Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Cadillac Mescallade: The Rock Has Found Bottom

Anyone remember Carlos Baerga? Played for the Cleveland Indians in the 90s when they were solid and then flamed out with the Mets before a brief reprieve (at least statistically) with the Arizona Diamond Backs. There are a ton of athletes that fit this profile. They start off great and appear to be headed to super-stardom, if nothing less than consistent performance. Then for any variety of reasons they just drop off. Drugs, old age, injuries, indifference, etc. They start hitting well below .300 and look like they'd be better as the bullpen catcher for the Newark Bears than as the All-Star you thought they were. No offense to that guy, none taken.

This reminds me of Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson - not the wrestling career, but the acting career. Being a longtime fan of wrestling, I was always interested in seeing what new movies he would be in and he played his foray into entertainment smartly. He started off with a largely non-speaking role in The Mummy Returns and then parlayed that into the Scorpion King. He seemed destined to be another great action star in the mold of Arnold, Stallone, Segal, etc. Perhaps it wasn't Daniel Day Lewis stuff, but it was a good niche for an ex-wrestler and it was above what Hulk Hogan was doing. This was moving along nicely with "The Rundown" and "Walking Tall," two movies that were about dropping the people's elbow on some people who had it coming.

Now not long after he jumps in the movie "Be Cool" showing off a softer side. Most everyone panned this movie but I don't fault him for jumping in a flick with all those stars (and it's not a bad idea to see some range). Then comes "Game Plan." The football star gets an unexpected daughter. This, again, right in his wheelhouse and nothing wrong with making a movie for the kids. Then, even though the previews had me concerned, I kind of understood "Race to Witch Mountain." It was an action type movie but also designed for kids. But after that, it was time to get back to firing big guns and handing out smackdowns. But we didn't get any of that. Instead there was a voice role in Planet 51, one of the millions of Bhrek-like movies out there (how fast has that style of movie became unoriginal, btw). Then the topper, and I'm only reminded of this because of the giant billboards on the 5 freeway, The Tooth Fairy. Really, rock? This is what you are cooking? Honestly, what is going on? Is it a money thing? Is it a you don't care thing? Do you think these are actually good ideas? I'd really like to watch some of your movies but you are making it very tough right now.

From what I gather from the billboard, the Rock will play a tooth fairy with possibly shoulder pads attached. I guess I should be upset that this movie got the go-ahead in the first place. I'm far from the first person to be stunned at what has been a Baerga-like drop off in quality production, but we can only hope there is a turnaround in the making. The Rock's imdb page would suggest he is trying to right the ship, slated to appear in an upcoming movie with Will Ferrell and Mark Wahlberg as well as an action movie where he avenges somebody's death. That is what I'm talking about, let's see some more things avenged.

I still have hope for the Rock, that not only will he has just a one season comeback like Baerga, but perhaps this is just a little extended bump in the road like Kurt Warner's time with the New York Giants. Perhaps 2010 will be the return of the People's Champ.

-Posted by Cadillac Mescallade

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1 comment:

Pops We Can said...

The Rock is smart. He is targeting kid movies because he knows parents will take their kids to see it (that means twice the ticket sales) and kids will want the DVDs. The Rock is a businessman. He knows what works. 20 something duders will just download the bootlegs. 7 year olds will beg their Dad to take them to the theater and then beg for the DVD. I smell what he is cooking and it has the aroma of dollar bills!