I would love for this to be the summer of Jason Bateman, and it's not just because of my dedication to all things Arrested Development. Bateman, with his skilled timing and expressive face, redefined the role of the "straight man" in comedy, making the middle Bluth as screwed-up (and occasionally as much fun to watch) as the loonier members of his family. He's a perfectly good actor, and he's demonstrated it with fantastic supporting roles in movies like State of Play and Up in the Air. The news that not one, but two movies with Bateman in starring roles made me more than a little excited.
Then I found out what the two movies were. And one of them is a body-switch movie.
I don't really object to Bateman making these luke-warm comedies (his kids gotta eat, and besides, what actor hasn't actually made a couple of flops here and there?). I just wish he'd balance them out with something, well, meatier. Now that the Arrested Development movie has been properly announced, we can at least look forward to Bateman's reprisal in his role as Michael Bluth. Hopefully, he'll give us something else to look forward to before long.
Anyway, the Bateman Situation, as I'm calling it, got us to thinking about all of the actors we love that we wish would make better movies. Here's a list of 10.
1. Michael Keaton
Sure, we love Keaton's recent work inCars
andToy Story 3
(he stole the show as Ken), but he lost a lot of cred withHerbie Fully Loaded
. His earlier work inClean and Sober
andOne Good Cop
showed off his real chops.
2. Debra Winger
She brought us to tears inTerms of Endearment
(both of which earned her Academy Award noms), but hasn't done much recently (aside from a few In Treatment episodes). We want her back.
3. Jason Schwartzman
Full of so much potential in 1998'sRushmore
, but started going downhill when he played Louis XVI in Sophia Coppola'sMarie Antoinette
4. Kirsten Dunst
We loved her inDick
and lament the fact that she's really just known forSpiderman
5. Sam RockwellMoon
was so, so good. We're mystified by the fact that he's he doing guinea pig voices inG-Force
6. Sigourney Weaver
She freaked me out inThe Ice Storm
and kicked serious ass in theAlien
movies. So why is she inCedar Rapids
7. Anthony Hopkins
He won an Academy Award for 17 minutes of screen time inSilence of the Lambs
. That's how good he is. But he started slipping withMeet Joe Black
in 1998, and hasn't made a good film since.
8. Sarah Polley
Let's face it: She was awesome inAvonlea
, and we loved seeing her all grown up inGo
. Then she madeSplice
9. Ralph Fiennes
Fiennes carries on a great English tradition of solid, classically trained Shakespearean actors. The fact that he hasn't found an adequate role (possibly except forThe Constant Gardener
) is a tragedy indeed. At least he'll have Voldemort to carry him into eternity.
10. Linda Hamilton
She's always been more of a TV actress, and we enjoy seeing her in bit parts onChuck
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, but the fact that her last sort-of OK movie wasDante's Peak
is a real shame.