Friday, March 12, 2010

Corey Haim and Other Has-Beens of the Modern Age

By Steve Evans

Former teen actor Corey Haim died earlier this week at 38 of an apparent prescription drug overdose. While few people may remember, much less care about, Haim’s fleeting acting career, his passing got me to thinking about other actors who stubbornly fail to acknowledge their time is up, their careers are over, kaput. Would someone gently tell these top 10 has-beens, please, to go away?

Keanu Reeves. This wooden Indian actor hasn’t had a hit in the 11 years since The Matrix introduced the movie-going world to “bullet time” and transgender directors. I pose the question, by way of Dorothy Parker: if Keanu Reeves died, how could they tell?

Owen Wilson. He allegedly tried in 2007 to off himself, reportedly over a failed relationship with Goldie Hawn’s daughter Kate Hudson. We would do well to wonder if he wasn’t actually despondent, instead, over his mediocre career, the very existence of which is inexplicable.

Jennifer Garner. She married Ben Affleck. Game over. For the both of you.

Jim Carrey. Wasn’t funny 20 years ago. Still isn’t. A face of rubber. The talent of a spent condom, which is a different type of rubber altogether. Ick.

Angelina Jolie. Wanna bet the insides of her lips are tattooed with the instructions, “inflate to 32 psi”? This “actor” copped an Oscar 11 years ago for Girl, Interrupted, the story of a sad little rich girl (Winona Ryder) who gets committed to an asylum for disturbed chicks, Jolie ranking near the top of thehen house pecking order. From all accounts, very little acting was actually involved.

Robert De Niro. C’mon, Bobby. Stop desecrating the legacy of your work in Raging Bull, in Taxi Driver and The Deer Hunter and Godfather Part II with these insipid comedies and lame police procedurals that wouldn’t cut it on the Lifetime Network. Go back to Tribeca and run your film festival. There ya go. Run along, now.

Liza Minnelli. Judy Garland’s little girl just turned 64. Rumor has it, she’s slated to play aging silent film start (and hopeless psychotic) Norma Desmond in a completely unnecessary and unwelcome remake of Sunset Boulevard. Liza. Sweetheart. Go back to the Cabaret, ol’ chum.

Michael Douglas. Son of Kirk. Zeitgeist of finger-on-the-pulse megahits from days gone by, such as Fatal Attraction and Disclosure. Word is, director Oliver Stone has completed a sequel to Wall Street with Douglas reprising his Oscar winning role as Gordon “Greed is Good” Gekko. Word is, the release date has been delayed. Hmm. Now, why would a man of 65, with two Oscars under his belt (the first was for producing One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest 35 years ago), want to toot around making moves when Catherine Zeta Jones is waiting for him at home? More importantly, who wants to see him?

Warren Beatty. Once upon a time the most notorious playboy in Hollywood, Beatty hasn’t seen a soundstage since Town and Country bombed in 2002. Don’t cry. He’s got plenty of money and Annette Bening to keep him warm at night. Did anyone really notice his eight-year absence from the silver screen?

Tom Cruise. What’s he waiting for? The comeback tour? The farewell show? Who cares? Nobody even wants to see pictures of Katie and Suri anymore. How’s Tom supposed to flash those dazzling porcelain veneers on cue when everyone is sitting in another theater down the hall? Not to fret, Tom. Travolta is still kicking around a sequel to Battlefield Earth, with plenty of casting opportunities for fellow believers.

Cinema Uprising copyright (c) 2010 by Cinematic Cteve. All rights reserved.


  1. Keanu Reeves is not Indian, he is Canadian and a Hapa. His parents are of British, Chinese and Hawaiian descent.

  2. Actually, "wooden Indian" refers to a totem that once stood outside cigar stores. Carved of the titular wood, these Indian sculptures were renowned for their stoic expressions. And, of course, their stiff, motionless posture. Thanks for commenting.


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