The Weekend Rent: Put It on Tom Cruise Control

The Weekend Rent: Put It on Tom Cruise Control

Jun 25, 2010

Ever since he jumped on Oprah's couch and started speaking a little too frankly about his out-there religious beliefs, moviegoers' long love affair with Tom Cruise seems to have cooled. His latest flick—the action comedy Knight and Day with Cameron Diaz—isn't likely to change that. Cruise has made a career of headlining blockbusters like Jerry Maguire, Top Gun, Mission Impossible et. al and will surely continue to do so, but Blu-ray Bob likes him best when he plays down that megawatt charisma and levels out on Cruise control.

Tropic Thunder: Cruise was almost unrecognizable as bald, out-of-shape and perpetually pissed-off movie producer Les Grossman in this hilarious ensemble comedy starring Robert Downey Jr., Ben Stiller and Jack Black that is available on both DVD and Blu-ray. In fact, Cruise was so funny that his Les Grossman character is getting his own spin-off , which is in the works.

Minority Report: Forget about the bombastic War of the Worlds—this is the Cruise-Spielberg pairing to watch on DVD or Blu-ray. The stylish futuristic sci-fi thriller stars Cruise as Chief John Anderton, the head of Washington D.C.'s Precrime unit that predicts crimes before they happen with the help of three psychics known as Precogs. You'll feel for Cruise when his character's name comes up on the short list for a murder he has yet to commit and you watch him desperately try to clear his name.

Magnolia: There are nine interconnected storylines in director Paul Thomas Anderson's intriguing 1999 film now available on DVD and Blu-ray, and Cruise got an Oscar nomination for his role as Frank T.J. Mackey, the pompous author of Seduce and Destroy that was written to help men "tame" women. The unforgettably smarmy character was based on speed-seduction maestro Ross Jeffries.

Interview With the Vampire: The Vampire Chronicles: Author Anne Rice was so outraged when Cruise was cast as her beloved vampire Lestat in the 1994 movie version of her popular novel that she badmouthed him to the press. Then she saw the adaptation and said, "From the moment he appeared, Tom was Lestat for me" and wrote Cruise a letter of apology. Cruise sinks his teeth into the role of the infamous playboy vampire, and the movie—available on both DVD and Blu-ray—is probably the only time you'll get to see Cruise and Brad Pitt play a dysfunctional undead couple.

Legend: This gorgeously shot fantasy film by Ridley Scott isn't the first movie you think of when you think of Cruise, but his role as Jack—a soft-spoken young man of the forest who is smitten by a beautiful princess whom he must rescue from the Lord of Darkness—stands out in sharp contrast to the macho types he usually plays. Sadly only available on DVD at this time, seek out the Ultimate Edition with Scott's restored director's cut.

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