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Movie Jail: This week's defendant is...John Travolta!

09.04.2012

Welcome to Movie Jail, a facility like any other, only its inmates are Hollywood writers, directors, actors and producers. This column will serve as a Movie Jail trial. We will put one defendant on trial; lay out arguments for the Prosecution and Defense. And we leave it up to YOU, the reader, to decide whether the defendant is guilty of his or her crime. What crime? The crime of consistently being a stinking shithouse.

The Defendant


John Travolta

The Case

The Prosecution: Battlefield Earth, Old Dogs, Wild Hogs, Be Cool, Basic, Look Who's Talking 1-3, Lucky Numbers, Ladder 49, countless 80s/early 90s movies we frankly haven't heard of.*

Ladies and gentleman of the jury, it's that time again where the prosecution must step in and try to keep an actor from ruining his legacy. And what a legacy it's been. How do you go from THE BIGGEST STAR OF THE 1970s, to being the actor the readers want to see in Movie Jail the most? Like Tim Burton, Mr. Travolta's name has been brought up so many times that it's time we throw his wig wearing ass on the stand. Tell me something: is there even a legacy here worth fighting for? The way the prosecution sees it, no actor in Hollywood on Travolta's level has been given so many chances to turn his career around like Travolta. Three strikes and you're out, right? BULLSHIT. Travolta's been at the plate for years, swinging at the same pitch, with only a foul tip here and there to show for it. What happened to Vincent Vega and Chili Palmer? Instead we get Old Dogs and Wild Hogs and Boggy Bogs (look it up, it's in production [Editor's note: No, it's fucking not, you're lying.]) Somebody's gotta step in and stop Mr. Travolta before he completely ruins what he's built up, if he hasn't already.

The Defense: Pulp Fiction, Saturday Night Fever, Blow Out, Get Shorty, Face/Off, Urban Cowboy, Primary Colors, Phenomenom, Savages.*

Ladies and Gentleman of the jury, the defense would like to have the prosecution's statement on wig's stricken from the record. And let us also remind the jury that another wig wearing defendant (Nic Cage) was acquited and found not guilty. So chill on the wigs. Should the man not be acquited of all charges for commanding one of the greatest comeback performances in history? The defense can't even hear the name "Lance" without screaming in Tourette's like fashion "We're losing her Lance!" Sure, he dipped off in the 80s after classic performances in Saturday Night Fever and Grease, but he still had the little seen 1981 gem Blow Out before, well, his star blew out for the remainder of the decade. The 90s brought Mr. Travolta back in a big way and he took advantage of what was offered. Big deal! The 2000s has seen him in a slump but is it enough evidence to lock him up and throw away the key? Not a chance.


IN CLOSING...

So, what’s to be done with Mr. John Travolta? The man has at least five classic film characters he's created in his 40 year career that might've left a gap in awesome had you taken any of the those movies out. On the other hand, don't consistently shit on us and then be all like, "Hey, why's it raining chocolate?" And the most important question to be asked, once all evidence is taken into consideration, we ask you The Jury, is John Travolta GUILTY or NOT GUILTY? Let’s hear YOUR arguments, either side, by STRIKING BACK BELOW.

*The court recognizes that all movies are subjective, so relax.

WHAT SAY YOU, GUILTY OR NOT?


LAST WEEK'S VERDICT

It is the jury's decision that after reviewing last week's evidence, the court finds Mr. Tim Burton GUILTY of all charges. The jury feels that Mr. Burton has played his gothic song and dance for one too many movies and relies too heavily on his "style" that his work has been an exercise in self-parody. Oh, and the jury wants him to stop working with Johnny Depp too.

Extra Tidbit: Who Should Take the Stand Next? Strike Back Below!
Source: JoBlo.com

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8:54AM on 09/04/2012
Not guilty. Sure, some of his movies are bad (mainly Battlefield Earth) but Travolta always play his characters to be colorful as much as he can. His role as a veteran CIA (I think) agent in From Paris With Love was fun to watch. He was also a good match for Jamie Lee Curtis in the movie "Perfect" too. Frankly, I always love watching Travolta in villainous role such as his portrayal of Castor Troy in "Face/Off", cartoonish villain in "The Punisher" and a badass villain in the remake of The
Not guilty. Sure, some of his movies are bad (mainly Battlefield Earth) but Travolta always play his characters to be colorful as much as he can. His role as a veteran CIA (I think) agent in From Paris With Love was fun to watch. He was also a good match for Jamie Lee Curtis in the movie "Perfect" too. Frankly, I always love watching Travolta in villainous role such as his portrayal of Castor Troy in "Face/Off", cartoonish villain in "The Punisher" and a badass villain in the remake of The Taking of Pelham 123. For Extra tidbit: Steven Seagal.
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9:04AM on 09/04/2012
Not guilty, love the guy and even his over the top performance in BATTLEFIELD EARTH is the only reason to watch it with buddies. The guy is a great actor when he tries and has great material to work with.
Not guilty, love the guy and even his over the top performance in BATTLEFIELD EARTH is the only reason to watch it with buddies. The guy is a great actor when he tries and has great material to work with.
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9:11AM on 09/04/2012
Lock him in a cell and throw away the cell.

Next up, Steven Segal.
Lock him in a cell and throw away the cell.

Next up, Steven Segal.
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9:15AM on 09/04/2012
Tim Burton guilty!?! You're out of order! The whole trial is out of order.

As for John Travolta...Not Guilty.
Yes he has been in some turkeys, but I've enjoyed his films including Broken Arrow and Phenomenon. And the first Look Who's Talking wasn't that bad.

Oh and his role in Hairspray! the scenes between him and Christopher Walken were priceless
Tim Burton guilty!?! You're out of order! The whole trial is out of order.

As for John Travolta...Not Guilty.
Yes he has been in some turkeys, but I've enjoyed his films including Broken Arrow and Phenomenon. And the first Look Who's Talking wasn't that bad.

Oh and his role in Hairspray! the scenes between him and Christopher Walken were priceless
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10:00AM on 09/04/2012
Guilty as a motherfucking.
Guilty as a motherfucking.
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10:02AM on 09/04/2012
I like Travolta. Maybe if I saw Savages it might renew my hope in him. But while the man has talent to spare, he's not as entertaining as Nic Cage when his movies are bad. I'd only give him a year or two, personally, but yeah, guilty.

Next up: Katherine Heigl.
I like Travolta. Maybe if I saw Savages it might renew my hope in him. But while the man has talent to spare, he's not as entertaining as Nic Cage when his movies are bad. I'd only give him a year or two, personally, but yeah, guilty.

Next up: Katherine Heigl.
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10:05AM on 09/04/2012

Guilty as charged

Battlefield Earth is so terrifically bad as to never recover from.
Battlefield Earth is so terrifically bad as to never recover from.
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10:11AM on 09/04/2012
Guilty. And again, as with Nic Cage...Face/Off belongs in The Case, not the defense. Don't believe me? By all means, get into the habit of running your smelly unwashed fingers down the center of your girlfriend's face as a sign of affection. Then you'll find yourself with enough free time to realize Face/Off sucks.

Sentence Travolta to another year trapped in the closet with Tom Cruise and R. Kelly. Then community service acting in Tarantino's next flick free of charge. QT saved his
Guilty. And again, as with Nic Cage...Face/Off belongs in The Case, not the defense. Don't believe me? By all means, get into the habit of running your smelly unwashed fingers down the center of your girlfriend's face as a sign of affection. Then you'll find yourself with enough free time to realize Face/Off sucks.

Sentence Travolta to another year trapped in the closet with Tom Cruise and R. Kelly. Then community service acting in Tarantino's next flick free of charge. QT saved his career once he can do it again.
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4:51PM on 09/04/2012
That´s the reason you hate on Face/Off? Because your girlfriend is not into you running your sausage fingers over her face? Don´t blame the movie, dude!
That´s the reason you hate on Face/Off? Because your girlfriend is not into you running your sausage fingers over her face? Don´t blame the movie, dude!
10:15AM on 09/04/2012

Guilty as charged!

There's no doubt about it, not only is he in bad movies he's also extremely terrible in them. The man is past redemption, toss away the key.
There's no doubt about it, not only is he in bad movies he's also extremely terrible in them. The man is past redemption, toss away the key.
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+1
10:52AM on 09/04/2012

NOT GUILTY

Travolta's gems outweigh his duds. It took my reading the prosecution to be reminded of the crappy films he has made, but all of his great roles I recited before even clicking on this link.

Next week possibility: Will Smith
Travolta's gems outweigh his duds. It took my reading the prosecution to be reminded of the crappy films he has made, but all of his great roles I recited before even clicking on this link.

Next week possibility: Will Smith
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11:06AM on 09/04/2012
I'd say not guilty simply because you forgot to mention Swordfish and Taking of Pelham 123. Those movies were awesome. and next week put Martin Lawrence on the stand. i hate that guy.
I'd say not guilty simply because you forgot to mention Swordfish and Taking of Pelham 123. Those movies were awesome. and next week put Martin Lawrence on the stand. i hate that guy.
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11:07AM on 09/04/2012

GUILTY

Being in good movies does not necessarily make you a good actor.
Being in good movies does not necessarily make you a good actor.
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11:14AM on 09/04/2012

Guilty

The guy can act, but he will never be taken seriously again. He should make a huge move and pull a Ben Affleck. He should try his hand at directing gritty dramas and step away from the spotlight for a while. If he proves to us he can't direct then he needs to retire from Hollywood altogether cause he has nothing going for him anymore.
The guy can act, but he will never be taken seriously again. He should make a huge move and pull a Ben Affleck. He should try his hand at directing gritty dramas and step away from the spotlight for a while. If he proves to us he can't direct then he needs to retire from Hollywood altogether cause he has nothing going for him anymore.
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11:36AM on 09/04/2012

Guilty sentenced to Probation

Guilty Guilty Guilty - However he is sentenced to probation where someone must review his scripts before he takes them.

Horrible choice in several of his movies, needs to choose more wisely.
Guilty Guilty Guilty - However he is sentenced to probation where someone must review his scripts before he takes them.

Horrible choice in several of his movies, needs to choose more wisely.
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11:38AM on 09/04/2012

NOT GUILTY: Though Get Shorty sucked, and Wild Hogs was fun

So swapping those two, the count is still even. I'd say that the man has done what very few have done before him -- he has gone from 1970's teen actor into 2010's adult actor*. It's a long run, and must have a few stinkers in it. But all in all, I find him not guilty, based purely on the fact that he is still acting and pulling in a paycheck and not running a McDonald's franchise somewhere like Arnold Horseshack or any of the other Sweathogs must be.

* - The only other man who I can think
So swapping those two, the count is still even. I'd say that the man has done what very few have done before him -- he has gone from 1970's teen actor into 2010's adult actor*. It's a long run, and must have a few stinkers in it. But all in all, I find him not guilty, based purely on the fact that he is still acting and pulling in a paycheck and not running a McDonald's franchise somewhere like Arnold Horseshack or any of the other Sweathogs must be.

* - The only other man who I can think of who made this transition was Kurt Russell. Maybe I'm missing someone, but the list sure seems short.
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+0
11:42AM on 09/04/2012

NOT GUILTY!

This man puts out quality movies. He has had some real crap but who hasn't.

Next: The Farrelly Brothers
This man puts out quality movies. He has had some real crap but who hasn't.

Next: The Farrelly Brothers
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1:03PM on 09/04/2012
Not guilty.

I also feel that Be Cool and Ladder 49 shouldn't be used by the prosecution (admittedly, they also shouldn't be used by the defense)
Not guilty.

I also feel that Be Cool and Ladder 49 shouldn't be used by the prosecution (admittedly, they also shouldn't be used by the defense)
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1:34PM on 09/04/2012

Not Guilty

I just watched Primary Colors and I would argue that's the performance of his career, because it's less showy than Pulp Fiction and required that he disappear to a great extent into his role. He achieved that. As for what he's given us over the last 10-15 years? I feel like he's made enough genuine efforts to give us strong films that missed the mark, such as Basic, that I for one can forgive the man his artistic trespasses, silly wigs and other stuff about him that just ain't quite right.
I just watched Primary Colors and I would argue that's the performance of his career, because it's less showy than Pulp Fiction and required that he disappear to a great extent into his role. He achieved that. As for what he's given us over the last 10-15 years? I feel like he's made enough genuine efforts to give us strong films that missed the mark, such as Basic, that I for one can forgive the man his artistic trespasses, silly wigs and other stuff about him that just ain't quite right.
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1:43PM on 09/04/2012

Not guilty

Tough decision but I'm gonna let him slide. Dude can be great when he has to be, all he needs is to pick better scripts.
Tough decision but I'm gonna let him slide. Dude can be great when he has to be, all he needs is to pick better scripts.
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1:49PM on 09/04/2012

Not Guilty.

If you guys put Nic Cage and Val Kilmer as Not Guilty and then place Travolta as guilty, then you guys suck lol
If you guys put Nic Cage and Val Kilmer as Not Guilty and then place Travolta as guilty, then you guys suck lol
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2:13PM on 09/04/2012
Guilty- He blows- not that there's anything wrong with that!
Guilty- He blows- not that there's anything wrong with that!
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2:15PM on 09/04/2012
Not guilty, I still dig his films.
Not guilty, I still dig his films.
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+1
2:25PM on 09/04/2012

Not guilty

The dude is a bad as, period. If you can blow past the career killer that is Battlefield Earth without a scratch? That puts you in a class all your own.
The dude is a bad as, period. If you can blow past the career killer that is Battlefield Earth without a scratch? That puts you in a class all your own.
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2:28PM on 09/04/2012

adaifallah

Just a reminder, everyone who comments on the article acts as the jury, so the Strike Backers have the power to send someone to Movie Jail or find them Not Guilty. JoBlo.com just sits back and drinks and stops riots from happening.
Just a reminder, everyone who comments on the article acts as the jury, so the Strike Backers have the power to send someone to Movie Jail or find them Not Guilty. JoBlo.com just sits back and drinks and stops riots from happening.
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4:21PM on 09/04/2012

Guilty!

I say he's guilty. Sure, he was in PULP FICTION which is one of my favorite films and FACE/OFF which is a damn fun action flick, but even in both of those movies, he's eclipsed by his co-stars Samuel L. Jackson and Nicolas Cage, respectively. I'm not saying he's not a good actor; he is a good actor. I just think he's done one too many terrible movies and given one too many ridiculous performances to be acquitted of all charges.
I say he's guilty. Sure, he was in PULP FICTION which is one of my favorite films and FACE/OFF which is a damn fun action flick, but even in both of those movies, he's eclipsed by his co-stars Samuel L. Jackson and Nicolas Cage, respectively. I'm not saying he's not a good actor; he is a good actor. I just think he's done one too many terrible movies and given one too many ridiculous performances to be acquitted of all charges.
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5:06PM on 09/04/2012
Much like Nicholas Cage, he can do whatever the fuck he wants, he always gives his all. This article is outweighing its welcome, YAWN!
Much like Nicholas Cage, he can do whatever the fuck he wants, he always gives his all. This article is outweighing its welcome, YAWN!
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10:25AM on 09/05/2012
Skip it next week then. Retardation problem solved. Go fuck yourself.
Skip it next week then. Retardation problem solved. Go fuck yourself.
+0
5:13PM on 09/04/2012

Not Guilty!!!

He's a fantastic actor.
He's a fantastic actor.
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6:18PM on 09/04/2012
hang em high
hang em high
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6:38PM on 09/04/2012

Not guilty

Has he had some shitty movies? Yeah, but they were all not him that made the movie shitty. He seems to give it his all in each performance and he will do just about anything. Just look at thew wide range of characters and type of movies.
Now lets end this spoon fed easy defendants and get some real choices that will spark better conversations.

I would like to see Stallone due to the fact this guy does more that act, he directs writes and produces. I think he is one of the best all
Has he had some shitty movies? Yeah, but they were all not him that made the movie shitty. He seems to give it his all in each performance and he will do just about anything. Just look at thew wide range of characters and type of movies.
Now lets end this spoon fed easy defendants and get some real choices that will spark better conversations.

I would like to see Stallone due to the fact this guy does more that act, he directs writes and produces. I think he is one of the best all around packages in Hollywood, but cannot defend all he does.

We can go with Ryan Gosling as well. sure he is a great actor but you cannot use that as a the only defense, he needs to get out of the independent realm and take more choices that can get him into mainstream. Dont get me wrong i really like him but he seems to playing the same type of character most of the time.
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6:52PM on 09/04/2012
Not guilty. I have no idea why Nicolas Cage and Tim Burton are in jail but this guy is still a great actor and his personal life does not effect it at all.
Not guilty. I have no idea why Nicolas Cage and Tim Burton are in jail but this guy is still a great actor and his personal life does not effect it at all.
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7:21PM on 09/04/2012

Guilty!

His last few films were forgettable. The last decent movie he was in was Bolt, and he was just doing the voice. I got respect for the guy and glad he's still working. But as much as I get a kick out of watching Welcome Back Kotter re-runs, I say guilty. I feel the guy needs to take more risks with his roles. Its either some bad comedy or some cop/villian type role for him.
His last few films were forgettable. The last decent movie he was in was Bolt, and he was just doing the voice. I got respect for the guy and glad he's still working. But as much as I get a kick out of watching Welcome Back Kotter re-runs, I say guilty. I feel the guy needs to take more risks with his roles. Its either some bad comedy or some cop/villian type role for him.
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7:43PM on 09/04/2012

Guilty.

on the back of his Scientology Master-piece (see what I did there?) Battlefield Earth alone. I will always love him in Pulp Fiction, but I fucking hate Grease. And with Old Dogs AND Wild Hogs? Have the people saying Not Guilty really given his IMDB page a good look?
on the back of his Scientology Master-piece (see what I did there?) Battlefield Earth alone. I will always love him in Pulp Fiction, but I fucking hate Grease. And with Old Dogs AND Wild Hogs? Have the people saying Not Guilty really given his IMDB page a good look?
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8:23PM on 09/04/2012

NOT GUILTY

He's a better bad guy than good guy on film. Pelham 123, which most disliked, is a movie that I absolutely love because he gets madder and crazier in every scene. Swordfish and From Paris with Love are other examples. The man needs better films to expose this.
He's a better bad guy than good guy on film. Pelham 123, which most disliked, is a movie that I absolutely love because he gets madder and crazier in every scene. Swordfish and From Paris with Love are other examples. The man needs better films to expose this.
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8:39PM on 09/04/2012

NOT GUILTY

doublepost.
doublepost.
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-1
9:46PM on 09/04/2012

Guilty

For every good movie, he has three bad ones.

Extra Tidbit: Tom Hanks
For every good movie, he has three bad ones.

Extra Tidbit: Tom Hanks
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11:28PM on 09/04/2012
Guilty! While Travolta is a god actor, when he applies himself, it's clear that a lot of the time, he is content to just do the bare minimum and isn't being all that choosy; he has the clout to be choosy, so he's okay with being awfully.
Guilty! While Travolta is a god actor, when he applies himself, it's clear that a lot of the time, he is content to just do the bare minimum and isn't being all that choosy; he has the clout to be choosy, so he's okay with being awfully.
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+2
1:42AM on 09/05/2012

Not Guilty

The guy can act. Nobody has a perfect resume. He's one good role away from being at his top again like he was after Pulp Fiction. Nobody could have played Vincent Vega the way he did.

Tidbit: Christopher Walken
The guy can act. Nobody has a perfect resume. He's one good role away from being at his top again like he was after Pulp Fiction. Nobody could have played Vincent Vega the way he did.

Tidbit: Christopher Walken
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3:32AM on 09/05/2012
Not guilty. Maybe he needs a new agent though to help him choose the right projects.
Not guilty. Maybe he needs a new agent though to help him choose the right projects.
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3:37AM on 09/05/2012
Suggestion for next Case: Angalenia Jolie
Suggestion for next Case: Angalenia Jolie
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7:37AM on 09/05/2012
I'd prefer her sister Angelina Jolie.
I'd prefer her sister Angelina Jolie.
+0
11:40AM on 09/05/2012

Not Guilty

The difference between Travolta and other legends who have been in a slump, is that you can tell Travolta is STILL having fun acting and STILL has the passion. It's way too early to lock him up. He just needs to work on consistency.
The difference between Travolta and other legends who have been in a slump, is that you can tell Travolta is STILL having fun acting and STILL has the passion. It's way too early to lock him up. He just needs to work on consistency.
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1:10PM on 09/05/2012

Not Guilty

Sure hes made some stinkers in the past years (dude's gotta eat), but he's shown so much range in his performances. Pulp Fiction, Phenomenon, Get Shorty; are all perfect examples of the fact that this guy is a great actor.

Extra Tidbit: Tim Allen (The Shaggy Dog, Zoom, The Santa Clause 2-3, Wild Hogs)
Sure hes made some stinkers in the past years (dude's gotta eat), but he's shown so much range in his performances. Pulp Fiction, Phenomenon, Get Shorty; are all perfect examples of the fact that this guy is a great actor.

Extra Tidbit: Tim Allen (The Shaggy Dog, Zoom, The Santa Clause 2-3, Wild Hogs)
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8:46AM on 09/06/2012

GUILTY AS HELL

Travolta has never been a great actor, he's just been lucky enough to appear in a few fantastic films over the years. He's pretty unconvincing in most roles, I don't rate Get Shorty at all, and if it wasn't for Grease and Pulp Fiction I don't think he would've had the opportunity to make as many films as he has. 20 years hard labor.
Travolta has never been a great actor, he's just been lucky enough to appear in a few fantastic films over the years. He's pretty unconvincing in most roles, I don't rate Get Shorty at all, and if it wasn't for Grease and Pulp Fiction I don't think he would've had the opportunity to make as many films as he has. 20 years hard labor.
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+0
10:11PM on 09/06/2012
Not guilty. He's dipped his toe back into awesome waters with pretty good performances in Savages as well as From Paris with Love. He's still got the tools he just needs the right vehicle to prove he is still one of the best.

Also Ray Liotta should stand trial.
Not guilty. He's dipped his toe back into awesome waters with pretty good performances in Savages as well as From Paris with Love. He's still got the tools he just needs the right vehicle to prove he is still one of the best.

Also Ray Liotta should stand trial.
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