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Movie Jail: This week's defendant is...Tarsem Singh!

07.13.2015

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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

Tarsem Singh

The Case

The Prosecution: Self/Less, Mirror Mirror, Immortals

Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, Tarsem Singh first got his start directing well-received music videos and commercials before making his feature film directorial debut with 2000's The Cell, a flawed but still solid movie. However, his projects since 2006's The Fall haven't done well critically, and his latest film Self/Less was destroyed by critics.

Critics have never been too high on the director's movies though,withThe Fall being the only one close to having a fresh rating at Rotten Tomatoes. There's no denying that Mr. Singh knows how to make a trippy looking film, but as you know, stunning visuals don't make a great movie; sorry, Immortals fans. Part of the problem is he hasn't been working from the best scripts, and The Fall is the only one he helped write. One might argue that gets him off the hook, but in the prosecution's opinion, he needs to be hooking up with better screenplays.

Since Mr. Singh has only been behind the camera for five big screen projects, the prosecution isn't seeking a life sentence, but we believe he should serve a few months behind bars for his recent weak directorial efforts.

Self/Less Tarsem Singh Ryan Reynolds

The Defense: Immortals, The Fall, The Cell

Ladies and gentlemen, so based on the prosecution's logic, we're supposed to lock up a director just because his films as of late haven't received critical acclaim? The only truly awful movie on his filmography is Self/Less, and although Mirror Mirror wasn't fantastic, the defense would still take it over Snow White and the Huntsman. And screw the prosecution; Immortals was awesome.

My client certainly has an eye for visuals, and the defense believes he still has a ton of potential. Can you imagine what he could do with a straight up horror film, or a comic book movie, like the upcoming threequel Thor: Ragnarok? The defense understands this about what Mr. Sing has done and not what he could do, but with only five movies under his belt, we think he still has plenty left to offer as a director.

The defense would rather see Mr. Singh continue to make movies than not, and we believe that the jury will feel the same way. He just doesn't deserve to go to Movie Jail, even with the mostly negative reviews for his newest movie.

Immortals Tarsem Singh Henry Cavill

IN CLOSING...

Are you still confident in Mr. Singh's abilities as a director, or do you think he should serve some jail time for his recent output? Does he belong in Movie Jail, or does he just need to stop working from bad scripts? Is filmmaker Tarsem Singh GUILTY or NOT GUILTY?

*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. Anyway, 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?

Mirror Mirror Tarsem Singh Julia Roberts

LAST WEEK'S VERDICT

Basic Instinct 2 Sharon Stone

Sharon Stone is (almost) just as hot as she was during her peak years in the 1990s, however her looks weren't enough to stave off a prison term. The Basic Instinct star was found GUILTY of all charges in last week's trial, but since it was close, the court is open to paroling the actress if she can keep her nose clean and starts to land quality movie roles again.

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, Renny Harlin, Diane Keaton, McG, Demi Moore, King Joffrey (Game of Thrones Special), David Spade, Spike Lee, Kevin James, Joel Schumacher, Ehren Kruger, Chris Rock, Mark Steven Johnson, Mickey Rourke, Ashley Judd, Uma Thurman, Josh Duhamel, Saw Franchise (Halloween Edition), Zach Braff, Sam Worthington, Melissa McCarthy, The Wachowski Siblings, Kate Bosworth, Garry Marshall, David Goyer, Akiva Goldsman, Avi Arad, Damon Lindelof, Hayden Christensen, Dennis Dugan, Sharon Stone

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 Edition), Johnny Knoxville, Orlando Bloom, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Dan Aykroyd, Sylvester Stallone, Gavin Hood, Jason Lee, Jennifer Garner, Carrie-Anne Moss, Kate Beckinsale, John Cusack, Chris Columbus, Clive Owen, Terrence Howard, Andrew Niccol, Drew Barrymore, Steve Martin, Joel Silver, Michelle Rodriguez, Kiefer Sutherland, Dario Argento, Susan Sarandon, Dennis Quaid, Rob Reiner, Gwyneth Paltrow, Mel Gibson, Pierce Brosnan, Roberto Orci & Alex Kurtzman, Ivan Reitman, Stephen Sommers, Shawn Levy, Jai Courtney, Ridley Scott, Peter Jackson, Jamie Foxx, Luc Besson, Jason Reitman, Mila Kunis, Jennifer Connelly, Sienna Miller, Ben Barnes, Simon West, Len Wiseman, Brendan Fraser, Megan Fox, Neal McDonough, Cameron Crowe, Katie Holmes, Elijah Wood

UPDATES: Robert De Niro, Nicolas Cage and Roland Emmerich, Jim Carrey, Robert Rodriguez and Gerard Butler, Jessica Alba, Julia Roberts and The Farrelly Brothers, Ben Stiller, Tim Burton and Shia LaBeouf, Johnny Depp, Kevin Smith & Chris Rock

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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+0
9:06AM on 07/14/2015

Not guilty

He'll be back in style one of these days... I hope.
He'll be back in style one of these days... I hope.
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1:16AM on 07/14/2015

NOT GUILTY

The Fall is one of my favorite movies from him. The Cell is also a good movie was hyped for mirror mirror then I was saddened when I was let down by the trailer and following watching it in theaters. Immortals was a so-so movie. I think he has a lot of potential but just needs some thinking space and some drive.
The Fall is one of my favorite movies from him. The Cell is also a good movie was hyped for mirror mirror then I was saddened when I was let down by the trailer and following watching it in theaters. Immortals was a so-so movie. I think he has a lot of potential but just needs some thinking space and some drive.
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7:25PM on 07/13/2015

NOT GUILTY

Mirror Mirror is a decent retelling of the old Snow White tale and what got me in love with Lily Collins. Immortals is also severely underrated because it was marketed as a 300 ripoff when it's actually so much more. His visuals are always outstanding and beautiful. He just need better stories to tell.
Mirror Mirror is a decent retelling of the old Snow White tale and what got me in love with Lily Collins. Immortals is also severely underrated because it was marketed as a 300 ripoff when it's actually so much more. His visuals are always outstanding and beautiful. He just need better stories to tell.
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1:17AM on 07/14/2015
lol Mirror Mirror was a retelling of snow white not sleeping beauty haha
lol Mirror Mirror was a retelling of snow white not sleeping beauty haha
11:05AM on 07/14/2015
That's what I said.
...
Oh come on both fairy tale had the girl fell asleep and awakened with a kiss.
That's what I said.
...
Oh come on both fairy tale had the girl fell asleep and awakened with a kiss.
4:31PM on 07/13/2015

Guilty

He started out so strong with The Cell & that's a very well made & creepy movie. Now I never saw The Falls, but it looked great visually. When you have 3 bad movies in a row though when you had so much potential, then yes the man is guilty. Didn't bother with Mirror Mirror because it's not my kinda movie, but Immortals was simply a 300 ripoff & Self/Less didn't look intriguing at all.
He started out so strong with The Cell & that's a very well made & creepy movie. Now I never saw The Falls, but it looked great visually. When you have 3 bad movies in a row though when you had so much potential, then yes the man is guilty. Didn't bother with Mirror Mirror because it's not my kinda movie, but Immortals was simply a 300 ripoff & Self/Less didn't look intriguing at all.
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3:31PM on 07/13/2015
He should be looked up for the terminally dumb Mirror Mirror alone. Immortals was pretty good for what it was.
He should be looked up for the terminally dumb Mirror Mirror alone. Immortals was pretty good for what it was.
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2:07PM on 07/13/2015

Not guilty- for now

I feel like Tarsem set himself up for failure early on. People talk about how great his first two movies were, and the rest, not so much. The only reason The Cell is considered anything other than a mediocre serial killer thriller is because of his visuals and Vincent D'Onofrio's performance. I still remember how disturbed I was when I watched it. As for The Fall, I have never seen anything like it. And I doubt I ever will again.

The Fall is the sort of movie that defines a career. He took
I feel like Tarsem set himself up for failure early on. People talk about how great his first two movies were, and the rest, not so much. The only reason The Cell is considered anything other than a mediocre serial killer thriller is because of his visuals and Vincent D'Onofrio's performance. I still remember how disturbed I was when I watched it. As for The Fall, I have never seen anything like it. And I doubt I ever will again.

The Fall is the sort of movie that defines a career. He took years to make it, and it shows. I think Tarsem should've seriously considered pulling a Terrence Malick and leaving us to ponder these two movies. They are the work of a visionary. Immortals is actually a pretty cool little movie, but nowhere near the same level of craftsmanship.

I believe Tarsem Singh is a good visual director, if he can recapture that inspiration that made people sit up and take notice in the first place.
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11:53AM on 07/13/2015

Guilty for sure

How the frick is Immortals listed as part of the defense? That film is actively- like no way to argue it's not - terrible.I know a lot of people like The Cell but I think that has a lot more to do with the high concept premise and the trippy visuals than the quality of the film itself. There's a reason why, as the article says, The Fall is the only one that's fresh on Rotten Tomatoes and none of the others even come close. Which is a shame, the guy obviously has style and showed a lot of
How the frick is Immortals listed as part of the defense? That film is actively- like no way to argue it's not - terrible.I know a lot of people like The Cell but I think that has a lot more to do with the high concept premise and the trippy visuals than the quality of the film itself. There's a reason why, as the article says, The Fall is the only one that's fresh on Rotten Tomatoes and none of the others even come close. Which is a shame, the guy obviously has style and showed a lot of potential with The Fall, but hasn't even tried to live up to it. For a while he was my top pick to direct Dr. Strange but sadly I think his body of work atests to the fact that making a quality film is pretty far down on his priority list.

Also, I second the idea of Reese Witherspoon or Ben Kingsey for next week's column. How has Kingsley not been done yet, he's been in some TERRIBLE stuff since 2000.
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2:13PM on 07/13/2015
Ben Kingsley has also been in some great stuff since 2000 (House of Sand and Fog, The Wackness, Hugo). He seems to keep it mostly balanced out, the good and the bad.
Ben Kingsley has also been in some great stuff since 2000 (House of Sand and Fog, The Wackness, Hugo). He seems to keep it mostly balanced out, the good and the bad.
2:53PM on 07/13/2015
Most likely because the JoBlo folks think the Jury will say "The old classics outweigh the recent bad ones, so Not Guilty."
Most likely because the JoBlo folks think the Jury will say "The old classics outweigh the recent bad ones, so Not Guilty."
-2
11:27AM on 07/13/2015

Career average: 4.3/10.

Let me ask you this: If a writer/director's career consisted of the best scripts and the worst visuals, would you defend them? I wouldn't, because a movie is the sum of its parts. Also, while Tarsem hasn't made many movies, he's been working for 15 years, which is more than enough. I did like MIRROR MIRROR and THE CELL was decent, but I didn't like THE FALL and IMMORTALS was unwatchable. Regardless, none of them made me think that this guy deserved the "Music videos to films" leap. He's
Let me ask you this: If a writer/director's career consisted of the best scripts and the worst visuals, would you defend them? I wouldn't, because a movie is the sum of its parts. Also, while Tarsem hasn't made many movies, he's been working for 15 years, which is more than enough. I did like MIRROR MIRROR and THE CELL was decent, but I didn't like THE FALL and IMMORTALS was unwatchable. Regardless, none of them made me think that this guy deserved the "Music videos to films" leap. He's Guilty.

Next week: Candice Bergen, Jessica Biel, Alan Cumming, Elisha Cuthbert, Danny DeVito, Kelsey Grammer, Jamie Kennedy, Ben Kingsley, Eugene Levy, James Marsden, Amanda Peet, Kelly Preston, Burt Reynolds, Meg Ryan, Barbra Streisand, Nick Swardson Patrick Warburton or Reese Witherspoon.
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10:44AM on 07/13/2015

Meh.

His shit always LOOKS good, but I never think his movies are "good".
So for visuals, he's quite up there (except for MIRROR MIRROR), but he never had a movie that made me go "wow. It is just as good as it looks!"
His shit always LOOKS good, but I never think his movies are "good".
So for visuals, he's quite up there (except for MIRROR MIRROR), but he never had a movie that made me go "wow. It is just as good as it looks!"
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10:37AM on 07/13/2015

Not guilty

No way, amazing director, The Fall alone gives him a free pass.
No way, amazing director, The Fall alone gives him a free pass.
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10:15AM on 07/13/2015
Not guilty. This guy is not very prolific to begin with. He doesn't have a big enough resume to even judge him, I find charges to this director to be extremely premature. I throw this case out for lack of evidence.
Not guilty. This guy is not very prolific to begin with. He doesn't have a big enough resume to even judge him, I find charges to this director to be extremely premature. I throw this case out for lack of evidence.
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9:42AM on 07/13/2015

What?!

I'm pretty sure self/less is indeed not the greatest film ever and the same can be said for the Immortals. But let's be honest here, the guy has only made four movies, all of which (despite their flaws) have a very clear artistic vision. There's no way this guy deserves to go to jail for that.
I'm pretty sure self/less is indeed not the greatest film ever and the same can be said for the Immortals. But let's be honest here, the guy has only made four movies, all of which (despite their flaws) have a very clear artistic vision. There's no way this guy deserves to go to jail for that.
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8:37AM on 07/13/2015

Not Guilty

Whether his films are style over substance is open to debate, but at least he's capable of helming visually distinctive movies. The Fall didn't do much for me, but Immortals, although a pretty messed up and unusual take on the mythology on which it's based, wasn't a terrible film in and of itself.
Whether his films are style over substance is open to debate, but at least he's capable of helming visually distinctive movies. The Fall didn't do much for me, but Immortals, although a pretty messed up and unusual take on the mythology on which it's based, wasn't a terrible film in and of itself.
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7:54AM on 07/13/2015
Not guilty. Tarsem Singh is a great director with eyes for visual spectacles. The Fall and Immortals are great example. On the other hand, Mirror Mirror, though with great visuals, just focuses more on a softer side of the story for wider audiences. To me, Singh is not guilty. He just needs better script. My ideal movie for him is to have him tackle Lee Falk's The Phantom. That would be great.
Not guilty. Tarsem Singh is a great director with eyes for visual spectacles. The Fall and Immortals are great example. On the other hand, Mirror Mirror, though with great visuals, just focuses more on a softer side of the story for wider audiences. To me, Singh is not guilty. He just needs better script. My ideal movie for him is to have him tackle Lee Falk's The Phantom. That would be great.
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7:46AM on 07/13/2015

Not Guilty

Not a bad director at all, but given rather unpolished scripts to bring to life. His movies have a unique look to them, and The Cell really brought that out for sure. The guy doesn't make a lot of movies but what I've seen, he gets a pass.
Not a bad director at all, but given rather unpolished scripts to bring to life. His movies have a unique look to them, and The Cell really brought that out for sure. The guy doesn't make a lot of movies but what I've seen, he gets a pass.
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7:06AM on 07/13/2015

Not Guilty

The Fall, The Cell, Immortals

are all awesome and underrated movies. Especially Immortals. Don't understand the hate. I love the bronze/gold coloured palette of the movie. The art style is fairly unique.

even his bad movies have their own distinctive visual style. It's the scripts that are questionable.
The Fall, The Cell, Immortals

are all awesome and underrated movies. Especially Immortals. Don't understand the hate. I love the bronze/gold coloured palette of the movie. The art style is fairly unique.

even his bad movies have their own distinctive visual style. It's the scripts that are questionable.
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12:02PM on 07/13/2015
Immortals is utter crap.Yeah, some stuff looks good but that is literally it's only redeeming quality.
Immortals is utter crap.Yeah, some stuff looks good but that is literally it's only redeeming quality.
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