYT

    Robin Williams needs to be well-directed, or be thrust into an interesting concept…otherwise, he is quite insufferable. Sadly, I’m also finding that these days, any family comedy starring Steve Martin is likely to suck.

    And at the risk of being uber-obvious, two names I’m surprised haven’t come up yet: Tyler Perry and Martin Lawrence.

  78. John r

    Well I might have to throw Wiliam Shatner into the picture with all the useless pauses that have become his trademark–hmmm?

  79. Ken Hanke

    Currently I’d call Megan Fox

    The idea that she’s an actress is ludicrous.

    Another one which will pain me severely next weekend is Lindsay Lohan.

    I realize she comes under the heading of bitching up her career, but has she ever actually annoyed you in anything? (I’m having trouble imagining you seeing Just My Luck or I Know Who Killed Me.)

    Oh yes, And count me in with the group who would rather see “The Giant Claw” than “Avatar”.

    That’s because you are a man of discerning judgment.

  80. Ken Hanke

    Sadly, I’m also finding that these days, any family comedy starring Steve Martin is likely to suck.

    Actually, I find he simply works better in drama.

    And at the risk of being uber-obvious, two names I’m surprised haven’t come up yet: Tyler Perry and Martin Lawrence.

    Tyler Perry is more like some weird force of nature. And I’m probably blocking Martin Lawrence from my mind trying to deny the encroachment of a new Big Momma movie.

  81. Ken Hanke

    Well I might have to throw Wiliam Shatner into the picture with all the useless pauses that have become his trademark—hmmm?

    Fortunately, he doesn’t get to star in much of anything — unless you count TV commercials.

  82. propagate.eustress

    Nope, didn’t mean shanghai express, shanghai noon, or that other one.. I meant Darjeeling Limited. The only movie I have seen with Owen Wilson where he the character he is seemed suited to the movie… Sorry about the complete lack of correct title!

    I agree with the dislike of movies as vehicles for certain stars, and that they cause some actors to lose credibility. You know what you getting in a Rom Com, but at least if they have unknown or little known actors, they try a little harder with the script and concept!

  83. Ken Hanke

    Nope, didn’t mean shanghai express

    The more I thought about it, though, the more I liked the idea of Wilson delivering the line, “It took more than one man to change my name to Shanghai Lily.”

  84. DrSerizawa

    I realize she comes under the heading of bitching up her career, but has she ever actually annoyed you in anything?

    “I Know Who Killed Me.”

    To be fair she made me laugh a lot. But with her problems how can anyone trust casting her? She might just run into an abutment sloshed out of her mind mid-shooting. Or get arrested with a pound of nose candy. Seems a lot of risk for someone who is not that much of a box office draw.

  85. Dionysis

    One last well-regarded actor that I just cannot warm up to no matter what film he’s in is Tommy Lee Jones. Maybe it’s because he comes across as pompous in interviews I’ve seen, but for whatever reason, I just don’t care for him.

    Another easy pick (who should have been included in my original list) is Stephen Baldwin. Jerkus maximus, in my opinion.

  86. lawrence benner

    Did someone take issue with it?

    well, yes. about fifteen entries down: “I’ve only seen Seth Rogan in one leading role,” implies that rogan-bashing is pointless as he is not a true “star.”
    “i thought this would be obvious,” was meant as a joke: how could it be obvious that when i say “seth rogan” i am actually referring to something else?
    but when i say “queen of england” i definitely mean “diamond-studded biplane.” and i think this would be obvious.
    more to the point: Dwayne The Rock Johnson. you know it’s going to suck . . .

  87. Dread P. Roberts

    While I agree with a decent amount of the aformentioned names (which I won’t bother repeting ad nauseum), I find it rather fortunate that, generally speaking, worst of the lot have only experienced a brief glimpse of stardom… I shudder at the thought of a world where Tom Green and/or Paris Hilton are A-list movie stars. The only time I’ve agreed to watch a P. Hilton movie was when I was promised that she’d be glourisouly impaled. (Please note: this does not mean that I wish death upon her, or any other annoying individuals.)

    There’s also those rare actors that I actually really like, but really HATE 80-90% of their movies… like Brendan Frasier.

  88. luluthebeast

    TOM GREEN!

    I don’t even like seeing his name! I can’t think of anyone with less talent, and that even includes (shudder!) Andy Dick!

  89. Ken Hanke

    There’s also those rare actors that I actually really like, but really HATE 80-90% of their movies… like Brendan Frasier

    Yeah, Fraser remains a problem for me because I know he can be good. And then I remember all the movies he’s been in that virtually define “moose felation party.”

  90. Ken Hanke

    TOM GREEN!

    Well, at least he made an announcement some time back that he wouldn’t make any more movies. I wonder if that’s enforceable?

  91. DrSerizawa

    I think the Dread P Roberts wins the thread for Tom Green. I’d have put him at the top except that my brain mercifully had deleted all memory of him. On the other hand maybe I should send him an oxygen destroyer package for reminding me.

  92. Ken Hanke

    I think the Dread P Roberts wins the thread for Tom Green.

    For sheer cosmic God-awfulness and obnoxiousity Tom Green is the clear winner. That cannot be denied.

    Back in the days when I used to work for the Theater Whose Name Must Not Be Mentioned and Freddy Got Fingered was showing, it made for much mirth among the employees to see how long it took for people to either just storm out or ask if they could please go to another movie.

  93. luluthebeast

    “TOM GREEN!

    Well, at least he made an announcement some time back that he wouldn’t make any more movies. I wonder if that’s enforceable?”

    Then he’s a very bad liar. He had one come out last year and he has one in development now. Neither of which I will go anywhere near.

  94. Dwayne The Rock Johnson
    I have to take issue with that one. He might accept roles in an awful lot of tosh, but I find Johnson very likable and engaging in pretty much everything I’ve seen him in. I just wish he’d stick to light action roles instead of horrible, horrible children’s movies.

  95. Ken Hanke

    Then he’s a very bad liar. He had one come out last year and he has one in development now.

    Define “come out” because I can’t think of a single thing that’s played theaters in that time.

  96. Dread P. Roberts

    I think the Dread P Roberts wins the thread for Tom Green.

    YES! My life is now fulfilled… so what do I win?

    maybe I should send him an oxygen destroyer package for reminding me.

    Go figure, the one time I win something…

    Back in the days when I used to work for the Theater Whose Name Must Not Be Mentioned and Freddy Got Fingered was showing, it made for much mirth among the employees to see how long it took for people to either just storm out or ask if they could please go to another movie.

    You know, I would love to just witness the exasperated cries of a tramatized soccer mom, claiming she didn’t think such rubbish would emerge from the likes of Freddy Got Fingered. If nothing else, observing the mental anguish and torment of rude stupid people – trying to use ignorance as their asinine excuse – has got to make for some fun times.

  97. luluthebeast

    “Define “come out” because I can’t think of a single thing that’s played theaters in that time.”

    It went straight to video, so you and Justin were spared having to review it.

  98. Steve

    The only actress that I just refuse to watch is Julia Roberts. I know she made a lot of people mad when she said ugly things about Abbeville after working there working on Sleeping with the Enemy. Sure, Abbeville isn’t the most cosmo place in the world, but she is from Smyrna freakin GA. I have no problems with Smyrna, but the denizens don’t need to be throwing stones. So I just won’t support her by seeing her films – I think she’s gotten too big for her britches. I do watch Steel Magnolias, since the quotes are pretty much required in certain circles. It has a happy ending anyway. Plus I just love Olympia Dukakis and Shirley McClaine.

  99. DrSerizawa

    Go figure, the one time I win something…

    If it’s any consolation you can forward the unopened package to Tom Green. Then we all win!

    Define “come out” because I can’t think of a single thing that’s played theaters in that time.

    Tom Green from IMBD:

    Revenge of the Boarding School Dropouts (2009) (V) …. Kingsley
    Shred (2008) (V) …. Kingsley
    Legacy (2008) (V) …. Det. Stras

  100. Ken Hanke

    You know, I would love to just witness the exasperated cries of a tramatized soccer mom, claiming she didn’t think such rubbish would emerge from the likes of Freddy Got Fingered. If nothing else, observing the mental anguish and torment of rude stupid people – trying to use ignorance as their asinine excuse – has got to make for some fun times.

    Funny thing is I don’t remember a single person asking for their money back. They either just stalked out or they asked the door person if they could go into something else. (In those days when the theater in question wasn’t run like a POW camp, that was easily done.) Of course, I wasn’t there all the time so I probably missed some rage sessions. I never cease to be amazed at how many people will go to a movie having no clue what it is.

  101. Ken Hanke

    It went straight to video, so you and Justin were spared having to review it.

    Or watch it or encounter it or even hear about it till now.

  102. So I just won’t support her by seeing her films – I think she’s gotten too big for her britches.
    I’ve never gotten this attitude. I go to films to be entertained. It doesn’t really bother me what the cast or crew get up to in their spare time while I’m watching the film. I don’t care if Julia Roberts insulted some town. I’d still go and see a Mel Gibson movie if I thought I’d like it.

  103. Ken Hanke

    I’ve never gotten this attitude

    Oh, I understand it and I have been known to adopt it, but I’m not morbid about it. That’s to say that it can push me over the border into disliking someone if I was already leaning in that direction. For example, I was ambivalent about a certain stand-up comic who had a wildly popular TV show (that I never saw an episode of), but when he was given a special free screening of Inside Man during off-hours, complete with free popcorn and all the trimmings, and was not only rude, but never even said thank you to anyone (he would only speak through his manager), that tipped the scales in the negative direction. But it was no great loss to me. I loathe Robert Duvall’s politics and am given to understand that he is not a pleasant person from people who’ve worked with him, but it doesn’t keep me from seeing his movies — or praising a performance.

    I also kinda have to see for myself how a thing came about. I’ve spent some time around a number of famous people, and most of them are perfectly capable of diva-like outbursts, but most of them are not horses’ rectums. I saw Andie MacDowell get villified back in 2003 because of an interview she gave to a local TV station. I also saw how it came about and the whole thing was the fault of the TV interviewer, but she’s the one who looked bad on TV. I’ve also seen her — and quite recently — stand around with a group of people she didn’t know and join in on a discussion of a movie they’d all just watched — without a trace of superiority or a hint of “do you know who I am?” about her. (Actually, I’m pretty sure that most of the group didn’t know who she was at the time.)

  104. Jessamyn Reeves-Brown

    It’s interesting to me how these parse out into awful actors vs. indigestible personal tics vs. I Don’t Like Their Private Lives So I Don’t Like Them.

    I’m with Ken in that I pretty much ignore actors’ private lives when I’m watching a movie. Awful acting tends to leave me indifferent rather than vitriolic. But on the personal tics front…

    Someone mentioned John Malkovich. There’s a particular type of highly mannered performer that sets my teeth on edge, and for me he is the pinnacle of it. I find him so personally repellent that he kind of ruins for me anything in which he is not supposed to be repellent. If he had been cast as Severus Snape I would have considered it ideal. But in Dangerous Liasons, I find him incredibly distracting because the idea of the protagonist being seduced by him is impossible for me to swallow.

    Likewise Dicaprio seems to me such a boy-man, I have great difficulty accepting him as a man with the kind of gravitas (that might be overstating it, but anyway) his parts seem to call for. It’s not because I saw him as a youthful actor (I don’t have this problem with other child actors) – he just doesn’t seem like a real grownup to me, somehow.

  105. bill t

    great thread. did I miss it or did no one mention Kevin Costner? how could his name be omitted from this discussion?

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