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Movie Jail: This week's defendant is...Vin Diesel!

11.02.2015

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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

Riddick Vin Diesel

The Case

The Prosecution: The Last Witch Hunter, Babylon A.D., The Pacifier, A Man Apart, Knockaround Guys

Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, some of you might be shocked to see Vin Diesel up for Movie Jail, but this has been a long time coming. While Furious 7 was another big hit for the series, both financially and critically, Mr. Diesel hasn't had that much success outside of the franchise, including his latest film The Last Witch Hunter. As for his older movies, Babylon A.D., A Man Apart and Knockaround Guys were savaged by critics (all three have Rotten Tomatoes scores below 30%), and they were also pretty much DOA at the box office.

Although his Chronicles of Riddick trilogy has its fans, they haven't been critical darlings, and returning for fifth installment may have given his career and the Fast and Furious series a much needed boost, however it should be noted that the movies didn't really start to take off until after Dwayne Johnson joined the franchise. Like his F&F co-star, Mr. Diesel has dipped his toes into family fare with The Pacifier, which did well at the box office, but not so much with critics.

Mr. Diesel isn't exactly the most versatile actor either. Let's put it this way: arguably his two most well-received performances have been as the voice of a robot (The Iron Giant) and a talking tree (Guardians of the Galaxy) that can only say three words. Does Mr. Diesel deserve a life sentence? Probably not, but in the prosecution's opinion, he does need to spend some time behind bars for his cinematic crimes.

The Last Witch Hunter Vin Diesel

The Defense: The Fast & The Furious series, Guardians of the Galaxy, The Chronicles of Riddick trilogy, Find Me Guilty, xXx, Boiler Room, The Iron Giant

Ladies and gentlemen, it may sound funny to say this, since he's essentially the face of a multi-billion dollar film series, but Mr. Diesel just can't seem to catch a break. The actor fought hard to get a third Riddick flick made, however it received mixed reviews and barely made back its budget in domestic earnings, and with The Last Witch Hunter dropping hard in its second weekend, it's not looking like the movie is going to be a franchise launcher for my client. While Mr. Diesel is an incredibly popular actor, mostly due to the Fast and Furious movies, the prosecution is right in that he hasn't found that much success outside of the franchise.

But that doesn't mean we should toss him in prison. My client is very passionate about the films he makes, going above and beyond to promote them, so we get the feeling that they haven't just been paycheck movies for the actor. We also believe that Mr. Diesel isn't the reason why The Last Witch Hunter, Babylon A.D., etc. failed with critics and audiences. Those films wouldn't have been good, regardless of who was in the roles. The defense claims my client is a weak actor, however he showed some range in Find Me Guilty, which, unfortunately, bombed at the box office.

Ok, so Mr. Diesel is a little one-dimensional as an actor and has made several bad career choices, but does he really belong in Movie Jail? The defense doesn't think so, and we are quite confident that the jury will agree.

Guardians of the Galaxy Vin Diesel

IN CLOSING...

What we should do with the Fast and Furious star? Has Mr. Diesel earned a cell in prison, or do you think the prosecution is coming down too hard on the actor? Is Vin Diesel 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?

Furious 7 Vin Diesel

LAST WEEK'S VERDICT

Paranormal Activity

In last week's Halloween edition of Movie Jail, the Paranormal Activity franchise was found GUILTY of all charges, and it was a clean sweep against the found footage movies. Every single jury member wanted us to lock up the horror series, with most of the jury saying the films are fairly boring and just aren't scary enough.

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, Jessica Biel, Nick Swardson, Simon Kinberg, Alex & Stephen Kendrick, Eli Roth, Paranormal Activity Franchise (Halloween Edition)

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, Tarsem Singh, Reese Witherspoon, Burt Reynolds, Ed Helms, Sean Astin, Michael Polish, Kelsey Grammer, Queen Latifah, Mark Wahlberg

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, Ice Cube, Owen Wilson & Vince Vaughn

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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11:22PM on 11/03/2015

Not guilty

yep
yep
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-1
10:28PM on 11/03/2015
Guilty....One dimensional actor, still riding on the FF franchise
Guilty....One dimensional actor, still riding on the FF franchise
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7:43AM on 11/03/2015

Not Guilty

Not Guilty
Not Guilty
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6:31AM on 11/03/2015
Not Guilty

I've liked him since I first saw him in Saving Private Ryan.
Not Guilty

I've liked him since I first saw him in Saving Private Ryan.
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12:43AM on 11/03/2015

Guilty

I liked The Knockaround Guys but everything else regarding his performance feels forced. A Man Apart was a generic revenge flick but Vin made it even more bland. In The Pacifier he went to extremes to show everyone "hey look, I'm a funny guy too!"

I don't hate the guy but its for the best. Yes Mr. Diesel, we've "Found you Guilty".. Sorry, couldn't resist.
I liked The Knockaround Guys but everything else regarding his performance feels forced. A Man Apart was a generic revenge flick but Vin made it even more bland. In The Pacifier he went to extremes to show everyone "hey look, I'm a funny guy too!"

I don't hate the guy but its for the best. Yes Mr. Diesel, we've "Found you Guilty".. Sorry, couldn't resist.
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9:46PM on 11/02/2015

Not Guilty

He's not Olivier. He knows it. I Iiked xXx, loved Chronicles of Riddick and was surprised by Babylon AD, much better than I thought it would be. Took my nephew to see The Pacifier years ago, he loved it (he was 8-ish at the time), I wasn't big on it but I think Diesel does have some natural comic timing, just needs the right project.
He's not Olivier. He knows it. I Iiked xXx, loved Chronicles of Riddick and was surprised by Babylon AD, much better than I thought it would be. Took my nephew to see The Pacifier years ago, he loved it (he was 8-ish at the time), I wasn't big on it but I think Diesel does have some natural comic timing, just needs the right project.
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8:25PM on 11/02/2015

Probation

I'm not a fan of how he's trying to make another trilogy of Fast and Furious films, instead of working on more interesting and challenging work. He's capable of doing more, but seems to be in a creative rut. I admire his passion, but I'd like to see him doing more interesting films.
I'm not a fan of how he's trying to make another trilogy of Fast and Furious films, instead of working on more interesting and challenging work. He's capable of doing more, but seems to be in a creative rut. I admire his passion, but I'd like to see him doing more interesting films.
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+0
7:46PM on 11/02/2015

Guilty

This guy is a shitty actor who mumbles all his dialogue. Majority of his films are garbage.
This guy is a shitty actor who mumbles all his dialogue. Majority of his films are garbage.
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7:07PM on 11/02/2015

Guilty

If he'd stick to voice over stuff like The Iron Giant and Guardians, then he'd get a Not Guilty, bit the rest of his stuff is terrible. It's not entirely his fault, but his filmography is mostly crap.
If he'd stick to voice over stuff like The Iron Giant and Guardians, then he'd get a Not Guilty, bit the rest of his stuff is terrible. It's not entirely his fault, but his filmography is mostly crap.
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4:44PM on 11/02/2015

Not Guilty

Not Guilty. He is quite possibly the biggest star on the Globe. F&F total revenue is near the top of list for franchises and he is it's biggest star (with Paul Walker Gone).
Not Guilty. He is quite possibly the biggest star on the Globe. F&F total revenue is near the top of list for franchises and he is it's biggest star (with Paul Walker Gone).
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4:44PM on 11/02/2015

Not Guilty

Not Guilty. He is quite possibly the biggest star on the Globe. F&F total revenue is near the top of list for franchises and he is it's biggest star (with Paul Walker Gone).
Not Guilty. He is quite possibly the biggest star on the Globe. F&F total revenue is near the top of list for franchises and he is it's biggest star (with Paul Walker Gone).
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3:13PM on 11/02/2015

Not Guilty

How can you not love the Pacifier? haha
Always plays the same character but has the screen presence to pull it off!
How can you not love the Pacifier? haha
Always plays the same character but has the screen presence to pull it off!
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3:01PM on 11/02/2015

I like him. Not guilty.

I don't know whether it's because he's good, because he's a nice guy, a good showman, or because I've long considered him capable of more than he's often shown, but the man has won me over.

That said, I'm a bit surprised to find Chronicles of Riddick on the defense. It's alright, but not it did a lot of things wrong.
I don't know whether it's because he's good, because he's a nice guy, a good showman, or because I've long considered him capable of more than he's often shown, but the man has won me over.

That said, I'm a bit surprised to find Chronicles of Riddick on the defense. It's alright, but not it did a lot of things wrong.
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2:26PM on 11/02/2015

Guilty

Since he can't keep his mouth shut and always babbling about "family" crap.... We all know you're doing it for the money Vin.
Since he can't keep his mouth shut and always babbling about "family" crap.... We all know you're doing it for the money Vin.
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2:16PM on 11/02/2015

Not Guilty

Are you kidding? Vin Diesel is a hot property. Now I haven't seen his Fast and Furious films, that thing isn't my bag. Nothing to do with Vin. Vin is like Clint Eastwood and John Wayne and The Rock, a personality who lights up a screen. His films are mostly well regarded, I have seen him in a number of things and found he owns the screen when he is on it. And right now his Groot thing in Guardians of the Galaxy has some staying power. I wouldn't vote for Vin to go to Movie jail. I'd vote
Are you kidding? Vin Diesel is a hot property. Now I haven't seen his Fast and Furious films, that thing isn't my bag. Nothing to do with Vin. Vin is like Clint Eastwood and John Wayne and The Rock, a personality who lights up a screen. His films are mostly well regarded, I have seen him in a number of things and found he owns the screen when he is on it. And right now his Groot thing in Guardians of the Galaxy has some staying power. I wouldn't vote for Vin to go to Movie jail. I'd vote for him to get more cool roles. I'd like to see him in a western.
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1:39PM on 11/02/2015

Not Guilty

Should stick to tough guy roles but find better scripts. Still think hes awesome. There are far worse actors out there deserving of jail time.
Should stick to tough guy roles but find better scripts. Still think hes awesome. There are far worse actors out there deserving of jail time.
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1:26PM on 11/02/2015

Guilty

The Fast & The Furious series (overall good), Guardians of the Galaxy (good), The Chronicles of Riddick trilogy (1st film good but the rest sucked), Find Me Guilty (good), xXx (SUCKED), Boiler Room (good), The Iron Giant (Good)
The Fast & The Furious series (overall good), Guardians of the Galaxy (good), The Chronicles of Riddick trilogy (1st film good but the rest sucked), Find Me Guilty (good), xXx (SUCKED), Boiler Room (good), The Iron Giant (Good)
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1:07PM on 11/02/2015
Not Guilty.
Not Guilty.
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12:47PM on 11/02/2015

GUILTY

Last Witch Hunter should be all the proof you need to see that the revitalization in the Fast & Furious franchise has nothing to do with Diesel whatsoever. The dude's awful and after his early career, high and mighty stance on sequels - it's likely the only gigs he'll be able to land from here on out. Worse than Nic Cage guilty.
Last Witch Hunter should be all the proof you need to see that the revitalization in the Fast & Furious franchise has nothing to do with Diesel whatsoever. The dude's awful and after his early career, high and mighty stance on sequels - it's likely the only gigs he'll be able to land from here on out. Worse than Nic Cage guilty.
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11:57AM on 11/02/2015

Guilty but not Nicholas Cage guilty

He is an action here for this era. Not a academy award actor by any means so lets not beat him down too much. He's cool and the fast and furious movies are fun but not great movies by any means. I like him but he does say things like FF7 will win best movie of the year which is ridiculous. He's made some really bad movies and some fun mindless entertaining movies. I could see not guilty here and guilty. I give him supervised probation at most.
He is an action here for this era. Not a academy award actor by any means so lets not beat him down too much. He's cool and the fast and furious movies are fun but not great movies by any means. I like him but he does say things like FF7 will win best movie of the year which is ridiculous. He's made some really bad movies and some fun mindless entertaining movies. I could see not guilty here and guilty. I give him supervised probation at most.
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12:06PM on 11/02/2015
Nicolas Cage was found Not Guilty. Twice, actually.
Nicolas Cage was found Not Guilty. Twice, actually.
2:57PM on 11/02/2015
@fits. He should have. And forgive me for such a grave mistake. My sincerest apologies.
@fits. He should have. And forgive me for such a grave mistake. My sincerest apologies.
11:50AM on 11/02/2015

not guilty

He was also in the movie awakenings. The knows how to pick a movie. Next week: Jack Black.
He was also in the movie awakenings. The knows how to pick a movie. Next week: Jack Black.
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12:05PM on 11/02/2015
1) His role in AWAKENINGS was too small to judge.
2) Jack was already arrested and found Not Guilty.
1) His role in AWAKENINGS was too small to judge.
2) Jack was already arrested and found Not Guilty.
11:46AM on 11/02/2015

Not guilty

He has done more good than bad. Surely he should get a little nod for being in something as serious as Saving Private Ryan.
He has done more good than bad. Surely he should get a little nod for being in something as serious as Saving Private Ryan.
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11:29AM on 11/02/2015

Guilty

I like Vin. He seems like a really down-to-earth guy and I love his devotion to his fans, but based on the arguments made above, it is clear that Vin deserves to be sentenced for some time in movie jail. Of course, most people are going to vote based on their emotions and not the facts, which are clearly against the defendant in this case.
I like Vin. He seems like a really down-to-earth guy and I love his devotion to his fans, but based on the arguments made above, it is clear that Vin deserves to be sentenced for some time in movie jail. Of course, most people are going to vote based on their emotions and not the facts, which are clearly against the defendant in this case.
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11:15AM on 11/02/2015
Not Guilty. Most of his shitty movies were quite a few years ago and although I haven't seen The Last Witch Hunter yet, it looked like the kind of stupid fun that I like (I'm a sucker for gothic action and horror).

If I'd been on the jury after The Pacifier came out...I'd have had a different answer.
Not Guilty. Most of his shitty movies were quite a few years ago and although I haven't seen The Last Witch Hunter yet, it looked like the kind of stupid fun that I like (I'm a sucker for gothic action and horror).

If I'd been on the jury after The Pacifier came out...I'd have had a different answer.
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10:18AM on 11/02/2015

Not Guilty

Diesel may not have much range as an actor, but that really doesn't make him a bad actor. Jack Nicholson almost never plays outside his wheelhouse, but who cares? All that matters is that you can connect with the character emotionally, and Diesel has the ability to connect with the audience. Sure, his more successful roles are playing characters without much depth, but anybody who's seen Iron Giant, Find Me Guilty, Boiler Room, or even A Man Apart knows that Diesel isn't incapable of really
Diesel may not have much range as an actor, but that really doesn't make him a bad actor. Jack Nicholson almost never plays outside his wheelhouse, but who cares? All that matters is that you can connect with the character emotionally, and Diesel has the ability to connect with the audience. Sure, his more successful roles are playing characters without much depth, but anybody who's seen Iron Giant, Find Me Guilty, Boiler Room, or even A Man Apart knows that Diesel isn't incapable of really committing to his character. He deserves his freedom... and he deserves some better parts than he's been getting outside of his franchises.
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10:09AM on 11/02/2015
Not guilty. Find Me Guilty proves that he's still got acting skills. But Babylon A.D. was a let down. Overall, not guilty.
Not guilty. Find Me Guilty proves that he's still got acting skills. But Babylon A.D. was a let down. Overall, not guilty.
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9:31AM on 11/02/2015

Not guilty

Not guilty and A man apart was a good movie.
Not guilty and A man apart was a good movie.
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8:54AM on 11/02/2015

not guilty...

he's a good actor, not just an action star ! ok 99% of his resume is action movies (and the majority are great) but he can also act : he was amazing in the excellent Find me Guilty... and he was very good in Saving Private Ryan (even in a small role). And I recommend also the unknown Knockaround Guys...
he's a good actor, not just an action star ! ok 99% of his resume is action movies (and the majority are great) but he can also act : he was amazing in the excellent Find me Guilty... and he was very good in Saving Private Ryan (even in a small role). And I recommend also the unknown Knockaround Guys...
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8:43AM on 11/02/2015

Career average: 4.5/10

I'd like to clarify that his role in GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY wasn't as easy as it seems. He only had to say 3 words, but he had to say them with different emotions each time. Otherwise, they wouldn't have hired a star to voice him. Now, he's what I believe Americans call a serviceable actor. He's fine in roles that fit his skills (IRON GIANT; PITCH BLACK; F&F series; G.O.T.G.) and bad in other roles that require more of him (THE PACIFIER; BABYLON A.D.). Of course there are exceptions (he was
I'd like to clarify that his role in GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY wasn't as easy as it seems. He only had to say 3 words, but he had to say them with different emotions each time. Otherwise, they wouldn't have hired a star to voice him. Now, he's what I believe Americans call a serviceable actor. He's fine in roles that fit his skills (IRON GIANT; PITCH BLACK; F&F series; G.O.T.G.) and bad in other roles that require more of him (THE PACIFIER; BABYLON A.D.). Of course there are exceptions (he was bad in XXX and the RIDDICK sequels; he didn't bring anything to the table in SAVING PRIVATE RYAN). I would forgive his lack of range if he gave great performances in any roles. He hasn't done it once. And he has produced a lot of his movies, so he's to blame when they suck overall. As for the "He's passionate about his projects" arguement... Well, Ed Wood was that way too. Not that Vin is as bad as him. I'm just saying that the results are what count. He's Guilty.

Next week: Candice Bergen, Jason Blum, Kristin Chenoweth, Alan Cumming, Elisha Cuthbert, Danny DeVito, Matt Dillon, Brad Fuller, Heather Graham, Melanie Griffith, Raja Gosnell, Don Johnson, Angelina Jolie, Jamie Kennedy, Ben Kingsley, Brian Levant, Barry Levinson, Eugene Levy, Lucy Liu, Robert Luketic, James Marsden, Neal Moritz, Amanda Peet, Sean Penn, Kelly Preston, Meg Ryan, Seann William Scott, Barry Sonnenfeld, Barbra Streisand or Patrick Warburton.
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8:32AM on 11/02/2015

Yeah....not guity!

I believe that for all of his stinkers, his enthusiasm for his passion projects is authentic.
I believe that for all of his stinkers, his enthusiasm for his passion projects is authentic.
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8:09AM on 11/02/2015

Not Guilty

I wouldn't Movie Jail the guy for a couple of reasons. 1 - he fulfills a role there's need for in movies - him and The Rock are two of the few tangible action stars of this generation (given that Arnie and Stallone are very much the action stars of the previous generation) and 2 - he has genuine enthusiasm and love for a lot of the projects he's involved in, to the extent that they probably wouldn't have been made without his efforts.
I'm not even really a fan of the Fast and Furious series
I wouldn't Movie Jail the guy for a couple of reasons. 1 - he fulfills a role there's need for in movies - him and The Rock are two of the few tangible action stars of this generation (given that Arnie and Stallone are very much the action stars of the previous generation) and 2 - he has genuine enthusiasm and love for a lot of the projects he's involved in, to the extent that they probably wouldn't have been made without his efforts.
I'm not even really a fan of the Fast and Furious series and I still appreciate Diesel's input in the movie industry. The Chronicles of Riddick is one of my favourite guilty pleasure / daft sci-fi movies - it's just straight-up enjoyable to watch. I certainly think there's room in the industry for the sort of films he makes - when he gets the right role he's quite capable of making it work.
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7:51AM on 11/02/2015

Guilty

If you love Fast and the Furious, you'll probably only like him for that reason.
If you love Fast and the Furious, you'll probably only like him for that reason.
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7:37AM on 11/02/2015
Guilty. He's playing Vin Diesel in every movie he's in.
Guilty. He's playing Vin Diesel in every movie he's in.
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7:25AM on 11/02/2015
Definitely suffers from a lack of range, I like the guy but gonna have to say

GUILTY as charged.
Definitely suffers from a lack of range, I like the guy but gonna have to say

GUILTY as charged.
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2:23PM on 11/02/2015
Lack of range. This is a terrible reason for movie jail. Look at Clint Eastwood. The guy is an icon whose roles were typecast throughout his younger days. Tough guy roles only. Cowboys, soldiers, Dirty Harry. But then he wanted to have "range" and step out of his type. Do you remember Bridges Of Madison County? Of course you don't.

Vin Diesel should do what he does while he can do it. There is a category for guys like him, bankable action/tough guy hero. You have The Rock, Vin
Lack of range. This is a terrible reason for movie jail. Look at Clint Eastwood. The guy is an icon whose roles were typecast throughout his younger days. Tough guy roles only. Cowboys, soldiers, Dirty Harry. But then he wanted to have "range" and step out of his type. Do you remember Bridges Of Madison County? Of course you don't.

Vin Diesel should do what he does while he can do it. There is a category for guys like him, bankable action/tough guy hero. You have The Rock, Vin Diesel and a couple of others who can fit the role. He is this generations Stallone or Schwartzeneggar. I don't expect every film to be a hit, I do expect Vin Diesel to do his thing though. Let's face it, there is only a handful of actors out there with actual range, who can do drama, comedy, action, romance, play out of type, play a smart guy, play a dumb guy. VERY few actors would stay out of movie jail if range was the criteria for freedom.
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