Archives for posts with tag: Tom Cruise

For the first time in more than two decades, I sat down and watched “The Color of Money” (1986). Wow. It really holds up. Really. It’s not about billiards. Or Tom Cruise channeling Charlie Sheen. Or Paul Newman’s pornstache and tinted glasses. It’s a character study on gamblers, con artists, what motivates them and what brings them down. Pure Scorsese. Newman recreates his Fast Eddie Felson character from “The Hustler” (a 1961 classic), but you don’t need to have seen it to enjoy this one. And it’s nice watching Cruise play an actual character instead of Tom Cruise Action Hero.

It’s unfortunate Tom Cruise’s personal life created so much baggage for filmgoers to carry into the theater (or keep them out of the theater altogether), because the dude can still make a good movie when given the proper material. As I’m watching “American Made” (2017), a film you could appropriately describe as rollicking in its portrayal of the early 1980s drug trade and CIA meddling in Central America, I was taken by how little Cruise did to his appearance and yet how totally I bought him as a swinging 1970s Cajun airline pilot. It looks easy, but it’s not easy.

It’s easy to write off “Cocktail” as a formulaic modern romantic comedy, except, technically, the formula didn’t exist yet. Tom Cruise made this movie in 1988, six years before one Hugh John Mungo Grant’s p-whipped ass showed up in “Four Weddings and a Funeral.” But Cruise does play the boy-who-never-grew-up, he does get his comeuppance, his id (played by Bryan Brown) gets slain and Cruise does, indeed, get p-whipped. So it’s kind of a beta version. Personally, I wouldn’t have been caught dead in such high-end bars with such douchey, bottle-slinging bartenders as Cruise and Brown back in 1988. Still wouldn’t.