Friday, August 7, 2015

Tom's back

First of all, I am not all that crazy about Tom Cruise's choice of religion. Or if it's even a religion. But I'll give him this.

He makes good movies.

And he is a real movie star.

And that's a rare thing with today's actors. Except for Jennifer Lawrence, who is one of a handful of actors with presence.

In between juggling my pilot and my book which will go to I decided to see the newest Mission Impossible movie with Tom. And once again, he's done it. That opening scene with him hanging onto a transport airline is real but I wonder if some of you millennials really can recognize presence.

Notice I said presence. Talent is another thing.

Jennifer Lawrence has talent and presence all wrapped up into one. And it's rare. Streep has it, so does Michael Caine who's 82. He has presence and can act. 

Which brings me to the question why are English and Australians better actors than American ones.

Some say it's because Hollywood grabs the first actor who hits a thousand likes and figures that he or she will be famous. 

Whereas the Brits and the Aussies train. Some don't, but the best do.

There are two Brit actors in the TV series Bates Motel, and I never knew they were Brits.  I could make a list but it's too long.

So what's the difference between presence and talent.

Someone once said that presence is where you would like to have a beer with George Clooney because he has presence. He's not Eddie Redmayne who has talent and presence in that when you watch him you believe him. 

And he played Steven Hawking almost as good as Steven Hawking does.

With George, you just like to watch him. 

With Jennifer, she just has that stuff, others have tried. Like Shailene Woodley, who you get for your movie when Jennifer is busy. There's really nothing there.

I know, I know... I'm ragging too much on Shailene.

We had a lot of movie stars growing up and most of them were of the presence kind because studios developed them that way. They had to learn to dance and sing and fight and run and everything else in "those days."

They had presence. Rock Hudson, John Wayne, Jimmy Stewart had talent and presence. And of course Steve MqQueen had loads of presence. He couldn't do Shakespeare but he could make you watch him. He is the master of movements.  

In a scene with Yul Brynner in The Magnificent Seven, McQueen sits in a wagon beside Yul who's talking and you only look at McQueen because he's doing tiny little bits of action that take your eyes of Yul.

And that's another trait, actors whom you can't take your eyes off of them. Tom has it, Jennifer has it, Ben doesn't and Ryan Reynolds has nothing. And he's Canadian, eh?

But back to Tom.

From the moment I heard the new version of the Mission Impossible music, I knew I was going to be entertained for $11. And I was.

Tom has presence in hundreds. At 52 or 53.

And I might say that he's the last of the real movie stars, the ones that were bigger than life. The ones we were in awe of.

What we have now are creatures and superheroes times 10. And I wonder how much can someone see monsters throwing each other around on a New York street. Over and over.

Well Jim, there is Antman.

But Tom is back and in good shape. 


1 comment:

  1. I have to disagree with you Jim - but that wouldn't be the first time would it? I think the American actors are way better than the Brits. I like Michael Caine (although he is not rated here at all) but I much prefer Josh Brolin and Sean Penn to anybody over here except perhaps Gary Oldman. The Americans (like Brando) work from the soul and the English, like Olivier, work from the sole (sorry) - the outside in. The walk, the make up, the accent and the false nose - look at Cumberbatch play Assange and you will see what I mean.