Introducing: The Summer of Cruise

Those of you who followed my previous blog may recall that I spent two summers writing about the work of two of my favorite directors: Martin Scorsese and Steven Spielberg. (Not to go out on a limb or anything.) The former project didn’t pan out as much as I had hoped, but with the so-called “Summer of Spielberg” I was able to successfully navigate the entirety of his considerable oeuvre. This summer, I have decided to bring it back, only I won’t be talking about a director. I will be discussing one of the biggest movie stars in history: Thomas Cruise Mapother IV. This won’t be a comprehensive project that covers every film he’s done, but instead I will focus on many of the most important movies of his career: both the highs and lows.

Several factors inspired this undertaking. First, there was Amy Nicholson’s terrific LA Weekly article about the mostly absurd Tom Cruise “controversies” that we saw in the last decade. Then, last night, I saw Cruise’s new movie Edge of Tomorrow. I’ll post a more comprehensive review closer to the release date, but it inspired me to tweet the following:

I genuinely mean that. Edge of Tomorrow is not a perfect film, but it is a very entertaining one, and much of the credit for that goes to Cruise’s fantastic, committed performance. He has not sleepwalked through a single performance in his career, and even when he’s been miscast he has done everything in his power to sell the material. He is 100 percent invested in everything he does, and it pays off far more often than not. It says something that the Mission: Impossible movies are one of the more consistent action franchises going today. Cruise is an actor not simply in the business of selling tickets, though he has always been good at that. He wants to make sure the audiences buying the tickets are thoroughly entertained, and that alone makes him valuable. With this project, I intend to explore one of the more interesting career arcs movies has ever seen.

This will begin late next week with a look at Tom Cruise’s earlier work, and for the next several weeks I will bounce around his career as I see fit. Some posts may focus on a single film, others will look at several. I’m definitely looking forward to it, since it may lead me to see the massive movie star in a slightly different light.

Anyway, I will leave you with the end credits of Tropic Thunder, because of course I will. Some YouTube saint has stretched them out to 15 minutes, and I expect you to watch every second. Farewell, and I’ll see you next week.


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