Where Are The Movie Stars?

I had to share this post by Bill Simmons the sports writer. Bill’s recent post caught my attention because it was about the lack of legitimate Hollywood movies stars (and correspondingly the lack of decent movies); the post seemed out of character for a sports writer. After all, what do sports and movies have in common? Read Bill’s column to find out. I’ll just say, that I rarely have the patience for a post of this length, but this one was so well done (and very funny), and he made some great comparisons to sports, that I found it worth the time to read it all the way through. Let me also add, I kinda like Ryan Reynolds and Will Smith…but now that I have read Bill’s column, I absolutely concur…they are formulaic and more often than not there is little quality acting involved in their movies.

“Every NBA team starts a home game the same way: by announcing the visiting team’s starting lineup, then turning out the lights and cranking a song that’s either hip-hop happy or gratuitously goose-bumpish (like Phil Collins’ “In the Air Tonight”). Within seconds, a JumboTron highlight-video launches with a dopey slogan like “Our Time Is Now” or “Rise Up.” It’s crammed with awkward close-ups, dunks and alley-oops, as well as players muttering things like, “This is our city” and “Let’s do this.” The video almost always ends with the team’s best player staring into the camera and screaming, “AHHHHHHHHHHH!” or “LEMME HEAR IT!!!!!!!!” Then, the lights turn back on and they introduce their starting five.

How did this become the blueprint for starting an NBA game? I have no idea. But any franchise lacking a good-enough “LEMME HEAR IT!!!!!!!!” guy needs to decide something: Should it finish the video with a barrage of dunks, or with its by-default best player screaming as the closer even though he’s not really a star? Deep down, the team knows this decision symbolizes everything. You can’t win without a legitimate “LEMME HEAR IT!!!!!!!!” guy; pointing this out in the opening video is almost counterproductive. That’s what made it so interesting when, on Opening Night against the Celtics last October, the Cavaliers embraced their LeBron-less plight. Their video ended with Mo Williams screaming incoherently and turning into a fireball. The subtext?

This is our best player. It’s Mo Williams. We just wanted to prepare you guys now.1

In Hollywood, that Mo Williams dilemma hangs over everything. They make too many movies and don’t have nearly enough stars. That’s a problem. Their solution is to “create” stars, leading to a bigger problem: They’re effectively forcing actors like Chris Evans and Ryan Reynolds down our throats like big clumps of broccoli. Why not worry about finding quality scripts and making quality movies instead? That would require real work and real ingenuity. It’s much easier to make superhero movies, sequels, anything with aliens, anything with the world about to blow up, and anything that could carry “3D” in the title. That’s how we arrived to a point in which the following two facts are indisputable.

Fact: People believe Will Smith is the world’s biggest movie star (even though he doesn’t make great movies).

Fact: People believe Ryan Reynolds is a movie star (even though he isn’t).

That’s all you need to know about Hollywood right now. Everyone is complaining about the quality of this summer’s movies (probably the worst ever), this year’s Oscar race (potentially the most ghastly in years) and a general lack of imagination by the studios (it honestly feels like they gave up), but really, everything comes back to Will Smith and Ryan Reynolds.”

Read the rest of the post from Grantland HERE