We all eventually come to a cross-road, where a given opportunity can help or hurt our career path. Sometimes the damage is minute and easily fixed, but sometimes it results in a horrible flaming train-wreck with no survivors. If we’re completely honest with ourselves, a good train-wreck is much more entertaining than an inspiring success story. Oh, it’s just me? Well, excuse me for being a cynical bastard. Take a look at these career destroying choices and please tell me that these aren’t even slightly satisfying.
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This foul-mouthed funny man of the 80’s was comedic genius Richard Pryor’s protégé. With a string of R rated comedies, explicit standup routines and even a regrettable pop record (which is still catchy as hell), nothing could slow him down. His legendary SNL skits helped elevate the humor thespian to the Hollywood elite, but then disaster struck. Eddie left behind his abrasive, cuss-fueled characters (which everyone loved and infinitely quoted…if I hear another person utter: “yes, yes fuck you too” or something equivalent from Coming to America…I’m going to punch a baby deer in the mouth) to embody (regrettably) more family friend shmucks.
Eddie’s career entered a hard tail spin when he played Pluto Nash, and then graduated to something that can only be describe as a pile of fecal matter from a diseased Savannah cat that has eaten an equally diseased Hollywood starlet, Norbit. You think I’m being fastidious with my description? That’s because you haven’t seen this cinephile hate crime. Although Eddie has been able to correct his downward crash to a certain degree he has never been able to completely recover.
ALL HAIL THE POWER OF THE SUPERHERO MOVIE!!!! Legions of us comic nerds have finally been rewarded by the recent slew of uber successful superhero movies. For years, we have been pushing back our glasses, pumping our fists in the air and demanding a decent movie, and now we can finally let down our LARPing arms! This was not always the case, though. We have had to endure years of seeing the saddest, most pathetic embodiments of our favorite Superheroes before finally be able to see them raised up to the Valhalla of superhuman cinema gold.
We can argue that Tim Burton’s 1989 version of Batman, made studios realize that good superhero movies were good money. Then for some reason they said: “Nah f*ck it, why mess with something that works” and went back to eating-starlet-big-cat-excrement (see Norbit above). They then proceeded write a movie so atrocious, with so much abhorrent CG effects that not even Halle Berry in a skintight leather onesie couldn’t save. And there’s a lot of things that can be fixed by Halle Berry in a skintight leather onesie, world hunger and war for example. Maybe even Norbit. Actually only fire can fix Norbit.
Since the sad day when a Hollywood exec thought: “Nobody will notice how rancid this piece of cinematic poo-poo is because Halle Berry is in a skintight leather onesie”, Halle Berry has never been the same. The Academy Award-winning actress’ career has never recovered, and we never again managed to see her in a skin tight leather onsies (which could probably have helped scientists figure out cold fission).
What happens when you give your lead actor the directorial reins of a movie and a huge budget? No not Good Will Hunting…you get Waterworld. This soggy bowel movement of a movie was the swan song of both Kevin Costner’s acting and directing career. It was a notoriously difficult production, was plagued with problems and obstacles only to culminate in the biggest box office belly flop of the decade (or maybe even the next). The damage extended beyond poor Costner’s career when I say poor I mean it in a literal sense since he invested 22 million dollars of his own money to complete the movie.
After everything was put out to dry, the 235 million dollar soggy macaroon of a movie only made back 21.6. Those are millions folks, millions. After the film, Costner disappeared from the public eye only to return decades later as Clark Kent’s (Superman’s) questionable advice giving father in the Man of Steel. He never managed to completely redeem himself even though Waterworld has been said to not be as bad as initially thought, but just a victim of the media’s over emphasis on failed profits.
Yet another painful example of a great comic book, sh*t-for-brains movie adaptation and the civilian causalities that it resulted in, namely Lori Petty’s career. Lori Petty’s career was so damaged after this movie that it took twenty freakin’ years for her to play in an “A-list” production again, recently taking a role in “Orange is the New Black”.
Anyhow yet again is a perfect example of how studios should leave creators, directors and actors to do their own thing, unmolested. Instead of doing that, MGM heavily manipulated the script (which happened to be written by the comic creators themselves) and cut out so many scenes that the writers were forced to animate sections of the movie. To this day, the movie is a hellish memory for the creators. If the movie feels disjointed there’s good reason for it. MGM cut out about a dozen scenes, changed dialogue and even completely removed characters that were heavily featured in the original cut. This resulted in a movie that not even its mom could look in the eyes.
Wayne..I mean Austin Powers…I mean Mike Myers
No, not the hockey mask wearing 10 inch kitchen knife wielding serial killer (although compared to the professional gore I have unleashed on you today, a few jabs to the gut would be a welcomed break). No, I’m talking about the man that embodied clueless rock-fan Wayne Campbell, Goofy British Spy Austin Powers and perennial SNL member. He was a well-loved comedic actor until the day he decided doing a movie that capitalizes on ambiguous stereotypes from India and mocking religious leaders.
Good stuff Mike, who did you test screen “Love Guru” on? A room full of racist stoners.Well, anyway although he lent his voice to the wildly popular animated ogre Shrek unfortunately he hasn’t committed his actual physical face to any big budget films since Love Guru. Rumors have been spreading about an Austin Powers remake…so we’ll just have to wait and see if the funk from Love Guru has dissipated from Myers’ career.
Do you know of any other career destroying decisions that decimated highly acclaimed peoples’ careers overnight? Let me know in the comment section below!