Monday Morning Critic – Tom Cruise & Rock of Ages – Adam Sandler – Turkish Star Wars

Every Monday morning, InsidePulse Movies Czar Scott “Kubryk” Sawitz brings an irreverent and oftentimes hilarious look at pop culture, politics, sports and whatever else comes to mind. And sometimes he writes about movies.

One of the things that intrigue me about actors is the choices they make with film roles. The one specifically that made me the most curious coming into this week was Tom Cruise in Rock of Ages and Adam Sandler in That’s My Boy. Both for nearly the same reason, too, because it’s out of their usual role range.

Tom Cruise is the action star that eventually supplanted Willis, etc, and we just never acknowledged it. After the first Mission Impossible film he has become the kind of consistently bankable action star that Jason Statham wishes he was. His career has been interesting in that he was a bankable dramatic actor for most of his early career and then ended up becoming an action star once Die Hard came out and shoved aside the ‘roided up ‘80s one man army era aside.

Since the sequel to that film he’s pretty much done exclusively action films, or action oriented films, with the exception of Lions for Lambs. He’s found a niche in that you don’t need to be some overly muscled up ogre with minimal acting chops to star in an action film; you just have to find a good script for the most part.

And his latest role: as a ‘80s rock god in a hair metal musical.

Adam Sandler on the other hand is the sort of bankable comedy star that people have put on to any number of comic actors over the years. He may not have the sort of classic films some actors have but every year he’s like clockwork in making successful films that consistently bring in audiences. It may not be everyone’s cup of tea but the one thing you have to commend Sandler for is being able to know his audience and keep them coming back for more. He may make some god awful films but he’s the master at knowing that PG-13 audience and how to get them to purchase a ticket.

He never crosses major number but he’s a near lock for at least $80 million domestically every single time. Not a lot of actors are automatic like that. Look at Jack and Jill, which looked rancid and was the subject of TONS of bad jokes prior to its release. Sandler was slightly below $74 million, which is quite an accomplishment all things considered.

And his latest role: as a foul-mouthed father to Andy Samberg in a hard R-rated comedy.

Both are fairly big departures and risks considering the types of roles they normally take. I saw an interview with Cruise lately where he discussed the film and how he had seen the remake of Hairspray so much that he thought a musical wouldn’t be the worst thing in the world to produce. And after figuring out that he could make a contribution in front of the camera he opted to take a role in it, of course, and Rock of Ages comes out this weekend.

Sandler on the other hand has been such a staple of the PG-13 comedy that we forget that his earliest work was pretty foul. Outside of Funny People, which was more of an R-rated drama than a comedy. His last real R-rated comedy was quite some time ago. He’s such a staple of potty humor, as opposed to blue humor, that the fact that a film of his had a red-band trailer was kind of shocking. Sandler doesn’t normally do R-rated comedies because that’s not his demographic; 13 year old boys don’t buy tickets for R-rated films because of the restrictions set in place by movie theatre chains.

I’m curious to see how it plays out in terms of box office receipts. If Sandler and Cruise can succeed outside of their usual wheelhouse maybe something good can come out of it after all.

A Movie A Week – The Challenge

This Week’s DVD – Dünyayı Kurtaran Adam … aka Turkish Star Wars

Fans of bad cinema are in many ways reminiscent of pro wrestling fans as far as I’m concerned. It’s in their justifications; “it’s an athletic soap opera” sounds an awful lot like “it’s supposed to be bad.” It’s kind of the same argument as “turn off your brain” in a way; people need to justify their like for gutter theatre in some fashion I suppose. For me arguing that a film is so noxious that it somehow ends up being brilliant is one thing; it’s another to sort of justify it as preferable cinematic excursions is another. It’s like The Room is a bad film and perfect to mock but not something I’d watch again or own. It’s a one off, more or less, as is this week’s film: Turkish Star Wars.

Properly entitled Dünyayı Kurtaran Adam, which translates to The Man Who Saved The World, the film follows Murat (Cuneyt Arkın) and Ali (Aytekin Akkaya), whose spaceships crash land on a desert planet following a battle. Shenanigans ensue … or at least I think they do.

I’m not really sure what the hell is going on for the most part because the film really doesn’t make all that much sense. Cribbing footage from Star Wars, Star Trek and various 60s space footage from the Soviet Union and U.S, apparently there’s a story about something but I’m not really sure what. It’s one really baffling film made up of D-level film-making and high school play level acting.

You can watch it here, as a goof, but it’s not something to track down.

Not recommended.

What Looks Good This Weekend, and I Don’t Mean the $2 Pints of Bass Ale and community college co-eds with low standards at the Alumni Club

Rock of Ages – A musical set around hair metal hits of the ‘80s.

See It – I’ve already seen this and it’s one of the best films of the year. My review is coming up, due to embargo, this weekend. But it’s so worth it.

That’s My Boy – Andy Samberg is getting married to the brunette from Gossip Girl. Adam Sandler crashes it.

See It – It s been some time since Adam Sandler has done an R-rated film. It’ll be interesting to see how filthy it is.

Your Sister’s Sister – Marc Duplass is friends with a girl who has a crush on him. He screws her sister instead. Shenanigans ensue. In Limited Release

See It – Duplass has been in a number of shockingly good films so far this year. Not bad for a guy from The League.

Scott “Kubryk” Sawitz brings his trademarked irreverence and offensive hilarity to Twitter in 140 characters or less. Follow him @ScottSawitz .

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