Monday, January 08, 2007
I was first introduced to the sexy boy in "Risky Business" ('83) and "All the Right Moves" ('83). I remember watching both on HBO in 1984 at my mom's place with my brothers and sister (my mom was living on her own at the time in an apartment in a pink house right across from the junior high). I felt that both movies were solid, especially "Business" since everyone can relate to not wanting to get into trouble when your parents come back home after trusting you to take care of the place. The most memorable aspect of "Moves" was the nude scene between Cruise and Lea Thompson. I got quite a chubby off of it, I must say. jk.
Looking back, I had also seen him in a supporting role in "The Outsiders" ('83). "Top Gun" came out a couple years later, but I just wasn't interested in seeing a movie about a hot-shot pilot. Same thing for "Days of Thunder" ('90), just not interested in a movie about stock car racing. I did catch "Rain Man" ('88) on video, however, and found it to be very good. It deserved all the accolades that it received and showed that Cruise could play more dramatic roles. 1992 brought "A Few Good Men" which I'm sure is good, but I just generally don't like courtroom dramas. I caught "Interview with the Vampire" ('94) on video and found it to be quite wicked. Tom was a pretty good cock, I mean, bloodsucker in that flick. I also caught "Mission: Impossible" ('96) on video, but wasn't too impressed.
I LOVED his next 6 movies, though, starting with "Jerry Maguire" in late 1996. I've already mentioned that this film, a chick flick at heart, was my favorite movie of '96. He came back in the summer of '99 with "Eyes Wide Shut" starring his wife at the time, Nicole. It showed what can happen when doubt and fear of infidelity start to enter into a relationship. Some people didn't get it, but I liked it. I loved the last lines of the movie where Kidman says, "I do love you and you know there is something very important we need to do as soon as possible". Cruise says, "What's that?", and Kidman replies, "Fuck".
Next was "Magnolia" ('99).
He only had a supporting role in this one (as a guy who runs a seminar for single men which teaches them how to seduce a woman and then leave her), but he won a Golden Globe for it and this is still one of my favorite movies.
In the summer of 2000, "Mission Impossible II" was released. Directed by John Woo (the director of "Face/Off"), it had plenty of great action pieces. I really dug it. One of the coolest parts is when Cruise was on that cycle.
Totally kick ass.
"Vanilla Sky" ('01) came out a few months after 7/11 and dealt with vanity, identity, and reality. It opened with a sequence taking place in Times Square in which Cruise is the only person there (This was not CG. It was actually filmed in the early morning when no one else was present). The ending was a jawdropper that took place at the top of a skyscraper in New York with the New York skyline (including the World Trade Center) in the background.
"Minority Report", directed by Spielberg, came out in the summer of '02 and again, I was floored.
This near-future-set movie imagines a United States in which criminals are captured before they have ever committed a crime. The opening sequence, in which a man is captured by the Pre-Crime unit just as he is about to kill his wife, is phenomenal. The movie really picks up steam when Cruise, a member of the Pre-Crime team, is shown evidence that he will commit a murder 3 days hence. He goes on the run to figure out how this could be possible.
His next movie was "The Last Samurai" ('03). I'm sure it was decent, but I just couldn't get too jacked up about seeing Cruise as a U.S. soldier being groomed to be a Samurai. Maybe someday.
In '05, Cruise reunited with Spielberg for "War of the Worlds". It was good, just not as thought-provoking as "Report". It probably wasn't meant to be, but I still left the theatre feeling a bit disappointed.
"MI: III" came out last summer. I didn't get to it, but do plan to see it on telly sometime this year.
All in all, Cruise has been in a lot of mighty good movies and even if he doesn't ever get his groove back, there's still plenty of enjoyable stuff of his for me to look back on.