Sunday, November 17, 2013

The Queening of Clooney (Ava and C.I.)

The chronically overexposed George Clooney is back on the cover of Esquire this month.


What the cover demonstrates is that if he wrinkles his brow and points his head downward, he can almost look like a man again and not your like your aged but fiesty Aunt Flo.

It helps that he got rid of his Carol Brady look -- or are we the only ones who remember those awful bangs and his plucked eyebrows?

clooney bangs

But these days, color him as just another celebrity who's screwed up his looks.

The article may be even funnier than his face up close.  Tom Junod opens with, "You must love him."


But how telling that Madonna's the artist quoted.  How telling in a don't-ask-don't-tell kind of way, please don't mention the elephant in the room!

Junod's no sooner gone there, then he's all up on Boy George.

He's going on about George "on the bottom," the eye lashes and how they're like "Venus flytraps" and how George smells and all the other things someone wanting to sleep with George might be interested in.

He tries to turn George into Clark Gable.

And that probably had us laughing loudest.

Clooney couldn't hold a candle to Gable.

Gable was alive and passionate and Clooney's only passionate about himself.

No crackle has come to any scenes between Clooney and a woman.

Michelle Pfeiffer and Julianna Margulies are the only actresses he's shared the screen with (One Fine Day and the TV show ER) that he's had chemistry with and that was the women.  Clooney could probably have chemistry with Debra Winger because she's a similar type of actress.  The three women flood their roles and that allows passive actors (like Richard Gere or, in this case, George Clooney) to appear connected.

Clark Gable had chemistry with Joan Crawford, Ava Gardner, Marilyn Monroe and Vivien Leigh among others.  Throw him and an actress on the screen and they burned it down with passion.

Give Clooney a scene with a mirror and he can work up passion and longing but put him onscreen with a woman and Clooney's impotent.

And that may explain his lack of box office success.  He's got a supporting role in Sandra Bullock's blockbuster Gravity (Robert Downey Jr. walked on the part, and the role, due to it being a supporting part).  And it probably feels good to be in her hit after the duds he's filmed for over a decade.

The last film he appeared in that crossed the $100 million mark domestically (the sign of a blockbuster . . . in the 90s) was Ocean's 13.  He was part of an ensemble.  To go back to the last film he was the star of that crossed the $100 million mark?  You have to back to 1997 and Batman & Robin.

There's 2000's The Perfect Storm but he didn't carry it -- he and Mark Wahlberg carried it.

In his entire film career, the only film he can be said to have carried past the $100 million mark is Batman & Robin -- a film that bombed.

Blockbusters he's appeared in but not carried?  Along with The Perfect Storm, there's the three Oceans films where he's part of an ensemble and there's  his bit part in two of the Spy Kids films.

Not all of his films are huge bombs like 2006's The Good German (less than two million dollars worth of tickets were sold in north America for that film).   But they do tend to be films that don't make back their production, print and advertising costs.

It's, in fact, surprising that he's on the cover of Esquire -- surprising that he's been on it so many times already.  But then, they are a 'men''s magazine selling fashion and beauty.

And dish.

And does any male actor dish like Clooney?

No, not even Rupert Everett.

Clooney mocks Ashton Kutcher in the article as well as Leonardo Di Caprio and Russell Crowe.  It's the sort of dish Joan Crawford would offer whenever her star was on the decline and she needed to grab headlines.

But, of course, Joan Crawford was a bonafide star who could sell tickets.

As a lead, part of an ensemble or in a supporting role, Clooney rarely has a film in the top ten for the year.  His biggest grossing film is Ocean's 11 and that ensemble film did hold the number 8 spot for 2001.

Worse, at 52, he's proven unable to sell tickets and unable to connect with women onscreen.  Is he ready to step over into the roles Wilfred Brimley used to do (or maybe Clifton Webb's old roles)?  Or will he try to return to TV?

Which brings up the other bitchy move Clooney pulled.

He had his assistant trash Noah Wylie.

Noah and Clooney were among the stars of ER -- somehow Tom Junod can't even acknowledge Julianna or Sherry Strickland.  Noah's career, as Clooney's assistant points out, didn't involve success post ER.

That is bitchy.

Even for Clooney, that is bitchy.

For those not aware, an assistant only speaks to the press with the permission of the boss.  Everything she told Esquire was to set George up and, indeed, it does lead Tom Junod to wax about Clooney -- almost as much as George himself does.  Dusk Till Dawn was a game changer, George insists.

That film grossed only $25 million.  And it was a horror film.  One Fine Day was the film that changed things for George.  The 1996 film starring Michelle Pfeiffer would gross $46 million and, most importantly, give the (mistaken) impression that Clooney could have chemistry onscreen.  This is when the film studios went all in with Clooney.  They thought they had something.  Maybe he couldn't do everything, but chemistry onscreen is no small matter.

On the basis of the chemistry Pfeiffer gave him, the way she looked at him, the way she responded to him, Clooney was allowed to try everything.

And he failed at everything.

He failed as a super hero (Batman). he failed as the new Redford (Out of Sight didn't even make $40 million at the box office), he failed at sci fi (Solaris), he failed at chemistry (most noticeable with Intolerable Cruelty), he failed at everything.

A great deal is made of the fact that Clooney now works for scale on these projects he 'believes in.'  But the reality is the studios aren't going to give him $20 million for a film.  Hell they're not even going to give him $10 million with his track record.

He's at the point when the career's really over.  A smart team and he could parlay his supporting role in Gravity into two to three years of roles.  But he doesn't have a smart team.

Which is why he's yet again the subject of Hollywood Porn.  That's all Esquire's publishing.  Watch the writer gush over Clooney sharing a story! A story told before! "Even told it to Esquire before"!

In the article, as in real life, Clooney can't stop panting over men.  Women go unnoticed, but men always catch his eye.

And he shares this nonsense at one point, "For a long time now, Brad has been the biggest movie star in the world. He’s bigger than me, bigger than DiCaprio. And I really admire how he deals with that. It’s not easy for him. But he tries to be the most honest version of Brad Pitt that he can be. And he also remains unavailable. He’s still a giant movie star because you can’t get to him."

But Brad's not a giant movie star.

World War Z, his zombie movie last summer, made $202,359,711 at the box office, his best ever.  But two films have been released since and neither's hit $40 million -- not even if their box offices are combined.  He's had very few blockbusters.  There's Inglorious Basterds ($120 million), The Curious Case of Benjamin Button ($127 million), the three Oceans films, Troy ($133 million), the film he co-starred in with Angelina Jolie Mr. and Mrs. Smith ($186 million), Seven ($100 million) and Tom Cruise's  Interview With A Vampire ($105 million).  Very few of those films were his alone.  More importantly, The Heat, a comedy, has made $159 million at the box office so Brad's just cross the line at $100 million aren't all that impressive.

Brad's been in ten films that made it past the $100 million mark and one that made it past the $200 million mark.

If the only film Leo ever made was Titanic, that would be enough.  The film grossed $658 million in north America alone.  While Brad was fighting zombies last summer?  Leo was in theaters with The Great Gatsby and somehow grossing $144 million at the box office on that.  Or there's Inception which took in $292 million -- more than any film Brad's been in.

We don't dislike Brad but let's provide the honesty Clooney can't:  Leo works with Scorsece.  Brad's worked with Madonna's ex-husband.

Let's also point out that Clooney's notion that only men are "move stars" reflects his own sweaty palmed obsession with men but it doesn't help women who are carrying films at the box office.

Forty years ago, this nonsense may have played.  These days, it just makes George Clooney come off like a bitter old queen.

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