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Thursday, April 10, 2014

Charisma in Movies!

A friend of mine recently said that Arnold Schwarzenegger - has lost all his mojo. I guess in the last movie he made: Sabotage, he just didn't bring it home - or so I heard. However, after a quick investigation online, I see that it indeed was not the actor to blame.

Bueller, Ferris Bueller
This is much the same issue that I have with people saying that Keanu Reeves is a "bad actor".  One scene does not an actor make. I blame the director for much of the Keanu Reeves comments. While he really brings it home in some scenes, in others he just didn't seem to get into it. So, yes. The actor has to bring a performance, but you can't do one take and expect that actor to nail it every time.  We are not all Ferris Bueller, or Mary Poppins, perfect in every way.

Back to the script here for this Sabotage movie . . . Movie makers need to realize that the audience doesn't just want egos, blood and gore. When that is all you present you are left with these kinds of Rotten Tomatoes reviews:

Did he just say they dunked the camera in guts?? Seriously!! That is one of the worst things I've ever heard. I feel terrible now that Arnold was duped into making such a crappy movie.

Anyway, that bring me to the actual subject, which is CHARISMA. Does he have it? Uh, well, he doesn't have much. He's no Sean Connery or Bruce Willis. Those actors could be 90 years old and still bring it home by bringing us that charisma that we crave! In fact many women would still be into them in their older age. I mean look at Hugh Hefner. Charisma might not actually have an age . . .  Food for thought.

So, Arnold. Well, he never actually had that much charisma on screen to begin with. A lot of this is due to the heavy accent. I have to admit that Kindergarten Cop was actually pretty decent. There were some scenes where the man was believable, and in that movie he did deliver some great lines. However, I'm not sure he has the ability to deliver lines in the same way that Samuel L. Jackson can. He just can't do the same intensity without seeming disingenuous. He is just not capable of bringing that kind of Samuel L. Jackson performance. Or at least I have never seen a director get that kind of performance out of him. This is not to say that an amazing, outstanding actor would have fared any better in this movie with the gore. If the movie is bad, it just is.

Anyway, that's what makes storytelling in movies so powerful. Charisma! Passion! A good movie gives you insights into the characters. Each character lives and breathes as more than just an actor and you feel their struggles. Let me use as an example a recent movie that came out. It was called "Her". The lead role is Scarlett Johansson. In the movie you don't see her. You can't. However, it was very dramatic. It was a wonderful emotional roller coaster. It is one of the most powerful performances I have seen out of Joaquin. Of course all his stuff is amazing. He's just very talented, a virtual Ferris Bueller if you will. It was a very emotional, uplifting and yet thought provoking experience.  The mustache on Joaquin Phoenix - more unfortunate, but still accepted as you watch it. You will leave the theater with the cogs in your head turning. That is a good story line and a good director. That's how it's done!

I do admit that I am a very imaginative person, so the premises to me was believable and I did get into the movie more than I thought I would - despite the mustache. it bothers me a lot because he's such a beautiful man and it's like in the way of seeing him. Whatever. So, older people don't quite get into this movie premises as much as I would hope because of the technological way that we think nowadays. I just thought I should add that so you don't watch it with your Grandma, who might not grasp the movie's entire point.

At left:                                                                                                         At right:
OFFICIAL POSTER                                                                                REAL LIFE
Photoshopped smaller waist and rounder boobs.                                  Live action shot on set.

So to me, this movie was a HUGE deal. Huge! Why? There is no visual. So, there was no overt sex appeal. The character is attractive because she's smart, caring, fun and interesting. If you knew woman you'd know that being loved for who we truly are, and not what we look like . . is a big deal. And in Hollywood this point is so often  overlooked.
Scarlett Johansson also plays Black Widow in the new Avenger series, and while she is appreciated in some of those scenes because she has real clothes on, the movie posters make her waist look smaller and boobs rounder and larger maybe? All in all it is not a catastrophic photo-shopping job, but it is done nonetheless.

So to summarize, don't blame Arnold. The man ran into a truck filled with rotten tomatoes. Who knows why he picked that script? Maybe he needs a new agent . . . or maybe he didn't read it? Personal favor to a friend. Who knows. Maybe he'll find another role that can show off his talents. He can do better. I know. I saw Kindergarten Cop.

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I am a bit funny, crazy, sometimes serious and usually wise. I'm very creative and artistic. However my greatest gift in life is common sense.