Wednesday, December 31, 2008

10 Worst Celebrity Career Moves Of The Day (Or Ever)

From The copy is theirs; my notes in italics.

10. Tom Selleck turning down the part of Indiana Jones.

Some say that the "Magnum, P.I." producers wouldn't release him from his contract to do the flick; others say that Selleck found Lassiter and High Road to China more to his liking. Either way, the lesson is clear: No matter how wondrous and munificent it may be, never, ever take career advice from your mustache. (This should be #1. I bet Selleck cringes every time an Indy movie comes out... except maybe the last one.)

9. Brian Dunkleman leaving American Idol after season one.

He reportedly found the show to be increasingly cruel, which means he agreed with our bleeding ears. His departure led to a string of unforeseen events, most notably Ryan Seacrest becoming the next Dick Clark. Dunkleman out, indeed. (Who? He's right, though, the show is cruel. That's why people love it.)

8. Chevy Chase bailing on Saturday Night Live after a season and a half.

Sure, he had a pretty good run immediately thereafter: Foul Play, Fletch, Caddyshack. But after falling out with his former SNL cronies, there was little chance he'd be considered for flicks like Ghostbusters. Additionally, while Chase might not have aged well, his poor decision-making sure ha: he reportedly turned down the role of Lester Burnham in American Beauty, which won Kevin Spacey an Oscar. (Chevy would not have won an Oscar. Chevy is a douchebag.)

7. Vince Vaughn playing Norman Bates in the remake of Psycho.

So you explode out of nowhere in Swingers, flashing more first-flick comedic chops than any funnyman not named Eddie Murphy. Your next move has to be something similarly giggle-worthy, right? Nope. You go the I'm-so-very-versatile route by smarming it up in a shot-for-shot remake of Psycho, with one of the few additions being a scene in which you work yourself into a masturbatory frenzy. (One of the most pointless movies ever made, but Vince's career survived.)

6. Alec Baldwin's career-long self-sabotage.

Where to begin? He ditches one of those rare gigs that keep on giving — as Jack Ryan in the Tom Clancy flicks — to star with future wife Kim Basinger in The Marrying Man (huh?) and then again after they were married in The Getaway (huh, who, wha, huh?). He evolves into a skilled, reliable character actor (The Cooler, The Aviator), then starts popping off against the vice president ("a lying, thieving oil whore and a murderer of the U.S. Constitution"). He reinvents himself as one of the most agile TV wits around, then leaves a voice mail in which he calls his daughter a "rude, thoughtless little pig." Is Baldwin trying to torpedo his career, or does it just come naturally to him? (Yes, he's a tool, but Alec is a funny mofo and doing fine. And he was right about Cheney.)

5. George Lucas and the Wachowski Brothers contracting a lethal case of sequelitis.

After the cinematic barbarism that was Star Wars: Episode 1—The Phantom Menace, Attack of the Clone-Eating Superbots, and Revenge of the Sith Sense and the disorienting double shot of The Matrix Reloaded and The Matrix Revolutions, savvy viewers discovered that the first three Star Wars flicks contain about 3.5 hours of watchable action (all of The Empire Strikes Back, the second half of Star Wars, a few bits of Return of the Jedi) and that the entire premise of The Matrix makes less sense than a Rosie O'Donnell blog post. (I feel obligated to point out that there are six Rocky movies.)

4. Michael Jordan ditching the Bulls to play minor league baseball.

Irrefutable proof that dumb jocks can be just as dumb as dumb actors and dumb singers and dumb dummies. As a hitter, Jordan was a terrific jump shooter. Urban legend has it that he wasn't even the best athlete on the Birmingham Barons, the minor league club for which he toiled for two spectacularly middling seasons. Ray Durham, then a freakishly fit prospect, was said to have outjumped MJ during a conditioning drill. (Yes, this was a career killer for MJ. Now he's only worth 100 kabillion instead of 120 kabillion, the poor bastard. Rumor has it that he only took this detour after being quietly suspended from the NBA for gambling.)

3. Ben Affleck not staging his own death after Good Will Hunting.

Think about it. Had Affleck disappeared under mysterious circumstances after Good Will Hunting charmed everyone and their mother, he'd be remembered as a promising screenwriter and quirky character actor. By living to make the likes of Daredevil and Jersey Girl, he reduced himself in our eyes to a bloated stooge prone to merging his on-screen and offscreen lives. It's tragic, really. (I honestly think people are too hard on poor Ben -- there are many more detestable actors out there -- but still, it's hard to work up much pity for anyone who's boffing Jen Garner.)

2. David Caruso bailing on NYPD Blue after its first season.

Brooding one-note loners with phosphorescent orange hair shouldn't look a gift horse in the mouth. It's true, ask anyone. It's in the Bible somewhere. (He's doing ok on one of those CSI shows, but all he really does is take off his shades and deliver bad puns and one-liners.)

1. Shelley Long leaving "Cheers".

We know, we know—how could she possibly have turned down the ferociously droll Troop Beverly Hills, in which her not-at-all-like-Diane-Chambers character leads a bunch of spoiled twerps into the sticks? Sometimes a script shall not be denied, we suppose. (I don't think it mattered.)


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