Sunday, March 26, 2006

Sleaze Appeal

No I'm not talking about Republicans today. I'm still on my film kick.

And speaking of Aaron Eckhart, I was reminded by Lisa today of this amusing little article on him in this last Friday's Boston Globe, which I risk the wrath of the copyright gods by reproducing in full:


Author(s): WESLEY MORRIS Date: March 24, 2006 Page: D1 Section: Arts

Born with an entitled demeanor and a jaw line that should be studied in geometry classes, Aaron Eckhart risks seeming like a lout even when he's on his best behavior. But the man has sleaze appeal.
As a tobacco lobbyist in "Thank You for Smoking," he rates a Jack Abramoff-y 9 out of 10 on the Sleaze-o-Meter. Here's how his other roles score: "In the Company of Men" (1997) : Neil LaBute's debut started it all. Eckhart played a white-collar creep who made misogyny a sport. After playing a thoroughly convincing creep, he spent subsequent LaBute films ("Your Friends and Neighbors," say) playing gradually less despicable men.

"Paycheck" (2004):
After taking a few years off from unapologetic villainy, Eckhart came roaring back as a corporate meanie who deceives and bullies Ben Affleck. With his Brylcreemed hair and white-collar hauteur, Eckhart was such a picture of nutty executive privilege, he could have been starring in a documentary.

"Erin Brockovich" (2000): Seeing Eckhart as Julia Roberts's lovable, Harley-riding boyfriend was suspenseful. We spent the whole movie waiting for him to turn into a bastard. He never did. Still, when she asked him, "Are you gonna be something else I have to survive?" you got the sense that she'd seen "Company of Men."

"Possession" (2002): This unconvincing LaBute collaboration cast Eckhart as a sleuthing grad student who's up to his chin in turtlenecks and Gwyneth Paltrow. He beds her and still helps her finish her research when they're done. Wow.

"The Core" (2003): Eckhart plays a geophysicist who saves the world, which has stopped spinning. That's right. He's the hero, and, in another movie, his prize would have been a jaw lock with Hilary Swank. Instead, he just sets off a nuclear bomb.

© Copyright 2003 New York Times Company

They didn't mention Nurse BettySee this movie's record at the Internet Movie Database!! Where you get Eckhart literally oozing oiliness in his sleazy finest — this time though as an exceptionally pathetic, white-trashy kind of sleaze — but where the punishment-for-sleaze action is particularly cutting. Can't imagine why they would have left that one out.

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