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Movie Jail: This week's defendant is...Jason Lee!

Jan. 13, 2014by:

Movie Jail

This is Movie Jail, a unique maximum security prison that houses some of the worst writers, directors, actors and producers from Hollywood and beyond. Their crimes? The offenses vary from convict to convict but most of these inmates have contributed negatively to the film world to some capacity and his or her misdeeds have covered a long enough period of time that the authorities had to intervene. In each column a defendant is put on trial, arguments are made, and then it is up to YOU, the jury, to decide if the person is guilty or not guilty of crimes against cinema. Their lives are in your hands, dude.

The Defendant

The Case

The Prosecution: Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chip-Wrecked, Cop Out, Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakuel, Alvin and the Chipmunks, Underdog, The Ballad of Jack and Rose, Dreamcatcher, A Guy Thing, Stealing Harvard, Kissing A Fool

Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, back in the late 1990s/early 2000s the prosecution was a big fan of Jason Lee, but the time has come to send the actor to Movie Jail. Why, you ask? There are many reasons, but the big one is Alvin and the Mother F*cking Chipmunks.

Listen, the prosecution understands an actor needing work and sometimes not getting the best roles available. The prosecution also realizes that the Chipmunks movies are made for children, and most adults won't enjoy them anyway. But does that mean these are good movies? Of course not! They are terrible, lazy films, and you'll probably want to run over every chipmunk you see trying to cross the road after watching them. The Shitmunks films have (unfortunately) made a ton of money, and of course Mr. Lee has signed on for another one, because why bother starring in decent movies when you can just get paid out the ass for appearing in a forgettable kid's flick? Speaking of forgettable children's movies, just how big of a check did Mr. Lee receive for voicing the titular character in Underdog?

But Mr. Lee isn't on trial for appearing in a few too many bad children's movies. Although Mr. Lee has proven that he's capable of doing comedy and drama, his talents have been wasted in mediocre films like The Ballad of Jack and Rose, Dreamcatcher, A Guy Thing, and Stealing Harvard. It's very disappointing when you consider how great he was in films directed by Kevin Smith that aren't Cop Out like Dogma and Chasing Amy, and other movies such as Almost Famous and Vanilla Sky.

Mr. Lee definitely deserves a cot in Movie Jail (and a stink palm) for his crimes against cinema.

The Defense: Drop Dead Sexy, Clerks II, Monster House, The Incredibles, Big Trouble, Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back, Vanilla Sky, Heartbreakers, Almost Famous, Dogma, Mumford, Chasing Amy, Mallrats, My Name is Earl

Ladies and gentlemen, the prosecution is treating my client like he's the first actor to receive a check for starring in a shitty kid's movie. Should Neil Patrick Harris stand trial for appearing in The Smurfs and its sequel? Should David Cross be considered for Movie Jail because he starred in the Chipmunks movies as well? My point? Almost every actor will star or voice a character in an awful children's movie during their career, but they aren't nearly as important as their other film credits.

Mr. Lee hasn't appeared in that many great films lately, but that doesn't mean his talent is gone. Mr. Lee has excellent comedic timing, and he was fantastic in Vanilla Sky as Tom Cruise's pal and as Stillwater lead singer Jeff Bebe in Almost Famous. Does the prosecution honestly think my client will never get parts like the ones in those two films ever again? My client doesn't mail in his performances either. It would be very easy for him to sleepwalk through something like A Guy Thing or Heartbreakers (which isn't nearly as bad as you'd think), but Mr. Lee is full of energy in almost all of his films. And although the defense was never a big fan of "My Name is Earl," Mr. Lee was awesome in it, and wouldn't mind seeing the actor in another television series, as long as it's not "Memphis Beat."

The jury should remember that Mr. Lee was a professional skateboarder before becoming an actor, and he has done an awesome job for someone that use to be an athlete. Maybe being a serious actor isn't that important to my client anymore. Perhaps starring in a successful kid's movie franchise, and appearing in a couple of films here and there is enough for Mr. Lee. My client has also done some done a bunch of voice work, and the defense would love to see him voicing more characters in future films.

The defense has about a million things to say about Mr. Lee for Movie Jail, but can't express it mono-syllabically enough for the prosecution to understand them all. However, the defense knows the jury would understand, and is confident that they will find my client not guilty.

IN CLOSING...

Should Jason Lee be sent to Movie Jail because of his terrible children's movies and recent crappy comedies? Was his success in the past a fluke, or does he have real talent? I ask you, the jury, is Jason Lee GUILTY or NOT GUILTY?

COMMENT BELOW WITH YOUR VERDICT!

*The cases for and against a defendant going to Movie Jail by the author are not necessarily his views and opinions but they are some of the beliefs that one would use to effectively make an argument for both sides. Not quite a devil's advocate but you get the point. Anyways, this is all in fun so don't take it too seriously. We have a separate jail for those people called "Troll Tower" and believe me you do NOT want to go there.

WHAT SAY YOU, GUILTY OR NOT?

LAST WEEK'S VERDICT

Director Gavin Hood has been found NOT GUILTY of all charges. After looking at the evidence from last week's trial, the jury decided Mr. Hood just hasn't done enough work to be judged fairly, and they said he shouldn't be held accountable for X-Men Origins: Wolverine.The jury also commented that the director did a decent job with Ender's Game, and would be interested in seeing another film by Mr. Hood.

PREVIOUS VERDICTS

GUILTY Adam Sandler, Eddie Murphy, Vince Vaughn, Tim Burton, The Farrelly Brothers, Michael Bay, Jessica Alba, Ice Cube, Gerard Butler, Halle Berry, Marlon Wayans, Julia Roberts, M. Night Shyamalan , Katherine Heigl , Cuba Gooding, Jr. , Tyler Perry, Cameron Diaz, Kate Hudson, Ashton Kutcher, Happy Madison Productions, Jennifer Lopez, Bruce Willis, Paul W.S. Anderson, Matthew Broderick, Sarah Jessica Parker, Brett Ratner, Rob Cohen, Renee Zellweger, Shia LaBeouf

NOT GUILTY Robert De Niro, Val Kilmer, Nic Cage, John Travolta, Oliver Stone, Ben Stiller, Jim Carrey, Wes Craven, Matthew McConaughey, Robert Rodriguez, Kristen Stewart, Roland Emmerich, Kevin Costner, Sandra Bullock, Hilary Swank, Al Pacino, Keanu Reeves, Kevin Smith, Channing Tatum, Jennifer Aniston, Owen Wilson, Anna Faris, Robin Williams, Charlize Theron, Ray Liotta, Jason Statham, Paul Walker, Will Smith, Salma Hayek, Michael Cera, Johnny Depp, Ryan Reynolds, Milla Jovovich, John Singleton, Jon Voight, Jack Black, Brian De Palma, Jerry Bruckheimer, Nicole Kidman, Justin Timberlake, Freddy Krueger (Halloween Special), Johnny Knoxville, Orlando Bloom, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Dan Aykroyd, Sylvester Stallone, Gavin Hood

Extra Tidbit: Who should stand trial next week? Share your suggestions for actors, directors and writers below with your verdict!
Source: JoBlo.com

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7:29PM on 01/14/2014

Not Guilty

but can't express it mono-syllabically enough for the prosecution to understand them all. - HAHA Great Point!!
but can't express it mono-syllabically enough for the prosecution to understand them all. - HAHA Great Point!!
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3:56AM on 01/14/2014

Not Guilty

Everyone is allowed to do films for their kids.
Everyone is allowed to do films for their kids.
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+5
12:38AM on 01/14/2014

Not Guilty

I just like him too much. He is Gen X.
I just like him too much. He is Gen X.
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+5
9:59PM on 01/13/2014
Not guilty, love this man. Plus we can all bust on him about those "Alvin and the Chipmunk" movies, but there is no way any of us would pass on the checks he got for those flicks. :)
Not guilty, love this man. Plus we can all bust on him about those "Alvin and the Chipmunk" movies, but there is no way any of us would pass on the checks he got for those flicks. :)
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9:00PM on 01/13/2014

Not Guilty

He's always been the type of actor to take what he can get, and make the best of it. The guy is not A-list, so he can't be picky. I see no reason to throw him in movie jail.
For next week, how about Renny Harlin, Jennifer Garner, Steve Martin, Kristen Bell, David Goyer, or Danny McBride
He's always been the type of actor to take what he can get, and make the best of it. The guy is not A-list, so he can't be picky. I see no reason to throw him in movie jail.
For next week, how about Renny Harlin, Jennifer Garner, Steve Martin, Kristen Bell, David Goyer, or Danny McBride
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9:13AM on 01/14/2014
Those are all good picks. Except for McBride (fresh off THIS IS THE END and the EASTBOUND & DOWN finale) and Goyer (MAN OF STEEL wasn't hated enough).
Those are all good picks. Except for McBride (fresh off THIS IS THE END and the EASTBOUND & DOWN finale) and Goyer (MAN OF STEEL wasn't hated enough).
5:18PM on 01/13/2014
Not guilty
Not guilty
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+4
4:29PM on 01/13/2014

NOT GUILTY

character actors cant go to movie jail, only lead actors and alike.
character actors cant go to movie jail, only lead actors and alike.
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5:12PM on 01/13/2014
Says who?
Says who?
3:40PM on 01/13/2014

I say not guilty

And put Hayden Christensen on the stand next.
And put Hayden Christensen on the stand next.
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+4
2:09PM on 01/13/2014

YOU CAN'T COMPARE HIM TO...

... Neil Patrick Harris. He hasn't been in as many movies as Jason. And David Cross at least had the decency of admitting the CHIPMUNKS movies suck. Personally, I only hate the 3rd one. The 2nd one (where Jason is barely in it) was tolerable. And I actually liked the 1st one. It didn't have bad messages or toilet humour (unlike most live-action family movies). And Jason wasn't bad in that one. But he's still Guilty.

As one of the 17 people who actually saw BIG TROUBLE, I can assure you that
... Neil Patrick Harris. He hasn't been in as many movies as Jason. And David Cross at least had the decency of admitting the CHIPMUNKS movies suck. Personally, I only hate the 3rd one. The 2nd one (where Jason is barely in it) was tolerable. And I actually liked the 1st one. It didn't have bad messages or toilet humour (unlike most live-action family movies). And Jason wasn't bad in that one. But he's still Guilty.

As one of the 17 people who actually saw BIG TROUBLE, I can assure you that he's as great in it as he was in MY NAME IS EARL. And I had a man-crush on him in THE HEARTBREAKERS because of how charming he was. He's been likeable even in bad movies like STEALING HARVARD and A GUY THING. So no, he's not a bad actor. But you gotta look at his career overall. It seems like he's done with good movies, and it's been that way for a while. I don't care about the reason (specially if it's money). This is Movie Jail, after all.

Also, you say that he can also do drama. Are you sure? Because in ENEMY OF THE STATE, ALMOST FAMOUS, VANILLA SKY and DREAMCATCHER, he's the comic relief. By the way, I saw THE INCREDIBLES and MONSTER HOUSE dubbed in Spanish (I'm Chilean), so I can't judge his acting in those.

Next week: Kate Beckinsale or Ridley Scott. Someone suggested Sigourney Weaver last week. If not, Adrien Brody, Dennis Dugan, Harrison Ford, Diane Keaton, Robert Luketic, Andrew Niccol, Winona Ryder and David Spade are currently in Razzie consideration (I THINK they're in the ballots).
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1:57PM on 01/13/2014

Not Guilty

Even though he was in some shitty movies,I say not guilty.I love My Name Is Earl,The Incredibles,and Chasing Amy.
Even though he was in some shitty movies,I say not guilty.I love My Name Is Earl,The Incredibles,and Chasing Amy.
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+7
12:38PM on 01/13/2014

Jason Lee's not guilty, but do you know who is...?

THIS COURT for not convicting Gavin Hood last week. Yep there, I said it.
THIS COURT for not convicting Gavin Hood last week. Yep there, I said it.
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12:25PM on 01/13/2014

Not guilty

Jason never struck me as a guy who had a great passion for acting. He sort of just fell into it after realizing skateboarding wasn't going to pay out in the long run. I think the guy is just doing what he needs to do to make a living. It's not like he is striving to be Daniel Day Lewis or something.
Jason never struck me as a guy who had a great passion for acting. He sort of just fell into it after realizing skateboarding wasn't going to pay out in the long run. I think the guy is just doing what he needs to do to make a living. It's not like he is striving to be Daniel Day Lewis or something.
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12:06PM on 01/13/2014

Guilty

I understand the need to pay the bills, but how many of those bloody chipmunks movies does he need to do? And I also agree that his career has hit the skids along with My Name Is Earl.
I understand the need to pay the bills, but how many of those bloody chipmunks movies does he need to do? And I also agree that his career has hit the skids along with My Name Is Earl.
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11:31AM on 01/13/2014

No Contest = I accept his guilt, but with apprehensions

I noticed something weird about Lee: After he grew his Earl mustache and started using that Earl voice, his career went south. He probably made A LOT of money from Earl, but his creative output dried up. Then he did that forgettable procedural for one season on TNT and since then? Bupkis worth even watching the trailer for. I don't know if its his religiousness (he's a HUGE Scientologist) or something else, but the guy turned his back on the stuff that gave him a career in the first place.
I noticed something weird about Lee: After he grew his Earl mustache and started using that Earl voice, his career went south. He probably made A LOT of money from Earl, but his creative output dried up. Then he did that forgettable procedural for one season on TNT and since then? Bupkis worth even watching the trailer for. I don't know if its his religiousness (he's a HUGE Scientologist) or something else, but the guy turned his back on the stuff that gave him a career in the first place.
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11:17AM on 01/13/2014

Not Guilty

Not guilty.

And I absolutely love Stealing Harvard. I know it's silly, but I think the film is hysterical.
Not guilty.

And I absolutely love Stealing Harvard. I know it's silly, but I think the film is hysterical.
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10:53AM on 01/13/2014

Guilty.

Jason Lee is a good actor. Jason Lee has been a part of some very good movies. Jason Lee can play comedy and drama equally well. But this isn't about Jason Lee's ability. It's about what has Jason Lee done for us lately. I'm tempted to give him a little room on the Chipmunks front, just because he very likely is in the same boat as David Cross, of being contractually obligated to appear in those. Beyond that, he's been doing TV shows. Okay, so since "My Name is Earl" ended, I haven't seen him
Jason Lee is a good actor. Jason Lee has been a part of some very good movies. Jason Lee can play comedy and drama equally well. But this isn't about Jason Lee's ability. It's about what has Jason Lee done for us lately. I'm tempted to give him a little room on the Chipmunks front, just because he very likely is in the same boat as David Cross, of being contractually obligated to appear in those. Beyond that, he's been doing TV shows. Okay, so since "My Name is Earl" ended, I haven't seen him on TV shows (and he was great as Earl), but I still feel like he's squandering his talents. Maybe I should accept that Jason Lee has just hit a patch where paying the bills is more important than quality. But considering this is Movie Jail, and I may be a little selfish (or that they actually picked someone this week I have an opinion on), I have to say guilty. Now, it's not that I don't like the man, but rather that I do, but I just wish he'd do something worthwhile again.
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+0
10:45AM on 01/13/2014

Eeeee.

We're really scraping the bottom of the barrel on this Jury thing, huh? I don't think this guy is in enough movies to even be up for parole. Guilty.
We're really scraping the bottom of the barrel on this Jury thing, huh? I don't think this guy is in enough movies to even be up for parole. Guilty.
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+5
10:24AM on 01/13/2014

Not Guilty

I find it unthinkable that anyone would be unsure about this.
I find it unthinkable that anyone would be unsure about this.
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+2
10:21AM on 01/13/2014
I actually like My Name is Earl. so Not Guilty. Besides, I dont even see a reason for his being on here. You must be digging at the bottom of the barrel, can we put Kristen Stuart back on trial, think it was fixed!
I actually like My Name is Earl. so Not Guilty. Besides, I dont even see a reason for his being on here. You must be digging at the bottom of the barrel, can we put Kristen Stuart back on trial, think it was fixed!
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10:23AM on 01/13/2014
Kristen Stewart, maybe bad, misspelled her name
Kristen Stewart, maybe bad, misspelled her name
1:30PM on 01/13/2014
That dry, dopey bitch isn't worth having her name spelled right
That dry, dopey bitch isn't worth having her name spelled right
1:54PM on 01/13/2014
She was already on trial. She was found Not Guilty.
She was already on trial. She was found Not Guilty.
2:44PM on 01/13/2014
D'uh Vits, I said put back on trial. This is movie court, and as we all know, anything can happen in a movie, so its possible to put that bitch back on trial.
D'uh Vits, I said put back on trial. This is movie court, and as we all know, anything can happen in a movie, so its possible to put that bitch back on trial.
+5
10:12AM on 01/13/2014

Not Guilty

Echoing Frosty's sentiments. Extremely tough call but I suppose I can't condemn someone so great in pure comedies (mostly Kevin Smith ones) because he decided to cash in with a few cheap romcoms and kiddie flicks.
Echoing Frosty's sentiments. Extremely tough call but I suppose I can't condemn someone so great in pure comedies (mostly Kevin Smith ones) because he decided to cash in with a few cheap romcoms and kiddie flicks.
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+4
9:32AM on 01/13/2014
Not guilty, I think the audience would agree with me there.
Not guilty, I think the audience would agree with me there.
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9:08AM on 01/13/2014
This one is tough for me because I love Jason Lee in Mallrats, Dogma, My Name Is Earl, Almost Famous, and The Incredibles (he does great vocal work, he should do more with Disney). I am glad to see Heartbreakers in the defense, it's an underrated comedy. On the other hand looking at his god awful choices, mainly his foray into children's movies. Stealing Harvard and Kissing A Fool were also pretty bad. Ultimately I do not think I can condemn someone for a couple of bad romantic comedies and
This one is tough for me because I love Jason Lee in Mallrats, Dogma, My Name Is Earl, Almost Famous, and The Incredibles (he does great vocal work, he should do more with Disney). I am glad to see Heartbreakers in the defense, it's an underrated comedy. On the other hand looking at his god awful choices, mainly his foray into children's movies. Stealing Harvard and Kissing A Fool were also pretty bad. Ultimately I do not think I can condemn someone for a couple of bad romantic comedies and children's movies. I can say though that he has not been working to his talents but as of right now he is still not guilty.
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8:41AM on 01/13/2014

Not Guilty

I've never once thought Jason Lee is a bad actor or thought to watch Alvin and the Chipmunks, so I don't want to shit all over a kids movie. Mr.Lee just seems to be doing his own thing while still getting leading roles in TV and in movies. Definitely won't blow you away in any of his performances, I've just always seen him as an enjoyable, likable guy that will make you laugh.
I've never once thought Jason Lee is a bad actor or thought to watch Alvin and the Chipmunks, so I don't want to shit all over a kids movie. Mr.Lee just seems to be doing his own thing while still getting leading roles in TV and in movies. Definitely won't blow you away in any of his performances, I've just always seen him as an enjoyable, likable guy that will make you laugh.
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8:34AM on 01/13/2014

Not Guilty

Not Guilty. It's simple.
Not Guilty. It's simple.
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8:19AM on 01/13/2014

I'm going to say GUILTY

Was a big fan of his but haven't been interested in anything he's done since 'Earl' dipped in quality, i understand the fellows got to eat but it doesn't mean his output has be so mediocre.
Was a big fan of his but haven't been interested in anything he's done since 'Earl' dipped in quality, i understand the fellows got to eat but it doesn't mean his output has be so mediocre.
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+3
8:06AM on 01/13/2014

NOT GUILTY

While Alvin and the Chipmunks is about as deplorable as it gets, the man has just done too many of what my generation considers classics to put him in Movie Jail. Because of Jason Lee the Chocolate Pretzel Stink Palm shall live in infamy. Plus he was a badass skateboarder. NOT GUILTY!
While Alvin and the Chipmunks is about as deplorable as it gets, the man has just done too many of what my generation considers classics to put him in Movie Jail. Because of Jason Lee the Chocolate Pretzel Stink Palm shall live in infamy. Plus he was a badass skateboarder. NOT GUILTY!
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8:01AM on 01/13/2014

Not Guilty

And I move that Dreamcatcher be removed from the prosecution list.
And I move that Dreamcatcher be removed from the prosecution list.
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8:01AM on 01/13/2014
Jason Lee I think could be a slightly better actor then he is, but he cant seem to keep a winning streak going...probably his greatest triumph was MY NAME IS EARL..aside from the Kevin Smith movies.....he needs to stand away from live action animated features and not feel obligated to do another Kevin Smith movie like COP OUT...that all being said, I dont find Jason Lee gulity but I do thing he should be in Movie Jail for 48 hours for the Alvin and the Chimpmunk movies and STEALING HARVARD
Jason Lee I think could be a slightly better actor then he is, but he cant seem to keep a winning streak going...probably his greatest triumph was MY NAME IS EARL..aside from the Kevin Smith movies.....he needs to stand away from live action animated features and not feel obligated to do another Kevin Smith movie like COP OUT...that all being said, I dont find Jason Lee gulity but I do thing he should be in Movie Jail for 48 hours for the Alvin and the Chimpmunk movies and STEALING HARVARD
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7:56AM on 01/13/2014
Not guilty. He's a working actor. He's gotta eat. He's not getting any bigger offers than Chipmunks and Underdogs. Might as well bite now in case it never happens again.
Not guilty. He's a working actor. He's gotta eat. He's not getting any bigger offers than Chipmunks and Underdogs. Might as well bite now in case it never happens again.
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