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Tom Cruise Guilty of “Weirdness Abuse?”

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The west coast’s latest news is the break-even box office of Mission Impossible III, and how it has broken Tom Cruise's ties to Paramount. According to various (read reliable) reports, even though MI III made about 400 million dollars, the movie was a box office failure. Why? Because by the time Tom was paid and the cost of production subtracted, the studio made almost no money on the film. It would have had to gross in the $900 million to one billion dollar range to be considered profitable, i.e., successful.  As I sat watching the news, the statement by one reporter of "weirdness abuse" caught my attention.

That reporter's meltdown reference is to Cruise's well-known Oprah couch-jumping incident. But it's likely such behavior is now having its effect on his career and may have single-handedly propelled his career into deceleration. Then there was the Brooke Shields admonition incident, in which Shields' use of anti-depressive medication to recover from an episode of post-partum depression was called “irresponsible” by Cruise because she did not know enough about the long-term effects of those medicines. Do doctors even know this information? Why the high tone? This is what has everyone wondering, and calling him a victim, not of his success, but of Scientology.

I know a little about cults and religions after having been a part of many in the past. My view agrees with the dictionary definition: If there is a charismatic figure involved, people following his or her lead unquestionably, giving away fortunes, cutting off friends and family, then the organization in question might be a cult. Even the Catholic Church has been so called by many cult-watchers. This would then paint both Tom and Mel with the same brush.

People as young as Cruise and Katie Holmes do not want to start moving backward on the career fast track, especially in Hollywood, where the old-age countdown begins at 21. This sudden reversal of fortune is unusual in that, as one reporter noted, "this is usually done behind closed doors!" The public is rarely privy to these decisions. But then Mel Gibson was also skewered when he maligned the entire Malibu police department with racial and anti-Semitic slurs. Did one Christian and one Scientologist raise Jewish and Hollywood scorn to new levels of outrage? It seems so. I just wanted to stand back out of the way as Gibson was written off as someone no one will work with because of his most recent comments.

While Tom is not guilty of such anti-Semitic sins and political incorrectness, he is guilty of the greatest sin in Hollywood: not making money and appearing non-bankable in the eyes of the Bible belt and other places where people would rather not know what Tom does behind church doors.  Not since Ayn Rand has there been so much sin spilt over the Hollywood Hills… look out below!

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About Heloise

  • Nancy

    Tom is guilty of another Hollywood sin: oversaturation. All the breathless TomKat hype for months on end made the public at large sick of hearing his/her name(s). May they rest in well-deserved obscurity from here on in.

  • Heloise

    You said it very well. In fact the Zobby poll out today cited his gushing relationship with Katie as his biggest PR problem. Why? Because of overexposure mostly.

    Will she be in his next movie? I won’t go to see it.

    Heloise

  • Heloise

    LOL. Yea, I would not put Katie up against Katherine Hepburn.

    Heloise

  • Nancy

    I couldn’t be bothered to see either one of them. Actually the last Cruise thing I saw was “A Few Good Men”, and I thought the guy who played his assistant, Moore, Bacon, and of course Jack N. carried the whole thing far more than he did. Actually, it was a good ensemble piece, if you don’t count Nicholson as part of the ensemble, lol, since he always stands alone. Moore is a legend in his own mind – he’s NOT that good an actor. Whenever I see him, I always see Tom Cruise playing so-&-so, NOT the character being played, which of course means that as an actor, Cruise has failed if he can’t make the viewer forget he’s Tom Cruise & not so-&-so.

    Example: Johnny Depp is a good actor: watching him, you forget he’s Johnny Depp. Meryl Streep is a good actor: watching her you forget she’s Meryl Streep. Tom Cruise is just Tom Cruise playing some pretend person.

  • lisa

    Tom Cruise was the biggest ever and thats why people want to tear him down. The last time the media got their claws into an untouchable celebrity it was Michael Jackson during the 93 scandal. Cruise has done nothing even remotely scandalous. JUmping on Oprah’s couch or talking about drugs is far less scandalous than doing drugs or having crazy affairs (recently it was noted that Kate Hudson slept with Matthew McC, and both Owen and Luke Wilson!). Cruise means qaulity from Jerry mCg to the Last Samurai but he’s been on top for so long that the smallest chink in his armor is being exploited big time! Like Clinton and the Lewsinksy affair. making mountains out of molehills as usual.

  • Heloise

    Tom is part of a cult and so is Katie. Yes, he made billions of dollars for the studio. But was he an A-list actor? No, he was in money-making movies. He was bankable. There is a difference. If you compare him with say Robert Redford who is both an A-list actor and played in A movies and is really one of the biggest stars ever–then he does not stack up. Actually Tom and Mel are much the same in terms of being faces that sell.

    Mel is a better actor though. Don’t confuse faces with character acting.

    Tom is wearing his life on his sleeves and we are really not buying it. He is a cute face with TOO much to say. Get it?

    Heloise

  • Orchid

    Most of the comments here represent a somewhat limited perspective on Cruise’s future career prospects. That is, the perspective mainly of the perception of him in North America. Cruise is huge all over the world and a lot of other cultures have not been saturated with his personal life hype or his Scientology rants. In Japan, he’s still second only to Brad Pitt as the beautiful male actor of choice to see at the movies.

    I note with some caution that the reaction to his Scientology talk comes dangerously close to a religious prejudice and possibly boycotting him based on his “religion”. Other actors often discuss their beliefs and talk about how God has played a role in their lives but this tends to enhance perception of them, not harm them. Yes, I believe Scientology is a weird cult created by a mentally ill person and that it may even be responsible for the deaths of some of its members but I also think people should be allowed to say and do what they want as long as no one is forcing them to do it and Cruise clearly isn’t being coerced (influenced, but not coerced). I think Cruise is being tarred to some extent for having a non-mainstream belief system.

    The main problem for Cruise is that he’s in a line of work where people create an imaginary relationship with him. They think they know him well enough to dislike him. One of the reasons he was so successful for so long is that he kept his beliefs close to the vest. Then he fired his publicist, opened his mouth and became the guy we didn’t want to be friends with because he acted like a wacko both about his enthusiasm for his new girlfriend and his religion.

    I don’t think Cruise’s career will decay as a result of what he’s done but there may be a necessary recovery period for North American moviegoers where people will have to decide if they want to separate the art and the artist. If he makes an irresistable movie, particularly one showing a likeable character, I’m sure forgiveness will be rapidly forthcoming. The vast majority of people will choose their personal entertainment over principle without hesitation.

  • http://www.google.com/ig?hl=en Pat Harney

    The illogical points of this entire affair are so numerous that one wonders if the public is really fooled. Here you have the brightest star in movies, who has maintained this position for decades, whose talent is unquestionable and much more to point of a business brings in billions of dollars to your coffers. Yet Redstone, CEO of VIACOM has come out from behind his desk after 2 and 1/2 years to cry “tut, tut” to Tom’s behavior. Looking further the behavior is “one jump on a couch”, speaking out against the dangers or drugs, standing up for his beliefs, loving his woman and saying so. This is so glaringly illogical that one wonders what Redstone really feels threatened about and who is pulling his strings.

    This is the price of honesty and integrity in this messed up business of illusion called Movie Stardom. But this is my prediction – you can’t keep a good man down. Tom Cruise has an indominatable spirit. He is far too creative, far too decent a human being and too incrdeibly strong to be down.

    In my book, Tom Cruise is a hero.

  • Heloise

    note with some caution that the reaction to his Scientology talk comes dangerously close to a religious prejudice and possibly boycotting him based on his “religion”.

    I think that we are talking more about a cult. And yes Mel talks about his religion. Also Brad Pitt talks and supports his beliefs.

    Yes, Tom is a global star…good point.

    But perception is reality is what I am saying in terms of who you want to listen to talk about religion—Oprah or Tom? Your pick.

    Heloise

  • Heloise

    Did you fire Tom Cruise? No, did Heloise fire him? No. Did anyone on this board fire him? No. Paramount fired him. Therefore to say nothing has happened after a 20-year career with one studio is not being fair to those who want to talk about it.

    Yes, Tom plays an action hero.

    Heloise

  • Heloise

    … Yet Redstone, CEO of VIACOM has come out from behind his desk after 2 and 1/2 years to cry “tut, tut” to Tom’s behavior. Looking further the behavior is “one jump on a couch”, speaking out against the dangers or drugs, standing up for his beliefs, loving his woman and saying so. This is so glaringly illogical that one wonders what Redstone really feels threatened about and who is pulling his strings.”

    Thank you Pat because you make a good point. Could not the same point be made for Mel Gibson? He has gone to Hollywood oblivion. In the last story it was said that he has “called every Jew one by one to apologize.” That’s a direct quote from someone on Extra. He also said it was not enough.

    Now, you ask what the hell did Tom do? I think he has to take the blame for the consequences even if we do not agree with them. In the old days gayness and baldness were deeply hidden. If Tom were gay he would still have to hide that too. This is what people are saying about him as well.

    Was he a great actor? No. But was he a great deal for his studio? Yes. Until he jumped on that damn yellow couch.

    Heloise

  • Heloise

    Tom must have been a bag in his last life, because everyone still keeps carrying him around…

    Cuba Gooding carried him in “Show me the Money” which I did like. And when one’s most memorable line goes like “you complete me.” And he bangs his chest (?) you have to wonder about building a career on this sound byte. Yet, stranger things have happened. His career took off.

    What about “Rain Man?” No one has mentioned that movie. I did watch it and Hoffman won the Academy award and the music was great. But Tom was again in the shadows with his confusion over his brother’s behavior.

    What will he be in his next life? An actor perhaps?

    Heloise