41. Vin Diesel
We get it, he’s a geek with muscles, but judging by “Babylon A.D.,” his career lacks any. His upcoming “Wheelman” video game and movie better impress or else he’s on his way to “The Pacifier 2.”
Anti-Freeze: Discover the fine art of the musical. Diesel in “Guys and Dolls”? It could happen.
42. Natalie Portman
How did the girl who showed such promise in “Leon” and “Beautiful Girls” become a character better alluded to than seen in “The Darjeeling Limited”? And what was up with “Mr. Magorium’s Wonder Emporium” anyway?
Anti-Freeze: Use that Harvard educated brain of hers for good and pick a project that we’re not going to ignore.
43. Todd Phillips
Things aren’t looking so warm for Mr. Hot Property circa 2003-04. Life was good until “Starsky and Hutch” drove a nail into the coffin he didn’t know he was in. “Old School Dos”? “The Hangover”? He’s just not trying anymore.
Anti-Freeze: Take the lead from Kevin Smith and hijack the Apatow cast for “Old Hebrew School,” or finally make the narrative version of “Hated.”
44. Ryan Reynolds
“Van Wilder,” “Blade: Trinity,” “The Amityville Horror,” “Waiting,” “Just Friends,” “Smokin’ Aces,” “The Nines,” “Chaos Theory,” “Definitely, Maybe” – need we say more? It’s like King Midas in reverse: everything he touches turns to shit.
Anti-Freeze: “Two Guys, A Johansson and a Pizza Place.”
45. Renee Zellweger
Oh where, oh where has our Zellweger gone? Oh where, oh where can she be? Sure, she showed up in “Leatherheads,” but since no one saw that film, can you really blame us if we thought she’d fallen off the face of the Earth?
Anti-Freeze: “Bridget Jones Meets Jerry Maguire.” Hell, it might even save Cameron Crowe’s frozen ass too!
46. Steve Carrell, John Krasinski, Jenna Fisher and Rainn Wilson
The stars of “The Office” each starred in a 2008 feature film with lackluster success (“Get Smart,” “Leatherheads,” “The Promotion” and “The Rocker,” respectively). While it is not uncommon for TV stars to stumble in their bid for big screen stardom, having four stars from one show try and fail simultaneously is quite the achievement.
Anti-Freeze: Stay in “The Office” and don’t come out until the show is cancelled.
47. Jennifer Connelly
Liv Tyler made a better Betty Ross in this year’s “The Incredible Hulk” than Connelly did back in 2003, and that’s as far back as you have to look for any positive words about her career (“The House of Sand and Fog”). The future doesn’t look too bright either, with Connelly starring opposite Keanu Reeves in the re-make no one wanted (“The Day the Earth Stood Still”).
Anti-Freeze: Grab David Bowie, Bowie’s codpiece and a bunch of Muppets and convince Darren Aronofsky to direct a sequel to “Labyrinth.”
48. Jason Statham
The bold Brit is poised to take the mantle of follicle-challenged tough guy from the likes of Bruce Willis and Vin Diesel. However, he needs to extract himself from the rut of dismal, formulaic B-level action fare. With films like “In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale,” “War,” “The Bank Job” and “Death Race,” Statham appears to be on a one-way career trip to the direct-to-video world.
Anti-Freeze: Hey, maybe he doesn’t want to learn from his mistakes. As Statham says: “You ain’t ever gonna get an Academy Award for doing ‘Crank’ and you certainly won’t for doing all the other movies I’ve done.”
49. Drew Barrymore
Proving that talent isn’t genetic, the scion of the storied Barrymore legacy does her ancestors’ memories proud by “acting” in “movies” like “Beverly Hills Chihuahua” and “Lucky You.” If it was actually possible for graves to spin, Lionel and John would have burrowed halfway to the earth’s core by now.
Anti-Freeze: “Charlie’s Angels 3: This Time, Everybody Dies.”
50. Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson
Do you smell what the ex-Rock is cooking? We do, and it stinks. Since shedding his WWE persona and cartoonish musculature, Johnson has become just another second-rate actor doing second-rate roles. Films like “Gridiron Gang” and “Game Plan” display an obvious lack of leading man potential, while his second lead role in “Get Smart” could’ve been filled by any unemployed SAG cardholder. Coming up for Johnson: “Race to Witch Mountain” and “Tooth Fairy” – oy, we can hardly wait!
Anti-Freeze: A new round of acting lessons from Vince McMahon so he can reconnect with what he lost.
51. Brad Renfro
It’s fitting to end the 2008 Frigid 50 with Renfro, since we started with Ledger and both actors died of drug overdoses within a week of each other (Renfro went first, and then everyone forgot about him when Ledger passed). Unlike Heath Ledger’s death, which was seen as a genuine loss of talent, poor Brad’s death was mostly seen as a wasted career — and even the Oscar show producers couldn’t be bothered including him in their tribute to dead stars during this year’s March of the Dead presentation. He almost didn’t make this list either, but we caught ourselves and Brad Renfro, wherever you are, you’re not entirely forgotten… yet.
Anti-Freeze: The moral of his life story: Say “no” to drugs and “yes” to good scripts (Renfro seemed to have those two backwards).
Brought to you by the Film Threat staff with contributions from Rory L. Aronsky, Mark Bell, Eric Campos, Chris Gore, Zack Haddad, Phil Hall, Don R. Lewis, Scott Mendelson, Matthew Sorrento, Felix Vasquez Jr., Pete Vonder Haar and sources who prefer to remain anonymous.
Posted on November 18, 2008 in Features by Film Threat Staff
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