Feel the heat
Players are eligible for Hall of Fame inclusion in their respective sports only after they’ve been retired for several years. In Hollywood, actors can rake in enormous paydays to sleepwalk through soulless tripe for decades after their skills have diminished. Thus, there is no mandatory retirement rule for Cinema Scoped’s first inaugural Phoned-In Hall of Fame class.
That’s the bad news. The good news is that phone-it-in newbies like Johnny Depp and Robert Downey Jr. didn’t make the cut, offering them a yearlong opportunity to reform their ways. Repent! Even Nic Cage failed in his first Hall of Fame bid; why put him on a plaque when he’s in the middle of his phone-it-in prime?
Ten actors made the final cut, all once greats who spent the majority of the last two decades making us forget why we ever liked them. These are the first five:
Robert De Niro/Al Pacino: If Marlon Brando is the A.G. Spalding of this Hall of Fame, then De Niro and Pacino are surely its Ty Cobb and Cy Young (making John Cazale the “Shoeless Joe” Jackson?). These two have coasted on past glories for so long, we get when excited they’re merely mediocre, like misbehaved infants who make it through dinner without smearing excrement on the tablecloth.
Dustin Hoffman: I could count on one hand the number of times I’ve unequivocally enjoyed a Dustin Hoffman performance over the last quarter-century. He’s made 30-plus films in that time.
Eddie Murphy: Ditto, verbatim.
Susan Sarandon: Sarandon doesn’t pull the eight-figure deals of some fellow inductees, but that hardly excuses her post-Oscar acting malaise. From tap-dancing in Elizabethtown to comedy “relief” in The Lovely Bones, Sarandon is routinely the worst part of every bad movie she makes. Who would’ve imagined that in 1995?
Next week: The Final Five!