What the Hell Happened to Orlando Bloom?

Orlando_Bloom_at_Venice_Festival

Orlando Bloom starred in one of the biggest movie trilogies of all time, and followed it up by starring in another one of the biggest trilogies of all time. He’s worked with Peter Jackson, Ridley Scott, and Cameron Crowe. He was supposed to be the next big thing.

What the hell happened?

Orlando Bloom was born in Canterbury, Kent, England, January 13, 1977.  Bloom got his start in television  with  roles in episodes of Casualty and Midsomer Murders.  Bloom made his big screen debut in 1997 before enrolling in the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London, where he studied acting.

WILDE  (1997)

Bloom Wilde

Bloom scored a cameo in the English prestige film, Wilde, starring Stephen Fry as the titular Oscar Wilde, a part he was practically born to play. It featured a who’s who of English stars like Jude Law, Michael Sheen, Tom Wilkinson, and Vanessa Redgrave. It follows the life story of writer Oscar Wilde, whose personal life would come to haunt him in less understanding times.

LORD OF THE RINGS: FELLOWSHIP OF THE RING (2001)

Bloom Fellowship

Bloom basically made a quantum leap (oh boy…) to stardom, landing a role in Peter Jackson’s adaptation of Tolkien’s epic fantasy two days before he graduated drama school. Talk about a graduation present. He was originally cast as Faramir, but switched to Legolas. Lucky him.

Nobody knew what a huge hit the LOTR trilogy would be. Peter Jackson had to fight tooth and nail with studios, before New Line said he could make a trilogy. What came from it is one of the only film trilogies that can be compared with Star Wars. It became a cultural phenomenon.

You can argue whether or not Jackson’s adaptation is faithful (hint: it’s not. Tolkein writing has more in common with the Encyclopedia Brittanica than it does an action film) but it was a hit with audiences. Using in-camera tricks to keep the budget under $100 mill (a trick Jackson would later forget on every subsequent movie he directed), and lavishly photographing the New Zeland landscape, the film was a smash with critics and racked up close to a billion dollars worldwide. It scored Oscar noms, a rarity for a film of this scale and scope.

If by some miracle you haven’t seen it, the Lord of the Rings is a fantasy saga taking place in middle-earth, where a band of Hobbits, elves, dwarves,wizards, and humans set to destroy an ancient evil that has arisen again. Orlando Bloom’s bleach job and cat-like elf Legolas made him an instant heart-throb with teenage girls everywhere, and made his character a standout in a film of standouts. From drama school to worldwide movie star. Like that.

BLACK HAWK DOWN (2001)

Bloom Blackhawk

Bloom followed up LOTR with a small role in the star-studded Ridley Scott actioner, Black Hawk Down. Pitting him alongside tons of names (and others who would be names later) Ewan McGregor, Josh Hartnett (future WTHHer), Tom Sizemore, Tom Hardy, Sam Shepard, and Eric Bana.

It follows a (sort of) true story of a helicopter going down in Somalia, and the troops on the ground’s fight for survival among a hostile people, and the subsequent rescue. It serves as Scott’s answer to Spielberg’s Saving Private Ryan in that it’s main goal is to show the visceral and unforgiving nature of violence and murder in war. It aims to not blink. However, it’s a bit too slick for it’s own good, and can be a bit “oo-rah ‘merrka” with it’s depiction of patriotism. It did middling business stateside, making a healthy profit overseas even though critics approved by and large of the film.

Bloom scored his part as a soldier who breaks his back. Bloom convinced the casting director he should get the part because he had broken his back twice (this almost derailed his acting career). It worked, but did little to boost anyone’s star status as all the faces of jar-heads in helmets become interchangeable within the film.

LORD OF THE RINGS: THE TWO TOWERS (2002)

Bloom Two towers

The second film in the trilogy built on everything that made the first one the success it was. It still had a less than $100 million dollar budget, and inched even closer to the billion dollar threshold than the first film. This has even more spectacular action (which in the books is dismissed in a few pages in favor of songs and poems) and keeps alive the dark middle entry in the trilogy thing going. It’s a wonderful film for anyone that loves movies, fantasy, or action. For my money Viggo Mortenson is the best actor there, and has subsequently proved that. And for anyone that can’t get enough, Jackson released near 4 hour cuts of each of the LOTR trilogy. More critical love, more academy award noms, and more money.

NED KELLY (2003)

Bloom Ned Kelly

The second of his non-LOTR films, and his first misstep. Ned Kelly is a mess of a film starring Heath Ledger as the notorious Australian outlaw. Bloom plays a member of his gang and friend. The movie did not impress critics, and was a bomb, barely making any money worldwide. It’s kind of like the Australian Jesse James, but it didn’t play across the sea. It’s choppy and stilted, and does nothing to make Ledger or Bloom’s life easier, it also wastes the talents of Geoffrey Rush and Naomi Watts.

Next Up – From Trilogy to Trilogy

Posted on February 12, 2014, in Movies, What the Hell Happened?, WTHH Actor and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 63 Comments.

  1. Depp seems like a good candidate. I was thinking about tackling him after I finish Stallone.

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  2. Depp would make an interesting one. As he hasnt faded from the a-list, he’s just went bankrupt creatively. Although, his attachment with Tom Hardy to the Whitey Bulger gangster pic seems like a solid decision (if not original with Donnie Brasco and Public Enemies fitting that genre in his filmography)

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    • For me, Depp is still about as big of a star as there is. He’s going through a slump. But stars have slumps. I can see the reasoning behind wanting to write him up. As you say, he has gone from one of the most interesting actors in Hollywood to a guy doing tired shtick. But Lone Ranger aside, I still think he’s relevant.

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      • He’s definitely still relevant. But he seems to alternate between doing white face for Tim Burton, Jack Sparrow (and I could argue his latest Burton features are just Sparrow in white face ie Mad hatter), and Hunter S Thompson. He’s just not challenging himself. And his movies are becoming less and less interesting. I think Rango is his best work since Finding Neverland

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        • Totally agree. When you say he is creatively bankrupt, I think you’re right on the money. And I do think his audience has turned on him. But in spite of that, I still think he’s A-list. For now.

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          • In some ways I think the basic problem with Depp is that the Pirate movies led to him being typecast. Since the original Pirates he seems to be playing variations on Jack Sparrow with a few exceptions And most of those exceptions are under seen at the box office.I would recommend he work with different directors than Verbinski or Burton for a while.

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          • It’s almost like Depp has become the rich man’s Crispin Glover…you know, the zany, eccentric, MOST UNFORGETTABLE CHARACTER you’ve EVER MET…and you, duh Viewer, are always aware that he’s capital-A acting. In other words, a parody of himself. (Sorry for the rant, but I was REALLY disappointed in “The Rum Diary” [more bad script than bad Depp, but still] and “The Lone Ranger.”)

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            • The thing about Glover is that being a weirdo was his whole thing. He couldn’t not be weird. Even when he wasn’t capital-A acting. Or was he ever not? Who knows. That grew old real quick. Getting banned from Letterman may get you a headline, but it also prevents you from promoting your movies. Not that I think Glover cares.

              Depp is a more traditional movie star who could have coasted through the 90s on his looks and probably would have been forgotten shortly after if he had done so. Instead, he developed an alternate quirky routine which served him well for a while. But now is growing stale.

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              • I feel kind of bad for Crispin Glover, because it seemed quite apparent that David Letterman wasn’t in on the joke. Glover wasn’t the first or last celebrity guest to “troll” David Letterman by acting weird (e.g. Andy Kaufman and Joaquin Phoenix). To make matters worse, the movie that Glover was promoting (he was pretty much in-character on “Letterman” the whole time) wouldn’t be released for at least four years. Thus, the entire context of the incident was completely lost. Crispin Glover turning down an opportunity to reprise his “star making” role as George McFly in the “Back to the Future” sequels also really hurt his career and/or reputation for along time. Eventually, he started showing up in mainstream movies that otherwise seemed to be beneath his talents like “Charlie’s Angels” or “Epic Movie” as a Willy Wonka expy.

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      • I agree that he still relevant and an A-Lister and he could just be in a slump, but as I noted in the “Who Are the Current A-list Actresses” article if you go by Vulture’s star ratings and just factor in box office results and studio value, Depp is “only” the 21st ranked actor which is a massive slide for a guy who would have ranked in the top 5 just a couple years ago. (And it can’t all be blamed on Lone Ranger because Dark Shadows lost money two after factoring in marketing costs and the theaters take).

        Personally, I think the best thing to do in regards to potential WTTH for Depp is wait a couple of months and see what Transcendence does at the box office. As a film based an original screenplay that stars Depp as a character who isn’t simply a retread of Jack Sparrow, it should serve as a pretty good gauge as to Depp’s remaining drawing power.

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        • Dark Shadows was definitely another strike in Depp’s career. The Tourist, which didn’t bomb, certainly disappointed given the supposed star power of Jolie and Depp. I agree that his star is waning he is veering into WTHH territory. But I also think he could turn it around with one picture. Really, how many actors have the international box office drawing power Depp has even now? Not many I’d wager.

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  3. Thanks for the catch. Didn’t realize Bloom was younger than my oldest daughter! ;)

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  4. Another strong article. Bloom is a natural fit for the series. I don’t think you’re going out on any limbs when you say he was basically a pretty face. But he was somehow lucky enough to be cast in two major movie franchises at the start of his career.

    I will confess I enjoyed Pirates 2 and 3 despite the fact they made no sense. 3 is just ridiculous. You can’t keep track of who is backstabbing who. And you know that no one really is. I doubt the actors could keep track of what their motivation was supposed to be in any given scene.

    The great crime of Pirates 3 is the ending. After all of that, they gave audiences an unhappy ending with some vaguely defined happy ending tagged on after the credits. I feel like Bloom should be brought back for Pirates 5 just to rectify the end of the Elizabeth Swan/Will What-His-Name story.

    I haven’t seen any of the Hobbit movies. Making the kid’s book into a trilogy was a strange decision. When I read the negative reviews for the first film, I figured I’d wait and watch the entire trilogy on video. I don’t feel like I’m missing much.

    Outside of those two trilogies, I don’t think I have watched anything bloom has done!

    Also, worth pointing out that Elizabthtown was the movie that inspired the invention of the term “Manic Pixie Dream Girl”.

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    • Yes! the manic pixie dream girl! I had an argument with a friend over whether or not Samantha (Scarlett Johansson) in Her was a bad stereotype for women. I had to concede that in a shrewd evaluation, you could say she was just a manic pixie dream girl. Though I think her being an AI, her sensitive performance, and Jonze’s writing flesh it out beyond that

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      • I would say that the Johansson character in Her says a lot more about Phoenix’s character than it does about any living woman.

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      • NOT to get too far afield, but MAYBE you can do an article (heck, I might even want to contribute) on the “Manic Pixie Dream Girl” factor/trope/cliche/movie device. Yeah, file under “only in the movies” wherein REALLY CUTE, PERKY & QUIRKY gals are attracted to mope-y/depressed guys. Of course, it helps if the depressed guy looks like Orlee Bloom or one of those good-lookin’ fellers. (I’ve been depressed a good chunk of my life and I can count the MPDGs I’ve met on the fingers of one hand (not counting the index finger, pinkie, middle-finger or thumb.) Also, I’ve found that many “quirky/zany/manic-pixoe”-type gals are generally not all that dependable…but that’s another story.

        Also, another candidate for WTHHT: Minnie Driver. She’s working kind-of regular in television lately, she has her singing career (she’s rather good, actually) AND I’ve been seeing her hawking a wrinkle-remover during my nightly reruns of “Hogan’s Heroes.” BUT in the ’90s it seemed like she was gonna be big big BIG…then…

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        • Driver’s definitely on the list.

          I make fun of the MPDG trope same as everyone else. But in my 20’s, I was a total sucker for MPDGs in movies. I’m not proud of that, but I’m not gonna lie about it either. I loved Almost Famous and that was a total MPDG movie.

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    • The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug (2013) : What the Hell Happened to Orlando Bloom?

      http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1170358/board/flat/225846866?d=225846866&p=1#225846866

      by michaelexarkun » Wed Feb 12 2014 13:57:40
      Well, he has been fortunate to have landed roles in some very successful movie franchises and other movies, so he’s been working.

      He needs to expand his range and show that he can carry a film.

      Or find a niche and stick to it and get paid.

      by roxelana » Wed Feb 12 2014 15:07:59
      He can’t carry a movie as Kingdom of Heaven and Elizabethtown bombs proved. If he didn’t try to be a leading man he would’ve had decent career as a supporting actor.

      I bet that his PR had a statement ready saying “DOS opened bigger than AUJ thanks to return of Orlando Bloom” but since the movie opened under AUJ they couldn’t issue anything. I bet that Evangeline Lilly PR also had a statement ready to credit her for bigger opening but since it opened under they were also left in the cold. LOL.

      Anyway, that DOS dropped from AUJ proves Bloom is no star. They featured him heavily in marketing and the movie lost audience.

      by roland-rockerfella » 6 days ago (Thu Feb 13 2014 01:08:24)
      What the hell happened?

      Exactly what was going to happen. Bloom has never been a very good actor, to be honest he’s a plank, the tree outside my bedroom window has far more character and acting ability than this guy. He was cast as Legolas because he looked elven, he was casted in Pirates because of LOTR and when put next to a real actor like Depp, my god did he look wooden. He was cast in Kingdom Of Heaven because of Pirates and once again proved to be the dullest thing in the film. By this stage Hollywood was waking up to the fact that this guy really was just a pretty face and little more. Game over.

      by tambourine_man36 » 6 days ago (Thu Feb 13 2014 01:22:36)
      Could have partly been a deliberate choice of Bloom’s, to stay out of the public eye so much. He already had two mega-movie franchises not seen since the likes of Harrison Ford. I haven’t seen much range from him either, but I don’t think I’ve ever thought he was bad in anything. I didn’t like Kingdom of Heaven for reasons OTHER than him. In fact, I turned it off. And I refused to see Elizabethtown in the first place. It’s a catch-22 for a lot of young, attractive actors. He made smart choices, working with Ridley Scott and Cameron Crowe, but sadly those were lousy scripts and offered little interest to audiences.

      Say what you will about him, but he’s one of the best actors around that can perform stunt choreography so convincingly.

      by roxelana » 6 days ago (Thu Feb 13 2014 08:43:37)
      Ford’s situation was different. Han emerged as the most popular of the trio in general, while Legolas was most popular only with teen girl demographics but not in general (that would be Aragorn and Gandalf). Indiana Jones was main attraction BECAUSE Ford played him. Bloom never carried a franchise where he was the main attraction. If POTC was supposed to be it, he was completely obliterated by Johnny Depp who became a superstar and not his young co-stars.

      by oki9Sedo » 6 days ago (Thu Feb 13 2014 11:08:49)
      I think the answer is very simple. He’s a weak actor with very limited range. He was poorly reviewed in both of his two first big leading man roles (Elizabethtown and Kingdom of Heaven).

      by roxelana » 6 days ago (Thu Feb 13 2014 12:15:22)
      Sorry but that’s now how box office works. KoH and Eliszbethtown were big bombs. They didn’t break even from worldwide run because in order to do so they should have made minimum double their budget. So for KoH to break even, means returns budget, it should have made minimum 130M x 2 = 260M worldwide, while Elizabethtown should have made 45M x 2 = 90M worldwide. Mind you, I’m not talking about profit here since these movies didn’t come anywhere close to beginning to earn some. I’m talking about earning budget back and these movies couldn’t even do that minimum.

      Moreover, when an actor takes a leading part in the movie, he takes responsibility for failure or success. Since both movies opened poorly, that’s attributed to OB’s low star power aka ability to pull in audience with his name.

      Now, I don’t quite agree with the concept because actor’s star power is contextual – of course that something with limited accessibility like Her won’t have the box office of Iron Man. However, KoH was in a lucrative genre where OB established recognizably, so OB + swords/bow&arrow context should have produced much better box office result…if he had real star power. Turns out, he didn’t have any, hence flops. Nobody put the gun to his head and forced him to lead an expensive crusader epic that a) targeted demographics that hated him (males) and b) had R rating so demographics who liked him (tweenage and teenage girls) couldn’t see the movie. it was a massive miscalculation on everyone’s part.

      It also didn’t help that he was critically panned for both movies on top of box office fiasco. His biggest career mistake, IMO, is that he didn’t branch out with variety of movies and roles when he was considered hot property, but intentionally picked only movies that sounded like huge commercial hits (big action, big sets, SFX). So when he tanked a big budget movie (KoH) he had nothing else to fall back on (no acclaimed roles in smaller movies).

      by palisade-1 » 6 days ago (Thu Feb 13 2014 14:56:49)
      Harrison Ford however was willing to take a risk and do very different parts in smaller, drama-focused movies that had no expectation of being big hits.

      His first venture into such a film was in Witness in 1985 — the only nomination he has had for Best Actor and it was well-deserved. Here was a film directed and photographed by outsiders to Hollywood, with a rather unusual twist to the story, but a leading character with a lot of potential which Ford maximized. Even Peter Weir, the Australian director, was surprised how good the film turned out to be and how well it has lasted. After Witness, Ford did a role playing a different type of character in Mosquito Coast and still another sterling performance as a man recovering from a head injury in Regarding Henry.

      The producer of Witness said Ford took a big chance stepping out of the genre that made him famous. However, it showed that he can act as well as he can do action flicks. Perhaps Bloom should have taken a similar risk.

      by roxelana » 6 days ago (Thu Feb 13 2014 16:10:52)
      Those movies were flops but they didn’t end their actor’s careers because those actors never depended on box office. Depp was actually running away from commercial fares and taking quirky offbeat movies instead. His now iconic Jack Sparrow was a risk from Disney POV. He was envisioned as Erroll Flynn type of a pirate but Depp turned him into something completely different. Which paid off for the movie and Depp, not so much for OB and Keira who were completely overshadowed.

      Pitt also never chased blockbusters exclusively which is what OB did post-LOTR. So both Depp and Pitt had something to fall back on if their movies didn’t make a bank, and it didn’t hurt that Fight Club got rave reviews and is considered a masterpiece. OTOH, OB neither had opening power (LOTR opened on LOTR name, POTC was high-jacked by Depp and Pitt was the star of Troy) nor critical acclaim. So when KoH and Elizabethtown bombed and he got bad ink, there was no way he would keep getting leading roles.

      He’s supposedly great on the stage so maybe that’s his medium more than big screen which requires stronger presence that he has. The point is to find what works for an actor. He thought that next Erroll Flynn was his calling but that was quickly dashed.

      by BarstoolBlues33 » 5 days ago (Fri Feb 14 2014 07:15:22)
      He’s just not a very good actor. You don’t have to be if you have the charisma and/or physical presence to carry a movie…but he has neither.

      by deconstructing » 5 days ago (Fri Feb 14 2014 10:20:33)
      He’s not a very good actor (to put it mildly) and he’s not as hot as he used to be during the LotR days. That’s what happened. No mystery there.

      by oki9Sedo » 5 days ago (Fri Feb 14 2014 12:05:48)
      Spot on deconstructing. He has a very limited range. I mean in LOTR for much of the time he looks self-conscious, like he’s holding back on smiling because he’s enjoying himself.

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  5. British actors actually pull off American southern dialects pretty well quite a lot of the time. The two dialects share some features. Benedict Cumberbatch, for example, has recently appeared in two separate dramas set in the south this year. He is a standout in both 12 Years a Slave and in August: Osage County, which are Oscar-nominated films.

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    • The exception seems to be The Walking Dead where I don’t think the British actors have ever heard a Southerner speak. Sometimes I question whether or not they have ever heard another human speak.

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    • Yes, a lot of English actors have successfully pulled off southern accents (it started with gone with the wind) but just as may have fallen flat (Kate Winslet in All the Kings Men, Emma Thompson going for broke in Beautiful Creatures). It’s just a strange choice when basically your entire cast is english in a period piece american set film. And yes, I saw Benedict in both of those, he was very good in 12 years, but I admire him as an actor
      Agreed about Walking Dead. Grimes doesn’t sound like any human anywhere

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      • As bad as Andrew Lincoln’s Southern accent is, I think David Morrissey’s was worse. I think the two of them were in some kind of secret over-acting competition like Shatner and Montalban in Star Trek II.

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  6. The first Pirates of the Carribean was much more fun and charming than it had any right to be. I’ll go ahead and say it, I loved that movie, it’s one I wind up re-watching again every so often on DVD. Looking through the list of actors who Bloom beat out for the role (Ledger, McGregor, Maguire, Bale, etc.), all of those actors are talented, let’s be honest all of those that were in competition have more range than Bloom, and yet I think Bloom was better in that role than any of those other actors would’ve been as Will Turner. Bale, for example, is an Oscar winning actor with great range, but he is much too brooding to play the swash-buckling type. I’ll give credit where credit is due, Pirates worked perfectly within Bloom’s small range.

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    • I couldn’t agree with you more. Pirates should have been terrible. And it wasn’t exactly good. But it was lots of fun. And the role of Will really did call for a bland, handsome guy. Bale would have been too much.

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  7. He’s a good actor who I think hasn’t picked good starring roles, is all. He reminds me of DiCaprio to be honest, though maybe a bit more stilted.

    One more thing, for the life of me I can’t figure him English. He looks more Iberian or Italian.

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    • I probably haven’t seen enough of Bloom’s work to be completely fair. I’m pretty sure I have only seen him in the Pirates and Lord of the Rings trilogies. But I don’t think he is anywhere near the same league as DiCaprio. The only thing I think the two actors share is boyish good looks. DiCaprio is a talented actor. Bloom is a good-looking place-holder.

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  8. I disagree with you. He is a good actor.
    He showed he could be a rock star or a doctor, and to me, Will is totally different to Legolas. Actually, I don’t even think I recognized him the first time (wig, mustache, latino-style). But ya know, Bloom or Bale (or whoever else), I don’t think it could have been better, this character just does not requires so much skills…
    He wasn’t bad in Kingdom of Heaven, so I wonder if we saw the same movie…
    Sometimes people tend to dislike the actors who are boyish and too much loved by fangirls and their stardom stop them from seeing their abilities :p I know it, I disliked Jhonny Depp because of that. Oh, and Orly was great as Paris. This scene where he’s all scared of the guy who wants to kill him -wow! I bet he pissed on himself xD The only thing that screwed was the lack of bravery of his character.
    So, this guy just needs a good role! He can do it!
    And if not, I’ll watch anyways because he’s pretty ♥ (yeah, I recognize it, unless he’s sooo terrible that…) I’ll remember Elizabethtown forever, I liked it, even if it was not so funny, but the couple Orly/kirsten… ♥
    Happy to see Legolas again! And watch his performance in “Zulu”!

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    • You’re certainly entitled to disagree, and be a fan of/enjoy any actor you choose to. Bloom doesn’t do it for me. But I’m an ardent defender of Vin Diesel, and was of Matthew McConaughey for years, before he vindicated me (and himself) over the last 2-3 years

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  9. The problem with Bloom is the opportunity cost of casting him, instead of an actor with more charisma and range. I’m quite happy to see him in minor supporting roles. As a lover of Ridley Scott’s historical films and the medieval period in general, I deeply resent him in Kingdom of Heaven.
    By the way, I just found your blog–how have I been missing this? I’m looking forward to catching up.

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    • re: I deeply resent him in Kingdom of Heaven.

      You’re overlooking the possibility of last-minute Repentance. ;)

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    • Welcome. I’m glad you finally found us. Looking forward to hearing more from you.

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      • This article inspired me to watch the Pirates trilogy over the weekend (see, the WTTH series can inspire people to do things!) My impressions: the first Pirates has a really fun, charming, infectious, swash-buckling spirit to it. I’ll go ahead and admit that I love watching that movie, and it really speaks volumes about Johnny Depp’s performance as Jack Sparrow that he actually snagged an Academy Award nomination for Best Actor; it’s very rare for the Oscars to ever recognize acting in anything but serious dramatic films. Depp was a revelation, but really everone was in top form in the first one, I liked Geoffrey Rush and Johnathan Pryce’s performances as well, even Bloom was good in this.

        Then we get to the sequels. Gone is the lighthearted, swashbuckling sense of fun from the first one. The 2nd one is just so-so, barely watchable, but the 3rd one was just a total mess. This was my first time watching this, and I can’t comprehend how the most expensive movie of all time, even adjusted for inflation (300 MILLION!) could be so completely incomprehensible, and worse yet, BORING. I seriously considered just shutting the movie off half way through, doubting if I could slog through the three hour running time when I had already lost interest halfway through. But I sat through it just to finish it, because I love to punish myself. DWMCGUFF is right about this, the film is a bloated carcass and a real chore to sit through. I own it on DVD, but I can’t imagine ever, ever watching this again. The sequels attempt a more serious tone, but that just completely ruined it for me. They should’ve retained the light, fun tone of the original.

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        • I think the problem with Pirates 3 is that it is the most expensive movie ever made. There is a point of diminishing returns. Bigger isn’t always better. In movies, mo money often equals mo problems.

          The funniest thing to me is to watch the making-of features on the sequels. Everyone involved was convinced they were making a timeless classic like The Wizard of Oz. Uh, yeah.

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          • “In movies, mo money often equals mo problems”

            Good Biggie paraphrase :)

            The original Pirates would have been a great one-off. But of course once it became a smash Disney saw dollar signs and sequels became a necessity.

            The main problem with both sequels is that by trying to cram too much in, they made it seem like work. If they’d just been lightweight fun or at least offered action on the level of say the Mission Impossible movies, okay. But they became more and more bloated with each one. I still have yet to see the fourth.

            On the other hand, let’s be grateful that it was Pirates and not the Country Bears or The Haunted Mansion that was a smash. The thought of being subjected to four Country Bears movies or 4 Haunted Mansion movies is unbearable.

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            • After sitting through two sub-par Pirates films over the weekend, I can’t imagine sitting through any more of these. I still love the first one and will still watch it from time to time over the years, but otherwise Capt. Jack Sparrow can sail on without me.

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              • I half-watched the 4th one on cable. It was pared down from the previous two films. Which was a good thing. But it was kind of a snooze. Jack Sparrow is a great supporting character. Returns diminish when he is the lead. The 4th film has a new pair of star crossed lovers that make you miss Bloom and Knightley (mostly Knightley).

                I would be interested in a 5th Pirates if it was able to recapture the fun of the original. If they could bring back Bloom and Knightley and give those characters a proper ending, so much the better. I expect a 5th Pirates will happen. And it will probably be a mediocre movie that does most of its business overseas. But I still hold a little hope.

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            • I shudder at the thought of a franchise based on the Eddie Murphy Haunted Mansion. Spooooky.

              I go back to the attitude of everyone involved in the sequels. They were flush with success. They were very serious about making timeless classics that would be treasured for generations to come. So they took everything way too seriously. The same attitude ruined Spielberg’s Hook. When you try to make an important movie, odds are you will miss the mark. Just make a good movie instead.

              (yeah, I know. if it was that easy everyone would do it.)

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            • I’m a big Haunted Mansion fan, so I’m hopeful that the reboot in the hands go Guillermo Del Toro as producer will leave us with something more worthy to represent what is one of the greatest theme park attractions ever built.

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              • Is that still on? Del Toro is infamous for talking about projects and then letting them fade away. Last I heard, the Del Toro Haunted Mansion probably wasn’t happening.

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                • I read an article late last year in which it seemed like he was taking pains to find the exact right writer to finish up the script. It could be that the project is, in fact, in “development hell,” but for the time being I’m going to go on pretending that the project is going to happen, because…well…it makes me happy.

                  Like

    • Why did (Insert Actor’s Name Here)’s Career Go Up In Smoke?

      http://www.datalounge.com/cgi-bin/iowa/ajax.html?t=9524363#page:showThread,9524363

      Orlando Bloom. Started off strong with Black Hawk Down, was positioned as THE teen heart throb because of The Lord of the Rings and Pirates franchises, but his career went downhill when he was expected to carry a movie by himself (Elizabethtown) and failed. Plus, people realized he’s a shi**y actor.

      by: Anonymous reply 9 08/14/2010 @ 10:05PM

      Like

      • Re: Why did (Insert Actor’s Name Here)’s Career Go Up In Smoke?

        http://www.datalounge.com/cgi-bin/iowa/ajax.html?t=9524363#page:showThread,9524363,3

        I’ve always wondered if Bloom was priced out of supporting actor roles (where he truly belonged). Anyone here that’s a member of SAG? Did the big checks he got for PotC2 & 3, then Kingdom of Heaven affect what he could be paid for his next movie job? I thought there was some union rule that prevented an actor from taking a significant pay cut without the Union’s blessing? That would be an explanation on why he stayed away for three years, did that one so-so stage performance, and now is starting to work in much lower paying indie films.

        Or, perhaps I’m just being generous, and he’s really a crappy actor who can only get jobs now if he produces the film or he’s taken on as a part of a package deal through his agent. He did back out of “An Education” just days before filming started.

        No matter what the reason, he’s a lot cheaper to hire now.

        by: Anonymous reply 60 08/15/2010 @ 04:20PM

        Like

  10. Here’s a response that I got when I posted this article on UseNet:

    https://groups.google.com/d/msg/alt.fan.tolkien/QBG4KudYQ3c/QDWKgd9-NcQJ

    You can argue whether or not Jackson’s adaptation is faithful (hint:
    it’s not. Tolkein writing has more in common with the Encyclopedia
    Brittanica than it does an action film)

    A small hint: If I were to go out to Usenet to promote my blog, I’m not
    sure going straight to newsgroup.fans.name-of-author and insulting said
    author is a good strategy.

    There’s nothing more to say really, they’re landmark films that should
    be watched. Legolas became a fan favorite and no matter what the hell
    happens to Bloom, he will always have that character ingrained in pop
    culture history like a Lando Calrissian.

    “What a great actor! He reminds me of:

    A) Dustin Hoffman!”
    B) Humphrey Bogart!”
    C) Gregory Peck!”
    x D) Billy Dee Williams!”

    Man, that’s damning with faint praise. :)

    I’m convinced that between the three movies there is one good one. The
    first film could be shortened to one hour, the second to one, and the
    third to one, each comprising of an act to a single really good movie.
    Although I hesitate to call them really good.

    You know, you could wait for the third movie to come out before you pass
    judgement on it. Just sayin’.

    You’ll notice as Christian Bale or Hugh Jackman had their star-making
    franchises, in the in between years, they did films to expand their
    range, and increase their status. Bloom never did.

    I guess we’re not counting “Black Hawk Down”, “Ned Kelly”, “Troy”,
    “Kingdom Of Haven”, “Elizabethtown”, “The Armenian Genocide”, “The Good
    Doctor”, “Zulu”…

    I’m not a big fan of Jackson’s work, or Orlando Bloom for that matter, but
    honestly: a little bit of fact-checking now and then wouldn’t hurt.

    Like

    • Well not everyone is going to be a fan of what you write, and I’m not the first writer to get flamed. I’ll own up to switching the “i” and the “e” in said author’s name. And I’m not hating on his writing style, it’s just simply not action-oriented. He set out to create a mythology for England, and his writing is focused on language, history, and culture. Battles that take up major portions of the film are resolved within pages. I’m not the first person to say this, even Roger Ebert made the same observation.

      I never called Bloom a great actor, but you don’t have to be to have an iconic character in pop culture history. Billy Dee Williams is another totally capable actor with an iconic character. I’d say Bloom is about on that level.

      And as far as the Hobbit goes, I’ve seen 6 hours of evidence, I hardly think the last 3 will change much, but I’ll likely see it nonetheless.

      As far as expanding his range, you have to be successful in those roles and the films themselves have to be as well. Bloom never was, at least not like Jackman and Bale who are now able to be accepted and successful with both audiences and critics in any (but not every) role they choose. Every film listed for Bloom there was a failure or didn’t do anything for his career (some actively hurt it).

      Factually my article is accurate, I’ll be open for minor mistakes. The challenges were mostly opinion based. I’ll stand by mine and they are welcome to theirs.

      Like

      • This kind of thing happens. I’ve gotten used to it. No offense to Terrence, but a lot of people react negatively to the way he posts links in various forums. I personally don’t mind. I think he’s providing links you can choose to follow or ignore. I honestly don’t have time to keep up with all of them.

        Typically, people assume that Terrence is the author of the article and that he is spamming his blog or trolling for a reaction. So you get some pretty aggressive reactions. I think this poster is responding in this tone because he objects to what he sees as spamming and/or trolling of his forum. I might react in the same way in a forum I frequent. I’m guessing if the commenter knew the actual situation, they probably would have been less argumentative.

        He probably wouldn’t have been picking nits and throwing out barbs about “fact checking”. As you point out, your article is factually accurate. The difference is one of opinion/semantics. Obviously, Bloom made other movies. He tried to branch out. He was just unsuccessful in his attempt as opposed to Bale.

        I certainly appreciate the traffic Terrence drives to the site with his links. But I tend to ignore conversations that go on in other forums as a result. They can be brutal.

        Like

  11. Career Prospectus: Orlando Bloom:

    http://www.laineygossip.com/Career-Prospectus-Orlando-Bloom/29911?categoryId=1290

    Ever since we started this series, we’ve received repeated requests for Orlando Bloom. He’s been mentioned several times in other people’s prospectuses, but has somehow escaped having one of his own. But since Bloom just got a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame—who is paying for it?!—it seems like a good time to examine what’s going on with Orlando Bloom, who was, not too long ago, one of the most famous people on the planet. Now he’s mostly famous for being Miranda Kerr’s baby daddy. What happened?

    When I was in college, no one was bigger with girls and 20-something women than Orlando Bloom. Robert Pattinson now was Orlando Bloom then (thus Pattinson’s nickname, “Orlando Bloom 2.0”). Thanks to the one-two franchise punch of Lord of the Rings and The Pirates of the Caribbean, Bloom was tremendously famous, which allowed him to book roles in Brad Pitt’s flashy adaptation of the Iliad, Ridley Scott’s big-budget Crusades epic Kingdom of Heaven and a Cameron Crowe film co-starring Kirsten Dunst. How could anything go wrong? He should be set for life, right?

    The first thing that went wrong for Bloom is that outside LOTR and the first Pirates movie (which is not aging well, so this statement is qualified) none of the movies he made were good. Since breaking out with LOTR in 2001, he’s had only one non-Rings movie get a fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes, 2012’s The Good Doctor. (I’m not counting Black Hawk Down because Bloom’s role was small—that’s a Josh Hartnett/Ewan McGregor/Eric Bana movie. Oh man, there are three prospectus recipients from that cast—maybe Black Hawk Down was cursed!) It’s come up in prospectuses before—no matter how big a break you get, eventually you have to make good movies to sustain public interest. Bloom has not been a reliable provider of good movies.

    His trip to Broadway didn’t go much better. In 2013 he did a stint in a theatrical production of Romeo & Juliet but reviews weren’t great and the show actually ended up closing early (ouch). After breaking out as a teen idol with LOTR, Bloom had to prove he actually had acting chops and, thirteen years later, he’s still trying to prove that. That’s a huge problem, but it’s not that Bloom is untalented, it’s that Bloom is not a leading man. He is, in fact, Patient Zero for Leading Man Syndrome. Bloom was the first case I identified of an actor consistently outmatching himself with leading man parts. He’s a character actor at heart, but because he has a leading man’s face and because he got so famous so fast, the expectation was that he would be The Man, not That Guy.

    But he should really give being That Guy a go. Bloom simply doesn’t have the talent to support a leading man career—he can’t carry a movie (see also: Kingdom of Heaven, Elizabethtown), but he does work in an ensemble or as a supporting character. And he’s not bad at that; he could have a really good career as a character actor. The solution to so many career problems these days is to get on a TV show, but Bloom really would be best served by an ensemble show. We know he looks cool as Legolas, but his chief problem is that he’s never established a real identity outside that. The steady exposure from a TV show would basically force people to accept him in another role.

    There is another path available to Bloom. I’ve mentioned it before but it is inevitable that one day a man is going to try infiltrating the lifestyle market currently cornered by actresses. Bloom, whose fame quotient remains high because once you hit a certain level of celebrity, it never really goes away, and who has an adorable, popular celebrity kid, is in a prime position to be the first mock-tor. Dudes might not buy into it, but his large female fanbase would probably eat it up.

    Orlando Bloom is not a hopeless case, but he’s never established himself outside of “teen idol”, and as he enters his late thirties, that’s an untenable position to maintain. I’m not even sure having a healthy and robust acting career is that high on his priorities, though. After all, he is still quite famous (and doing little to maintain it) and he made a fortune in the early aughts, so it’s not like he’s hard up for a paycheck. But if he wants a sterling professional reputation—the kind of reputation many assumed he’d have no problem proving out in the wake of LOTR—then he’s going to have to cure that case of Leading Man Syndrome. And the only way to do that is to stop trying to be a leading man.

    No but seriously, who made that star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame happen?

    Like

    • 10 Actors Who Clearly Didn’t Learn Anything From Past Mistakes:

      http://whatculture.com/film/10-actors-who-clearly-didnt-learn-anything-from-past-mistakes.php/7

      1. Orlando Bloom

      There was a time when Orlando Bloom had a novel appeal. After his bit part in Black Hawk Down, which basically amounted to him falling out of the titular helicopter (still his best role), Bloom turned himself into a global heartbreaker with his appearance as Legolas in The Lord Of The Rings. In those films Bloom rather limited repertoire served him well; he was simply one part of a large, sprawling ensemble, and both his elven genetics and the way he was directed meant he didn’t act normally. Each film found Bloom being employed as a little more than a beautiful albeit vapid piece of spectacle that ran, jumped and shield surfed into movie history.

      The role of Legolas complimented Bloom’s arid, laconic and most of all emotionless acting, and it was no surprise that his transition away from the stoic elf proved to be fraught with misfortune. Oh sure, he did power through with the mega successful Pirates series – but that was mostly due to riding Johnny Depp’s flamboyantly drunken coat-tails. His other efforts were either flops or floppish (Ned Kelly, Kingdom of Heaven), or were packed with so much star power that they didn’t really prove Bloom’s capabilities as a leading man (Troy).

      These days Bloom has mostly been resigned to smaller films – which should be a reprieve after so much sword and sandaling, but his perplexing recent return to Middle Earth suggests that the lessons of Bloom’s past have not stuck, not enough at least to keep that blonde wig away.

      Like

    • 7 Actors Who Were Expected To Make It Big But Didn’t!

      http://www.fame10.com/entertainment/7-actors-who-were-expected-to-make-it-big-but-didnt/2/

      1. Orlando Bloom

      When he had roles in the “Lord of the Rings” trilogy and the “Pirates Caribbean” franchise, Orlando Bloom was one of the most famous people on the planet. However, since his success in those films, he hasn’t exactly launched a megastar career, despite having shown so much potential. The last time we saw him on screen was in parts two and three of “The Hobbit,” which can mean only one of two things – he is after a paycheck or he is unable to lock down quality roles.

      Like

  12. law and farell are more leading man material then him bloom has never carried a movie by himself lord of the rings and pirates are supporting roles. i dont see him in the future winning Oscar . He should accept that find a 3rd potential franchisee to rid off of

    Like

  13. How about an entry for Julia Ormond? I know her time as a star was so brief she might not be a consideration, but she seemed poised for greatness after Legends of the Fall, but then disappeared. Now she only appears sporadically is supporting roles.

    Like

  14. how about warren his movie town and country bombed.or better yet kevin bacon spacey there movie career tanked there doing tv now

    Like

  15. do you think dennis quaid ever made a list lebeau my friend and i are having this debate i mean you think you will have him in site

    Like

  16. i knew it quaid made alot of flops he never had a hit movie to be honest iam glad hes not an a list hes a bad actor

    Like

  17. warren beatty james caan diane keaton

    Like

  18. james caan diane keaton

    Like

  19. bloom is underatted

    Like

  20. kevin bacon could be in it hes good actor but with exception of xmen his movies are flopping and his tv show sucks kind of like spacey

    Like

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