The Life & Times of an Auteur.

Commentary on Pop Culture, and maybe creating some of my own.

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Stick a fork in him, he's done.

I loved "Pirates of the Caribbean" when it first came out, and while I have a mountain of problems with the sequels, I enjoyed aspects of them. A shame they got so over the top, that the franchise wore out its welcome. But I still enjoyed the first one, except for two problems. Keira Knightly and... ::drum roll: Orlando Bloom.

If anyone deserves a lifetime achievement razzie, it's Orlando Bloom. He's my personal pick for the single worst actor of the decade. Now, I'd agree that Hayden Christenson is technically worse, but I'm giving it to Orli because, for a long time, you could not escape him. He was in so many movies, two major franchises, and his face was on every magazine cover.

Now, I didn't mind him in "The Lord of the Rings" because he was easy enough to ignore, and he had great actors around him to distract us, and he was a minor character. An important minor character, but he didn't command the screen the way Sir Ian McKellen, Elijah Wood, Sean Astin, Viggo Mortensen, Christopher Lee, Sean Bean, Bernard Hill, and so many others did. His "in your face moments" were few and far between.

Then "Pirates" came out. Then "Troy" came out. Then "Kingdom of Heaven" came out. Then... you get my point. This guy became a superstar. And I couldn't stand it. Why? For one simple reason: he can't act.

I would liken him to Leonardo DiCaprio when "Titanic" first came out. But there is a difference. DiCaprio was a very serious actor, still is. He had no idea he was about to become a teen heartthrob. And he hated being one. He was in this to be an actor, not the flavor of the month. He immediately picked roles to distance himself from "Titanic" and being a heartthrob. Very serious roles. And it was the smartest thing he could have done. He may no longer be the flavor of the month, but he's got a great career. He's become Martin Scorsese's new Robert De Niro, and Scorsese has never cast bad actors. DiCaprio has secured his longevity in the business.

Orlando Bloom is no Leonardo DiCaprio, even if it seemed that way from the start. He made no move to reinvent himself. And I once read an interview with him where he described acting as a dream career. Well, he didn't make much of it. You rarely see him or hear about him. He's not the flavor of the month anymore, and when that happens, all you have to rely on are your talents. Orlando Bloom has no such talents.

He may be in one or two more things, but, expect him to fade into obscurity. He doesn't have the chops.

His fifteen minutes are over. Now, if it seems I am jumping for joy here, well, I am. I know many terrific actors who work hard, and are very talented. But they were never given the opportunities Orlando Bloom squandered. I tend to prefer actors in movies to actually be able to act.

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