Monday, July 19, 2004

The New, "Urban" Tom Cruise  
 
Imagine my surprise when I got my annual invitation to the Urbanworld Film Festival this week and found, mirabile dictu, that Tom Cruise's Collateral will be screened opening night.  
 
It's not that Urbanworld (which is, by the way, far and large the best place in the world to "hook up" with gorgeous women of color; trust me on this one, true believers), is not "keeping it real," per se -- quite the contrary: Tom Cruise, it appears, is metamorphosing into an urban persona. How cool is that?   
 
In fact, I wouldn't be surprised if Tom and Jamie actually showed up at the opening of Urbanworld, surprising the mostly African-American, Asian and Latino audience into disbelief.   Tom Cruise hasn't been the old Tom Cruise in a while, youknowwhatImean? He's lost the magic.   
 
The "Tommy-Boy" shtick with Rosie O'Donnell got really tiresome, really, really fast. And Tom Cruise's on-screen persona, which Artie Lang, the Howard Stern sidekick, acutely observed, was "too contrived," wore on our last nerve as well.  Too much fucking vanity was being projected from those hawkish eyes and that studied, plastic, boyish-cocky grin.  It was time for a makeover.  
 
Tom Cruise was Brian Flanagan, the best damn drink slinger; we knew him as Cole Trickle, the best damn race car driver; he was fucking Maverick, and, as we all know, "Mav" was the best damn fighter pilot in the US Air Force;  he was Ethan Hunt, the best damn covert agent; he was even Detective John Anderton in Minority Report, the best damn detective, with the help of those eerie Precog's; let's face it, throughout the 80s and 90s, Tom Cruise was the best damn everything.  
 
Of course, there is a backlash to wanting -- needing, really -- to project oneself onto the American consciousness as an icon of perfection, and the backlash is a bitch.  We, infected with the virus "democratic leveling," as the eminent American observer Alexis Henri Charles Maurice, Count de Tocqueville, described it, wanted to tear him down; that is a drawback of a democracy that emphasizes equality over an aristocratic hierarchy and the concept of excellence. Really bring him down a notch.  
 
Tom noticed and changed his game rather abruptly. He got rid of his publicist, Pat Kingsley, replacing her with his sister, Leanne Devette.  
 
Tom Cruise is more accessible than ever.   And now, the new, "urban" Tom Cruise, playing straightman to Jamie Foxx in Collateral, appearing with him on the ESPY's and the MTV Movie Awards, presents himself as no longer invincible.   And, frankly, I like that.    
 
 



8 comments:

astralgirl01 said...

Tom Cruise at Urbanworld: He'll show up, count on it. Black folks loves them some action movies, and Jamie Foxx is a pretty good dramatic actor.

And isn't Jada Pinkett-Smith in the movie? That gives good odds that Will's along for the ride as well...

I think TC needs all the help he can get these days-- I think that the studios were banking on The Last Samurai, and it did so-so business.

And now that he's been painted as the L.Ron Hubbard-obsessed poster boy for cocky actors, he'll definitely press a few indie film fest palms and help bolster Urbanworld's cache.

Plus the media loves it when TC gets "serious" (remember the Magnolia frenzy?)... so I think Collateral will do well.

astralgirl01 said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
TheBlackNewYorker said...

As always, a great read. Know I'm going back to click the links, youknowwhatImean?, lol.
BTW, I saw the previews and Tom Cruise looked absolutely fake.

Anonymous said...

Tom Cruise and his psychotic/religous shit-eating grin make me ill.

here's a fun game: Try to think of a movie in which Tomster does NOT sing or lipsynch..g'head--try.

Ron said...

thanks for your comments, guys; most of the time I don't get feedback, and I know from the counter that people are reading, I just don't know if they like what I am doing.

I haven't seen Collateral yet, but I guess I will at urbanworld. I'll see it with an open mind. The posters with a scruffy and clearly confused Tom Cruise are intriguing. He's really taking a risk. I want to encourage that 1,000 percent.

Too many actors in Hollywood view their job as an excercise of ego. That's why indies and off-broadway are the places to go if you really love watching an actor risk.

Anonymous said...

I PERSONALLY, AM SICK OF THE WHOLE TOM CRUISE THING I WAS A HUGE FAN UNTIL WHAT HE DID TO NIC. KID.BUT LOK AT HER NOW HA , HA TOMMY BOY!!!!!!!! I NO LONGER AM A FAN OF ANY SORT. AND I'M SICKENED BY THE WHOLE KATIE HOLMES THING.. I SAY HE NEEDS TO SE A DR.OH,IF HE DOES MARRY KATIE, AND SHE HAPPENS TO BECOME IN THE MOTHER STAGE AND SUFFERS FR.. PO.. PART. DEPRESSION WHAT WILL HE DO? take her to the scien. to get a cure ? READ YOUR BIBLE TOMMY.I SAY IT'S TIME FOR YOU TO GO.DID YOU FORGET YOUR FANS MAKE YOU?AND CAN BREAK YOU SOOO HA LOL ALL THE WAYYOU RTHE TRUE MEANING OFANUTCASE GROW UP ISN'T IT TIME? oh, you 4got you r in your 40'S MIDLIFE CRIS

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Gervase said...

So, I don't actually believe this will have effect.
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