Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Stay in school, kids!

Falling behind a little this week on the Jake Gyllenhaal newsfront. Though not too much is happening. Stephanie posted a short video of Jake appearing on Disney Radio, where he dispenses some advice for kids who want to be actors:




Adults who want to be actors have to go to the gym. Jake was spotted after a workout in LA on Monday:






Writers who want to be actors dispense advice to those who are: Career Watch: Jake Gyllenhaal.

I shouldn't be so dismissive. Anne Thompson is a legitimate Hollywood writer. And we have to acknowledge that PoP has been a disappointment domestically. And that many (misguided) critics couldn't see past Jake's past roles to appreciate him as the Prince. This perception will persist, unfortunately.

Latest Misfire: This summer's $200-million would-be franchise 'Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time,' a well-made but featherweight B-movie adventure from Jerry Bruckheimer and Mike Newell, failed to launch. After losing 'The Dark Knight' to Christian Bale, 'Spider-Man' to Tobey Maguire, and 'Avatar' to Sam Worthington, Gyllenhaal had finally landed a major action role in a summer tentpole, or so he thought. Instead, many reviewers argued that Gyllenhaal was miscast, and despite his buffed-up physique, failed to carry the action adventure. While some women reviewers liked him -- AP's Christy Lemire describes his "engaging presence" and "those big, blue eyes, that goofy smile - and that sweetness helps keep the mood light," while The New York Times' Manohla Dargis writes that "a few hours of Mr. Gyllenhaal jumping around in leather and fluttering his long lashes has its dumb-fun appeal," other critics cited Gyllenhaal's "doubts and insecurities," "puppy-dog eyes," "self-deprecation" and "hangdog demeanor." Not what you expect from a rugged action hero.



Biggest Problem: 'Prince of Persia' failed to open well -- and didn't change the popular perception of Gyllenhaal as a likable leading man best suited to naturalistic dramas. There's still a sizable gap between the rising star's acting bonafides and his ability to put butts in seats. While Gyllenhaal earned excellent reviews in recent dramas 'Brothers,' 'Rendition' and 'Zodiac,' the films disappointed at theater wickets.

Major movie stars have a hint of danger about them; Gyllenhaal, who hits 30 in December, is one of many boyish American leading men who will earn needed gravitas as they age. No one had any trouble buying him as a well-muscled grunt with a shaved head in the realistic Gulf War drama 'Jarhead,' but audiences did resist him in breastplate and leather in a big-budget Disney studio sword-and-scandal flick. Male action stars tend to appeal to men, while Gyllenhaal's primary fan-base is female.


Surfing the internet makes one wonder if Jake will ever be able to win over a certain segment of the population. And it isn't just men. And it's not because of his big eyes or his sweet face. It's because some people will never be able - or don't want to try - to forget that Jake was in Brokeback Mountain.



Biggest Assets: A gifted actor with impressive range, Gyllenhaal has more options than ever. While 'Prince of Persia' was a setback for him, he may have moved the needle slightly. In the movie, he is charming, sexy and physical (with a boost from stuntmen and digital effects) in the role of a wily, athletic young prince who is scooped off the street as a kid by a kindly king. And he even manages a Cockney accent amid an ensemble of Brits.

Kudos for acknowledging Jake's talent and range. But what's with the Cockney accent line? What movie was she watching? Or did she even watch the movie at all. This feels like a collection of criticism from other people who watched the film. One of the problems in film "journalism" is a group mentality. Anne Thompson sees that a majority of the alleged serious film critics dismissed PoP, so she does, too. Maybe she did see it, but you can't tell from this piece.

To be clear, I'm not dismissing criticism of Jake merely because it's negative. There were some reviewers who made valid arguments against the movie and Jake. But everything is a matter of perception. Thompson selected facts that supported her conclusion, while leaving out the fact that the movie is performing very well overseas and that audience ratings for the movie are pretty good. (I know that the ultimate audience vote is at the box office, but if the people who see a movie like it, but other people still don't go, you can't place all the blame on the lead actor. And yes, I know that's how Hollywood works. But Thompson's column is supposed to be an independent, fresh take on the usual Hollywood spin.)

It's a hard piece to read as a fan of Jake's, but worth discussing and trying not to be too defensive. Because you know Hollywood is having this conversation, too.

(Photos courtesy of IHJ.)

31 comments:

Anonymous said...

I read that Anne Thompson piece yesterday and also wondered whether she actually saw the film, cockney accent?, well I live in England, not to far from London and I know a cockney accent, Jakes wasn't cockney. Most of the brits that have seen PoP and commented on his accent said it was good, definitely not cockney.

I thought that once WOM was that the film was actually pretty good more people would have gone to see it.

BTW a 13yr old boy I know said PoP was the best film he has ever seen, and believe me he has seen a few films.

Anonymous said...

I didn't see that many that said he was "miscast". One of the things they wanted was an "action hero" who had humor, and was likeable.
When people have seen the movie they have liked Jake in the role.
If it had opened with 90 million it would of been how great he was.
I don't think she did see the movie either. Someone should ask her.
Esp. call her out on the accent.
And ask what she thought of Errol Flynn. Jake looked at him in Robin Hood and liked how he played the role with humor, etc.

Anonymous said...

Probably because when Jake says he picks a role he goes with his heart. That's a deep feeling thing so I think we kind of react to criticism of his picking what he does.
I know for some "box office" is the only thing that means anything. (Tho they have been forgetting Overseas). Jake is not always going to be in movies that have big boxoffice. Hey, he could of been in the biggest of them all (not counting extra money for 3-D..)so don't know what they would of been saying about him then).
I think it's not Jake in the movie it's the fact some people didn't want to go because it was a "Video game" movie and they felt there would be no interest for them in that.

Annie

mojo said...

Domestic and OS BO for POP so far:

http://www.boxofficemojo.com/movies/?id=princeofpersia.htm

sheba said...

This is why I love this blog, because it takes the rough with the smooth and doesn't sugar coat it. I hope Jake or his people visit here to get objective views.

The article is legitimate in it's assertions but it is only the point of view of that writer. Did they not realise that this is a Disney movie? So there would be limitations as to what they could do. Had it have been certificate 18, that would've been a whole nother story (hareem of women, girl at every city, drunken sexual trists every other scene .... stop now Sheba.. stop) It's very good that they [Hollywood] are having this discussion because I feel, they want to see him in another genre like this. He has the capability. I know also that he will learn from this whole experience and take these arguments for and against on board to further craft and rework his already impressive acting chops. Sometimes working with a collaborative director is good experimental-wise however, directors like David Fincher and Ang Lee who are precise in what they want to see on screen are excellent at extracting the raw good, polishing it up and putting it on screen.

I find it extremely interesting that the rest of the world has embraced Jake as the action hero Dastan and the USA hasn't. So doesn't that count for anything then? When anyone wants to go to watch a movie more than once it surely says something about that movie. So many of them you watch once and never want to see again in your lifetime but this one's different.

This needs to be acknowledged. When Jonathan Ross made a joke and said Jake was Unforgiven for his role in BBM, he wasn't far off the mark. This is a real shame and someone here mentioned about the likes of Johnny, Brad and Heath who had to ugly-themselves-up in order to be seen as something else. Personally, that is not a route I'd like to see him take but if that's his choice then.... I just think its not fair.

If we look at the type of rugged hero like Harrison Ford, he was lumbering and cheesy but charming and it worked. Look at Michael Douglas, he was amazing in Romancing the Stone. There is no doubt in my mind that Jake is Prince Dastan. He owns the screen and then disappears inside Dastan and the accent. There were moments in PoP where he had that fierce look and I was taken aback. As for the accent, Cockney? Heck no. London, strong traces, yes. I think it's may be difficult for Americans to determine the authenticity of a British accent but Jake pulled it off very well. I do think of our own Hugh Laurie who has an American accent for House and I think it's absolutely awful, whereas in the States it may be seen as excellent.

The fact that Jake did a lot of the stunts himself endeared us even more to him. Things he'd not done before such as the sword fighting, acrobatics, the accent etc, he jumped right in, in such a fearful and fearless act.

There were holes, we know that but it didn't stop the total enjoyment of what we were presented with. Give another director a go and also Jordan Mechner himself the chance to write the screenplay and have it be shown as it was meant to be. It needs a second outting, please let it be so.

sheba said...

Also wanted to say that Shia Labeouf himself has said that Transformers 2 was pants. Not work that he's proud of that made a shed load of money. Jake can and should be proud of Prince of Persia and have no regrets in turning down Avatar (which in my opionion was pants too).

mary said...

well said sheba no one has tsken in account how well pop is doing overseas just talking abount how it is doing here this is afun movie but some people are taking it too seriously and looking for flaws no matter what we know jake had a good making this film and hope he will get to do it again

Cathy E said...

I'm kinda at a loss about this review too. It's the second time I've heard a critic describe Dastan's accent described as Cockney, and it isn't. Hellooooo?

It also says something to me that Prince of Persia did better overseas than at home. :-\ I thought it was a great summer movie, and he was beautiful in it, and believable.

Office of Nancy Pelosi said...

I don't get the cockney bit either. I'm not a Brit but it didn't sound cockney to me.

The critics for the most part liked Jake as Dastan, in fact the actors got good reviews for the most part, they were critical of the script, and the direction. Some felt the movie fell flat and it had a by the numbers feel to it, nothing new.


The overseas audience are embracing this movie more than over here and the BO is good.

Jake worked so hard on this movie and he should be proud. I enjoyed it, there were a few things that I found fault with but overall a great time at the movies.

Great advice to kids, Jake, please stay in school!

JF said...

Some journalists seem to forget that POP received better reviews overseas as well as, obviously, better B.O. results. I have no idea why the movie isn't as well received in the USA, but I hope Jake isn't too disappointed about it. What can you do? :(

bobbyanna said...

Well said, sheba!!

I get realley pissed at the glib, dismissive way some critics lay it on Jake, and claim the movie's a flop. It's not a flop, and Jake looked great, (mostly) and did a great job.

I think the casting was THE one thing about the movie that really worked! Especially Jake! And the storyline worked fine for the target demographics.

I think the movie's moderate success can definitely be attributed to three things: Jake, the fact that it's
Disney/Bruckheimer, and to gaming.

I think previous observations here about the script are very legitimate. I also feel the actors were let down by the directing and the editing. The movie looked gorgeous, mostly, but it also looked dated in some ways. Unfortunately, it looked like Indiana Jones in ways I wish it didn't. I enjoyed it twice, and will again, but I also automatically over compensate because of Jake.

As for marketing, they did a sloppy, uneven job. (May 28th!)They effectively neutralized or won over the gaming community. They did a fine job with internet presence, treating the webblogs and other internet entertainment news outlets as legitimate players.

The presence on Facebook and twitter, was great. Billboards and bus adverts, fine. But they really dropped the ball with tie-ins, and with saturation on TV programs. The trailers lacked a consistent focus. And finally, from a marketing perspective, they did nothing to make this an "event."

As we've seen, SATC2 got saturation coverage from all TV entertainment outlets, and print media for weeks, even months before it opened. It was a crapfest, but it was almost as if people felt compelled to see it.

It didn't do great at the B.O., but it did way better than it deserved to do, because the core audience for SATC has moved on. They knew it was going to tank because WOM wouldn't get it past the opening weekend. It was marketing that rescued it.

As much as I admire Mike Newell's work on Four Weddings,(except for the very last scene "Oh is it raining?") and I love Donnie Brasco which I felt had signature roles for Pacino and Depp, I don't think Newell did as good a job with this as he should have. I could go scene by scene, but I think we all could.

I think PoP'ss entertaining, Jake and the rest of the cast acquitted themselves wonderfully, and while there were weaknesses in the script, the editing and directing, it's a good movie.

The overall "look" of it, IMO gets in the way of it being a major success. It should have been better executed. For that I have to blame Bruckheimer and Newell, not Jake.

bobbyanna said...

And one more thing:)

When a movie "fails to open well" that's marketing. Period.PoP's core audience was primed and ready, (unlike SATC2) but they weren't made to feel they "had to be there."

Another equally compelling and unfortunate fact of life in today's "event" movies is special XFs. PoP's were entirely too tame.
What works for me,isn't going to work for the general audience that PoP targetted.

Office of Nancy Pelosi said...

Disney marketing which was great at first, faltered towards the end. There was no "buzz" going into the week when the movie opened.

And whose decision was it to have the L.A. premiere coincide with that salute to Bruckheimer? I was actually shocked they did that. Why take away the spotlight (and it did IMO) from a movie that was slated to be their next tentpole/blockbuster movie??

I know Disney's marketing team was fired last year but the new one fell down on the job here.

Disney's Alice in Wonderland has made 1 Billion WW. I can't remember if they did a good job marketing it but AIW is based on an old and beloved story, known WW and of course Disney added 3D (Not needed IMO) right in the middle of making the film , so they could make extra $$$$.

They also had AIW at Comic Con last year. WonderCon was fine but I wondered why Pop wasn't presented there, was it because it wasn't ready?

Anyway, I don't think we should give credit to Disney marketing for the sucess of AIW, that film may have just sold it's self, where Pop was new, outside of gamers people were not familar with it.

I'm not a fan of 3D, but if it was added to Pop I think it would have boosted it to the # 1 spot over S4.

And I agree Bobbyanna, about Pop having a "dated" look to it which I loved because it was a throwback to all those fun, epic films but I could see some that wanted more CGI effects.

Anonymous said...

Yes, I thought it was supposed to have a "dated" look, and I also felt that was a nod to the old films. It looks like the latest bells and whistles are all the the domestic market cares about, like 3D.

bobbyanna said...

It's one thing to deliberately have a dated look, and another to look out of date. I guess that's what I was trying to say. I was fine with it not being in 3D, but they faltered on the special effects, IMO.

Many of us have seen "The Patriot," with Heath and MG. There's a battlefield scene in the movie, Mel and Heath standing in the window of an abandoned house watching.

In one sequence,a mini-ball, fired from a cannon, comes careening out of the screen, across the field, straight at the viewing audience. I still flinch.

Think of "Troy." A very dated feel,like epics of old, but the effects worked pretty well. The camera's panoramic sweeps of the battlefield, the ocean when the huge armada emerges into view, and the awesome effect, in sheer numbers, of all those Greeks pouring onto the battle field, just sticks in my mind (CGI) and the way a spear throw or a leap could be made to feel much more than it was, are examples.

Also, the final scenes. Fewer Greeks creeping out of the horse and stealing thru the streets. YOu were already prepared for the vast hordes that would follow. I got no such sense when Dastan breached the walls of Alamut.

My final example is Kingdom of Heaven. The vastness and power, and menace of the armies,as portrayed, as well as all of the battle sequences.

The final, climatic scenes in PoP, the struggle with Nizam for control of the dagger, with all the animation, and firey explosions, didn't work at all and that is what I meant.

UltraViolet said...

Sheba, believe me, I want to ignore articles like this and live in my bubble but it's better to face it.

I'm happy that AT said Jake moved the needle, so that maybe another role will establish him as a cross-genre player. I think LaOD may give him a different audience, in that it's a comedy. So people will see that Jake doesn't have to star in only serious dramas.

I do think PoP proved Jake can be an action lead. i hope he gets another chance.

Also, it's not just the US that hasn't responded to PoP. It's the UK, too. I'm not sure why. I hate to la yit all on lingering doubts about Jake because of BBM and his looks, but there's a lot of "Brokeback Prince" stuff out there.

Very disheartening.

And the possibility exists that some people, for legitimate reasons, just don't like Jake in the role. But when you read the rationales, there's often a lot of baggage there.

Disney totally dropped the marketing ball. I kept saying the marketing peaked too soon, and I think it did. That Bruckheimer tribute was a big mistake. And the trailers/ads didn't help. They got better ads after the movie was released, but I guess it was too late.

So in the end, this won't be the movie that gives Jake his Depp pass to do whatever movies he wants. But hopefully it moved him closer.

Carla said...

First I would like to add that this year many so-called blockbuster tanked or played below the expectations in the USA. PoP is not the only movie which disappointed at the Box Office..

When Jake first was announced as Dastan, negative comments started like “No persian” blabla even from people who like him, the first pictures were not received with with enthusiasm. IMO this was the first point where Disney had to take countermeasures. Knowing this and the unfortuante fact that the film did not create too much positivie buzz around the net it was a must to show the film at Comic Con - the holy bible for fans, nerds, gamers to create early positive WOM...It is beyond me why they chose to ignore Comic Con....And dońt get me even started on the premiere....they should have done one in LA, New York and in european countries, also Japan. I my country the SATC ladies were everywhere in magazines and TV- the buzz was unbelievable. They took the best out of their limited target group and the shitty movie- great job!

IMO Jake has an image problem among the young guys between 18 - 25.He is not seen as someone who is able to “kick ass”. I do not know whether this has to do something with Brokeback, but I doubt it. Having read many negative comments especially on film related sites there were only a handful who even mentioned Brokeback, or am I reading the wrong blogs?

Interesting that those who have actually watched the film, mostly liked it and the audience rating for example on Rotten Tomatoes is at 71% fresh. Also on IMDB the film is getting a very good 6.9 average. Perhaps a film like “Source Code” will change the bias against him among this group.

Many people described the script as the weakest part of the film - so I would like to ask Jake, who always claimed “the script and story is most important for me”, what really drove him to take the part?

This was Jakes first attempt to getting out of the “serious” films and I enjoyed it very much. I hope he will try more action movies.

bobbyanna said...

IMO, Jake's performance won people over. Especially the ones who actually saw the movie.:) He definitely "moved the needle," UV.

"Disney marketing which was great at first, faltered towards the end. There was no "buzz" going into the week when the movie opened." OONP Exactly. They got timid.

The only people with any real "passion" to see the movie, opening weekend,IMO, were gamers, and Jake's fans. I know there's a "built in " audience for Disney films and for Bruckheimer movies. But the passion to "be there" was with the gamers and Jake's fans.

I thought the acting was fine. I understand why Jake took the movie. It does have a good story to tell, and Jake's character was definitely three dimensional. I liked Dastan. He was very believeable. Jake's doing.

I have yet to read a single criticism about the movie of any real substance. It's alll Jake's fault. Sorry if I sound defensive. I just strongly lean towards a different "spin.":) I'd love to know what the internal tracking polls were showing.
As I said earlier, with more words :)- The special XFs weren't "special."

Anonymous said...

It seems to me "Source Code" will be a kind of "action movie".
People went to "Avatar" because of the CGI. I don't think millions went to see it just because Sam Worthington was in it.

"Bubble Boy" wasn't a serious movie. He showed then he could do slap-stick comedy and have great comic timing.
I figure a lot of that young male audience (and i know some of the Gamers did like POP) who think action heroes are Rambo-like won't care that much for Dastan.
And then too BBM might not of been mentioned a lot by that segment but how many of them saw it. For many no doubt it was a - I wouldn't see that movie for anything.- So Jake was in it & for them they can't admit to liking him as an actor.
Heath was in the movie too - but then the Joker was so different.
Also Heath didn't have to deal with a lot of stuff from BBM because it was well know he was with Michelle during the filming and after.

The script may of gotten changed some when Jake went into making the movie. Also he liked the story. That might be the heart of it for him..the family situation and all. Maybe the script didn't live-up to "the story" if that makes sense.
Avatar had a "story" too but the most critical thing said about it was the script.

All you have to do tho is go back to see movies made by the Big stars who are now in their 40's. Jake has had a better run than most of them before he is 30.
He never did an "Attack Of the Killer Tomatoes"..George Clooney.

UltraViolet said...

Carla, it's nice to hear that BBM isn't invoked, but I fear it's just there, in Jake's ether. But again, the movie is doing better overseas than here, so you might be reading different comments.

I think someone mentioned this, but there was also a change in leadership at Disney, and perhaps the new regime wasn't as behind PoP as they could have been.

I understand why Jake did the movie, too. I think director and script are usually paramount, but he wanted to try his hand at the big budget movie, and he trusted Newell and Bruckheimer to come through.

I do hope Source Code moves the needle a little more, but I'm nervous because it's DJ's sophomore effort, and those can be tricky.

Cathy E said...

It's all very puzzling. I went to Avatar because I liked the story line, it parallels our own treatment of the environment and indigenous peoples over the centuries and today, and for the strong female lead character, not because of Sam Worthington. I'm too old for that crap now - I go to see the story. I went to Robin Hood for the story.

I follow Jake, and all the fantastic Brokeback Four, to see where their careers will go. Jake's great looking, no question about it, but I liked the storyline for PoP. Sure, people are entitle not to like a movie just because they don't like it. It is a little disheartening. Ah, well.

Chica said...

Thompson's piece was an interesting read but I wish that she actually saw the movie, it doesn't sound like she did.

The cast wasn't the problem for me and others, especially Jake who did a terrific job playing Dastan.

I think the script went through several changes after Jake signed on and the script was a problem.

The audience responded to Dastan and the other characters, and criticism was in regards to the directing, editing and the already mentioned script.

And don't get me started on how Disney handled marketing::((

I think the needle was moved a bit UV, it isn't Jake's fault that it did disappointing BO here. There was no excitement about Prince of Persia opening here and he didn't have anything to do with that IMO.

Most people that saw it praised his performance.

Monica said...

what really drove him to take the part?

Carla, was his dream and he did everything to turn this dream into reality. I think it was difficult to refuse this proposal.
I do not know how was the process of filming. If changes occurred in the script or other things.
I remember a second unit director talking about some problems during filming.

UV, I don't see this as if the critics were refusing to see Jake as an action hero. I think the fact that the film has many problems in the script and direction, caused such a reaction.
He is very good in action scenes. In the opening scene he is great, but not everything depended on him.

You can have the best actor in the world, but the main elements of a movie are bad, we will never see a great performance.
For me, he works in action movies, but unfortunately this was the wrong movie. Maybe he will change the perception of people in Source Code, which has scenes of Bourne-style action. I think.

Monica said...

Chica, Anne Thompson saw the film. I remember her saying she was going to watch Prince of Persia.

This afternoon, they were talking about Jake in a program of Brazilian cable television, which belongs to the largest communications network in the country. The presenter, who is one of the greatest journalists of the country, asked for a critical if Jake is good in the film, because she knows he was always great in indie films.
The critic said yes. Jake is very good and even commented on the work he did to get those body.
She smiled and told everyone to go see the movie.

Extra said...

Jake leaving the gym again! he's wearing a grey hoodie with his ex Jenny Lewis' face on it:

http://bauergriffinonline.com/2010/06/jake-gyllenhaal-works-up-a-swe.php?bfm_index=2&bfm_page=0

I wonder if he is getting ready for another role :D. Yankees? Namath?

I have no idea why Pop is doing better overseas vs here, maybe people heard that it was based on a video game and they weren't interested? I agree that gamers and Jake fans were the only one's really excited about Pop.

Also I lot of people didn't think that Shrek 4 would make such an impact that it would effect the BO for Pop.

Although the film wasn't perfect I loved Jake in this role and I had fun at the movies.

I just hope Jake isn't too bummed out, he looka like he is in good spirits in these pics!

bobbyanna said...

Just one more thing...no, really.:)
I remember when I first saw Sense & Sensibility, how jarring it was for me to accept Hugh Grant in that high-collared, ugly Empire-style of clothing...which was historically accurate. Couldn't get past it, but only with his character, not the others!

With Jake, even tho his hair bothered me in some scenes,for the most part, I thought he really owned the role, and looked the part.

I do think some actors really need to stay with contemporary roles, because once they go beyond a certain period, it isn't believeable. But Jake carried it off. I think as far as action films go,he'd kick ass in a Bourne-type role.

I also think PoP needs to 'find' it's audience. Maybe moreso in the USA.I think it's done $61M domestically now, and overall, it's well over $216 Million. That's not chopped liver!:)

UV, there's definitely some bias against him for Jack Twist, "in the ether". But I think it is much less than it seems. The hardcore haters will never change, they'll just move on, eventually. There aren't that many. They're just conspicuous by their ignorance.

Anonymous said...

Actors in the 40's and 50's use to do every type of role. Maybe once and a while someone didn't fit but talking again about Errol Flynn. He did period pieces and he played "current" and I think he even did a western. Burt Lancaster did a lot of different roles. Henry Fonda played Lincoln. He was in comedies. He was in Westerns. And many others. They use to do more period pieces in the 50's it seems.
I think Jake fit right in with POP.
Do find it interesting that when he was being put-down for not being Persian..Did you hear of anyone else in the cast be talked about like that?
Looking forward to the DVD and the many people who will be seeing it for the first time.
He has been talking about Damn Yankees more. Saying - working on it. It could still be months away but it takes a while to get things going. Of course he has also mentioned the Namath movie more. Whatever think One of them will be the next one. It's just not time yet to make an official announcement.(Unless he sneaks in another one before those). Am trying to cover all the bases here..ha.

suvee said...

This is just my personal opinion, but I have my own theory about Jake's less than stellar box office track record (and yes, that includes PoP because its B.O. is a disappointment.). Here goes......

I think Jake, by virtue of his own nature and definitely by virtue of his home environment, is drawn to scripts, stories, projects that are unlikely to resonate with mainstream movie audiences. That's not a bad thing. He apparently is not attracted by those movies that are geared to the lowest common denominator. Zodiac, Rendition and Brothers were all relatively complex, you have to actually think and pay attention, movies about important things. Do huge numbers of average American moviegoers want to spend 2 hours with that kind of movie? Um, no.

Even PoP falls into this category IMO. It's truly an old fashioned, hints of Errol Flynn, swashbuckler...... and really, how big of an audience under the age of 50 is there for Errol Flynn in ancient Persia? Besides the sketchy script and muddled direction, PoP suffered from not having an automatic big target audience. Who exactly was this movie geared to? I'm still not sure. I'm guessing Disney hoped it would be all things to all people, and managed to make a product that wasn't much to enough people. Just to be clear, I don't think PoP's "failures" were in any way connected to Jake. He was a wonderful romantic and fun Prince and hero. He delivered!

I thought Jake's recent comment about how the rest of his family are movie snobs was very interesting. I don't doubt his belief that he is the most plebian Gyllenhaal when it comes to movies, but he is still a product of that environment and those parents. Everything's relative. He very well may be drawn to less lofty projects, but his taste (in his own projects) is still far more refined and intellectual than the average moviegoer.

Again, just my take on his career.....

Anonymous said...

That makes sense. :)

Leonor E. G. Núñez said...

The Prince of Persia is the King in Argentina. (Title of a note of internet).
Second weekend 1º PoP = 155.382*
2º SATC= 89.995*
* Spectators

:) :) :)

UltraViolet said...

Viva, Argentina! Great news, Leonor.

Suvee, I like your theory. Jake's natural inclination is to more complex fare. I do think he also likes more populist stuff, but as you pointed out with PoP, probably with an offbeat angle.

I hope his taste melds with popular opinion on LaOD and/or SC, because I'm tired of hearing about his lack of box office success. And because I want to see him in more movies.

I think you and Bobbyanna hit on a crucial point. PoP didn't have a main target audience that would propel it to success. It should have been families, but they really missed the boast on that angle. No tie-ins. Trailers that didn't emphasize the fun, family element.

I was a little surprised when Jake began mentioning it in the PoP interviews.

I guess it's hard to gear to gamers and kids, but this is Disney and Bruckheimer. I would have thought they'd know what to do.

New post. But please feel free to continue this discussion.