Have you noticed this? In the midst of all the 17 Again success, that little powerhouse of sweepy do's and fake varsity basketball production numbers, Zac Efron has been getting compared to a young Tom Cruise a lot this month. I guess it makes sense? When Tom Cruise was 21, he was also very pretty and famous, so it makes total sense to compare the two, because 1) no one other than Tom Cruise has ever exhibited those two characteristics, and 2) it's not like calling someone "the next Tom Cruise" has any negative and/or terrifying connotations or anything, media. It makes perfect sense! Excellent work. Anyway, apparently they mean it as a compliment, because Tom Cruise is quite successful, busy and wealthy, despite all his bad personal press, and I say there's no reason the same can't be true for Zefron. Here are a few ridiculous steps in the shadow of Cruise for him to follow. (Note to Zefron: I love you, so please, for the love of god, don't do any of these things.) And a 5, 6, 7, 8!
Charlie St. Cloud is a movie that attempts to be a trippy melodrama about a guy (Zac Efron) who might be crazy, might be a ghost, might be alive and living in a town full of ghosts, might be a ghost living in a town full of ghosts, might also be a telepath, might just be dreaming, might be on drugs, might be Haley Joel Osment from The Sixth Sense, or maybe none of those things. No one knows, because this movie's screenplay has so many holes and contradictions that I can't even really tell you what happened in it because none of it makes any sense whatsoever.
If you're going to do the someone-magically-becomes-older-or-younger storyline, I much prefer the ones where a teen plays someone older, just because actors in their mid-30s tend to play teenagers as f*cking retards for some reason (Jennifer Garner, I love you, but 13 Going on 30 was an insult to 13-year-olds.) So 17 Again is perfect! Adorable Zac Efron, the return of Matthew Perry (who I like a lot more than I should), Thomas Lennon, Leslie Mann, Jan from The Office, Michelle Trachtenberg's pretty hair. This movie's going to be great, even if it is the most unoriginal screenplay ever. So, in the spirit of 17 Again week excitement, let's look back at a few of the films it "borrowed" from.
I admit I was wary when news came down about Hairspray 2, a sequel to the 2007 screen adaptation of the stage adaptation of John Waters' 1988 cult classic movie. All versions were fun escapes and modern fairytales, and it seemed like going for another outing would just be tempting fate. It would be like going out in the rain once too often with your new bouffant 'do... Sooner or later, the hairspray that held the whole thing together would dissolve and leave you with a flat, tangled mess. My apprehension faded a little, though, upon learning of Waters' plans for the sequel. Read on for the skinny.
The commercials for this movie do it a major disservice by making it look like your average transformation Big or Freaky Friday movie starring Chandler Bing and Zac Efron. It is that, but it's also more than it appears to be on the surface. The movie is about teen basketball phenom Mike O'Donnell, who doesn't go to college because his girlfriend is pregnant and ends up 20 years later as a disgruntled pharmaceutical rep (Matthew Perry) on the verge of a divorce with two teenage kids who hate his guts. He wishes he could go back and do it over, so a magic janitor turns him into a teenager, but he stays in present day. He discovers that he's on a path to help his wife (Leslie Mann) realize that her husband isn't a total loser, and to assist his kids (Sterling Knight and Michelle Trachtenberg) in turning their lives around. There's a ridiculous number of shots of Zac Efron shirtless or playing basketball. There's obligatory near-incest moments and cougar references. There's tons of typical high-school behavior (thankfully, it's more of the Mean Girls variety and less of the High School Musical drivel). But tucked in among all of this solid, amusing, but typical A-story drama is a B-plot that really takes the entire film to a new level.
Back in the '80s, Mike had a best friend who was a nerd, the guy who was given wedgies and stuffed in lockers because he wore a wizard costume to school. But in present day, that nerdy guy is Ned Gold (played by the scene-stealing Thomas Lennon). He's gone from school nerd to king of the geeks. He invented anti-piracy music software and the software to help people steal music. He's put his infinite wealth to good use, buying every collectible and comic book out there. His house is like a movie/comic museum, and he's pretty much my hero. So below are the reasons that he elevates this movie's geek status tenfold.
I'm not going to lie -- Zac Efron, for all the High School Musical-y stuff he's done (I can't drive two blocks without seeing him jumping ecstatically in a cap and gown), earned my respect for his stint as Link in Hairspray. For all the fun I'd normally make of a guy with hair as floppy and in need of cutting as his, I won't, because what John Waters has joined together, let no blogger put asunder. So, it is with humility and a straight face that I bring you the news that the Footloose remake that will star one Mr. Zac Efron, has gotten the blessing of Kevin Bacon. I'm sure we'll all sleep better.
This Friday welcomes the release of the Runaways biopic, cleverly titled The Runaways, with Twilight stars Kristen Stewart and Dakota Fanning in the lead roles as Joan Jett and Cherie Currie, respectively. And while the movie actually looks like a lot of fun, that casting has been hilarious since the day it was announced. If this movie makes money and spawns a trend, we could have a whole pipeline full of tween-targeted biopics of people they've never heard of coming at us. Here are my predictions and suggestions for future musical biopics the tween audience can hilariously ruin.
Obviously, no one needs a remake of Footloose. But since Hollywood hates us all and insists on going ahead with this flushing-cash-down-the-toilet project, the least they could do is keep their casting appropriate. That was the case up until yesterday, when it was announced that Zac Efron apparently figured out what a bad idea a Footloose remake is, for both his career and for the world, and dropped the hell out of it. So who's going to replace him as Kevin Bacon 2.0? Here are some people.
Forbes has come out with its list of "Hollywood's Top-Paid Tweens", and most of the stars who made it are no longer pre-teens themselves. But, as Forbes notes, "the bulk of their work still caters to that advertiser-beloved tween set." Tied for the top spot with a mind-blowing $25 million each are Hannah Montana's fifteen-year-old Miley Cyrus and Harry Potter's nineteen-year-old Daniel Radcliffe.