Monday, August 2, 2010

Angelina Jolie: Why is She Famous?

I'd like you to name one good Angelina Jolie movie, please. . .

Take your time. . .

No, Mr. and Mrs. Smith (Total Gross: $186,336,279, Rotten Tomatoes Score: 57%) doesn't count, because, technically, that's more of a Brad Pitt movie. And Brad Pitt is a good actor who can draw a crowd - Angelina is not.

I'm thoroughly convinced that Ms. Jolie is not famous because of anything she's done onscreen. The only reason she is famous is because of her off-screen antics. I wouldn't say she's as useless as Paris Hilton or Spencer Pratt, but she does seem to have the same type of unexplainable fame. She's an A-list celebrity who doesn't make A-list movies and doesn't give A-list performances.

Don't believe me? Let's take a moment and look at some of Angelina Jolie's well-known films and see how well they did both monetarily and critically:

Domestic Total Gross: $7,563,728
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 37%

Yes, believe it or not, Jon Voight's daughter played Acid Burn in this classic. . .no. . .iconic. . .no. . .what's the word I'm looking for?. . .ah! cliched film of the 90s. Despised by critics and real-life hackers alike, this film did horribly at the box office. Few people even remember that this movie existed, let alone that Angelina was in it. Not a good start, Ms. Jolie. But she did go on to marry her co-star, Johnny Lee Miller. At their wedding she wore black rubber pants and a white T-shirt with Johnny's name written in blood. This cry for attention fell on deaf ears, however, and they separated a year later.

Pushing Tin
Domestic Total Gross: $8,408,835
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 49%

Another box office bomb. This film stars John Cusack and the future Mr. Jolie, Billy Bob Thornton. Angelina is only a side character in this film, playing the wild-child wife of Billy Bob. She would go on to play this role in real life, once again marrying her co-star and doing outrageous things such as wearing a vial of Billy Bob's Blood (say that ten times fast) around her neck. This is also the relationship where she got a taste for adoption, when she and Billy Bob adopted a Cambodian child named Maddox. Notice how, once again, I'm talking about her personal life more than the movie. It's the reason she's famous.

The Bone Collector
Domestic Total Gross: $66,518,655
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 27%

Not even Denzel Washington could save this stinker. Critics hated it and audiences weren't thrilled by it. I watched this movie on accident and found myself laughing, even though it's trying so hard not to be a comedy. It's a good thing Angelina was with Billy Bob, otherwise this would have killed her career.

Girl, Interrupted
Domestic Total Gross: $28,912,646
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 53%

Yes, I know that Angelina won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress because of this film, but we all know the Academy gets it wrong sometimes (*cough*Chicago*cough*). The film got mild reviews, at best, and not many people cared to see it. Winona Ryder learned from this lesson - that it's not how you perform onscreen, it's off-screen that gets attention - and decided to do some shoplifting to get herself back in the limelight.

Gone in 60 Seconds

Domestic Total Gross: $101,648,571
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 24%

Finally, an Angelina Jolie film that made some real money! Wait. . . .no, this is a Nicolas Cage movie. Jolie was barely in it. And when she was in a scene she would just sit there and try to look rebellious and sultry. I think we'll have to attribute the monetary success of this film to Nic and the hot cars. And I think we'll have to attribute Angelina's "fame," at this point, to her wild girl attitude and the rumors of an odd relationship between her and her brother.

Tomb Raider(s)

Domestic Total Gross: $131,168,070, $65,660,196
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 19%, 24%

Notice how the first Tomb Raider made so much more money than the second one. That's because a bunch of lonely gamers wanted to see Lara Croft in the flesh and so they flocked to the theaters, only to be disappointed by what they saw. They didn't return in droves for the sequel. These two were a set of mindless action movies that banked on Jolie's alleged good looks and lost.

Shark Tale

Domestic Total Gross: $160,861,908
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 35%

Wow. She's really making money now. Wait. . .nope. . .this is a Will Smith/Robert De Niro pic. Those two are box office gold and can draw an audience even if their film isn't good. People forget that Angelina was even in this movie. However, you're going to see in this list that Jolie does best when she's a side character in an animated movie.

Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow
Domestic Total Gross: $37,762,677
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 72%

While critically acclaimed, this big-budget flick BOMBED at the box office. Angelina had top billing in this partially-animated feature, but she couldn't draw a crowd. People didn't want to go to see an "Angelina Jolie" movie. But they would soon demand to know what she was doing every minute of her personal life after she hooked up with Brad Pitt, broke up his relationship with Jennifer Aniston and starred with Brad in Mr. & Mrs. Smith - which was released a year after Sky Captain. I'm intentionally skipping over Mr. & Mrs. Smith because anything the movie did was eclipsed by "Brangelina" news in the tabloids.

Domestic Total Gross: $82,280,579
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 70%

Surely now that she was Brad Pitt's girlfriend, Angelina could make a scene at the box office, right? Wrong. Most of the mixed reviews about this movie were about the unique animation. Every time I heard mention of Angelina in this movie it was not about her performance, it was about her body. I guess a good body is all you need for continuous roles in Hollywood. Well, that and good publicity from adopting a lot of children.

Kung Fu Panda

Domestic Total Gross: $215,434,591
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 88%

As I mentioned before, Angelina does best when she is in an animated film and has a small role to play. Audiences didn't go to see this movie for Master Tigress, they wanted to see Po and his journey to be the Dragon Warrior. Filmmakers used Jolie's name to promote this film only because she was on every cover of People Magazine next to Brad Pitt. I will state, for the record, that this is the ONLY film on here that I consider to be good - and it has nothing to do with Angelina Jolie.

Domestic Total Gross: $35,739,802
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 62%

Angelina was nominated for an Academy Award for this film, but can anyone tell me why? Maybe someone who has actually seen it? That narrows down the field because hardly anyone saw this movie. No one really cared to. This was an "Angelina Jolie movie" with her in the starring role and her face on the poster, and yet no one was drawn to see it. If you want to watch a good movie with the same name, watch the 1980 horror film called The Changeling (79% on Rotten Tomatoes).

Domestic Total Gross: $134,508,551
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 71%

Special effects. That's why this one did so well. It's a completely ridiculous film, but whenever someone bends a bullet on the big screen, it's gonna bring some cash in. Plus, it had plenty of sex and violence. Jolie was also still riding high on the fame from the birth of her twins, Knox and Vivienne. Her actual performance in the film? Not so good. ******SPOILER ALERT****** It's a good thing she offed herself at the end so she won't have to drag down the sequel. *********END OF SPOILERS****** This was also nominated for an MTV Movie award, so how good can it be?

Domestic Total as of Aug. 1, 2010: $70,800,000
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 57%

Who is Salt? I don't think we care enough to know. Salt opened at #2 at the box office when it was released. Inception, which had already been out a week, took the #1 spot. This movie may break 100 million, but it's doubtful it will go far beyond that. I will admit that I haven't seen this movie yet, so I can't bash it based on personal experience, but I have been warned by others that it is a waste of time. Salt is just another proof that Angelina Jolie cannot headline a movie successfully.

So there you go, faithful readers.

I'm not saying she's a bad person, I'm just saying she's not a good actress. I mean, people will camp out around her home just to catch a glimpse of her in real life, but they don't want to go see her movies. Those that do go see her movies aren't very impressed by her performance. The films discussed above aren't anyone's favorites (except for, maybe, Kung Fu Panda, starring Jack Black) and most of them are completely forgettable.

I don't get it.

Even though her movies are average, at best, Angelina Jolie continues to be one of the highest paid actresses and one of the most famous faces in Hollywood. She's the A-list of the A-list right now, but it's not because of anything she's done in film.

Angelina Jolie is famous because she's a wild girl turned humanitarian. She's famous because of who she's dating. She's famous because of her multiple adoptions. In summary, she's famous because the media tells us she's famous.

Don't believe the hype.


Peter said...

I concur.

Also, I really don't find her attractive. Can't stand the lips.

Sara Ann said...

Yuck, I am not a fan. I agree that she is only famous for breaking up Brad Pitt and Jennifer Anniston. Even though I really think Jennifer is better off without him. And I think she is irresponsible to keep adopting kids, because you know they are being raised by nannies. How could they not be?

The Former 786 said...

Peter, we are of one mind. I don't find her that attractive, either.

And I agree, Sara Ann. She's only a step above the Octomom - and they have similar lips.

Crystal Ross said...

I like Angie! Sometimes her beauty is hard to look at head-on. I think she is stunning and a weird, but good, person. Plus, quite the humanitarian. If anything, I think her kindness makes her famous (although I don't think her acting sucks either). Why hate?

The Former 786 said...

There's no hate, Crystal Ross. I just realized that, even though she is uber famous, she hasn't really made any good movies. I'm trying to help others come to that realization.

I'm just stating facts.

Crystal Ross said...

You mean, you're just stating your opinion :) which is fine. I was just stating mine. I like at least 3 of these movies.

The Former 786 said...

The fact is that her movies don't do well critically and they don't make much money. But you can state your opinion, that's fine. That's what makes this country great.