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November 4, 2006

Branding: Tom Cruise is Top Gun at United Artists

Tom CruiseThe news this week is that plans to put the "artist" back in to the largely defunct company name by taking it over with his producing partner Paula Wagner. Wagner says this move, which essentially puts the two of them in charge of the movie name, allows them an opportunity to "take a legendary brand name and bring it back to the present."

There have been some mighty critical posts out there about this move that comes fairly soon after Cruise’s dismissal from Paramount for his couch jumping antics during the build up to the release of .

  • Michael at Popsurfing points out that because they only will be doing four movies a year and have the ability to green light films of $50 mil or less (not much these days), this is simply a "glorified shingle."
  • Scott Kirsner at CinemaTech wonders if Cruise and Wagner will be loyal to the new company and not wind up making movies for other studios the way has abandoned .

United ArtistsNevertheless, this is a wonderful time to bring back to our screens a name that has been missing for too long. notes that United Artists was founded in 1919 by , , and . It has given us some great movies, including Chaplin’s and , Fairbanks' and, more recently, , , the films and . Cinematical notes that it also is responsible for , a name that is to show biz what The Titanic is to the cruise biz.

But Cruise has never won an and he must be itching to show his old boss at (’s parent company) that he has let go (and publicly humiliated) one of the hottest properties in showbiz history.

If that’s not enough motivation to fund a truly great film, I don't know what is.

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Posted by William Lozito at November 4, 2006 12:05 PM
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I'd be willing to bet that Cruise will never win an Oscar. The Academy doesn't like him, or his style of acting. He seems to think verisimilitude comes from carefully practicing the minutiae of his characters' movements. You don't portray emotion by taking four steps at a 15.5 degree angle, then pausing 4 seconds and scratching your nose for 1.2 seconds.

Tom should have won an oscar already, for Born on the Fourth of July, but mostly Magnolia
It's unfair

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