Monday, September 13, 2010

Gimme Five: A New Series

Its the premiere of a new series here at The Entertainment Junkie blog, Gimme Five. Its a pretty basic idea: a list of five things that are related by a common theme. I'll try to put one of these up at least once a week. This first list was inspired by my VMA post last night about Lady Gaga: here's five other people in need of quality control.
1. M. Night Shyamalan
A tad obvious? Probably. But if there's anyone who needs someone else to guide him, its Shyamalan. He showed great promise with The Sixth Sense, and he crafted a fine film in Unbreakable, but with Signs he started to show creative exhaustion. Nowadays just his name on a film draws ridiculing laughter. The problem is that he got too wrapped up in his own head, and just put down whatever came to his mind. The result is stories about narfs and killer trees. He needs a co-writer to help him stay focused on crafting a suspenseful story, and let him focus more on his strengths as a visual director.
2. Nicolas Cage
The Socerer's Apprentice. The Wicker Man. Next. If there is any actor alive today who knows the definition of "paycheck role," its Nicolas Cage. Cage has a pretty formidable talent, as films such as Raising Arizona, Leaving Las Vegas, and Adaptation have proved. But lately he's either taking roles for money or is just so uninspired that he phones it in. His appearance in Werner Herzog's Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans plays with this idea, in that its not a great role, but its a great performance in that it caters to Cage's career moves as of late. He needs someone to find him roles where he can truly shine again.
3. Woody Allen
Woody Allen has crafted some brilliant masterpieces in his career, but between those highs are some pretty spectacular lows. For every Annie Hall and Crimes and Misdemeanors, there's a Anything Else and Curse of the Jade Scorpion. Blame his prolific output for this: he produces at least one film a year, working on the preproduction for one while working on the postproduction for another. He doesn't necessarily need someone else to help him out, he just needs to take a break and recharge, come up with some new ideas, and remind us of why he's one of the best storytellers in film.
4. Brad Falchuk, Ian Brennan, and Ryan Murphy
Glee started out as one of the most invigorating and exciting new series of the year, and though its still one of the most entertaining, the quality of the show has suffered, namely in the plotting. The show's storylines have become erratic at best, and here's the problem: the show's writing team seems to only number these three men. Some more voices may help ensure that the arcs don't go completely off the rails, and the show can stay focused on important subplots rather than frivolous ones that it forgets and then brings back four or five episodes later.
5. Christina Aguilera
She took a few years off between 2006's Back to Basics and this year's Bionic, and in that time the pop landscape has changed. Did she change with it? Of course not. Aguilera was already having trouble bringing variety to her act, squandering some early promise for her career. Her voice is still as big and bold as ever, but her material is growing more and more lackluster. Later this year she'll appear in Burlesque, a new musical opposite Cher. Will this be the spark she needs? Based on the trailers, the jury's out.
Is there anyone else you can think of who needs quality control? Sound off in the comments.


Simon said...

I always think Christina Aguilera is just jumping onto whatever musical boat is in trend.

Jason H. said...

A lot of people do that. Its really unfortunate, too; they have no personality of their own.