Top Ten good film/bad film combos

So Nicolas Cage has just released a couple of films: Justice and Trespass. Now, the former was slightly better (read: less egregiously awful) than the latter. Don’t get us wrong, Justice was still a massive trespass and everyone who made Trespass needs to be brought to justice, but the difference in Nic’s quality of output, despite being made within months of each other, is interesting. So we thought we’d give ten more examples of actors who’ve immediately followed a good film with a bad one, or visa versa.


#10 – Bob Hoskins (Mrs Henderson Presents & Son of the Mask)

Our boy Bobby could almost have gotten away with this, given how small his part in Son of the Mask was, except that he was playing Odin. At what point can it make sense to think “Hey, playing the king of the Norse gods in a low-budget sequel designed to squeeze a bit more money out of a decade-old Jim Carrey comedy is a fantastic idea!” Yet before this had a chance to sour anyone, he stole back our hearts playing the inimitable impresario Vivian Van Damm (not to be confused with his cousin Jean-Claude) in Mrs Henderson Presents, alongside Dame Judi Dench. Fair enough.


#9 – Robin Williams (Insomnia & Death to Smoochy)

Robin Williams has done some great comedies. After all, he’s a deeply funny man. But more and more he’s demonstrating that there’s a well of excellence that extends into the world of playing deranged killers and disturbed individuals. He proved this in 2002 when he did the oft-cited One Hour Photo, but also the Christopher Nolan flick that everyone forgets: Insomnia. It’s a beautiful psychological thriller pairing him with Al Pacino and we love it. However, sandwiched between these two classics is Death to Smoochy, which is, well, it’s a bit really bad.


#8 – Will Ferrell (Wedding Crashers & Bewitched)

Will Ferrell can be funny. Put the gun down, you know in your heart that it’s true! He proved it in Wedding Crashers which, for all its faults, did succeed in being an extremely funny film. Not so its immediate predecessor Bewitched: an unfunny film based on an unfunny series about two unfunny people not being funny while one of them is also magic. You haven’t seen it, because nobody saw it, and that’s for the best.


#7 – Angelina Jolie (Girl, Interrupted & Gone in 60 Seconds)

Fun fact: If someone asks if you want to watch Gone in 60 Seconds and you say “original or remake?” then they are legally allowed to kill you with a spade. Despite being an immediate attempt to follow-up Jolie’s fame after her Oscar win for Girl, Interrupted, the projectile vomit you issue forth as a result of this terrible film will take far more than a minute to be finished.


#6 – Sandra Bullock (The Blind Side & All About Steve)

This one’s infamous, being so close together that Bullock turned up to collect the Oscar she had just won for The Blind Side the very night after her Razzie for All About Steve. After all, it may be a big ol’ Hollywood smug-wank about how far we’ve come from the racist days of old (Oh, really), but The Blind Side was a genuinely good film.


#5 – Halle Berry (Monster’s Ball & Swordfish)

Monster’s Ball has it all: tragedy, racism, drama. It’s brilliant, is what we’re saying. It’s immediate predecessor Swordfish, by contrast, has tits. It also has the most incredibly misinformed idea of what “hacking” is since John Travolta managed to hack his own arse and use it to replace his face.


#4 – Adam Sandler (Punch-Drunk Love & Mr Deeds)

This one’s not so much of a surprise, as Adam Sandler movies are, as a general rule, so painfully not funny that watching them willingly counts as an act of S&M. The shocking part is that he actually did a good film. He did did, though: Punch-Drunk Love is genuine quality. It’s got heart, humour, top-quality dialogue and he wasted no time following it up with the dangerously poor Mr Deeds. He went back to not making us laugh and we went back to wishing syphilitic death upon his fat, kickable face.


#3 – James Franco (127 Hours & Eat, Pray, Love)

Why, James Franco? Why would you do this to us? Why couldn’t you do a film where you lost another limb? That would’ve been good. Anything, ANYTHING, except Eat, Pray, Love (or as we affectionately call it Fuckoff, Die, Wankers. Admittedly, 127 Hours did help salve the wound of you being in that pile of shite, but it still hurts, James Franco, it still hurts.


#2 – Tom Cruise (Rain Man & Cocktail)

Knock knock. Who’s there? A bad movie starring Tom Cruise. Oh, come in Cocktail. With a Rotten Tomatoes score of an astounding 14%, Cocktail is the sort of movie that can destroy careers (and this was long before Cruise could try claiming that “Xenu made me do it”). It might have as nipped the phenomena of Tom Cruise in the bud, as well, if it wasn’t for the fact that it came out almost simultaneously with another film. Rain Man. Boom, critical acclaim. Bam, more movies. We’re not going to go so far as to say that without Rain Man Tom Cruise would be nothing, but we just did.


#1 – Rachel Weisz (The Fountain & Eragon)

“Daddy, why is Rachel Weisz a dragon?”
“I don’t know, son, maybe she needs the money.”
“I find that hard to believe, daddy, since she’s consistently been in blockbusters or successful arthouse fare.”
“Maybe she’s just a bad actress?”
“No, daddy, she was just in The Fountain, on of Darren Aronofsky’s finest and most beautiful works. It’s a story that spans not just all history, but all metaphor and spirit as well.”
“For a six year old, you sure have a surprising appreciation of Aronofsky’s work.”
“So why is Rachel Weisz a dragon?”
“I don’t know, son, I just don’t know.”

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