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Cruise keen to work in comedy films

Hollywood actor Tom Cruise has expressed his keenness to work in comedy films, after he enjoyed his cameo appearance in war comedy Tropic Thunder. The Vanilla Sky actor, who is incredibly unrecognizable as a chubby, balding executive in Ben Stiller’s Tropic Thunder, has revealed that the role was an inspiration to make audience laugh further.

“Well, I’m always looking for something new, and Ben’s (Stiller) movie is hilarious, He and I are old friends, and he is a really good director, so originally I said I’d do it just for friendship, but it turned out great,” Contactmusic quoted Cruise, as saying. “I actually love comedy, and I did it in Risky Business, so I’ll do more if it presents itself,” Cruise said.

Tropic Thunder features Cruise alongside actors Robert Downey Junior and Jack Black.


I know I’d love that 😀

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Watch Tom dance!

Jarett Wieselman has a nice Tropic Thunder video clip in his NYPost PopWrap blog! Go check it out here.

His comment:
There are only two reasons to see “Tropic Thunder.” One is Robert Downey Jr.’s unbelievable performance – am I the only one who thinks his name should start getting bandied around for a Best Supporting Actor Oscar?

The second is Tom Cruise’s career-reinvigorating performance as the bald, fat, hairy and short-tempered Les Grossman. Granted, unlike RDJ, you never actually forget that it’s Tom on screen, but I have to give the Cruise-missile kudos for fully committing to this intentionally over-the-top character.

If you haven’t had a chance to check out the film yet, get a glimpse of Tom in dance-tastic action above!

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Review: ‘Tropic Thunder’ rains down comedic excellence

In spite of the fact he is one of Hollywood’s most bankable stars, I must confess that I am not a fan of Ben Stiller. (…) was with this in mind that I attended “Tropic Thunder,” a film that not only starred Stiller, but was written and directed by him as well. I fully expected to dislike it — but, much like a jungle ambush, it took me by surprise. It is, hands down, the funniest film that I have seen this year.

“Tropic Thunder” follows the production of a Vietnam war film featuring four famous but individually challenging entertainers. Tugg Speedman (Stiller) is an action-movie star looking for an award-calibre role that will revive his sagging career. Kirk Lazarus (Robert Downey Jr.) is an Oscar-winning thespian who will stop at nothing to “step into the skin” of his character. Jeff Portnoy (Jack Black) is a heroin-addicted slacker and star of the “Fatties” movie franchise who will stoop to any level to feed his habit. Alpa Chino (Brandon T. Jackson) is a hip-hop star who is trying to segue into film. Kevin Sandusky (Jay Baruchel) is a rookie actor hoping for his big break with his cinematic idols.

This talented but motley crew is led by Damien Cockburn (Steve Coogan), a first-time director who is losing control of his production. After an epic dressing-down by studio head Les Grossman (Tom Cruise), and with some assistance from burnout writer Four Leaf Tayback (Nick Nolte) and pyromaniac stunt director Cody (Danny McBride), Cockburn decides to inject some reality into the film by dropping his prima donna cast into the jungle with little more than a map. Unbeknownst to Cockburn, the jungle is fraught with all manner of dangers, not the least of which is a brutal drug lord’s heroin den. It is going to take the performance of their lives to negotiate their way out of this scene.

I have to admit that, after watching this film, I have developed a cautious respect for Stiller. This film is one of the most biting, witty pieces of satire that I have seen on-screen in a long time. The story is original, the dialogue is smart and the action moves the film along without being ridiculous. While it is not necessarily Oscar material, I will be surprised if “Tropic Thunder” does not make its way onto the nomination list for a few Golden Globes.

Much has been said about the performance of Robert Downey Jr. as Kirk Lazarus, an actor so oblivious to anything beyond his craft that he is willing to cross the boundaries of political correctness and decency to inhabit his character. Without a doubt, he has created a very amusing and intentionally annoying character. I have always enjoyed Downey Jr., and he did not disappoint me in this film.

But, for me, the highlight of this film was not the performances of the lead actors, but rather the cameo performance by Cruise. I cannot remember the last time that I laughed so hard or so loud in a theatre. Cruise’s performance was hilariously campy — he stole every scene in which he appeared. I am still not convinced that Cruise could carry a comedy on his own, but in this ensemble piece, he succeeds in delivering the best comedic performance that I have seen this year. It will be a crime if he is not nominated for a Golden Globe.

“Tropic Thunder” is a film that I would recommend without hesitation. I entered the theatre expecting a slightly tasteless display of toilet humour, and exited having spent two hours watching a smart satire that mocks the political incorrectness and the Hollywood vice that sits on its surface. Whether you see it for Downey Jr. or you see it for Cruise, by all means see it — this is one of the summer’s best films. (Timmins Daily Press)

Filed in Movie News Tropic Thunder

‘Thunder’ rumbles to top spot

DreamWorks and Paramount’s outrageous big-budget comedy “Tropic Thunder” topped the weekend box office in grossing an estimated $26 million from 3,319 runs for a five-day opening of $37 million, meaning the R-rated pic will need sturdy legs and a strong overseas run to impress financially.
The star-packed pic, playing best among older males, landed in between “Pineapple Express” and “Step Brothers” in terms of its opening performance, but those two R-rated laffers both cost far less to produce.

The biggest victory of the weekend belonged to Warner Bros.’ “The Dark Knight,” which is now the second highest grossing pic of all time after “Titanic” domestically, according to Rentrak. Batman sequel may have been bumped from the No. 1 spot after four weeks, but it dipped only 36% in its fifth frame to an estimated $16.8 million from 3,590. Cume is $471.5 million, eclipsing the $461 million earned by the original “Stars Wars.”

“Dark Knight” beat the “Star Wars” franchise in more ways than one. Unspooling over the weekend was Lucasfilm’s family toon “Star Wars: The Clone Wars,” the feature film companion to the upcoming Cartoon Network series. Pic took the No. 3 spot, grossing an estimated $15.5 million from 3,452 in a solid but not spectacular opening.

The summer box office continues to run slightly ahead of last year’s record-breaking grosses, although the weekend itself was down roughly 2% from the same weekend a year ago, when R-rated laffer “Superbad” debuted to $33 million. The Olympics likely dampened multiplex traffic. (Saturday night’s telecast was the most watched Saturday night program on NBC in 18 years.)

Several other wide openers also tried to stake their claim at the B.O. before kids start returning to school this week.

Benefiting from being the only horror pic in the market, New Regency’s “Mirrors,” directed by Alexandre Aja and distributed by 20th Century Fox, came in No. 4 and debuted to an estimated $11.1 million from 2,664 runs. That’s the best showing for a Fox release since early summer. New Regency financed and produced the film, which skewed female.

On the specialty side, the Weinstein Co.’s Woody Allen pic “Vicky Cristina Barcelona,” distributed by MGM, placed No. 10 for the weekend in grossing an estimated $3.7 million for a per screen average of $5,361.

Summit’s 3-D toon “Fly Me to the Moon” wasn’t able to crack the top 10 in its bow, hampered by holdover 3-D film “Journey to the Center of the Earth.” “Fly Me to the Moon” opened to an estimated $2 million from 452 screens, coming in behind “Journey,” which grossed an estimated $3.5 million from 1,405 screens for a cume of $88.1 million in its sixth sesh.

If the fledgling 3-D market is crowded, the market for R-rated films is even worse, with “Tropic Thunder,” “Pineapple Express” and “Step Brothers” essentially opening back to back. “Mirrors” also added to the late-summer deluge.

“Tropic Thunder,” starring Ben Stiller, Robert Downey Jr., Jack Black and Tom Cruise, wasn’t able to match the $41.2 million five-day opening for “Pineapple Express” the previous week. “Step Brothers” debuted to $30 million over the July 25 weekend. Latter two comedies were both produced by Judd Apatow and released by Sony.

DreamWorks said “Tropic Thunder,” directed by Stiller, performed in line with expectations. Some 57% of the aud was male and 57% over age 25. Because it appealed more to adults, “Tropic Thunder” saw stronger weekend numbers and lighter traffic on its first two weekdays than did “Pineapple Express.”

The combo of “Tropic Thunder” and “Mirrors” seemed to take a bite out of “Pineapple,” which dropped a sizable 57% in its second weekend to an estimated $10 million from 3,072 runs for a cume of $63 million in its first 10 days. Comedies coming out of the Apatow camp usually enjoy stronger holds.

DreamWorks spokesman Chip Sullivan said “Tropic Thunder” steadily built its audience over the five-day stretch. He predicted that strong word of mouth will keep the film high up on the box office chart.

Cruise’s portrayal of a foul-mouthed, overweight studio exec is a particular crowd favorite.

“Each cast member is getting terrific notices. Because we purposefully didn’t include Tom Cruise in any of the marketing materials, his performance is definitely getting attention,” Sullivan said.
The production budget of “Tropic Thunder” is being put at $90 million, although it’s believed to be closer to $120 million before factoring in tax credits. Production budget on “Pineapple Express” was under $30 million.

DreamWorks expects the film to do well overseas, pointing to Stiller’s and Cruise’s popularity abroad. Stiller’s “The Heartbreak Kid” grossed $90 million internationally and $30 million domestically. “Tropic Thunder” opened in only a few territories over the weekend.

(Visit to read the entire article.)

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‘Thunder’ rumbles past ‘Dark Knight’ with $26M

LOS ANGELES (AP) — It took four of Hollywood’s biggest stars to take down Batman. The DreamWorks-Paramount comedy “Tropic Thunder” — with Ben Stiller, Robert Downey Jr., Jack Black and Tom Cruise — debuted at No. 1 with $26 million, bumping “The Dark Knight” to second place after four weekends on top, according to studio estimates Sunday.

The Warner Bros. Batman flick pulled in $16.8 million to raise its total to $471.5 million. “The Dark Knight” passed the original “Star Wars” ($461 million) and now stands as No. 2 on the all-time domestic charts, behind only “Titanic” ($600.8 million).

Taking inflation into account, “The Dark Knight” trails both movies in actual tickets sold, however. “The Dark Knight” would need to gross about $900 million to match the number of admissions for “Titanic” and about $1.2 billion to equal “Star Wars.”

Warner Bros. expects “The Dark Knight” to top out at about $530 million domestically, said Dan Fellman, the studio’s head of distribution.

“The Dark Knight” managed to fend off another “Star Wars” movie this weekend. The animated tale “Star Wars: The Clone Wars,” also released by Warner Bros., opened at No. 3 with $15.5 million.

Families made up two-thirds of the audience for “Clone Wars,” Fellman said. “Star Wars” creator George Lucas, who has an executive producer credit on “Clone Wars,” intended the movie as an introduction to his “Clone Wars” TV show debuting this fall on the Cartoon Network.

“It was targeted to a specific audience for specific reasons,” Fellman said. “We accomplished that mission, and it will continue in another medium.”

“Tropic Thunder” was the third R-rated comedy to open solidly in recent weeks, following “Pineapple Express” and “Step Brothers.” Most summer comedies are rated PG-13, since an R rating limits the audience by requiring anyone younger than 17 to come with an adult.

R-rated comedy hits tend to open in the $20 million to $30 million range, lower than their PG-13 counterparts, but often have a longer shelf life in theaters as audiences spread the word. R-rated movies such as “The 40-Year-Old Virgin,” “Knocked Up” and “Superbad” all opened around those levels and went on to become $100 million hits.

“We’re thrilled, quite frankly. It played out exactly how we hoped,” said DreamWorks spokesman Chip Sullivan.

Stiller directed and co-wrote “Tropic Thunder,” in which he stars with Downey and Black as pampered actors who find themselves in a real combat situation while shooting a Vietnam War epic in the Asian jungles. Cruise co-stars as a bald, egomaniacal studio boss.

“Tropic Thunder” raised its total to $37 million since opening Wednesday.

The 20th Century Fox horror tale “Mirrors,” starring Kiefer Sutherland as a security guard whose family is terrorized by spirits, opened at No. 4 with $11.1 million.

Woody Allen returned to commercial form with his Spanish romance “Vicky Cristina Barcelona,” which opened at No. 10 with $3.7 million.

The movie played in narrower release, 692 theaters compared with 3,000-plus for “Tropic Thunder” and “Clone Wars.” Still, it opened far wider than most Allen films, which usually start in a handful of theaters and gradually expand.

“You never can predict how something’s going to do, but we felt that the movie is so strong, we just needed to get it out there,” said Harvey Weinstein, whose Weinstein Co. released the movie under its distribution agreement with MGM. “The audience reaction is terrific.”

Summit Entertainment’s “Fly Me to the Moon,” a 3-D animated tale about three flies that tag along on the Apollo 11 moon landing, debuted in 452 theaters and took in $2 million, finishing at No. 12.

Estimated ticket sales for Friday through Sunday at U.S. and Canadian theaters, according to Media By Numbers LLC. Final figures will be released Monday.

1. “Tropic Thunder,” $26 million.

2. “The Dark Knight,” $16.8 million.

3. “Star Wars: The Clone Wars,” $15.5 million.

4. “Mirrors,” $11.1 million.

5. “Pineapple Express,” $10 million.

6. “The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor,” $8.6 million.

7. “Mamma Mia!”, $6.5 million.

8. “The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 2,” $5.9 million.

9. “Step Brothers,” $5 million.

10. “Vicky Cristina Barcelona,” $3.7 million.


On the Net: (Source: Yahoo! News)

Filed in Movie News Tropic Thunder Valkyrie

Tropic Thunder premiere & Valkyrie pictures

Pictures added:

Tropic Thunder – Los Angeles, previews:

More here: Tropic Thunder – Los Angeles

Updated (1 picture added):

Valkyrie > Behind the scenes, previews:

Album here: Valkyrie > Behind the scenes

Updated (3 pictures added):

Valkyrie > Promotional Stills, previews:

Album here: Valkyrie > Promotional Stills

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Ben Stiller: Tom Cruise ‘Has Moves’ in Tropic Thunder

Ben Stiller and Tom Cruise
It’s been 25 years since he shimmied in his skivvies in Risky Business, but Tom Cruise can still shake it like a pro, according to his Tropic Thunder director Ben Stiller.

“The guy has moves,” says Stiller, who also co-wrote and stars in the military-themed action-comedy.

Cruise, 46, is winning raves for his role as a vulgar, venom-spewing studio executive in the movie, in which he’s nearly unrecognizable beneath a fat suit, a bald cap and a beard.

The dancing was Cruise’s idea, says his director.

“It wasn’t in the script,” Stiller said during a press day for the film. “He was like, ‘You know, I really feel like I want this guy to dance.’ ”

Some of the physical transformation was Cruise’s brainchild too. “He said, ‘I really want to have some big, hairy hands,’ ” says Stiller. “I actually didn’t have to sell him on anything.”

Cruise isn’t the only Thunder actor who took on a controversial, image-twisting role: Robert Downey Jr. has drawn praise for his portrayal of an African-American actor in the movie.

Tropic Thunder hits theaters Aug. 13. (People, August 07, 2008)

Filed in Movie News Tropic Thunder

Tom praises Ben Stiller

Tom Cruise says Ben Stiller is his inspiration. Cruise, who has a cameo as a fat balding studio executive in Ben’s new comedy ‘Tropic Thunder’, loved working with the comic star and has praised his achievements in Hollywood. He said: “One can’t fully appreciate what Ben has accomplished in acting, writing, directing, producing, and starring in a film like ‘Tropic Thunder’ without recognising that any single one of these functions alone is a full-time job.” Cruise, who worked with Stiller on 2000 mockumentary ‘Mission: Improbable’, has also revealed he didn’t hesitate at the chance to team up with him again after Ben described the movie as his “dream project”.

The 46-year-old ‘Top Gun’ star added to Men’s Vogue magazine: “To make a long story short, I read it, I loved it, and we started working on it.”

Meanwhile, Ben has praised Tom’s comic timing in ‘Tropic Thunder’ and insists he was prepared to do anything to raise a laugh.

Stiller said: “He said, ‘I want really big hands playing this guy.’ I said, ‘Really? Big hands?’ He had these hands made, and then I said, ‘Well, it’d be really cool if you were bald too.’ Then we did this make-up test where he got bald.

“Then he said, ‘It’d be interesting if this guy danced.’ He started dancing. I was loving it. I asked him if he’d be up for dancing in the end credits and he said, ‘Yeah, let’s do it.’ ” (Source: iafrica)

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T.Cruise: ‘biggest ovation by far’ say movie critic by you

Another TROPIC THUNDER review:

First and foremost, I have to say this: There is a major star (uncredited and unadvertised by the studio) whose performance as a psychotic studio exec is a near-legendary performance in this actor’s long and famous career. He steals the show, easily. This isn’t just a cameo. He’s basically the villain. At the end of the movie, when the credits came up, an individual screenshot for each actor, this actor’s name and pic got the biggest ovation by far, and it was a really nice moment.

… This movie will play huge when it opens in August, that’s for sure, and it’s also the most foul-mouthed comedy I’ve seen in a long time, if not ever. Lots and lots and lots of F-bombs. I don’t know how people will review this movie without mentioning who the above-mentioned actor is, but they shouldn’t, because I heard genuine surprise followed by glee when people realized who it was under that beard and bald cap. He appears pretty early on so its not a massive surprise, but it’s a nice treat, for sure.
(Source: JoBlo)