Movie Jail: This week's defendants is...Ben Stiller!
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 Prosecution: The Watch, Tower Heist, Little Fockers, Meet the Fockers, Night at the Museum 2, School for Scoundrels, Envy, The Heartbreak Kid, Duplex *
Ladies and gentleman of the jury, when we threw Vince Vaughn's ass on trial, it was brought up more than once that Ben Stiller also deserved to be thrown on trial, and since this court is nothing but fair (and drunk most of the time), we must oblige the jury. Now, we're not saying Mr. Stiller doesn't have box office appeal. Movies likes There's Something About Mary and Meet the Parents made Stiller a household name and gave him legitimate office cred. But so what? Aside from the very successful Madagascar movies, Stiller has flopped critically over the years with The Watch, The Big Year, Little Fockers, Meet the Fockers and a slew of other movies. In fact, the majority of Stiller's films over the past 10 years have been "rotten" on Rotten Tomatoes. Sure, Tower Heist made its money back, but just barely, and though it has a 68% rating on Rotten Tomatoes by critics, the audience rating shows their contempt for the flick with 51%. It's become obvious to the prosecution that America has had it with the "aw shucks" bumbling, "nice guys finish last until the end of the movie" schtick that seems to permeate through all of his roles. No one is doubting the man's work ethic since he averages three movies a year, but the odds that any of those three movies will be anything worthwhile these days are very slim. The prosecution moves for a guilty verdict to show Mr. Stiller that just because you CAN put out three movies a year as the same character, doesn't mean you should.
The Defense: There's Something About Mary, Zoolander, Permanent Midnight, Tropic Thunder, Night at the Museum, Dodgeball, Meet the Parents, Along Came Polly, The Royal Tenenbaums*Ladies and Gentleman of the jury, all this nonsense about critic ratings and box office numbers means nothing at the end of the day. Has Mr. Stiller had some bumps in the road? Sure. But what actor with a resume like Stiller's hasn't had bumps in the road? The man has been acting, writing, directing and producing since the mid 80s. Whether it was the hilarious and overlooked The Ben Stiller Show or directing shorts for SNL, the man has kept busy and worked to create his own brand. Has his brand grown old? No, the prosecution has. It's clear that the people who want to see the Ben Stiller brand, are going out to see it. Where's the crime here? Yeah, there are some risks to your brand when you keep busy and spread yourself out in Hollywood, but Mr. Stiller is always creating, always keeping active, and that shouldn't be a crime. Tower Heist may have not been big for audiences, but that was likely due to Movie Jail inmate Eddie Murphy. Come to think of it, he was also in The Watch with another Movie Jail inmate, Vince Vaugh. You know what? Whatever. Why you gotta bring up old shit?
So, whatís to be done with Mr. Ben Stiller? Has he, like the aforementioned Vince Vaugh, gone on too long with the same ol' same? What's wrong with the same schtick, if it works? On the other hand, does the schtick even work at this point? And the most important question to be asked, once all evidence is taken into consideration, we ask you The Jury, is Ben Stiller GUILTY or NOT GUILTY? Letís 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 The Farrelly Brothers GUILTY of all charges. The jury concludes that there definitely was a time and place for the duos' style of humor, but that time and place has long since passed. Their brand of "gross out" humor has simply not progressed or evolved since the 90s and for that, the jury sentences the duo to Movie Jail until further notice.
|Extra Tidbit:||Who Should Take the Stand Next? Strike Back Below!|