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Movie Jail: This week's defendant is...Renee Zellweger!

12.16.2013

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: My Own Love Song, Case 39, New in Town, Leatherheads, Appaloosa, Cinderella Man, Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason, Down with Love

Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, Renee Zellweger isn't the first (nor will she probably be the last) Oscar winner to be up for Movie Jail, and even though she has done some decent work in the past, some of her film choices recently have been questionable, and her performances haven't always been pretty.

Miss Zellweger hasn't appeared in a film since 2010's Case 39, however she isn't on trial because of her lack of big screen credits as of late; you can't go to Movie Jail for not appearing in films. No, it's because the prosecution feels that an actress of Miss Zellweger's caliber shouldn't be starring in generic romantic comedies (New in Town) or incredibly sappy dramas (My Own Love Song), and when she has appeared in good films lately (Appaloosa, Cinderella Man), the actress has been unquestionably the weakest part in them.

But is Miss Zellweger really that great of an actress to begin with? Although she won an Oscar, a BAFTA, a Golden Globe and a SAG award for her role in Cold Mountain, the prosecution believes her performance in it was overrated, and the same could also be said for White Oleander, and even Jerry Maguire. Fans may have loved her in Bridget Jones's Diary, but she also starred in the completely unnecessary sequel Bridget Jones: Edge of Reason. Miss Zellweger also has a habit of starring in films that just don't work (Down with Love, Leatherheads), and while some may say that isn't her fault, it's not like she was the best part of those films either.

The prosecution feels there is more than enough evidence to send Miss Zellweger to Movie Jail, and hopefully if she is found guilty, she doesn't end up starring in Bridget Jones's Prison Journal.

The Defense: My One and Only, Miss Potter, Cold Mountain, Chicago, White Oleander, Bridget Jones's Diary, Nurse Betty, One True Thing, Jerry Maguire, Empire Records

Ladies and gentlemen, Miss Zellweger may rub some movie fans the wrong way, but you can not question her talents as an actress. She won Golden Globes for three straight years with Bridget Jones's Diary, Chicago, and Cold Mountain. In particular, her performance in Chicago was very impressive, and if the prosecution thinks she was overrated in that film as well, he needs to get his damn head checked.

But her three year stretch of award winning films roles isn't the only reason why Miss Zellweger should be found not guilty. She was great in Empire Records, and who could forget her as Tom Cruise's love interest in Jerry Maguire? Although she also won a Golden Globe as the titular character in Nurse Betty, the defense feels her performance in it (and the film itself) is criminally underrated.

The prosecution argues that Miss Zellweger has been the weakest part of several films, however he's ignoring the times when she has carried a movie, like My Own Love Song. Is it the greatest film ever? Not at all, but Miss Zellweger's performance in it is very strong, and it is pretty much the only reason why you should watch the movie.

If the jury didn't find Nicole Kidman guilty of crimes against cinema, why does the prosecution think it'll be any different for Renee Zellweger? If she had starred in more films that were straight up terrible there's a chance she could have ended up in Movie Jail, but the defense believes Renee Zellweger will be receiving a "not guilty" verdict from the jury.

IN CLOSING...

Is Renee Zellweger still one of the best actresses working today, or have her talents always been exaggerated? Does the actress deserve to go to Movie Jail, or is the prosecution just nitpicking? What's it going to be for Miss Bridget Jones: 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

The jury shot a proton pack energy stream up the prosecution's ass for suggesting Dan Aykroyd for Movie Jail last week. They declared the actor NOT GUILTY of all charges, and thought him being considered for prison was outrageous. Dan Aykroyd is a free man, but for the love of God, someone please tell him to either stop talking about Ghostbusters 3 or make it happen already.

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

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

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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11:27AM on 12/17/2013

Guilty

Renee is good, she has made some really good movies, but not lately. She has made a bunch of films that are notable for being not notable. Let's give her a short stint in movie jail to think about her career and hope for a great comeback when she gets out. She needs a drama with some spice and controversy to it.
Renee is good, she has made some really good movies, but not lately. She has made a bunch of films that are notable for being not notable. Let's give her a short stint in movie jail to think about her career and hope for a great comeback when she gets out. She needs a drama with some spice and controversy to it.
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10:15PM on 12/16/2013

Guilty

Gulity! here is an actress that worked her way up to the A-List but couldnt seem to put up a movie resume to keep herself in that status...she has been in a good movie in almost a decade...she is not in demand anymore.
Gulity! here is an actress that worked her way up to the A-List but couldnt seem to put up a movie resume to keep herself in that status...she has been in a good movie in almost a decade...she is not in demand anymore.
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-2
9:08PM on 12/16/2013

Guilty

I cannot stand her. Mediocre talent as an actress and very unattractive.
I cannot stand her. Mediocre talent as an actress and very unattractive.
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8:58PM on 12/16/2013
Guilty. When I think about Zellweger, the first thing that comes to mind is that Family Guy clip that shows her as an ant-eater. Just thinking about it makes me laugh. Since that's the most memorable thing about her to me, she's guilty.
Guilty. When I think about Zellweger, the first thing that comes to mind is that Family Guy clip that shows her as an ant-eater. Just thinking about it makes me laugh. Since that's the most memorable thing about her to me, she's guilty.
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8:23PM on 12/16/2013

Super Guilty

First off, 'Down With Love' is Zellweger's best movie and performance. How the fuck that brilliant farce of the 50s screwball comedies is on the prosecution baffles me? She's best used in comedies like this- 'Leatherheads' doesn't work, but she's not too shabby.

However, and far more importantly, in most of her lead roles she's wholly unconvincing. Yeah, she might have earned raves as Roxy Hart, but her singing was blah at best and she's laughably unsexy in a role that requires her to be
First off, 'Down With Love' is Zellweger's best movie and performance. How the fuck that brilliant farce of the 50s screwball comedies is on the prosecution baffles me? She's best used in comedies like this- 'Leatherheads' doesn't work, but she's not too shabby.

However, and far more importantly, in most of her lead roles she's wholly unconvincing. Yeah, she might have earned raves as Roxy Hart, but her singing was blah at best and she's laughably unsexy in a role that requires her to be very much so. Her 'Cold Mountain' performance is way worse, and she keeps choosing bad scripts. She should be thrown into solitary and promptly forgotten about.
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-1
5:36PM on 12/16/2013

Guilty

I've never liked her. That face she's making in the photo directly beneath "WHAT SAY YOU, GUILTY OR NOT?" says it all.
I've never liked her. That face she's making in the photo directly beneath "WHAT SAY YOU, GUILTY OR NOT?" says it all.
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5:18PM on 12/16/2013

Guilty

It sounds like she already put herself in movie jail.
It sounds like she already put herself in movie jail.
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+0
2:08PM on 12/16/2013

GUILTY!

Superguilty!
Superguilty!
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+0
12:27PM on 12/16/2013

Guilty

Life in ugly town without the possibility of parole!
Life in ugly town without the possibility of parole!
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11:51AM on 12/16/2013

Just looked at her IMDb page

My theory: She made A TON of money really quickly in the early 00's. Averaged about $10.5MM per picture from 2001-2005. She hasn't released a movie since 2010, which was the DTV My Own Love Song. It seems like the last truly relevant film she was in was Cinderella Man, which is a bit infamous for being Oscar-bait that got crushed under the weight of its own self-seriousness. Perhaps it hurt her career? Or she has personal reasons for not doing movies anymore? Not counting Bee Movie or Monsters
My theory: She made A TON of money really quickly in the early 00's. Averaged about $10.5MM per picture from 2001-2005. She hasn't released a movie since 2010, which was the DTV My Own Love Song. It seems like the last truly relevant film she was in was Cinderella Man, which is a bit infamous for being Oscar-bait that got crushed under the weight of its own self-seriousness. Perhaps it hurt her career? Or she has personal reasons for not doing movies anymore? Not counting Bee Movie or Monsters vs. Aliens her post-Cinderella releases have a combined domestic box office take of $87MM, across six films for an average gross of $14.5MM. That could explain why she hasn't made a movie since 2010 and has nothing on the docket.
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11:37AM on 12/16/2013

Guilty of Post--Oscar curse

Forrest Whittaker was already doing mostly C and D level stuff before he did The Last King of Scotland, then he went right back to mostly C and D level stuff. Zellweger, on the other hand, was doing mostly A-list-ish level work, then she got her Oscar and dropped the hell off. I say guilty but I'm not sure if she's picking projects poorly or if she's taking what scraps she can get....
Forrest Whittaker was already doing mostly C and D level stuff before he did The Last King of Scotland, then he went right back to mostly C and D level stuff. Zellweger, on the other hand, was doing mostly A-list-ish level work, then she got her Oscar and dropped the hell off. I say guilty but I'm not sure if she's picking projects poorly or if she's taking what scraps she can get....
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-2
11:17AM on 12/16/2013

WHAT?! YOU CAN'T COMPARE HER TO...

... Nicole Kidman! Nicole hasn't always been in good movies either, and they both had so much surgery that sometimes it interferes with their performances, but Nicole has a lot more range. That's why she's still a star today. Renee was Oscar-worthy in NURSE BETTY (yes, it's underrated), and she was very good in CHICAGO and BRIDGET JONES. But she obviously can't play many roles.

At first I thought she should be Not Guilty for the same reason Val Kilmer was: not appearing in many movies isn't
... Nicole Kidman! Nicole hasn't always been in good movies either, and they both had so much surgery that sometimes it interferes with their performances, but Nicole has a lot more range. That's why she's still a star today. Renee was Oscar-worthy in NURSE BETTY (yes, it's underrated), and she was very good in CHICAGO and BRIDGET JONES. But she obviously can't play many roles.

At first I thought she should be Not Guilty for the same reason Val Kilmer was: not appearing in many movies isn't always the actor's fault. But I'm pretty sure she doesn't have Kilmer's money problems. It has to do with her bad choices and lack of range. That's why she's Guilty. Even in good movies like ME, MYSELF & IRENE and BEE MOVIE she doesn't stand out. I admit I didn't hate NEW IN TOWN, but it had nothing to do with her.

I'm surprised you didn't mention SHARK TALE. Or even that TEXAS CHAINSAW installment she was in.
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11:10AM on 12/16/2013

Unfortunately, Guilty

She is guilty because she has been competency irrelevant for the last decade. It sucks because she has some talent, but she has been absolutely irrelevant.
She is guilty because she has been competency irrelevant for the last decade. It sucks because she has some talent, but she has been absolutely irrelevant.
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10:39AM on 12/16/2013

Guilty

I have to admit of really enjoying her performance in Cold Mountain but other than that I usually do not like her. She has no charm or charisma that makes her stand out to me, usually she is surrounded by better actors in and actresses. I think she gets parts that should go to better actresses that do not have permanently pinched face, she looks like a prune!
I have to admit of really enjoying her performance in Cold Mountain but other than that I usually do not like her. She has no charm or charisma that makes her stand out to me, usually she is surrounded by better actors in and actresses. I think she gets parts that should go to better actresses that do not have permanently pinched face, she looks like a prune!
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+1
10:32AM on 12/16/2013

GUILTY

I love her. I really do. Loved her in Chicago, Jerry Maguire, Cold Mountain and Me Myself and Irene. But god she hasn't been in anything good in what feels like a decade and she looked lost and out of it at the last Oscars. Maybe she needs to go away to Movie Jail for a while
I love her. I really do. Loved her in Chicago, Jerry Maguire, Cold Mountain and Me Myself and Irene. But god she hasn't been in anything good in what feels like a decade and she looked lost and out of it at the last Oscars. Maybe she needs to go away to Movie Jail for a while
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9:54AM on 12/16/2013

I'm indifferent to her.

Can't decide honestly, she leaves no impact on me. But with that said, I guess she'd be guilty in that case.
Can't decide honestly, she leaves no impact on me. But with that said, I guess she'd be guilty in that case.
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9:53AM on 12/16/2013
Guilty!
Guilty!
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9:44AM on 12/16/2013

Guilty.

But whether or not she deserved Best Supporting Actress, she was one of the better actors in Cold Mountain. Nice to have someone onboard who could actually speak with a southern accent.
But whether or not she deserved Best Supporting Actress, she was one of the better actors in Cold Mountain. Nice to have someone onboard who could actually speak with a southern accent.
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9:23AM on 12/16/2013

Guilty

I was never really a big fan of her even when she was at her considered "Peak". She plays too cutesy way too often.
I was never really a big fan of her even when she was at her considered "Peak". She plays too cutesy way too often.
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-4
9:01AM on 12/16/2013

Guilty

burn her at the stake
burn her at the stake
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8:47AM on 12/16/2013

Guilty.

She sometimes in films I enjoy, but is the never one of the reasons why I enjoy said film.

Guilty.
She sometimes in films I enjoy, but is the never one of the reasons why I enjoy said film.

Guilty.
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8:23AM on 12/16/2013
I'd say put her on parole. She's the same case as Halle Berry and Cuba Gooding, Jr. - Oscar winners who don't get good roles lately.
I'd say put her on parole. She's the same case as Halle Berry and Cuba Gooding, Jr. - Oscar winners who don't get good roles lately.
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8:11AM on 12/16/2013

Guilty

Can't stand her acting and her soured look face
Can't stand her acting and her soured look face
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7:36AM on 12/16/2013
Guilty. Her permanently pinched face gets right on my tits.
Guilty. Her permanently pinched face gets right on my tits.
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+1
7:18AM on 12/16/2013

Guilty

Throw her in the can! Hasn't been watchable since Me, Myself & Irene. Deprive her of lemon-sucking privileges and maybe when she gets out we'll be reminded of the beautiful girl-next-door we all fell in love with in Jerry Maguire.
Throw her in the can! Hasn't been watchable since Me, Myself & Irene. Deprive her of lemon-sucking privileges and maybe when she gets out we'll be reminded of the beautiful girl-next-door we all fell in love with in Jerry Maguire.
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