I went to Stay last week, which had some interesting editing and camera work attached to a problematic, but not so bad, story. It did pretty poorly box office wise so I'm always curious about why.
Personally, I like Ewan MacGregor -- I think he could be this generation's Harrison Ford. But for some reason that isn't panning out (or not yet at least -- perhaps in a few years) -- even when attached to spectacles like The Island.
The problem might be that we don't know who we're going to see when we go see a Ewan MacGregor film. When we go see a Tom Cruise film we know we'll see the cocky hotshot. Bruce Willis is the tough smartass. Arnold -- the muscular but slightly self-effacing guy. Clint the pure hardass.
And with Tom Cruise apparently in self-destruct mode while most of the others age out of the genre I'm worried that we're running into a low action star market. What's worse -- many of our best candidates are worryingly serious actors --
Will Smith -- great in light action but stop defecting to romantic comedies and the odd serious film...
Colin Farrell -- does brooding badass well, but what's with all the dramatic period pieces??
Matt Damon -- honestly, you can't be an action star if you got a screenwriting Oscar.
Ewan McGregor -- what's with this whole range thing? Action stars perform in one kind of movie, then break up their string of action films by playing against type in a comedy every now and then --
Vin Diesel -- here's the ticket, but we need more than one of these guys.
Jason Statham -- could be one, but still no break out into the "we make movies around you" stage of things. I think he needs a big role that will be quintessentially him, but not The Transporter, something more like one of the roles in Snatch or Lock, Stock...