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What the Hell Happened to John Travolta?

john travolta

John Travolta is the King of the Comeback.  Where most careers involve a rise and a fall, Travolta’s career is a roller coaster or peaks and valleys.  In the 70’s, he was a pop culture icon, in the 80’s he was a has-been and in the 90’s, he reinvented himself as an Oscar-nominated tough guy.  Today, you’re more likely to see him on tabloid covers than headlining a movie.  What the hell happened?

travolta - boy in the plastic bubble

Travolta started off on the stage in New York in the touring production of Grease.  Eventually, he moved to California where he started making TV appearances like The Boy in The Plastic Bubble.

travolta - welcome back kotter

We’ve got a lot to cover here, so we’re just going to skip to 1975 when Travolta was cast in Welcome Back Kotter.  Kotter was a sitcom developed around stand-up comedian, Gabe Kaplan.  Kaplan played a teacher at an inner-city school and Travolta played one of his delinquent students known as the “Sweathogs”.

Kotter was a big hit during its first couple of seasons.  This lead to lots of merchandising opportunities including a board game based around Travolta’s catch phrase, “Up your nose with a rubber hose.”

Interestingly enough (for me anyway), the actor standing-in for Travolta in that commercial was a young Steve Guttenberg.

travolta - carrie

While still appearing on Welcome Back Kotter, Travolta made the leap to film with Brian De Palma’s adaptation of Stephen King’s novel, Carrie.

By now, there have been umpteen adaptations of King’s novels.  Some have been adapted more than once.  A remake of Carrie is currently underway.  But De Palma’s Carrie was the first and it set the bar too high for most of the adaptations that would follow.

Travolta’s role was relatively small.  He played the boyfriend of Carrie’s primary tormentor, Chris, who was played by Nancy Allen.  But Travolta was involved in some of the movie’s more memorable scenes.  He was the one who slaughtered the pig for the bloody climax.  And when a blood-soaked Carrie left the flame-engulfed prom, Travolta’s character tried to run her over.

travolta - saturday night fever

The following year, Travolta entered pop culture history with Saturday Night Fever.  The image of Travolta in the white leisure suit dancing to the Bee Gees is bigger than any movie.  It has come to symbolize an entire decade.

But Saturday Night Fever is nothing like its image.  The soundtrack may make you want to dance, but the movie is actually a depressing melodrama about a guy who feels trapped in a meaningless existence he can only escape on the dance floor.

The movie was based on an article in New York magazine about the budding disco culture, Tribal Rites of the New Saturday Night.  Ironically, the writer of the article later admitted that he had made it all up.  As an Englishman, he was baffled by the American dance craze.  So he based his story on a “Mod” friend instead.

Saturday Night Fever got mostly positive reviews.  It was nominated for several awards including Best Actor for Travolta.  Film critic, Gene Siskel claimed Fever as a personal favorite.  He even went so far as to buy Travolta’s leisure suit at an auction.

saturday night fever soundtrack

Fever wasn’t just a hit.  It was a smash that dominated the pop culture landscape.  It ushered in the Disco Era.  The soundtrack was the best-selling soundtrack album of all times.  Eventually, the popularity of disco eclipsed the movie.  So when the disco backlash started, Saturday Night Fever was marginalized along with it.

Next: Grease and Urban Cowboy

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Posted on September 2, 2012, in Movies, What the Hell Happened?, WTHH Actor and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 252 Comments.

  1. Danielle Charney

    What a good piece- a month or so ago, ‘Moment by Moment’ was on HBO I think. I was late, and I needed distraction. I watched it twice in a row. I shit you not. (;)) I have to admit that I was mildly riveted. I will take Lily T. any way I can get her. She is so damn good without even trying. Travolta, is the same to me. Even if it sucks, I never tire of him- even in Face Off, which for me is pushing it from all sides. As for his personal life, I could not care less. He is just one of those wild cards like Depp that you accept warts and all. Part of the plan. Again, thank you so much for this. I must reread it later. More to say maybe.

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    • I’m glad you enjoyed the Travolta article. It was quite an undertaking! I can’t even tell you how many hours went into it.

      I don’t think I have ever actually watched Moment by Moment. I was young when it came out and I remember all the media attention it got when it was released. I remember when it aired on TV a few years later, but I don’t think I actually watched it.

      By the time it came out, I think the media was waiting for him to fail. He had been so successful so early in his career. They were just waiting for a turkey to come along. Little did they know, they would have decades to kick him around. they needn’t have been so impatient.

      As I have said a number of times, I generally don’t care about actors’ personal lives. So all the recent scandals don’t really phase me. The charges of harrasment bother me if they are true. But cross-dressing and being in the closet don’t phase me. And if Kelly Preston is okay with Travolta’s extramartial affairs, I will defer to her judgement. It seems to me such arrangements are not uncommon in Scientology.

      I debated for quite a while over addressing these rumors at all. But that would be ignoring the elephant in the room. So, I figured I would try to do so at the very end of the article in a way that invites conversation without a great deal of editorializing from me.

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    • Greatest Box-Office Bombs, Disasters and Film Flops:
      http://www.filmsite.org/greatestflops6.html

      Moment by Moment (1978)
      Director: Jane Wagner
      Studio/Distributor: Univeral Pictures
      Budget: ?
      Domestic Gross: ?

      Still, the idea of an R-rated character study and chick-flick melodrama about a May-December romance remains unnerving, between 24 year-old John Travolta – fresh from the disco dance hit Saturday Night Fever (1977) and Grease (1978) — both produced by Robert Stigwood, and 39 year-old TV comedienne and actress Lily Tomlin (from Rowan and Martin’s Laugh-In, and Oscar-nominated for Nashville (1975)). Years after making the film, Lily Tomlin admitted that she had been in a decades-old lesbian relationship with the film’s director/writer Jane Wagner (with her directorial debut), when she was placed into this star-making effort.

      The lifeless, dull and cliched script, the uncompelling, mis-matched and irritating lead characters (especially the Tomlin character with her monotone voice and expressions), their vapid dialogue, and the awkwardness of the ill-fated and improbable romantic relationship sank the film. Travolta portrayed Strip (!) Harrison, a young, drug-using runaway drifter, who became infatuated with unsatisfied, icy, middle-aged Beverly Hills housewife Trisha Rawlings in a souring marriage. [Note: The film had an eerie resemblance to Travolta’s own real-life tragic romance with older actress Diana Hyland (with an 18 year age difference), who played his mother in the popular TV movie The Boy in the Plastic Bubble (1976), and who died in 1977 of breast cancer. It also didn’t help that both Travolta and Tomlin had dark hair and shaggy haircuts and looked like siblings in the film, and that Tomlin closely resembled Travolta’s own older sister Ellen – both added an incestuous subtext to the film’s story.]

      The career-ending film was quickly pulled from theatres (inexplicably, Universal released it at Christmas time!) when it became clear how truly awful and embarrassing it was for critics and fans alike – especially the scene of her manually-pleasuring (off-screen) Strip, and their notorious hot-tub scene in which the skinny Tomlin exhibited her rear end. However, for true camp appeal, the film would rate at the top of the scale. Travolta would headline many other flops over the course of his rising and falling career, including the sequel to Saturday Night Fever titled Staying Alive (1983), Two of a Kind (1983) (reuniting him with Grease co-star Olivia Newton-John), Perfect (1985), The Experts (1989), and the monumental disaster Battlefield Earth (2000).

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      • Concluding Case File #37: Moment By Moment:
        http://www.avclub.com/articles/concluding-case-file-37-moment-by-moment,97167/

        That’s the case in 1978’s Moment By Moment, a film that has come to personify miscasting and explosive anti-chemistry the same way the slightly more fruitful pairing of Spencer Tracy and Katharine Hepburn has come to personify chemistry. Moment By Moment has a lot to teach casting directors about chemistry. For starters, if you’re making a heterosexual romance about a sexual bond so potent it transcends age and class, it’s good if at least one of the leads sends out at least a mildly heterosexual vibe. Secondly, if a film is about a May-to-December romance, the leads should probably not look so alike that they more often come off like an incestuous mother-and-son team than conventional lovers.

        Moment By Moment exacerbates this surreal miscalculation by inexplicably giving leads John Travolta and Lily Tomlin (whom I have collectively dubbed “Tratomlin”) pretty much the exact same unflattering haircut, so that they sometimes look like gender-and-age-switched variations on the same person. Physically, Travolta and Tomlin look enough alike for their sexual congress to seem creepy, incestuous, and weirdly masturbatory, but personality-wise they have so little in common that when Tomlin repeatedly tells Travolta, she loves him it not only rings hilariously false; it also cheapens the concept of “love.”

        So while Travolta’s triumphs in the mid- to late-’70s like Carrie, Saturday Night Fever, Grease, and Welcome Back Kotter enjoy a healthy afterlife on lunchboxes, special-edition DVD re-releases, and sing-along theatrical re-releases, Moment By Moment has been relegated to the land of wind and ghosts along with other cinematic orphans no studio or star wants to claim. Despite the names involved, it has never been available on home video in any form, and that includes Beta, VHS, LaserDisc, DVD, and Blu-ray.

        The film has been so hard to find, legally or otherwise, that during an AVQ&A I singled it out as the unattainable art I would like to track down the most, trumping more obvious examples like Jerry Lewis’ The Day The Clown Cried. Thankfully, the Internet is a generous entity, and I was soon deluged with offers to send me bootleg copies of the film for this column.

        Moment By Moment is a film where every miscalculation amplifies the last. The coma-inducing pacing is further hindered by a smooth-jazz score that dares audiences to stay awake during endless, seemingly interchangeable scenes of Travolta jabbering endlessly. Tomlin is rightly regarded as one of the greatest physical comedians of all time, but Moment By Moment perversely casts her in a role devoid of humor and self-deprecation. The editing is so slack that it often feels like we’re watching unedited rushes, not a finished film.

        It’s hard to watch Moment By Moment in 2013 and not secretly see it as the story of a middle-aged lesbian who gets her groove back by having mind-blowing sex with her gay son. Moment By Moment was directed by Jane Wagner, Tomlin’s life partner as well as her professional partner: It had to be weird for Wagner to watch her partner pretend to have sex with a man she clearly is not sexually attracted to, but not, somehow, less weird than it is for the audience. As with so many of the films I have chronicled here, suspension of disbelief becomes impossible. The brain rebels violently against the idea that Travolta and Tomlin could possibly be lovers, let alone destined for a happy ending together.

        At the time, Moment By Moment appeared to be an anomaly in Travolta’s otherwise charmed career, the sole dud in a dazzling string of musical, cinematic, and television triumphs. Yet with the benefit of hindsight, it now looks like the first stirrings of the curious camp figure Travolta would become, a walking punchline who would become synonymous not with his iconic and massive early successes but rather his abundant and extraordinarily public later failures. Travolta was a great winner, but he somehow makes for an even better loser. That’s enough to make him the poster boy for My World Of Flops, along with his Face/Off buddy Nicolas Cage.

        Moment By Moment was the first real flop in a failure-festooned career for John Travolta, so it seems like a good note to end My World Of Flops on.

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  2. For one thing, Savages is pretty good. You just gotta wade thru ’bout 45 minutes of weird three-way crap. Secondly, I have followed his career (because he lives down the road) and never even heard of some of those movies. Thirdly, Get Shorty is his best work. Pulp Fiction is great, but I like Chili Palmer better.

    And I personally appreciate that you don’t speculate on personal lives or odd beliefs. Like Cruise, though, he’s made some bad calls because of it. That was why he wanted to make Battlefield so badly, ’cause Hubbard (a terrible author) wrote it.

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    • I will definitely check out Savages eventually, but I am in no hurry to do so. Oliver Stone is a talented filmmaker. Even his bad movies are worth watching. But he lost me around the time of Natural Born Killers. And Savages has an NBK feel based on the commercials.

      Pulp Fiction is one of my all-time favorite movies. But I don’t consider it a John Travolta movie. Samuel L Jackson steals the show. (Although Walken’s cameo comes close.) Get Shorty is my favorite movie to star Travolta. Be Cool still bothers me.

      Yeah, BFE was a personal mission for Travolta based on his ties to Scientology. It was and still is a huge blind spot for him. At least he’s finally figured out that no one wants to see a sequel to the god-awful thing.

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  3. Big score here, Lebeau!
    -Somehow I had never seen that picture of Travolta in drag. Thanks for that!
    -Anyone who has never seen “Blow Out” should rush to add it to their queue.
    -Don’t kid yourself, Travolta was plenty funny in “Pulp Fiction.”

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    • I do a lot of searches for these articles. I lost track of how many times those final images came up in image searches. I figure if I have to look at them, so does everyone else. 😉

      I saw Blow Out in college. I was in charge of programming the theater at the student center which was a pretty awesome gig. Anyway, I ran Blow Out based on all the raves I had heard about it. And I have to admit, I was a little disappointed. I had built it up in my head to be some Hitchcockian masterpiece on par with Vertigo and Rear Window. Very unrealistic expectations. I have rewatched it since and it is definitely one of DePalma’s better films (and Travolta’s for that matter). But you have to go in expecting DePalma instead of Hitchcock.

      Pulp Fiction is a very funny movie. And Travolta’s funny in it. But it’s a different kind of comedy than Get Shorty which is primarily going for laughs.

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  4. I need to get over my problem with movies that have open displays of drug use. It is hard for me to watch that scene in Pulp Fiction when Uma overdoses.

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    • I remember seeing that in the theater and squirming in my seat. The audience freaked out at the end. It was a good kind of uncomfotable. But, I know what you mean.

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  5. I watched Pulp Fiction last night, and it was better than I remember. Jackson stole every single scene he was in. No wonder he gets the big bucks.

    I did not like NBK at all, won’t watch it ((like Passion of the Christ) and would not recommend Savages if it was like NBK. I also think Stone is overhyped.

    Thinking about Christian Slater yet? It got me thinking about him after you mentioned Broken Arrow. I LOVED True Romance.

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  6. He’s all over the radar…like Kilmer. Never understood his career choices, but the guy can act. Be sure to rewatch Kuffs, too. Silly but very entertaining. He had a new show this year, but I think it got cancelled.

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    • I saw Kuffs in the theater, but haven’t watched it since. Post Heathers, I was a fan. I liked Pump Up the Volume way more than I should have.

      Doesn’t Slater have a show cancelled every year now? 😉

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  7. Funny. No…he was stuck (and may still be stuck) in direct-to-DVD stuff, I think. When you think about it, Slater is perfect for WTHH. I kinda liked Hard Rain, and put it in Film Cemetery.

    There is another actor I’d like to see featured here. Do you only do movie actors?

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    • So far, I have stuck to movie actors. Gradually I have been expanding my scope. So, you never know. Eventually, I may take on TV actors as well. Who did you have in mind?

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  8. The dad from Raising Hope is so versatile. Dillahunt played two separate parts on Dead Wood. He’s not for WTHH…he steals everything he’s in – including Burn Notice and Terminator.

    It’s just a suggestion. I’ve had a man-crush on Garret Dillahunt and Eric Bana for years. I’m weird, it’s true. Maybe, though, that’s the ‘it’ thing you talked about.

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  9. Unlike my friends, I have never found Travolta particularly attractive. However, I think he is charming and charismatic in his roles on screen. My favorite roles of Travolta’s were Get Shorty, Faceoff, Phenomenon and Broken Arrow. If Travolta has had relationships in his life with women and if rumors are correct, with men, wouldn’t that make him bisexual, not gay? Not that it matters. Is it more than a coincidence that whenever Travolta (or Cruise) consider breaking from the Scientology “religion” (I use the term very loosely here), suddenly “gay” rumors begin to surface? We should also take into account Travolta’s intense grief over the accidental death of his son, Jett. The loss of a child is an extremely difficult situation for anyone to deal with, let alone a movie star who is constantly in the spotlight. I am sure Travolta will resurface in a worthy vehicle but he definitely needs some time to recover as well as spending time getting to know his new baby son with whom he and his wife were blessed. Travolta is a rich man and I’m sure that his family is a lot more important to him right now than his career.

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    • Travolta has been through a lot in his personal life. I completely ignored the death of Diana Hyland early in his career. I mentioned the loss of his son, but there is no way I could hope to address the impact that has on every aspect of your life. There’s no doubt it has impacted his career.

      Having said that, Travolta has been on a very long losing since long before that tragedy. At his age, in his shape and surrounded by controversy, I’m not sure another comeback is in the cards for him. Then again, he’s been counted out at least 3 times already. So anything is possible.

      I don’t really anticipate a late-career resurgence a la Sean Connery. But I think he has a lot of years left in him in supporting roles and playing villains.

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      • Although, he did have that Christmas album with Olivia Newton John. Does anyone know if that was a hit? I know it got a lot of bad press, but I think it may have sold well. Couldn’t find any sales figures one way or another. But I’m sure someone out there can save me the trouble of actual research.

        I have learned not to bet against Travolta. Even with the bad press, I think he could come back. Not to the A-list, but I would be very surprised if he doesn’t work again as a supporting actor. Or a leading man in smaller movies. A star of his level never really goes away unless they have just gotten sick of the whole Hollywood thing.

        I am interested in a Kelly Preston write-up eventually. I never realized how many movies she was in without ever really approaching the A-list. It’s kind of amazing really. She had the right look and enough talent that she could have been an A-lister. I always assumed she would have made it if she worked more. But she actually worked a lot in a lot of bad movies.

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        • Craig Hansen

          I know this info is coming a few months late, but the Christmas album that Travolta did last year with Olivia Newton-John peaked on the Billboard album chart at an abysmal #81 late last year. I don’t know how many copies that translates to, but it’s pretty miniscule. If Travolta and Newton-John had released their Christmas album in the late 90’s or so, when Travolta was still a huge draw, i have no dobut it would’ve been a Top 10 album. Clearly things are quite different now.

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        • Very clearly. If they had released it post-Grease, it would be a record breaker. Today, no one wants to spend the holidays with Travolta.

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        • I’ll admit that when I saw Kelly Preston’s name on the poll of future “What the Hell Happened to…” actors/actress I wondered if she was ever close to reaching her full potential (a la Sean Young, Alicia Silverstone, Mena Suvari, and/or Penelope Ann Miller) but some how it never clicked. It seems like Kelly Preston never really had a true “breakout role” (like perhaps, Nicole Kidman during her marriage to Tom Cruise) to make herself be able to not simply be “Mrs. John Travolta”. Kelly probably came the closest in “Twins”, but it just didn’t pan out. And I do agree that at this point in Kelly’s career, she has kind of been relegated to being the go to actress to play the hot, but dotting mother.

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        • The thing that surprised me about Preston was how many movies she popped up in while I was researching other actors. She has had an exceptionally long career. I always expected her to take off, but she never did. Most people, if they know her, know her as Travolta’s wife. But it seems like she should have been a star in her own right given her looks and how many movies she appeared in. I’m interested to explore why that never happened.

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        • The thing about somebody like Denise Richards is that it’s safe to say that she wasn’t/isn’t that great or really good of an actress to begin with. I think all of the negativity that she received for her performance in the James Bond movie (even by the otherwise low standards in that series when it comes to the “Bond Girls”) really curtailed her momentum from being simply “Ms. Fan Service” or nothing more than a tabloid magnet.

          http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/HollywoodHypeMachine

          Denise Richards started out with mostly mediocre movies, but got breast implants and an all-star nude role in Wild Things, making her a household name (amongst men) overnight. A bit of the Hype Machine got underway, but most of her subsequent films were trashed by critics and weren’t too successful at the box-office (with the exception of The World Is Not Enough, and that was hardly down to her), she stopped doing nudity and basically vanished from Hollywood within the year. A failed marriage to Charlie Sheen later, and she’s now more tabloid-bait than an actual star.

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        • I’m not sure Sheen to Travolta is a step down. If I were a hot starlet, I think I’d rather be Travolta’s beard than part of Charlie’s druggie harem. But alas, I have never been a hot starlet. So what do I know?

          I really know very little about Preston at this point. Despite having seen her in I don’t know how many movies, I have never really formed an opinion one way or another. For a long time, I kept expecting her star to rise, but it never did. That’s really my focus at this point. Also, I imagine the article will make a companion piece to the one on Travolta.

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        • I do kind of find the obsession or curiosity over John Travolta’s sexuality very funny because it isn’t like he has been the only high profile actor throughout history who has come under suspicion for such a thing. There are rumors swirling around that Cary Grant was in fact gay if not at least bisexual. And let’s not forget, Rock Hudson, who was I think, the first really high profile figure to die of AIDS. Hudson even married I think his agent’s secretary to divert attention towards his homosexuality.

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    • I really think that the massive failure of “Battlefield Earth” (where John plays a large ham of a villain) besides the gay rumors (especially when he “reinvented himself” as a tough guy when “Pulp Fiction” brought him back to relevancy) severely ruined John Travolta’s box office credibility/marketability. I think w/ “Battlefield Earth”, it wasn’t just that it was a bad movie, it’s the whole ties to Scientology (whether you like to admit it or not, people already have preconceived notions about what Scientology really is about) and the fact that it was a personal pet project of John’s for many, many years. What didn’t help matters is that John to the best of my knowledge didn’t own up to it’s failure (a la George Clooney w/ “Batman & Robin” or Sandra Bullock w/ “Speed 2” and “All About Steve”) and actually pushed for a sequel.

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      • Travolta’s days as a leading man are OVER:
        http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0000237/board/thread/208037031

        I agree he is a legend and one of most talented performers in all of entertainment over the last 30 years.

        As a person however I find his actions not only sad but offensive. Aside from the lies about everything from his sexuality to his hair to the suspicious events of his child’s death…..his shameless promotion of a dangerous cult that destroys lives all over the world and his most recent claims that his Cult has given him healing powers make me repulsed at the mere image of him on screen.

        Rumors about Travolta have been around for years, but nothing like what is happening now. In addition to the male masseuse lawsuits he has been outed by multiple CREDIBLE sources already, there are photos of him both in drag and making out with a man and his alleged longtime gay lover from the 80’s is currently writing a book. With this body of evidence stacked up against his character, I’m not sure how studios market Travolta as a leading man ever again. He’s become a punchline more than anything else these days.

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    • As I have been researching these articles, I have been surprised how many movies Preston has shown up in and how long her career was. For a long time, it seemed like she was on the edge of success and yet it never happened. I’m interested to look into that in more depth.

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  10. He does make a very interesting supporting character.

    Umm…bit of news about my site, lebeau dude. It seems, like the great David Hasselhoff, I’m a big hit in Germany. LOL. Been getting a bunch of very nice emails from some very nice Germans. Wish I knew how to set up a easy-to-use comments section like Jalopnik.

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  11. Like Dune (the Lynch version, although Syfy’s isn’t much better), Battlefield Earth was DOA the minute some thought it would be the next Star Wars prior to its release.
    I sometimes wonder what became of all those Battlefield Earth action figues nobody wanted

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    • lol – They are either in Travolta’s garage or a landfill.

      Dune, man what a missed opportunity. I love Lynch, but I am so glad he didn’t direct The Empire Strikes Back as almost happened.

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  12. travolta did some great movies not all, saturday night fever, urban cowboy, pulp fiction, get short, broken arrow, michael face off, swordfish, old dogs, wild hogs, taking of pelham 123, and from paris with love were my favorites, the rest he did i didn’t give a shit about. now he’s gotten crazy with scientology and now with his gay behavior.

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  13. it’s a wonder why scientology has corrupted many good people we call actors. same with politics too. they are all raving lunatics. now i can’t watch a new film from cruise or travolta because of thier crazyness of scientology. last film i saw was from paris with love that was it. now no more new films from travolta or cruise. now they are on the list of actors whose films i boycott.

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  14. basic was also a good film i forgot to mention as well.

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  15. I have to say – i personally didnt see “Sat night fever” + “Grease” but i know it’s very popular. However, seeing “You’re the 1 i love”, i have to ask why people didnt think John Travolta is gay back then? I have to admit, John’s eyes r strange, with some1 else they would be attractive/sexy but on John’s faces they look so creepy, now that he’s old it is not that creepy but seeing the video of Grease it really is -.-

    Also, talking of Grease, any idea about “The Outsiders” cast? Out of the cast, Tom Cruise, Matt Dillon, Patrick & Diane all have a memorable career. The others i dont know much, did any of them almost make it to be a star? I personally want a close look @ Matt, he doesnt make films anymore -.- and i always thought he was the most chrismatic in that movie, >>>>>> Tom Cruise.

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    • Matt Dillon is high on my list. As I have researched other articles, I keep seeing Matt Dillon. He’s made so many movies! It is really amazing he was never a bigger star. He was a talented and good looking guy. Fo some reason, audiences just never seemed to take to him.

      I have been reluctant to write about the deceased. But when I do, Patrick Swayze will be one of the first I write about.

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  16. PS: why dont u make WTHH for Uma Thurman? I saw Pulp Fiction because of her! (Ok, before i saw PP, i wasnt a film buff -.- and i just saw Kill Bill back then -.- that’s why i also feel bad about Daryl Hannah’s career, tbh, all the women in that movie should have a WTHH, Lucy Liu was such a huge crush of mine)

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    • I plan to do both Thurman and Liu eventually. I want to write about that Lucy Liu/ Bill Murray feud.

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      • If I stick to the schedule I have in mind (which is always up in the air), Thurman will be the next actress I write-up. I expect to write her up in Feb, just not sure when.

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        • I am in the middle of research for an article on Tim Roth to get my “Pulp Faction” series started. Once I get it going, we should tag your Thurman WTHH article to bring the two sets together. I’m also rehearsing a small part in Julius Ceasar right now, so it might be slow coming.

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        • Et tu, Daffy? Sorry, couldn’t resist. Have fun with the show.

          Can’t wait for the Tim Roth article. But wait I shall. We’ll definitely link up when the articles are done. And I hope you’ll do your own take on Uma’s career even if the WTHH article is up first. Travolta too.

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      • http://www.derober.com/2008/06/26/6-crazy-hollywood-stories-you-probably-havent-heard/

        The real reason Bill Murray didn’t do the Charlie’s Angels sequel
        ~ Roll mouse over photo to Derobe ~

        Bill Murray and Lucy Liu didn’t get along on the set of the first Charlie’s Angels. Bill was always uncomfortable around her and nobody knew why until one day a huge fight erupted between the two while they were filming a scene. People Magazine reported the Bill ‘loudly complained about her technique.’ People was being gentle.

        What actually transpired was much more intense. Bill Murray stopped a scene in progress and pointed to Drew Barrymore, Cameron Diaz, and Lucy Liu saying in order, “I get why you’re here, and you’ve got talent….but what in the hell are you doing here. You can’t act!” At that, Liu blew her lid and attacked Murray, wildly throwing punches. The actors had to be separated to opposite corners of the room while they lobbed verbal hand grenades at each other.
        With a Columbia Pictures gun to their heads, both actors would publicly downplay in incident but insiders know better. Bill Murray would not do any sequel with Liu attached and was subsequently replaced by Bernie Mac.

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      • http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0628601/board/flat/201603913?p=1

        http://www.imdb.com/news/ni0054760/ :Mission: Impossible II (2000) star Thandie Newton has blamed actress Lucy Liu for creating tension on the set of the Charlie’s Angels (2000). The beautiful brunette – who was originally set to star in film but was forced to pull out when the filming schedule clashed with M:I2 believes that there wouldn’t have been any on set bickering if she had taken the role. She says, “If I had been working on the film there would have been no arguments and everyone would have been happy. ” The actress believes the problems stem from the Ally McBeal star massive ego. She adds, “It’s a problem with dynamics and ego’s. Obviously the dynamics between them mean that there were always going to be problems and the problem is with Lucy; the other two seem to be fine.”

        Like

  17. do you think john travolta will do expendables 3 with sylvester stallone and nicolas cage and the rest of the cast, lebeau?

    Like

    • I think Travolta would absolutely do that if he is invited. He released a Christmas album this year. I think he’ll do anything. People are going to be fighting over parts in Expendables 3.

      Like

  18. if john travolta worked with good action stars of the 80s 90s and right now i would see it. even though i hate tom hanks, i would still love to see him, travolta and robin williams in a movie together.

    Like

  19. Here’s a thought: you should do a WTHH to Stallone. I guess you could argue his career is doing OK right now with Expandables and what not. But whatever: I just want to read your thoughts on his flicks and his rise and fall. His movies are so perfect for making fun of – I think you would agree.

    Like

    • If it weren’t for The Expendables, I would have done Stallone last year. That bought him some time. But I’ll definitely feature him eventually.

      Like

      • The sixth “Rocky” movie was pretty well received, so if you ask me, that kind of helped bring Stallone “back” so to speak.

        http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/CareerResurrection

        Sylvester Stallone in Rocky Balboa. Technically, his first resurrection was with Cliffhanger, that helped him Win Back The Crowd after two horrible comedies. But then his career choices were rather unfortunate (besides the critically acclaimed Cop Land, Demolition Man and a voice acting role in Antz). After some self-parodying in Spy Kids 3D, he decided to go back to what started his career. Rocky Balboa was a critical and commercial hit, and allowed Stallone to finally make a fourth Rambo, and follow it with the action film with a dream cast The Expendables.

        Like

        • The 6th Rocky was way better than it had any right to be. I was very pleasantly surprised. It’s one of the best films in the series which really isn’t very high praise. Rockies 4 and 5 were awful.

          From memory, The fourth Rambo was kind of a disappointment. If anything, I think it took some of the wind out of the sails of Stallone’s comeback.

          The Expendables was a really remarkable recovery. I don’t really expect it to last long. But the fact that Stallone made himself relevant at all in the 21st century is nothing short of amazing.

          Like

  20. Then again, since “Bullet in the Head” recently underperformed at the box office, maybe Stallone is once again “at risk” for getting a future WTHHT.

    Like

  21. rocky 4 was great because of propeling dolph lundgren to action hero status in 80s and now. don’t say 4th was bad it was better than 5 , but 6 was good too, you’re right about that. i would love to see arnold and sly’s the tomb do good in the box office.

    Like

  22. Travolta was never my personal cup of tea, although this was the minority opinion among teenage girls when SNL and Kotter were big. Nevertheless, I have respect for an acting career that has spanned, let’s face it, 50 YEARS. I also like it that Lebeau writes about his career and only touches on the personal drama whereas lately the tabloid fodder eclipes his career which I don’t think is right.

    Like

  23. I posted in the Mel Gibson’s WTHHT comment section that in a way, John Travolta is in a similar position as Mel. Both of them managed to keep their supposed “skeletons” (Mel’s alcoholism and rage issues and John’s alleged gay behavior and to a lesser extent, the suspicious circumstances behind his son’s death) in check for as long as possible before it finally reaching an embarrassing conclusion. Their personal scandals more than likely severely ruined their marketability and credibility as leading men in mainstream movies. What perhaps makes it especially hard is that they’ve aged a lot since their prime (LeBeau pointed out that John let himself go physically too much, but don’t forget his dramatically receding hairline).

    Like

      • Will A Gay Tell-All Book Destroy John Travolta’s Career—And Marriage?

        http://www.queerty.com/will-a-gay-tell-all-book-destroy-john-travoltas-career-and-marriage-20120614/

        If you haven’t gotten your fill of reading about John Travolta’s sordid sex scandals, you’ll be happy to hear that Doug Gotterba, Travolta’s former pilot and alleged lover of six years, is currently negotiating a tell-all book.

        The National Enquirer—whose track record is getting eerily good about these things—is reporting that Gotterba has lined up two writers to help him tell his story.

        Intrepid gossip-hounds might recall the incriminating shot of Travolta lip-locking nanny Jeff Kathlein on an airport runway some years back. At the time, the Pulp Fiction dismissed it as just a warm greeting. (Yeah, if you live in France.)

        But Travolta’s former assistant, Joan Edwards and Gotterba’s ex-boyfriend, Robert Britz, have largely confirmed the affair with Gotterba: “Doug told me right at the beginning of our relationship that he’d had a homosexual relationship with John Travolta in the 1980s.” Britz tells the Enquirer, “Doug said John was constantly grabbing at his genital area, but he put up with John’s sexual advances because working for him was ‘lucrative.’”

        Gotterba continued the alleged relationship with Travolta until, according to Britz, Travolta’s weight gain between films became too much for him and his sexual advances began to “repulse him.”

        There’s speculation that this could be the final straw for actress Kelly Preston, Travolta’s wife of more than 20 years. After the recent allegations from several male masseurs , as well as two lawsuits, Preston has been keeping a very low profile. This fresh chapter in the seemingly never-ending tale of woe may prove to be too much.

        Like

  24. 20 Movies That Made Us Think Differently About The Actors In Them (And Not In A Good Way):
    http://styleblazer.com/73727/20-movies-that-made-us-think-differently-about-the-actors-in-them-and-not-in-a-good-way/8/

    In Hollywood there is a book. And in this book there is a list of bad movies by decent actors. On this list is John Travolta. And next to his name is Battlefield Earth. Fortunately the man has made a career of comebacks. But no one can ever trust him with an epic Sci-Fi tale again.

    Like

  25. Once They Were Stars, Now They’re All Too Easy Targets:15 Celebrities Whose Careers Have Become Punchlines:
    http://styleblazer.com/132100/once-they-were-stars-now-theyre-all-too-easy-targets15-celebrities-whose-careers-have-become-punchlines/5/

    John Travolta’s career went downhill in the late 80s and it took Quentin Tarantino’s Pulp Fiction to revive it. The actor has seemingly been on top ever since, though recent allegations of inappropriate sexual behavior may have changed that. Last year a quartet of accusations were leveled at the actor claiming Travolta engaged in inappropriate sexual trysts with his male masseurs. Soon after a former pilot came forward claiming that he carried on a six-year affair with Travolta during the 1980s. This only helped stir the pot for comedians who grand high time contrasting the allegations with Travolta’s family man image (in spite of the fact the claims were later dropped). Even Carrie Fisher came out in December to claim “everyone” in Hollywood knew he was gay. Travolta and his legal team have continued to dodge the rumors through litigation and the actor seems to have cleared himself of any wrongdoing. Still, the whole saga remains a prime target for humor and whether or not the claims will impact his movie career remains to be seen.

    Like

    • Career Killing Films:
      http://www.avmaniacs.com/forums/showthread.php?t=46334&p=830185&viewfull=1#post830185

      That made me think of this:

      John Travolta’s career took a huge nose dive after STAYING ALIVE, and Tarantino helped resurrect him with PULP FICTION. This, and subsequent events, gave him the power to make the terrible BATTLEFIELD EARTH. However, EARTH didn’t really stop his career again, as he’s still getting work in fairly high profile films (in box-office receipt terms).

      Also- anyone else notice that Val Kilmer and John Travolta have almost identical physiques at this point? Weird.

      Like

      • 12 Actors Whose Careers Were Destroyed By A Single Movie:
        http://whatculture.com/film/12-actors-whose-careers-were-destroyed-by-a-single-movie.php/8

        5. John Travolta – Battlefield Earth

        The Actor: It was originally Grease that ended John Travolta’s career, until Quentin Tarantino made the brilliant decision to pair him up with Samuel L. Jackson in Pulp Fiction. Now his failings at looking like a high schooler had been negated by actual acting ability, the future looked bright for Travolta.

        The Film: Enter Battlefield Earth. If you ever wondered what the point was when his style went from Vince Vega to identikit Euro action look no further than this misguided sci-fi you should be ridiculed for even watching. Travolta was instrumental in the film getting made – as a Scientologist he had a big desire to see a novel by it’s founder, L. Ron Hubbard, on the big screen – and really should have realized he was onto a loser when no major studio would plump up any money for his script. The film was universally panned and performed terribly, bankrupting it’s production company in the process.

        What Happened Next: Hairspray. And just about nothing else. Travolta’s heavy involvement in the film hurt him bad, leading to a decade of cheap films necessary only to pay the bills. His role in Hairspray got some plaudits, but mostly as part of the bigger cast. Look out for him later this year in Killing Season alongside other has-been Robert De Niro. Boy, I can wait.

        Like

        • Again (following up on my comments in the Mike Myers article) Battlefield Earth was a speed bump for Travolta. But it did not ruin his career. He continued getting high profile lead roles for a decade after BE. The fact that he made bad to mediocre movies for a decade ruined his career for the third time. And his personal scandals are the real nail in the coffin.

          Like

  26. 10 actors who tried to bounce back from a flop:
    http://www.denofgeek.us/movies/13978/10-actors-who-tried-to-bounce-back-from-a-flop

    JOHN TRAVOLTA
    The Flop: Battlefield Earth

    It’s not a widely known fact, but Battlefield Earth, in spite of the way that critics dismantled it, and in spite of the way it dropped down the box office chart like a stone, turned in a profit. That said, considering it was touted as one of 1999’s big blockbusters, it still failed to do anything like the business that was hoped for, and given that it was John Travolta’s dream project, it was he that took most of the flack for it.

    So how did he attempt to recover his career for the second time, this time without the help of Quentin Tarantino (who dug him out of the doldrums first time round with a role of a lifetime in Pulp Fiction)? Not well, really. Lucky Numbers was a tepid flop with Lisa Kudrow, although he was on far safer, and more successful, ground with Swordfish the following year. That should have been a platform to build on, but Travolta failed to choose wisely. Instead, he ended up in the likes of Domestic Disturbance, Basic, The Punisher (2004 vintage) and Ladder 49, continuing his poor choices with the forgettable Get Shorty sequel, Be Cool.

    More recently, he’s just about clawed back his movie career off the back of ensemble piece Wild Hogs, and dragging up in the musical version of Hairspray. But could his name lead a film single-handedly to a $30-40m opening weekend? Not any more, it seems…

    Career status: just about hanging in.

    Like

  27. Mr. Floppy 9.22.07: Battlefield Earth:The Saga of the Year 3000:
    http://www.411mania.com/movies/columns/60206/Mr.-Floppy-9.22.07:-Battlefield-Earth:The-Saga-of-the-Year-3000.htm

    Year of the cock-up : 2000

    Budget : $73,000,000

    Domestic gross : $21,471,685

    Foreign gross: $8,253,978

    Worldwide gross: $29,725,663

    Scientology is a pesky little thing. This world holds so many different religions, it’s fascinating each of them has its devoted followers. And what better followers than the cream of Hollywood’s crop?
    Over the last few years, Scientology has become quite popular with celebrities and nowadays it really is the thing to do, once you reach a certain monetary (and perhaps mental) status as a show-business personality. Like the Rubik’s cube in the 80’s—everybody wants to try it. The list of official members of the Church of Scientology includes several well-known names: Tom Cruise (the world’s number 1 Scientology and silent birth ambassador), Kristie Alley, Beck, Isaac Hayes, Jason Lee, Jenna Elfman and of course John Travolta. Now, to Travolta’s credit, he jumped on the Scientology bandwagon way before it became sort of fashionable. But the ranks of Hollywood Scientologists are expanding and they’ll soon be able to form a solid little army. And then, the only thing the world is going to anxiously await, is a battle between Hollywood Scientologists and Hollywood Kabbalists (among others- Madonna, Demi Moore, Ashton Kutcher, Jeff Goldblum)—if nowhere else, at least on a talk-show. I’m sure a Tom Cruise vs. Ashton Kutcher verbal sparring would be worth pay-per-view money. But back to John.

    As a respectable member of his community, John Travolta obviously knows that American author L. Ron Hubbard created the set of self-improvement techniques and beliefs, which he called, you guessed it, Scientology. Apart from his prophetic teachings, Hubbard was also a regular, fiction-writing author and from this branch of his creative mind comes the epic story known as Battlefield Earth. It actually was a solid hit and has sold over 8 million copies to date. I haven’t read the book, but from what I’ve read about it- it’s extremely long (circa 1000 pages) and the response to it differed, although many respectable sci-fi/fantasy personas praised the story, notably- Neil Gaiman (go see Stardust!), Robert A. Heinlein and Frederik Pohl. The potential for a good movie was there, but a story this long and widespread would require a cautious and sound approach. John Travolta thought he was just the man for the job.

    Fueled by passion for his chosen religion, Travolta was somewhat trying fulfill a dream of his, as well as pay homage to Hubbard with this movie. So after his career was reignited by Pulp Fiction in 1994, Travolta started relentlessly pursuing studios in hope of getting Battlefield Earth made. His obscure descriptions of the book started at about this point in time, when he mentioned it in many interviews, characterizing it as “a Pulp Fiction for the year 3000”. No comments from Quentin Tarantino are available on this matter. To help him lobbying for the movie, several Scientologists came out of their caves and persuaded Bill Mechanic, the head of Twentieth Century Fox at the time. Their antics didn’t help matters however, since they weirded poor Mechanic out a lot more than they made him interested in the project.

    In 1997, Travolta’s long-time manager Jonathan Krane somehow managed to sign a two-year deal with Twentieth Century Fox under which that studio would release Battlefield Earth. This deal also didn’t work out and finally fell through, because the studio found the proposed material too risky, too expensive (a lot of visual effects) and the Scientology part of it all wasn’t helping matters either. Even though many prospective artists bitch about studio involvement, as proven in this case, studio heads can also be right every now and then.

    Travolta’s pursuit didn’t end there and in 1999, he finally got his wish. Franchise Entertainment took the project under its wings, as an independent production for Morgan Creek Productions, which would then release the film through Warner Bros. in the U.S., with Franchise Entertainment retaining the rights for foreign distribution. John Travolta and Scientologists worldwide were ecstatic— the epic novel of their “father” would finally be brought to the silver screen.

    The movie was directed by an unknown Roger Christian and starred Travolta himself as the dreadlock-wearing bad guy, Barry Pepper as a heroic caveman and Forest Whitaker, obviously making money to pay the rent, as Travolta’s lackey. The production proceeded uneventfully, but suspicions concerning Travolta’s involvement arose. The thing is, the movie was directed by an unknown guy like Christian for a reason. J.T. wanted to be heavily involved with the movie’s final shape, so it was natural he hired someone who wouldn’t protest when he came up with some nifty ideas.

    After the shooting was finished, Travolta hyped the movie everywhere he showed his face, once again pulling out very strange descriptions of the film from his sleeve. For example, he was quoted saying: “It’s going to be the best movie in history. Star Wars combined with Indiana Jones.” To this day, nobody was able to decipher what exactly he meant by that.

    To add to the hype, speculations about subliminal signals, promoting the Church of Scientology ran rampant, but fortunately for the public, they were proven to be false. Could these rumors be the reason why people didn’t go to the cinema? After all, the image of going to a movie and coming out with hunger for Scientology is very, very disturbing, not to mention downright scary.

    The movie about the remaining humans existing under brutal tyranny of Psychlons (aliens who came here to mine gold, know everything there is to know about us and yet have no idea about Fort Knox) was released on May 12th, 2000 and its opening weekend earnings stopped at a dismal $11,548,898. Disappointment is too weak of a word for the feelings good John must have been experiencing at the time. It stayed in the theaters for two months, but 95 % of the total income was made during the first two weeks. The critical response was extraordinarily bad, as the movie was trashed for virtually every single aspect. Roger Ebert said that the film is going to become synonymous with movie failures for decades to come. He may have been right. Travolta was ridiculed in many of the reviews and his sinusoid of a career found itself once again right at the bottom. The film covered only half of Hubbard’s book as Travolta obviously had a sequel in his mind. After the film’s colossal failure, it never happened.

    The film was also criticized for shamelessly stealing every single visual finesse from different movies. Apart from stealing a plenty from Star Wars, Travolta also all but duplicated the lobby shootout from The Matrix. Of course, none of these interpretations were even remotely close to the original and combined with the headache inducing camera tricks (John’s attempt at being cool), the film’s visual was downright atrocious.

    Just like our last week’s inductee, Battlefield Earth was a huge success at the Razzies, taking home seven awards, with Forest Whitaker being the only one who didn’t get one. Reportedly, he wasn’t saddened over the loss. Also, the film is a mainstay in imdb’s Bottom 100, currently having the average rating of 2.3.

    Surprising thing is that Travolta still hasn’t admitted his dream project ended-up sucking worse than Look who’s talking now (and take my word for it- that is saying SOMETHING). He still wishes to make the remaining part of the story and refuses to admit Battlefield Earth really is one giant, steaming turd. A turd like this one right here:

    L. Ron Hubbard was a controversial persona, but Scientology aside, his sci-fi novels really might be pretty good. And this is how his legacy is going to be represented and remembered- by a desperately bad movie and Tom Cruise jumping on a couch. Poor guy. At the very least, he had the luck of dying 14 years before this atrocity hit the cinemas. No matter how big of a loony this guy was- he would have to be ashamed to have his name attached to this.

    Mr. Floppy

    John, John, John. You are the one to get the award this week, since you were pushing for the project right from the start and you could have definitely realized that what you’re creating is downright idiotic.

    I remember seeing this thing and shaking my head at the idiocy of the plot. Not naivety, which was reportedly characteristic for Hubbard’s novel. I’m not talking about the idea of aliens coming here to mine f***in’ gold. OK, we all can use the neat little thing called suspension of disbelief. But I can not accept the strong illogicality, which the characters demonstrated through the entire film (mainly the Psychlons, since humans were idiots basically). I can not accept that the film takes part in the year 3000 and yet, all the books in an old, dusty library where Travolta’s character takes Pepper’s caveman have pages white as a snow. The dreadlock-wearing Psychlons also had to be complete morons if they lost the battle with humans in this movie, since they were an ultra-advanced, technocratic civilization and yet were defeated by a group of Neanderthals. Another true pearl is that the humans really lived like cavemen within this story, but of course Barry Pepper was able to teach them how to pilot a Harrier in 7 days (let alone the fact those Harriers were unattended for 1000 years, yet still worked perfectly)! The folks at RAF must have been nodding in approval- 7 days folks, that’s all you need. And then, these ape-like creatures manage to defeat The Psychlons, using those Harriers. Yes, this movie sucks, but is a pretty satisfying guilty pleasure.

    John Travolta is notoriously known for not having the best nose for scripts, but even he should have known better. It didn’t end his career, but his Tarantino-created comeback basically came to an end here. He was on a stable decline until this year, where he managed to score two big hits- Wild Hogs and Hairspray. But the sinusoid rule really fits his career to a T, so it’s probably just a matter of time before he manages to flop again. Fortunately, Forest Whitaker’s career wasn’t slaughtered by this (like Barry Pepper’s for example) and he was able to still receive good roles on his way to finally win an Oscar earlier this year.

    Since Battlefield Earth was a John Travolta vehicle, I hereby award him the title—Mr. Floppy.

    Like

    • 10 Films That Were Clearly Vanity Projects:
      http://whatculture.com/film/10-films-that-were-clearly-vanity-projects.php/9

      3. Battlefield Earth – John Travolta

      John Travolta envisioned Battlefield Earth as the new Star Wars, revolutionising the sci-fi genre and inspiring millions with charismatic characters, a beautifully structured plot and tense action that kept the viewer gripped to their seat. Only problem was, Battlefield Earth contained none of these things and has since gone on to be the figurehead of highly misjudged films.

      Clearly a very personal pet project for Travolta, he seemingly felt compelled to spread the message of Scientology to the masses through the film. Based on the novel by scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard, people involved with the film used this Scientology connection as reason for its failure but it simply isn’t true. Poor pacing, terrible dialogue, hammy special effects, strange titled camera work and utilising a series of incredible coincidences make Battlefield Earth a chore to watch.

      While no one comes out of the film with dignity intact, Travolta in particular seems bewildered by his surroundings. His acting is embarrassingly awful, over-reaching every syllable and introducing mannerisms that seem to hint at the film laughing at itself. Watching Travolta give everything to a project is admirable but the results are simply too hilarious not to laugh at.

      Battlefield Earth will remain as one of the worst films ever created, just make sure to tilt your head accordingly next time you watch it.

      Like

  28. Greatest Box-Office Bombs, Disasters and Film Flops:
    http://www.filmsite.org/greatestflops10.html

    Staying Alive (1983)
    Director: Sylvester Stallone
    Studio/Distributor: Paramount Pictures
    Budget: $18 million
    Domestic Gross: $64.9 million
    Rentals: $33.7 million

    Co-written and directed by self-obsessed Sylvester Stallone and produced by Robert Stigwood, this 6 years-after disappointing sequel to Saturday Night Fever (1977) followed up with the Tony Manero signature role (played again by Oscar-nominated John Travolta) in Manhattan – now a jazz dance instructor and bar waiter at a dance club attempting to break into Broadway dance shows and being rebuffed at auditions. Although he had a relationship with another struggling and supportive, ‘girl-next-door’ dancer named Jackie (Cynthia Rhodes, seen also in Flashdance (1983) and later appearing in Dirty Dancing (1987)), he fell hard for long-haired, icy British dancer and wealthy, bitchy diva Laura (Finola Hughes, better known for the daytime soap opera General Hospital and as the make-over show host of “How Do I Look?” on the Style Network) who used him sexually – soon followed, coincidentally and miraculously, by his securing of a minor role (and then the co-starring male lead role) in Laura’s new show titled Satan’s Alley. The love triangle between the two women and Travolta formed the basis for the overheated plot.

    The dull-acted performances from heartless characters (especially Manero’s irresponsible, insecure, mean-spirited, manipulative, misogynistic and insensitive role), the choppy musical and dance scenes, the completely predictable and cliched dialogue, the repetitive and monotonous plot, the over-powering pop soundtrack with some forgettable BeeGees songs and brother Frank Stallone’s chart-topping hit “Far From Over” made this the worst sequel ever made (according to Entertainment Weekly magazine in 2006), and it was also voted the fifth Worst Film of all time by Maxim magazine in 2002. The screenplay’s superior first draft by Norman Wexler was flattened into this one-dimensional musical drama (Rocky-ized) by Stallone through his unoriginal directing and scripting – ignoring everything that made the original film such a hit.

    Although this musical dance sequel wasn’t a major box-office flop, the film was savagely and soundly criticized as a prime example of horrible film-making, and it received three Razzie Awards nominations: Worst Actor (John Travolta, also for Two of a Kind (1983)), Worst New Star and Worst Supporting Actress (Finola Hughes). Travolta had already been vilified for taking the starring romantic lead role in Moment by Moment (1978) with Lily Tomlin, and this film encouraged more mixed reviews for his career, with the downward spiral continuing for more of his films in the 80s, including Two of a Kind (1983) and Perfect (1985).

    Like

  29. Craig Hansen

    I have to say, John Travolta had one of the greatest career comebacks of all time in 1994 with Pulp Fiction. Prior to that, his career was a joke. Literally. I still remember an episode of The Simpsons that aired right before Pulp Fiction was released, where Homer and Marge go to a night club that has a theme: it’s always New Years Eve, 1979. While at the bar, Marge comments to Homer “Ooh, look Homer, the bartender looks EXACTLY like John Travolta!” After they walk away, the bartender, looking forlorn, mutters to himself “Yeah….. looks like.”

    That funny throwaway gag showcased perfectly where Travolta’s career was. It’s not possible to overstate what Pulp Fiction did for him, did for his career. Travolta literally shot straight back up to the A-list, and he followed up nicely for several years with a consistent string of box office hits…. until Battlefield Earth happened. But looking past the recent decline, I honestly can’t think of another actor that had a bigger comeback than Travolta did in the 90’s.

    Are there any other actors or actresses that anyone else can think of that also had a tremendous comeback from obscurity to A-list similar to Travolta?

    Like

    • What about Tom Hanks? Bounced back from some early flops to A+ list. of course, he has never left A list since.

      Like

      • True. I’m not sure he was ever as low as Travolta was. But he was in a slump. Although he climbed out of it slowly whereas Travolta bounced back in a single movie.

        Like

    • Travolta’s comeback is hard to top. Eddie Murphy had a pretty impressive comeback with Nutty Professor. Patrick Swayze with Ghost. But no, off the top of my head I can’t think of a comeback that rivals Travolta’s.

      Like

  30. Thinking about it more, I’d have to add Robert Downey Jr. to the list of impressive comebacks. But Downey is not a direct comparison to Travolta (or competitor to his king-of-the-comeback throne), if anything it’s more of an apples-to-oranges comparison. I say that because while Travolta was huge in the late 70’s and undeniably an A-list star after Saturday Night Fever, Grease and Urban Cowboy, by comparison Downey never really was A-list before Iron Man. Oh, sure, Downey had a long career going back to the late 80’s, but he mostly played supporting roles in films, he would get critical acclaim but he was never really in any big hit movies or blockbusters before Iron Man. Movies like Chaplin, Restoration, Natural Born Killers, U.S. Marshals, Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, etc, did only modest business at the box office. Since Iron Man, however, he has headlined Due Date and the Sherlock Holmes films to great success and has finally arrived on the A-list. But his comeback isn’t like Travolta’s, who had a meteoric climb to the top of the A-list in the late 70’s, fell into obscurity for a long time, then rose to the A-list again after Pulp Fiction.

    Like

    • Nothing to add. You nailed it.

      Eastwood might be a contender. He was pretty irrelevant post Dirty Harry, pre-Unforgiven.

      Like

    • 5 Acting Performances That Defied The Years:
      http://whatculture.com/film/5-acting-performances-that-defied-the-years.php/5

      He may well be the youngest member of the list, but Robert Downey, Jr. is also the one that had the most to come back from. A young Downey first began to gain notoriety with appearances in the Brat Pack related films, Less Than Zero and Weird Science. From here it looked like he began to forge a promising career for himself in both supporting and leading roles. After appearing in high profile films like Air America and Soapdish, Downey played the lead role in Chaplin and received an Oscar nomination for best lead actor. It looked like this would be the role that set him on his way as a leading man, but his ever present personal problems would soon derail the momentum that he had worked so hard to build.

      Downey was long considered a bad boy in Hollywood-his drug problems were no secret- but things would get progressively worse, as his issues began to lead him into trouble with the law. His various arrests are too many in number to list here, but the long and the short of it is that he ended up in jail and his career seemed to be over. Following his release from prison he looked to be getting his life back on track with a stint on Ally McBeal, but following another arrest he was fired and would be right back as square one all over again. Finally after years of trying, in 2003 Robert Downey, Jr. got himself clean and took on the challenge of restarting a career that had shown so much promise, before his demons got in the way.

      The road to redemption for Downey would be complicated one- studios were reluctant to hire him due to the risk that his problems presented- the majority of his salary for Gothika was withheld until completion as insurance. He would receive similar treatment for years to come. Eventually after rebuilding trust within the industry and interest from the public, with roles such as Harry Lockhart in Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, he was trusted with the lead role in a major blockbuster. There are many that feel Downey was born to play the role of Tony Stark, the look and the larger than life charisma combined to exude everything that Iron Man fans imagined and the movie launched both franchise and the actor into the stratosphere.

      There is no explaining how much of a gamble this was, Iron Man was the launch of a potentially billion dollar franchise and its lead star was a drug addict with a history off legal problems. He repaid Marvel faith with a brilliant performance and he has looked back since, as of this moment there are few bigger stars than Robert Downey, Jr..

      Like

  31. The Razzies are like any other award. They are at least 95% political. They target popular actors who are off their game so they can make headlines. They are rarely ever the worst performances just like the Oscar doesn’t always go to the best.

    Like

    • The most ridiculous Razzie award of all time was back in ’99, they nominated Sophia Coppola as Worst Supporting Actress in Star Wars: The Phantom Menace. The thing is, she was basically just a silent extra in the film playing one of Queen Amidala’s handmaidens in a couple scenes; I’m a huge Star Wars fan and as many times as I’ve watched that movie I still can’t figure out which one of the handmaidens is her. So how the people at the Razzies singled her out for horrible acting when she was just an extra is beyond ridiculous. I realize there was a backlash for the film, but that is really reaching.

      Like

  32. When John Travolta’s “Wild Hogs” co-star, Tim Allen make a good “What the Hell Happened to…” subject down the line? Here’s a video to put things into proper perspective:

    Tim Allen recently went back to TV w/ a show called “Last Man Standing”. The original premise seemed to be sort of like “Home Improvement”, if Tim Allen’s character had all daughters instead of sons. But come the second season, it had arguably one of the most disastrous or controversial (depending on your point of view) cases of retooling in recent memory by recasting the actress playing his eldest daughter and trying to model the show after “All in the Family” (w/ Tim Allen’s character meant to be a modern day Archie Bunker). Todd VanDerWerff of AVClub.com went on to write that “Last Man Standing’s” second season was the weirdest sitcom season since “’Til Death”.

    Like

    • Here’s the full article from AVClub.com:
      http://www.avclub.com/articles/last-man-standings-second-season-was-the-weirdest,95857/

      Between Last Man Standing’s first and second seasons, the largely non-distinct sitcom, mostly known for being Tim Allen’s return to television, had a choice to make. Headed for Fridays, the second least-watched night of the week (after Saturdays), the program had to do something to make some noise and hopefully attract viewership. Simply having Allen in the cast wasn’t going to do it any longer. So, as Allen and new showrunner Tim Doyle discussed with the New York Post, the choice was made to try to turn a bland family sitcom into a modern-day Norman Lear comedy, complete with arguing about social issues, Barack Obama, and the nation’s legacy of genocide.

      Did it work? Having watched all 18 episodes of the show’s second season, I can’t really say that it made the show better, but it certainly made it weirder. (And in terms of ratings, it allowed the show to keep the lights on on Friday, no mean feat.) Its attempt to put a finger on the country’s pulse made it much more worthy of discussion than when it was just about some angry guy living with too many women, as it was in its first season. It’s like when ’Til Death turned into a strange meta-sitcom in its final season, though somehow even more misguided.

      The basic premise of Last Man Standing is the same as Allen’s former sitcom hit, Home Improvement, only his character, Mike Baxter, has three adolescent-and-older daughters, instead of three child sons. The oldest daughter, Kristin, was the promising one who was going to succeed, until she had a child late in high school, and she’s lived in her parents’ house with her son, Boyd, ever since. Middle daughter Mandy is a ditzy fashionplate. Youngest daughter Eve is the one who’s closest to her dad, into things like soccer and hunting. There’s an outdoor-store workplace setting where Mike deals with crotchety boss Ed (meant to be the even more hyper-masculine version of Mike in season one) and dumbass employee Kyle. And in the second season, the show made an attempt to flesh out the neighborhood the Baxters lived in with a handful of recurring characters, including a black couple who become fast friends with the Baxters, and a Latina maid. In addition, the second season added the father of Kristin’s son, Ryan, as a semi-regular, meant to be the Meathead to Mike’s Archie Bunker.

      The problem with Last Man Standing’s attempts to go political is exemplified by the first scene of the season première, which remains one of the most uncomfortable scenes of television I’ve ever watched. It’s not even really bad so much as it’s actively discomfiting, doing its best to push buttons in the audience that don’t need to be pushed, as if it thinks what made Lear’s sitcoms a success was the yelling or the mentions of social issues that people sometimes argued about. Mike says Obama was born in Kenya. Kristin and Ryan make fun of Romney for being a robot. It goes on and on and gets more and more squirm-inducing, but in a way that is clearly meant to be a good time. This is the new height of political humor?

      The characters on Last Man Standing don’t speak about issues in any sort of nuanced manner, nor do they have terribly deep discussions about them. They mostly repeat buzzwords and shout at each other a lot. The show wanted to make Mike into a conservative hero, but it didn’t bother giving him a consistent worldview. He’s just somebody who spouts Fox News talking points a lot, and while that may be somewhat true to life—in that most modern political arguments between left and right tend to boil down to talking points gleaned from elsewhere—it doesn’t make the experience of watching people shout pithy, empty phrases at each other any more interesting or involving. What’s more, Mike’s main liberal competition—Ryan and, occasionally, Kristin—tend to speak as if they came up with their own political positions from reading the list of tags at the bottom of posts on a left-wing blog.

      Again, this is true to life. Few political arguments—particularly those among family—have the level of nuance one might expect from, say, a mythical boxing match between Paul Krugman and Milton Friedman. And, thinking back on All In The Family, Archie and Mike Stivic’s arguments on that show rarely had much nuance to them, either; the series gained much of its power from moments when it could step outside of their limited points-of-view and depict the world as it actually was. What made All In The Family’s political arguments work—what made the vast majority of all of Lear’s series featuring such arguments work—were the character stakes. The idea that Archie and Mike would love or even respect each other at the end of one of those knockdown shouting matches wasn’t taken for granted. They really might end up pushing each other too far, and did on occasion. The relationship, which grew to a kind of grudging respect and finally love, was one of the best developed in television history.

      It’s unfair to hold a relationship that’s only existed for 18 episodes of television to that sort of standard, but the central problem with Last Man Standing’s political arguments is that the show A) never gives viewers a reason to care whether Mike and Ryan respect each other at the end of the day (after all, Ryan’s not even a series regular), and B) takes it for granted that the two will respect, and maybe even love, each other. Ryan abandoned the mother of his child and said child for three years and has returned, trying to right his wrongs. The Baxters have every right to be suspicious of him, and it would be easy enough to turn Mike and Ryan’s political arguments into arguments about something more fundamental in their relationship: what Mike perceives as Ryan’s utter inability to help out Kristin when the chips were down. That’s interesting. That’s drama. But Last Man Standing runs away from it at every occasion.

      The series has the right idea in trying to ground the political in the personal. For 99 percent of us, politics is personal. Think, for instance, of the relief you might have felt when Obama won last year, or the despair you might have felt when Romney lost. Those emotions may have been driven by something politically concrete on one level, but they were also driven by a more fundamental, emotional level. No matter how much you may believe in [insert issue here], every election comes down to a choice between something you identify strongly with and something you do not. The two-party system all but guarantees this. When the characters on a Norman Lear political sitcom argue, this is what they’re really arguing about: the defense of the self against something that would encroach upon it. Too often on Last Man Standing, however, the characters just argue about politics to give each other a hard time. There’s little sense of passion, and even when the characters come up against a problem that’s truly insoluble—where there are significant arguments to be made on both sides—the show chickens out and ultimately buries everything under a gloss of, “Well, at least we all still love each other!” Take, for instance, the episode “Mother Fracking.”

      Mike’s wife Vanessa (the great Nancy Travis, given sadly little to do) is a geologist, and part of her work involves using the process known as fracking to gather natural gas. Eve’s terrified of the impact this might have on the planet, so she stages a one-girl protest. Vanessa rightly points out that the best current method of finding energy comes from fossil fuels. The choice is presented along admirably stark lines: Enjoy the modern comforts that in many cases keep us alive, or probably fuck up the planet irreparably. There’s a real opportunity here to strain a relationship between mother and daughter, one viewers actually do care about. Instead, Mike tells Eve that her mother does her best, and maybe Eve shouldn’t give Vanessa a hard time, since she really loves her little girl. And… that’s about it.

      This question of making giant political issues into smaller, more personal ones runs throughout the season (though toward the season’s end, it becomes less about that and more about interpersonal relationships), and it’s sometimes, frankly, embarrassing. There’s a whole episode that clumsily creates the impression it wants to make a one-to-one comparison between the genocide of American Indians and Ryan leaving after Boyd was born. (Ryan doesn’t appreciate Ed promoting Outdoor Man with a Western-themed stage show—that arrives out of nowhere, it must be said—which features rampaging Indians. Later, when Ryan tries to say that it doesn’t matter what he did in the past in regards to Boyd, Mike accuses him of turning the tables and trying to sweep his own history under the rug. It’s… awkward.) There’s also an episode, talked about in the Post article above, where Eve gets in trouble for bullying at school, which means well but also inadvertently seems to suggest that kids should be able to use as many anti-gay slurs as they want. Because the show is so intent on not having a definitive political point of view, it comes off as clumsy more often than not. It also forces the characters to behave in ways no human being ever would, as in one episode when Vanessa wonders if she received a promotion because she is good looking, then actually goes and asks her boss that very question. Who would do this?

      There are stabs at character complexity here and there. Ryan is liberal to a fault but also subject to his own unexamined prejudices, particularly when it comes to how he, deep down, believes the mother of his child should submit to his authority. And Eve’s a gun-toting wannabe Marine who’s also really concerned about the potential destruction of the planet, and recoils in horror at the Wild West show when she finds out about the plight of the Indians. I’d feel more strongly supportive of these stabs at complexity, however, if the series didn’t leave the impression that it simply forced the characters into whatever straitjacket it needed them to be in for that particular episode. Eve will be a budding hippie in one episode, a budding military member in the next, and never the twain shall meet. Considering the show does take stabs at consistency of setting and story serialization, it’s just a little strange, as if Last Man Standing understands that people are complex but wants to present all of its characters as different archetypes in different episodes, lest they get too complex.

      That Last Man Standing doesn’t really work is all the more disappointing because it comes close enough to suggest a show worth watching. Even if the show’s first season was more consistent across the board, it was much less interesting than the second, which was fitfully fascinating, as in an episode when Kristin learns Mandy is infatuated with Kyle, whom Kristin earlier dated, and takes this occasion to reignite her relationship with Ryan. It’s a wonderfully ambiguous moment, where Kristin’s motivations are surprisingly nuanced—until the next episode, when she and Ryan are just happy together again. In its second season, it was incredibly evident that Last Man Standing had seen some of the best shows in TV history and was trying to ape them, but had mostly just captured the surface of them.

      This is too bad. The cast is game, the jokes work on occasion (particularly when delivered by Molly Ephraim, who plays Mandy, and Hector Elizondo, who plays Ed), and the show’s attempts to work politics into the mix are at least admirable and less wrongheaded than they might initially appear. Tim Allen doesn’t really have it in him to play Archie Bunker, but he does have it in him to play a guy who might have heard Archie back in the ’70s and heard in the man’s bitterness and resentment something that resonated, then found that sanded down by success and comfort. Where Archie was a blue-collar hero, Mike Baxter lives in the world of upper-class security. Where Archie was railing against a world that terrified him precisely because he didn’t know how secure his future was, Mike doesn’t have to worry about that. At its best, Last Man Standing can reflect some of the anxieties of Allen’s generation—like the thought that these late Boomer parents want to raise their daughters to be independent, then fall back on tired old gender stereotypes when those daughters really are independent—and provide a kind of comedy attuned to red-state sensibilities (ironically, since it’s set in bluing Colorado). Sadly, it’s too often at its worst, where it knows it has something to say but has no idea how to say it.

      Like

    • I mean to start off my initial comment about Tim Allen w/ the word “Will” instead of “When”! 😦

      http://splitsider.com/2013/06/the-upside-to-tim-allens-manly-man-brand-of-comedy/

      Like

  33. 5 Comic Book Movies That Get Unnecessary Hate:
    http://whatculture.com/film/5-comic-book-movies-that-get-unnecessary-hate.php/3

    4. The Punisher

    One quick look at this movie on Rotten Tomatoes and you can see that it has a rating of %29. That’s an extremely low number for just about any film.

    The Punisher came out in 2004 which was an awkward stage in the evolution of comic book movies. X-Men and Spiderman had proved to the Hollywood big wigs that comic book movies were an untapped goldmine. With the box office returns of the previously mentioned films Hollywood executives attempted to make a comic book movie out of anything they could get their hands on…we even got a Daredevil film. When looking back at this film you can easily see that it is slightly confused. The film itself seems as if it doesn’t quite know how far it can push the envelope or what it really wants to be. Is it a comic book movie? Is it an action movie? Well in all fairness when it comes to a character like The Punisher it may be difficult to make a comic book movie based on this character not seem like an action movie.

    Where this film shines is how unique it was to comic book films during the era that it was created in. When this film came out every comic book film under the sun was based on a character with ridiculous super-powers and this film was built around….some dude…who had a lot of guns. We didn’t know it at the time but it was actually quite refreshing to see a mortal man attempt to take down a crime kingpin without any sort of special ability. The Punisher managed to set itself apart by being overly violent and earning itself an R rating. If you go back and watch this movie you might be surprised at how gory it is especially by today’s comic book movie standards.

    As far as the actors go Thomas Jane wasn’t exactly praised for his interpretation of Frank Castle. Sure you might not expect someone like Thomas Jane to pull off a role like this but when you actually give him a chance you can see that he pulls it off. Thomas Jane is actually pretty convincing when it comes to the major selling points of the character. He has nothing left, he has no regard for himself, and he is hell bent on revenge. Most people complain that he just doesn’t fit the role but if you give this film another run you can see that his portrayal of Frank Castle actually does come off as a ruthless killer.

    When watching John Travolta’s performance you aren’t sure whether you enjoy it or you just want to punch him in the face. Travolta walks a fine line here between crazy and just plain annoying but most of the time he does a decent job when it comes to being the bad guy (I mean come on anyone that can deliver the line “Make him dead!” with a serious face deserves some sort of praise). This film features multiple villains even though some of them only appear briefly. The scene where Harry Heck serenades Frank Castle in a diner is actually pretty cool and the battle that follows shows just how resourceful The Punisher has to be due to his lack of powers. Kevin Nash even makes an appearance here as The Russian in a battle scene that ends up being both hilarious and entertaining.

    This film is just another one of those comic book movies that failed because people didn’t know what to make of it. When you let go of your preconceived notion of what a Punisher movie is supposed to be and just take this movie for what it is it’s actually a halfway decent comic book movie.

    Like

    • New Video Reminds You How Problematic The Punisher Movie Was

      http://www.cinemablend.com/new/Video-Reminds-You-How-Problematic-Punisher-Movie-Was-129407.html

      The Punisher may have found new life through Daredevil on Netflix, but that actually wasn’t the first time the character had appeared on screen. The Punisher has actually had three movies made about him and each one was more mediocre than the last. While we celebrate that someone finally got Marvel’s number one anti-hero right, let’s not forget the long road it took to get us to that Netflix series and who better to remember bad movies than Cinema Sins? The YouTube channel Cinema Sins is known for nitpicking the mistakes and logic gaps in just about every movie (even the good ones) but this one is pretty fair. The particular Punisher film in question is the 2004 version starring Thomas Jane.

      Like

  34. 10 Incredibly Talented Actors Who Should Really Call It A Day:
    http://whatculture.com/film/10-incredibly-talented-actors-who-should-really-call-it-a-day.php/5

    6. John Travolta

    John Travolta is probably one of the most inconsistent actors out there today. His career has been on polar opposites: on one side, you have the classics Saturday Night Fever, Grease, Pulp Fiction. On the other, you have Two of a Kind, Phenomenon, and, one of the worst big-budget sci-fis ever, Battlefield Earth. I still can’t believe that I sat through this entire movie at one point. Literally anything else would have been a better way to spend my time. Like getting a root canal.

    So which stage of the Travolta spectrum are we in now? The only decent role he has done lately was back in 2007 for Hairspray, where he somehow believably pulls off playing a woman. But, that same year, he was also in Wild Hogs. And then, he was in Old Dogs. You’re not that old, John. You don’t have to play old guys to be good. Is this really the same person who played Vincent Vega in Pulp Fiction?

    I’m still waiting for John to get another good role. But, at this point, that’s like waiting for Lindsay Lohan to get sober. It’s just not going to happen.

    Like

    • 8 Talented Actors Who Just Made Five Awful Movies In A Row:
      http://whatculture.com/film/8-talented-actors-who-just-made-five-awful-movies-in-a-row.php/7

      3. John Travolta

      The Five Awful Movies: Wild Hogs, The Taking Of Pelham 123, Old Dogs, From Paris With Love, Savages

      John Travolta has gone in and out of being “cool” more times than, uh, a glass of water that you keep putting in the fridge and, like, taking out at again random intervals (metaphors are not my strong point). There are many who probably think that Travolta sucks at acting, but I’d go out on a whim to say that most of us would probably agree that he’s a bonafide Hollywood legend. He’s John Travolta! Grease! Saturday Night Fever! Pulp Fiction!

      And then… Wild Hogs! The Taking Of Pelham 123! Old Dogs! From Paris With Love! Savages! Chanting his recent slew of Hollywood ventures doesn’t produce the same amount of excitement, does it? And that’s because most of them were – for the most part – downright abominable. I’d imagine that Travolta would wipe them all off of his filmography given the chance, because Old Dogs is a really, really hard film to be proud of, isn’t it? Yeah.

      Like

    • The Battle For Relevancy: 15 Stars Struggling To Stay Popular:
      http://styleblazer.com/170465/the-battle-for-relevancy-15-stars-struggling-to-stay-popular/10/

      John Travolta’s career received a shot of adrenaline to the chest with Pulp Fiction in 1994. He’s seemed to remain in high demand since then though, like Nicolas Cage, some odd career moves have conspired against him. Recent sex and Scientology scandals surrounding the star haven’t helped matters, either. After sharing the burden of The Killing Season with the aforementioned De Niro and recovering from that awful Christmas album he did with Olivia Newton John, will Travolta see another Pulp Fiction style comeback? Probably not, but Gotti: In the Shadow of My Father is an upcoming project that holds promise. The mafia biopic from Captain America director Joe Johnston is a strong contender for Travolta to show audiences he still carries dramatic talent. Standing alongside heavy hitters like co-star Anthony Hopkins, Travolta better blow the roof off as John Gotti Senior.

      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/6

      1. John Travolta

      John Travolta should know better by now. After his 1994 appearance in Quentin Tarantino’s legendary Pulp Fiction, the actor was given an Oscar nomination and more importantly a shot at a new beginning, but, to put it simply, he squandered it. Things started off promisingly of course, with his roles in Get Shorty, Face Off and Primary Colors showcasing the swaggering charisma that attracted us to Travolta in the first place.

      But similar to his pre-Pulp Fiction days the actor’s legendary ego seemed to get the better of him by the beginning of the 2000s. First there was Battlefield Earth – a repugnant, unholy pet project if there ever was one – which was followed by the almost equally silly Swordfish, an insipid adaptation of the The Punisher and a pair of idiotic farces (Wild Hogs and Old Dogs) by the director of Van Wilder: Party Liaison.

      It’s easy to understand what drew Travolta to many of these projects. Pulp Fiction put him back into superstar territory, the place where actors can command insane money per film (he made $20 million for at least nine of his films since 1997). Making this type of coin would turn anyone goofy, and perhaps mar their ability to pursue artistically resonant work. Yet, it has never been clear whether Travolta wasn’t simply an odd duck to begin with: this is a man who will probably continue to self destruct professionally, and this time even QT might not be able to save him.

      Like

  35. 10 Most Wildly Inconsistent Actors In Movie History:
    http://whatculture.com/film/10-wildly-inconsistent-actors-movie-history.php/4

    John Travolta

    John Travolta hasn’t quite veered into bad actor territory yet – people have too many fond memories of the guy in movies like Grease and Pulp Fiction for that, and was wonderful in movies such as Blow Out and Saturday Night Fever. Fact is, though, Travolta has made tons and tons of bad movies – not just movies where the script sucked or the direction wasn’t up to scratch, but roles where Travolta himself seems to be suspended in some sort of restricted acting tank. You never know what you’re gonna get with this guy.

    Travolta is clearly an actor who can only work up a screen presence if he’s paired with the right material – that’s why he thrived in Pulp Fiction. Tarantino penned the role especially for the actor, and even helped to bring his career back into the limelight. But pluck any recent movie out of Travolta’s filmography and you’ll find yourself staring into a few admirable performances (Ladder 49, Hairspray) and some real duds where the man seems to have tapped into singular emotions only (The Taking of Pelham 123). These days, casting Travolta in anything is akin to playing a game of Russian roulette.

    Like

  36. John hits 60 today,BTW!!!!!!

    Like

  37. Here’s another Merv Griffin clip with John & Olivia on life after Grease and other things…

    Like

    • Wow. ONJ’s legs!

      Like

    • Really cool interview to watch, when both Travolta and Newton-John were still at the peak of their careers in the early 80’s. Thanks for sharing.

      Lebeau, after watching this video you might consider ammending your Debra Winger article a tiny bit: at 3:46, host Merv Griffin claims that at the time Debra Winger was cast in Urban Cowboy, she was working as a receptionist at The Merv Griffin Show! Merv jokes that Travolta stole her away from his show for his movie. How cool a factoid is that? Something I’ve never heard anywhere else.

      Like

      • That is a good one. I’ll have to incorporate that nugget. Thanks for calling it out.

        Like

        • What’s funny is when Merv asks Travolta and Olivia “Will there be a Son of a Grease? Grease Junior? A Grease 2? Grease Strikes Back?”

          Merv’s attitude about a sequel, “Son Of A Grease”, is pretty funny, but also telling of the time. It’s funny to think that back during that era, film sequels in general still had a much different reputation than they do now. For many years, sequels for the most part were considered by the masses as inferior product, a generic carbon copy and pretty much always grossed much less than the original or previous film in the series. Much different than today’s world, where every big-budget film is intended to create a new franchise and each sequel is expected to gross more than the previous entry, today sequels and film franchises are the bread and butter of Hollywood. Hearing Merv refer to a Grease sequel as “Son Of A Grease” made me think about how attitudes towards sequels have changed significantly in the past 30 or so years.

          Like

  38. Eillio Martin Imbasciati

    In John Travolta’s lengthy career, he has been a part of some excellent films and some duds. I guess this is bound to happen with such a robust resume. i have no problem with the guy, and many of his films (“saturday Night fever”, “Blowout”, “Pulp Fiction”, “Face/Off”, “Get Shorty”, etc.) I have enjoyed immensely. Also, my mother likes him (from the days of “Welcome Back Kotter”), there’s that as well. Next month I’m Netflix -ing “Savages”, so I’ll have to see how that film goes.

    Like

  39. 10 Movies That Changed Your Mind About Actors You Loved:
    http://whatculture.com/film/10-movies-changed-mind-actors-loved.php/4

    John Travolta – Battlefield Earth

    It’s hard what to make of John Travolta regardless of the existence of Battlefield Earth, given that his career has dived and soared so many times over the course of recent years – but it was this strange and frankly godawful adaptation of a L. Ron Hubbard novel that seemed to mark the turning point for most fans. Whereas Travolta earned a nice little career resurgence in the aftermath of Pulp Fiction, it was this space-based monstrosity that made the actor’s regular fans into his biggest detractors, asking questions like: “What the f*ck are you doin’, Travolta?”

    As a long-time Scientologist, John Travolta had long-attempted to get Battlefield Earth made, even though there was absolutely nobody alive (apart from Tom Cruise, perhaps) who wanted to see it. The movie flopped, of course, just as any movie that requires its Hollywood star to dress up like a blue-skinned douchebag should. So although Pulp Fiction, Get Shorty, Face/Off and The Thin Red Line brought Travolta back into the limelight, Battlefield Earth marked him out as that “certified weirdo behind one of the worst films ever made.” It’s hard to know what to think.

    Like

  40. Heather Skye

    His son Jett’s death in 2009 seemed to have completely ruined his reputation. He faced a lot of criticism for not being public about his son’s autism, and it was rumored that Jett needed special medication or care that Scientology doesn’t approve of. People really hated him and Kelly Preston after that. I believe that incident, along with the above mentioned scandals and the bad movies, is the reason John Travolta has faded away in Hollywood. Tom Cruise isn’t liked much anymore, either.

    Like

  41. One thing that perplex me about Travolta’s gay rumours were that the men that came out to say that they had sex/relationship with Travolta seems to be a mismatch to him. I recalled watching Chelsea Lately and saw a brief clip of an interview with the masseur that file charge against Travolta and the guy wasn’t attractive at all.

    The pilot story aside, one would think that someone with his kind of money and connection should be able to arrange for a discreet escort if he want sex. He wouldn’t be the first one in the industry to went that route.

    Why would he went to some random masseurs and tried to fondle them if it wasn’t the kind of place that allow… well… happy ending?

    Like

    • After Hugh Grant, I don’t ask those sorts of questions. Or for that matter, Bill Clinton. These guys could have done much, much better and been much more discreet. But sometimes rich and famous people do really stupid things.

      Like

      • True… Or George Michael’s various outdoor misconducts…

        I wanna add that, if the rumours were true, John Travolta seems to have terrible taste in men in comparison to his beautiful wife. And this is from a gay man.

        Like

        • George Michael is another terrific example.

          I always assumed Preston was a Scientology-arranged trophy wife kind of thing even before rumors of his homosexuality became headlines. I almost said before they surfaced but I guess they were always kind of floating around. I won’t attempt to get into the head of anyone who believes in Xenu. Or who tries to make a sequel to Battlefield Earth for that matter.

          Like

        • In a way, it was interesting how Scientology managed these high profile people’s life the way the movie studio used to do (at least the studio control their public life) in the… 40s? 50s?

          Like

        • Interesting parallel there. I had not thought of it. Both organizations were unscrupulous.

          Like

    • 7 Celebrities Who Are Accused Of Being Gay, But Deny It:
      http://www.fame10.com/entertainment/7-celebrities-who-are-accused-of-being-gay-but-deny-it/4/

      Many people think John Travolta is gay and there are enough stories at this point to warrant speculation. Many male masseurs have come forward with allegations that the “Grease” star behaved inappropriately with them. It doesn’t help matters that his former pilot alleges that he and the actor had a six-year relationship. Over the years, more and more men have come forward claiming to have had sexual relationships with Travolta; however, none of the accusations seem to bother him.

      Like

    • Going Clear: Scientology And The Prison Of Belief:
      http://forums.previously.tv/topic/24244-going-clear-scientology-and-the-prison-of-belief/page-3#entry987346

      I think Travolta is probably screwed up about his sexuality, and thinks it is immoral. I kinda lumped him in with Whitney Houston in that regard, celebs who couldn’t deal with their sexuality so it ended up contributing to destructive behavior. So Travola creeps on guys at the gym and engages in anonymous sex instead of just having a healthy emotional/sexual relationship with a man.

      Like

  42. The only difference being that the old studio systems tried to make the stars look good in every way possible and hide their scandals; Scientology doesn’t seem to care how foolish or terrible their people end up looking.

    Like

  43. Why does anyone care if John Travolta is gay or by sexual? He is an actor. The only one who should care is his wife Kelly. Charles Laughton was gay, and his wife, Elsa Maxwell, put up with his outrageous behavior for years and years. Drew Barrymore has said she is bi sexual and on and on. I don’t care for Travolta, but I thought he was great in “Saturday Night Fever” and even the cute “Look Who’s talking.”

    Like

    • I couldn’t care less about Travolta’s sexuality and I agree no one else should either outside of those who are personally concerned. But Travolta is very concerned with managing his image and seems to think this would ruin it if word got out.

      Like

  44. I recalled John Travolta told Jay Leno on Tonight’s Show. The clip of Travolta’s old movie, The Boy in the Plastic Bubble, was shown and Travolta said that he thought he was fat back then. I supposed that could be interpret as he had issues with his image from way back when. But I am certain that Actress had it worst than Actor in this regard.

    Like

    • Actresses almost always have it worse. But I think that probably tells you a lot about how image-conscious Travolta was/is. Which, frankly, is probably a big part of his success.

      Like

  45. i find it weird how samuel worked with Quentin so many times yet travolta only onces and he continues credits him for saving his career is it so weird that Quentin dosent have a role that would be perfect for travolta in a movie he used uma more then once. another thing is hes good buddies with cruise how about a movie with them both starring cruise is still a box office draw it would help travoltas career even if its only a supporting role

    Like

    • Travolta’s another one that seems to be shying away from the spotlight after recent events. I don’t think he wants to be making a high profile movie right now.

      Like

      • I’m a huge fan of Tarantino’s films. I’m a big fan of Travolta too. He was absolutely perfect for Pulp Fiction, but I can’t think of any role that Travolta would’ve been right for in Jackie Brown. Or the Kill Bill movies. Or Inglorious Basturds. Or Django Unchained. I dunno, maybe a tiny bit cameo, sure, you could always squeeze Travolta in that way in a winking cameo, but there just isn’t any right role for him in any subsequent Tarantino films. You could say the same thing for Bruce Willis for that matter. Say what you will about Samuel L. Jackson, but he has versatility and fits more easily into Tarantino’s films.

        Like

        • Boom! That sums it up. They have both been talking about working together for quite a while. But post Pulp/Get Shorty, Travolta had a very specific screen personae which would have been distracting if he was miscast. There’s no reason to shoehorn him into a role that isn’t perfect for him. Especially after he was so perfectly cast in Pulp Fiction.

          Like

      • 9 Actors Whose Hot Careers Fizzled:
        http://www.fame10.com/entertainment/9-actors-whose-hot-careers-fizzled/4/

        1. John Travolta

        During the ‘70s, John Travolta’s career was red hot. He played some of the most iconic characters in film history like Tony Manero in “Saturday Night Fever” and Danny Zuko in “Grease.” During the ‘80s, he experienced a career lull; however, during the ‘90s, his career rebounded because of his role in “Pulp Fiction.” Since the late ‘90s, however, Travolta’s career has been in serious decline. These days, he only makes the news when he is accused of inappropriate sexual behavior.

        Like

  46. travolta could have easly had leos role in django i could see him in that jackson i agree does fit there and travolta when he wants to he plays a great villian i could actually him being the bad guy in kill bill travolta and willis must been difficult to work with cause tarantino casts same people more then once in movies how else would it explain that i still think he should work with cruise guaranteed hit

    Like

    • I think having Travolta and Jackson on screen together again in Django would have been very distracting. Frankly, Leo’s star status was a bit distracting as is. But I think a Travolta/Jackson reunion would have pulled everyone right out of the movie the second they were on screen together.

      Bill was the one role I thought maybe Travolta would fit in. But again, you have that Thurman/Travolta reunion. when they meet, you would be expecting them to do the twist.

      Like

  47. it wouldnt be distracting or he could not cast as samuel in 1 movie mix it up a bit add bruce wliis in a movie.maybe a superhero movie is a good fit for some reason i can see him as a comminsor Gordon in the new batman/superman movie. At this age he should try more supporting roles. Lastly tarento was a no name indie director when they first met he could try to find another no name indie director recapture that same magic. Or finally he could just team up with his good buddy cruise for instant hit.

    Like

  48. it wouldnt be distracting or he can not cast jackson in 1 movie try new things cast willis and travolta. Superheros movies are now and for some reason i can see him as Gordan in the new batman/superman movie tarento was a no name director when they met he might need another no name director recapture the same magic. But working with his good buddy cruise would mean instant hit since cruise is still a huge draw

    Like

  49. john should stray always from lame comedies like old dogs. dark roles like pulp fiction,face off really suit him i can see him playing a villian again,

    Like

  50. that movie that he was with dneiro looked like sure hit but boom went striaght to dvd deniro career isnt so hot lately but at his age hard to stay on top plus he is same league as cruise ford ,hanks and nicholson there career are well established they can afford a few flops plus those actors careers have been alot more consistent then travolta

    Like

  51. it hasnt been that long since he made a good movie 2012 silver linings his best movie in a while hes good iam not sure if he offered raging bull type films in his latter his career i think he at the point where he has accomplished alot and whether pick films he enjoys rather ones that will help his career sure hes made stinkers bullwinkle but he is still top notch in them hes still made hard hitting pieces likes everybodys fine and being flynn because from 70s to 2000s hes had at least a few good movies every decade because of his iconic status he can make 10 flops still be considered great years from now people will remember him for taxi driver not showtime his career is fine. Fans except every movie actor makes to oscar winning master pieces well iam sure actor s want loosen up and have fun daniel day lewis although good actor sometimes he can be hammy hes done comedy nine falls flat in it . he should do more fun popcorn films it would show his range. example cruise is considered one of greatest actors of all time yet hes not afraid to do popcorn films and hes held same regard as lewis. Although as good as lewis is cruise tops him

    Like

  52. meet the parents triloghy was funny silver linnings was good

    Like

  53. not many great parts wirtten for deniros age but hes like hanks ,ford and pacino no matter how many flops they have they got there iconic status so they will still consider legends its not like deniro will ever be on this actors slow down at certain age hes 70 at his age he needs to choose roles they likes he can have fun with not ones that help his career

    Like

  54. John Travolta defends Battlefield Earth:
    http://www.denofgeek.com/movies/battlefield-earth/32135/john-travolta-defends-battlefield-earth

    John Travolta admits he has no regrets over Battlefield Earth, and would do it all again…

    Like

    • Actors who refused to accept that their movies were awful

      http://www.nickiswift.com/68453/actors-refused-accept-movies-awful/

      John Travolta thinks Battlefield Earth is a beautiful film

      After Battlefield Earth hit theaters in 2000, it essentially ruined John Travolta’s career much like Striptease took out Demi Moore just a few years earlier. After a string of high-profile hits in the ’90s, Travolta’s Hollywood star came crashing down thanks to starring in the adaptation of Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard’s sci-fi tale, according to Grantland. With a Rotten Tomatoes score of just 3 percent, it’s a miracle Travolta ever acted again.

      “Battlefield Earth is like taking a bus trip with someone who has needed a bath for a long time. It’s not merely bad; it’s unpleasant in a hostile way,” wrote famed film critic Roger Ebert. “One of the darkest, ugliest, most uninvolving and incomprehensible major-studio fantasies I’ve ever seen,” said New York Daily News. But Time got right to the point. “The worst movie in living memory.”

      To put things in perspective, Battlefield Earth is such a disaster that screenwriter J.D. Shapiro apologized in the New York Post for writing “the suckiest movie ever.” However, unlike Shapiro, Travolta is a devout Scientologist and thinks the film is amazing. “I had the power to do whatever I wanted, and I chose to do a book that I thought was worthy of making into a movie. It’s a beautiful film,” he told The Daily Beast. “And if we had to do it over again, I would still do it.” Uh, sure. Okay.

      Like

  55. hanks feels that over terminal costner over postman matt damon bagger vance just because audience didnt like dosent they dont people have different taste in movies we dont know those actors experience in film set maybe travolta expereince making it was good

    Like

  56. Look Who’s Still Talking – The Strange Hollywood History Of John Travolta:
    http://www.heyuguys.com/look-whos-still-talking-strange-hollywood-history-john-travolta/

    John Travolta is as fascinating and complex a member of the Hollywood fraternity as you could wish for. Iconic performer, experienced pilot, vocal Scientologist and mangler of pronunciation of Idina Menzel.

    He has managed to appear in not just some of the best known, but also some of the best-full-stop films of the past forty years – Saturday Night Fever, Carrie, Grease, Pulp Fiction, Get Shorty, Face/Off, The Thin Red Line, Hairspray and the upcoming Gummy Bear The Movie – whatever one might think of the consistency of his output (and there have been some horrendous misfires), it is hard to imagine too many actors playing Danny Zuko, Vincent Vega, Castor Troy, Sean Archer, Chili Palmer and Edna Turnblad with equal conviction.

    After the temporary resuscitation of Look Who’s Talking turned out to be a false dawn, Tarantino did Travolta a favour of inestimable proportions by casting him in Pulp Fiction, »

    • Dave Roper

    Like

  57. he turned down as good as it gets i could actually see him in it that would done wonder for his career but he made face off instead that year which made a lot of money so no lost

    Like

  58. Heard Travolta is set to star in FX’s American Crime Story,playing Robert Shapiro alongside
    Gooding’s OJ Simpson………..

    http://thewrap.com/john-travolta-to-star-as-robert-shapiro-on-fxs-american-crime-story/

    Like

  59. I gotta say, I think Lucky Numbers may be a bit of an underrated comedy. I just finished watching it tonight and even after having seen it a few times over the years I still get some good laughs out of it. Travolta is terrific as the smug idiot local weatherman, but one of the film’s strengths is its fine supporting cast, all in top form: Lisa Kudrow, Tim Roth, Ed O’Neill, Bill Pullman, Michael Rapaport, and Michael Moore, all terrific here. Travolta, playing the local small town tv weatherman that is used to the finer things in life like his reserved parking spot and table at the finest bistro in town (the local Denny’s) decides to rig the local lottery when he gets into serious financial trouble. Kudrow’s vapid tv lotto-ball girl readily joins in, giddy at the prospect of being rich.

    It’s a shame that Lucky Numbers released just a couple months after Battlefield Earth, the film couldn’t shake the awful stink that Travolta had on him so soon after that colossal bomb (his career never did really recover fully from that bomb), Lucky Numbers is actually pretty funny and I think the film deserved to do better than it did.

    Like

  60. a dark cohen brother comedy i can see him in it

    Like

  61. WHITE MAN’S BURDEN (1995):
    http://www.cinefilestv.blogspot.com/2015/02/white-mans-burden-1995.html

    The story takes place in alternative America where the blacks are members of social elite, and whites are inhabitants of inner city ghettos. Louis Pinnock is a white worker in a chocolate factory, loving husband and father of two children. While delivering a package for black CEO Thaddeus Thomas, he is mistaken for a voyeur and, as a result, loses his job, gets beaten by black cops and his family gets evicted from their home. Desperate Pinnock takes a gun and kidnaps Thomas, demanding justice.

    Other then supposed role reversal of races in the world there is no story. I understand this was supposed to be a small slice of life on race relations, but there is no history given as to why or how the races have switched places and class.

    Quite honestly the film could have been made without the role reversal and just been about a resentful, White man who is wrongly fired and takes out his anger on his Black boss and complains that the black world is infiltrating his world.

    That could have been an interesting dynamic, but probably afraid the film would be deemed racist. Though could have opened up a discussion of race. Which this film seems to seek. Instead it goes with this rear reversal. Which feels more like a stunt and takes away from the film. So much so that the film feels more racist the way it is.

    Some scenes would plaintive same way. Like when the black son brings home his white girlfriend and his parents try to stay polite despite their disappointment. Or when Travolta’s son wants a black doll over a white one. According to this picture that only works with role reversal?

    It is also disturbing that John Travolta’s performance as a lower income member of society. He speaks with a dialect that is stereotypically associated for African American characters. Almost like a 1950’s melodrama in other films. So it comes off as a bad impression of what he thinks is Ebonics. Her also make his character seem a bit slow. I don’t believe it was malicious, but it is disturbing and sad. Travolta could have played the role just as normal and let the situations do all the talking.

    John Travolta took the role at Quentin Tarantino’s urging.

    Quentin Tarantino also urged Kelly Lynch to do the film. Tarantino’s company, A Band Apart, produced it.

    These films on race relations are fascinating to me because they always seem to leave out other races other then black and white. You wonder where are the Asians, Hispanics and middle easterners? Where do they stand? Especially considering the film is written and directed by an Asian-American.

    This was one of John Travolta’s first films after his comeback from PULP FICTION. I can see he probably thought it was challenging, cutting edge plus returning a favor to the producer Lawrence Bender who also produced PULP FICTION. It did him no favors.

    If the film explored this world more vividly and set-up more situations maybe it could at least make a point. As It stands now it is role reversal. Just to do a pulp-ish story. It feels like an afterthought used as a gimmick to get an audience. A short story idea stretched on for too long.

    This film bombed and it is obvious why. It seems more the type of film John Travolta would take before his comeback when his resume at the time was more straight to home video films. He is a talented actor who has made many bad to questionable film choices who is constantly saved by comebacks.

    This was just a grand disappointment on so many levels.

    It’s a shame Harry Belafonte’s return to the big screen was a DVD. Considering this was written and directed by the screenwriter of LAST EXIT TO BROOKLYN. I would have expected something more challenging, truthful and controversial. Not to mention better

    Grade: F

    Like

  62. John Travolta: 5 Awesome Performances And 5 That Sucked:
    http://whatculture.com/film/john-travolta-5-awesome-performances-and-5-that-sucked.php

    From the man who brought you both Pulp Fiction and Battlefield Earth…

    Like

  63. BE COOL (2005):
    http://www.cinefilestv.blogspot.com/2015/02/be-cool-2005.html

    Directed By: F. Gary Grey
    Written By: Peter Steinfeld
    Based on the novel by: Elmore Leonard
    Cinematography By: Jeffrey L. Kimball
    Editor: Sheldon Kahn

    Cast: John Travolta, Uma Thurman, Harvey Kietel, Christina Milian, Kimberly J. Brown, James Woods, Cedric The Entertainer, Andre Benjamin, Vince Vaughn, Steven Tyler, Danny DeVito, Robert Pastorelli, Dwayne Johnson, Arielle Kebbel, Scott Adsit, Gregory Alan Williams, Paul Adelstein, Debi Mazar

    Streetwise mobster-turned-movie producer Chili Palmer is back, but this time Chili has abandoned the fickle movie industry and veered into the music business, tangling with Russian mobsters and gangsta rappers and taking a talented, feisty young singer named Linda Moon under his wing. From the recording studio to an Aerosmith concert to the MTV Music Awards, he manipulates events to watch them play out the Chili way, using his signature blend of wiseguy skills and negotiation tactics. It’s a dangerous business, and everyone’s looking for their next big hit.

    I don’t know if the reason I don’t like this film is because it is bad alone or because it is a bad sequel compared to GET SHORTY. The film tries to satirize the music business as much as it did the movie business with GET SHORTY. only this film feel majorly defanged and seems more interested in getting an all star cast then quality and story.

    Barry Sonnenfeld originally intended to return as director to this follow-up to his Get Shorty but production delays and scheduling issues precluded that. Brett Ratner was originally set to direct the project, but pulled out.

    Now normally I could blame the problems with this film on the incompetence of some screenwriter trying to make a plot similar to the first film, with just as many colorful and quirky characters while trying to be a sequel. The sad part is I believe they follow the novel of Which this film is based pretty closely.

    It doesn’t stop the film from seeming more like a circus rather than a film in which the whole order of the day seems more like stunt casting. The first film is guilty of it also but at least the characters were fun and somewhat believable not just a joke in of themselves where it is In this film. Look at Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson play flamboyant and gay. Yes that’s right the major symbol of masculinity. Watch Vince Vaughn do his white guy trying to be black. Watch Harvey Keitel play a hip gangster turned record exec. Who seems like a menacing charmless hippie pimp monster, like an update I his Character Sport from the film TAXI DRIVER only without any emotions.

    How such a great cast got pulled into this? I don’t know because it wasn’t the script. If only they all could have come together for a good project.

    In the beginning of the film, Chili mentions how a film needs to only use the “F” word more than once in order to get an R rating. He then uses the “F” word – the only use of it in the film – and thus, it gets a PG-13 rating.

    Jennifer Connelly, Charlize Theron, Naomi Watts and Halle Berry were considered for the role of Edie Athens.

    None of this is at all Interesting and casting Uma Thurman who doesn’t have much to do here. She looks lost as there isn’t really a character to play. She seems to be more of a plot point. Reeks more of a gimmick of reuniting her with John Travolta from PULP FICTION and have them even have a gratuitous dance scene. John Travolta suggested Uma Thurman for the role of Edie, wanting to re-create their chemistry from Pulp Fiction all over again.

    Vince Vaughn’s role seems to be a one man minstrel show act; that is just missing the blackface. It’s good for a SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE skit, but stretched out it becomes annoying very fast.

    Joe Pesci was part of the cast before filming began. But, for reasons unknown, he left the project shortly before production started.

    Dwayne Johnson in this film feels more of a stroke of Stunt casting that luckily works out more then anything else.

    As always the lead character played by John Travolta is always a step ahead of all the other characters. So that you know he will prevail by the end. Now in most films you know this but they at least build up some suspense so that you can be interested in how they will get out of the situation. Here they don’t even try it seems more like his character reacting to the ridiculous characters around him. In GET SHORTY he created a comedic character with heart, soul and charisma. Here his character is as vapid, fake and plastic as the people he is dealing with.

    It also doesn’t help that the ingénue played by Christina Milian, that the film hangs onto as her talent is so immaculate, comes up short. She is an o.k. singer nothing to write home about. Which hurts as so much is said about how golden her singing is and when you finally hear it, it’s a letdown, also she is supposed I be so innocent though the way the role is played it seems like she isn’t as naive or innocent as she let’s on and would have been a great conniving character to be revealed in the third act. No they keep her whole act going throughout the film. Her character isn’t as deep and looking for others to so he work for her. That she was too lazy to do herself, but she is hot.

    Now I saw this film when it was in theaters as I was a big fan of GET SHORTY. That film is actually one of the films I believe I have seen the most in theater even before I worked in one. I believe I Saw it 5 – 6 times. So when the sequel was announced I was really looking forward to it, even when I saw the trailer which was weak. I didn’t read the warning signs and still thought it could be worthwhile. I was appalled by what I watched as the audience around me hooted and hollered at the watered down humor and stereotypical jokes. What was supposed to pass for satire. I was not amused and felt embarrassed quite honestly for some of the actors. They heavily feature Steven Tyler playing himself and making jokes about how he never appears in films as it is tacky. Like that is a brilliant joke only of ironic which it is not here.

    It just feels like a film that is coasting more on it’s laurels or more the franchises instead of actually putting in some work and attempting to be a good film. It follows the rules of a sequel by being bigger and more of the same. It’s just majorly disappointing all around.

    Even though the film clearly deviates from the novel, there were some moments in the film which serves as a nod to the source novel: 1) The burn-out photo that Tiffany has (later picked up by Chili) is a nod to the fact that in the novel, the Russians operate a one-hour photo shop instead of the pawn shop. 2) The confrontation between DubMDs and the Russians in Nick’s office is a nod to the intended shoot-out between the two. In the novel, neither parties appear in the second half. 3) When Raji tries to setup Sin LaSalle against Nick, Raji deliberately spell Carr’s last name as CAR. In the novel, Nick’s full last name is Carcaterra.

    The only thing I found kind of funny the whole film was Cedric the Entertainer’s rap manager being Harvard educated and trying to teach his rappers etiquette. Though that bit wore out it’s welcome after it started It becomes over the top and overplayed. Though he seemed to be the only Real interesting character. Though most of his scenes are with Andre Benjamin whose role could have been played by anyone.

    This whole film is a waste, like a studio wrote off to justify expenses and they throw something together and release it to be proof of the spent money. Why not since the first one was successful. It’s a shame it had most of the elements to be a good film, or at least entertaining as the first film. Maybe the great quality of the first film set us up, since it was so good that this one caught is off guard as it offers diminished returns.

    The film just feels like you know what’s going to happen as soon as it is introduced and then feels stale and old.

    Grade: F

    Like

  64. All The Famous Tom Hanks Roles John Travolta Passed On And Other Movies He Was Nearly In:
    http://uproxx.com/movies/2015/02/10-famous-movie-roles-john-travolta-almost-played/

    Like

  65. he said he was jealous of hanks career he turned down splash gump apollo 13 green mile gump and apoll 13 were not a loss turing down cause get shorty pulp ficton hits so no big loss. however he made gerneals daughter instead of green mile it did ok not great and he made crap in 1984 instead of splash

    Like

  66. 10 Incredible Against-All-Odds Hollywood Comebacks:
    http://whatculture.com/film/10-incredible-against-all-odds-hollywood-comebacks.php/3

    John Travolta

    Travolta shot to fame in the 1970s with two iconic roles in Saturday Night Fever and Grease, as well as a supporting role in Carrie.

    The Downfall: After inspiring a nationwide country music craze with Urban Cowboy, Travolta starred in a series of flops. The Saturday Night Fever sequel Staying Alive was compared unfavourably to the original. Two Of A Kind, which reunited him with Grease co-star Olivia Newton John, was slated by the press and made next-to-nothing at the box-office.

    Barring an underrated performances in the Brian De Palma thriller Blow Out, the ’80s were a bit of a washout for Travolta. He also famously turned down lead roles in American Gigolo and An Officer And A Gentleman, both of which went to Richard Gere (and were huge hits).

    What Brought Him Back: Quentin Tarantino, basically. Although Travolta found success in the Look Who’s Talking series, his resurgence as an actor really began with Pulp Fiction. His performance as Vincent Vega was heralded as an amazing return to form and he received a Best Actor Oscar nomination for his effect.

    Tarantino, a huge fan of Travolta’s performance in Blow Out, fought to keep Travolta in the film against the studio’s wishes. The move paid off. It’s hard to imagine anyone else playing Vega, isn’t it?

    Did It Last?: After Pulp Fiction Travolta found himself back on the A-list and flooded with offers. He followed it up with Get Shorty, Broken Arrow and Face/Off. Unfortunately, it was all ruined with Battlefield Earth.

    Like

  67. How John Travolta Hijacked the Oscars:
    http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2015/02/23/how-john-travolta-hijacked-the-oscars.html

    After last year’s Adele Dazeem flub, the actor screws up—and seizes the spotlight—again at the 2015 Oscars with his Idina Menzel chin grab, Scarlett Johansson smooch, and other gaffes.

    John Travolta had one job to do at the Oscars—the very same job he royally screwed up during last year’s trophy show.

    Redemption for the 2014 Adele Dazeem brain fart was within his grasp. It would take just one brief moment of cutesy patter to repay Frozen star Idina Menzel for the flub heard “round the world,” set up by the un-bombable Neil Patrick Harris.

    But Travolta wasn’t going out like that.

    His assault on the Academy Awards began hours earlier.

    The 61-year-old actor arrived to present at the 87th Academy Awards and saw his old Love Song for Bobby Long co-star Scarlett Johansson on the pre-Oscars red carpet. He wasn’t the only one; everyone spotted ScarJo as she and her plunging neckline posed for photos rocking a pompadour undercut, all but poured into a stunning forest-green Versace gown.

    Travolta, who’s on the early promo trail for his April opener The Forger, moseyed on over. He approached the unwitting Johansson from behind and planted an unsolicited smooch on her cheek, sliding a hand upon her tiny, unprepared waist.

    Johansson, consummate red-carpet pro that she is, never flinched. She barely registered the intrusion, although paparazzi lenses would capture a brief grimace in her smile in those few unforeseen seconds.

    Travolta almost made it through the telecast being upstaged by NPH’s downward-hosting spiral. Then Menzel took to the stage to introduce their bit with a line of sweet, sterile revenge for Adele Dazeem that, like much of the Oscars show, landed with a gentle thud: “Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome to the stage my very dear friend, Galom Gazingo.”

    In swept Travolta from the blind spot, with an embrace that lingered a beat too long, a foot too close. He grabbed her chin and spoke intimately. “I deserved that, but you, my darling, my beautiful, my wickedly talented Idina Menzel….” He pawed at her cheek, then resumed his grasp on that chin. “Let her goooo!” Twitterers sing-screamed. Menzel squirmed politely. Memes were crafted. Gifs were made.
    Video screenshot

    NPH referenced the awkward face-fondling in his closing “what’s in the box” Oscar predictions gag. Not that anyone could have guessed how thoroughly Travolta would have dominated the Oscars: He even managed to go viral when cameras caught him stealth-gazing at unsuspecting Imitation Game nominee Benedict Cumberbatch from the next row back.

    But as Travolta explained after the night finally brought a merciful end to 2015’s Awkward Oscars, the Adele Dazeem curse that sparked his campaign as Oscar’s #1 Weirdo was really the fault of someone else altogether.

    Gliding breathlessly into Jimmy Kimmel’s studio after the Oscars, a heavily made-up Travolta teased plans to start late-night dance circles at Madonna’s party and addressed “The Incident.”

    “Do you guys think that Jimmy and I look alike?” Travolta asked Kimmel’s audience, leaning in close and grabbing the host’s chin. He acknowledged this year’s Menzel manhandling and its instant Internet critics. “[It’s] what I did with Idina—apparently I played with her chin too much.”

    He blamed last year’s infamous flub on backstage Oscars chaos and the irresistible amazingness of one Goldie Hawn.

    “It was getting close to the time I was supposed to go on—suddenly a page grabbed me and said, ‘You’re on in a minute.’

    Unfortunately for him, Goldie Hawn had sashayed into his eye line “and I was star-struck, hugging and loving her up, forgetting I had to go and do this bit.”

    Pulled onstage, Travolta was horrified to find the Oscars producers had set the Teleprompter to phonetic pronunciation without warning. He saw the unfamiliar words flash on screen: “In my mind I thought, what is that name? I don’t know this name!”

    He said it anyway, and the rest is history.

    Like

    • How did John Travolta get so creepy? Yet another weird Oscars moment.

      http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/style-blog/wp/2015/02/23/how-did-john-travolta-get-so-creepy-yet-another-weird-oscars-moment/?tid=sm_fb

      It started as a moment of glory for John Travolta. Then things got weird.

      But that often seems to be the case, doesn’t it? We all remember last year when Travolta got up on the Oscars stage in front of the world and proudly introduced Idina Menzel as the “wickedly talented Adele Dazeem.”

      You can’t plan for a meme like that. Producers tried to strike gold again on Sunday night as they invited Travolta and Menzel to reunite to present best original song. Menzel appeared first. “Please welcome to the stage my very dear friend, Glom Gazingo,” she announced. Wild applause as an appropriately bashful Travolta walked out and wrapped Menzel in a big hug.

      “I deserve that,” Travolta said, arm still tightly around her waist. Then he grabbed her chin with his hand and pulled her face close, cooing. “But you, you, my darling, my beautiful, my wickedly talented Idina Menzel,” he cooed, stroking her chin.

      “You got it, yayyy,” Menzel trailed off uncomfortably as Travolta’s hand still lingered on the chin.

      Naturally, Twitter blew up as viewers were suddenly really weirded out. And just like that, Travolta became the joke of the Oscars. Also not helping? His touchy-feely picture with an unamused Scarlett Johansson (his former “Love Song for Bobby Long” co-star) on the red carpet.

      Really, who thought this was a good idea? (Mike Nelson/European Pressphoto Agency)

      This screenshot didn’t help, either:

      So John Travolta — what’s going on? How did you become the “creepy uncle” of the award show circuit?

      Part of the reason may be his utter cluelessness that what he’s doing is bizarre. Take his explanation of the face-touching incident after the ceremony on Jimmy Kimmel’s Oscar post-mortem.

      “Apparently, I played with her chin too much,” Travolta joked with Jimmy Kimmel of the incident, in apparent disbelief that there could be too much chin-playing.

      In the same appearance, he tried to explain how the “Adele Dazeem” flub happened in the first place — he was distracted by the “sexy, beautiful” Goldie Hawn.

      “As I get backstage I run into Goldie Hawn,” Travolta said, explaining his flustered behavior. “Now Goldie Hawn is charismatic, sexy, beautiful — got the amazing thing — and I was starstruck. I’m starstruck, hugging and loving her up, and forgetting I have to go and do this bit.”

      Note: When everyone already thinks you’re too handsy, probably don’t talk about “hugging and loving her up.” But again, Travolta doesn’t seem to get it, which makes him seem even more out of touch. He also took credit for Menzel’s dynamite 2014.

      “She’s had one of the best years of her life, and she gives me credit,” he said. That was probably meant as a joke on Menzel’s part . . . unless she really thinks he’s responsible for “Frozen.”

      That leads to the other problem. Travolta, who shot to fame in 1970s with “Welcome Back Kotter” and “Saturday Night Fever” and continued with 90s hits like “Pulp Fiction,” has been out of the spotlight for a while. His last big movie was “Hairspray” in 2007. Though faded A-listers do elicit excitement and nostalgia, Travolta hasn’t been gone quite long enough to really make us miss him. He hasn’t earned his “wacky celebrity” stripes yet, though his goofy attitude suggests that he thinks he has.

      Either way, his misguided attempts to be kooky aren’t exactly working out — and by next year, he should really have some self-awareness of how his goofiness comes across on-screen. Because even if Johansson really was excited to see him, as other pictures suggest:

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  68. A 1996 double feature looks at the year of John Travolta:
    http://thedissolve.com/features/forgotbusters/939-a-1996-double-feature-looks-at-the-year-of-john-tr/

    As a culture, we can’t quit John Travolta. It doesn’t matter how many terrible films he makes, or how many times he humiliates himself in public: We can’t seem to shake our fascination with him and his ridiculous choices, even if his films now come and go with little notice. Recent Travolta vehicles like From Paris With Love (one of those Eurotrash thrillers Liam Neeson didn’t star in, but might as well have) and Killing Season have made far less of an impression on audiences than the cavalcade of humiliations that constitute Travolta’s personal and professional life. He keeps finding new reasons for people to make fun of him: There’s his hair, which now appears to have come from inside a can of jet-black spraypaint. And there’s a 2012 Christmas album he recorded with Olivia Newton-John that spawned a music video as embarrassing in its own right as Battlefield Earth.

    But before last year, no one was mocking him for his ability to say names. That changed when, in the most magical Oscar fuck-up since the streaker onstage in 1974, Travolta inexplicably pronounced “Idina Menzel” as “Adele Dazeem.” Society rejoiced. While bordering on the fourth decade of its passionate love affair with Travolta—a love affair now largely rooted in ironic appreciation—it had found a new reason to find him ridiculous. The jokes, parodies, and homages were abundant. Consequently, Travolta was invited back to the Oscars this year to redeem himself. And Travolta being Travolta, he kept finding new ways to embarrass himself. This time, his pronunciation was just fine, but he couldn’t stop grabbing women (most notably Menzel and his former Love Song For Bobby Long co-star Scarlett Johansson) and grinning madly.

    These days, Travolta’s personal and professional career, not to mention his religious and sexual lives, emit an enduring trainwreck fascination. But in the aftermath of his career-resurrecting performance in 1994’s Pulp Fiction, and the success of 1995’s Get Shorty, Travolta was so popular, he starred in no fewer than three of the 20 top-grossing films of 1996: Michael, Phenomenon, and Broken Arrow. Yes, there was a time when Travolta’s name in the credits actually encouraged audiences to see a film, when they assumed any film with him in a starring role must be worth seeing. It’s a testament to how popular he was in the mid-1990s that audiences paid good money to see, in Phenomenon and Michael, variations on the same sub-mediocre movie.

    In both, Travolta plays a figure blessed with supernatural gifts. In Michael, he’s the titular angel who invades the lives of a trio of tabloid snoops and teaches them inevitable life lessons. In the Flowers For Algernon rip-off Phenomenon, he plays a humble mechanic who sees a flash in the sky one night and becomes the world’s smartest man. In both films, the outward appearance of Travolta’s characters belies their inner lives and ultimate importance. In Michael, he plays a beer-bellied, hard-drinking, skirt-chasing kook who is actually an honest-to-God angel straight out of heaven, complete with a pair of real wings. In Phenomenon, Travolta looks like a grease monkey who don’t have much book-learning or stuff-knowing until he becomes a super-genius with crazy telekinetic powers.

    Michael is most compelling as an allegory about fame. Michael is the quintessential celebrity. He has an impish twinkle in his eyes and a spring in his step. He’s irresistible to women. He’s a giant baby who eats scoops of sugar and devotes his time to mindless distractions like visiting many of the world’s most banal tourist traps. But he’s separated from the rest of humanity by an inner light, a special magnetism, and in this case at least, an actual pair of wings. Like a movie star, all Michael has to do is flash his million-dollar smile to get out of whatever trouble he finds himself in.

    Directed and co-written by Nora Ephron, Michael lopes into action when disgraced former Chicago Tribune journalist Frank Quinlan (William Hurt) and his photographer sidekick Huey (Robert Pastorelli), who work for a National Enquirer-like tabloid, get a letter from Pansy (Jean Stapleton), a small-town woman who claims to be harboring an angel. The tabloid’s mercurial editor, Vartan Malt (a perpetually apoplectic Bob Hoskins), dispatches Frank and Huey to track down the angel, along with Dorothy Winters (Andie MacDowell), who is presented to Frank and Huey as an expert in angels, and consequently the perfect companion for an angel-hunting expedition. Early on, the film reveals that Dorothy isn’t actually an angel expert, yet the story makes viewers wait 76 minutes for the climactic reveal as to why someone would pretend to be such a thing.

    But I’m not cruel enough to pointlessly withhold banal information in an attempt to generate suspense. Huey, you see, is of value to the paper almost exclusively because he is the owner and caretaker of Sparky The Wonder Dog, the paper’s mascot, and apparently one of the most famous dogs in the world. While Vartan does not think much of Huey, he harbors a love for the dog that borders on creepy. So he bets Frank and Huey that if they don’t come back with conclusive proof that angels are real, he gets to keep the dog. Dorothy isn’t actually an angel expert, but she is a dog expert who has been promised Huey’s job once the hapless trio returns from their trip with no real proof that angels are real beings, who hang out in the Midwest consuming mass quantities of sugar.

    But Dorothy is so much more and less than a dog trainer nefariously pretending to be an angel expert for furtive reasons. She’s also a comically hapless country singer-songwriter with three ex-husbands she references constantly, both in her country songs and outside them. Dorothy isn’t a human being so much as a series of quirks Ephron finds adorable, but she’s hardly alone in that respect. Travolta is also essentially playing a series of quirks. He smells like cookies. He’s a lust object for the entire female population. (Why not men as well? The film doesn’t say.) As previously mentioned, he’s a tourist-trap-loving sugar junkie. Like Mel Brooks’ 2,000 Year Old Man, Michael played a big role at many crucial junctures of human history.

    And because this is a John Travolta vehicle, Michael loves to sing and dance. Travolta plays him as perpetually on the verge of breaking into an elaborate dance routine. In the film’s most shameless and effective sequence, he acts as an angelic pied piper at a road stop when he hypnotizes the entire female contingent into dancing with him to “Chain Of Fools.” The film offers only the flimsiest narrative pretext for the boogieing, but John Travolta dancing is anywhere between two to four minutes of quality entertainment, regardless of the context.

    Where MacDowell doesn’t have the magnetism to make her simultaneously flimsily conceived and overwritten character seem like anything but a screenwriter’s fumbling contrivance, Travolta has the movie-star magnetism to sell Michael as a figure who is irresistible not despite his decadent eccentricities, but because of them. There’s a lightness to his performance the rest of the film would have been wise to emulate, a sense of weightlessness befitting a character with wings. Travolta is a lot of fun in Michael; he’s also the only reason this ramshackle trifle of a road comedy exists, even though there’s something appealingly old-fashioned about the film’s premise. It’d be a lot easier to embrace as half of a double bill in 1941, with Cary Grant as the angel, Dana Andrews as the cynical newsman, and Barbara Stanwyck as the wacky dog trainer.

    Without Travolta, there is no movie. With him, Michael is such a slight wisp of a movie that it barely exists. Yet the public had such a strong emotional attachment to Travolta that it flocked to see the film anyway, even though there’d already been a Travolta crowd-pleaser with a suspiciously similar premise released earlier that year.

    Where Michael benefits from the lightness of Travolta’s twinkling, charming star turn, Phenomenon is lumbering and endless, a dumb person’s fantasy of what super-intelligence might be like. A late-period Bonnie Raitt song of a movie directed by Jon Turteltaub, Phenomenon casts Travolta as George Malley, a mechanic whose greatest joys in life are palling around with Diana Ross-obsessed best friend Nate Pope (Forest Whitaker) and grabbing a brewski down at the local bar.

    Then one day, George sees a burst of light in the night sky, and suddenly discovers that his pokey old average brain has switched into overdrive, and that he can read books and learn languages in the time it takes others to boil an egg. Unlike that asshole Michael, however, George uses his powers to try to help his community. As a mechanic, George fixed cars. As the world’s greatest super-genius, he sets about fixing the world’s agricultural problems.

    But it isn’t just his brain that has made an incredible leap from zero to hero: He finds that by collaborating with the energy in seemingly inanimate objects, he can also control them with willpower. He’s like a cross between Uri Geller, Albert Einstein, the world’s most advanced Scientologist, and Jesus. Finally, there’s someone ready, willing, and able to do something about all the problems plaguing mankind. But George’s powers do not go unnoticed.

    Like a human version of the protagonist of Mac & Me, only less prone to elaborate production numbers at fast-food restaurants and being brought back to life by Coca-Cola, George attracts unwanted attention from the FBI and busybody scientists who’d love to either slice up his super-brain to see what makes it tick, or use it to make Russia spontaneously explode. The FBI nabs George and tries to understand his staggering transformation, but it’s a testament to the film’s poor plotting that after scooping him up and interrogating him, the FBI just lets George go (albeit with the caveat that they will be watching him like a hawk) so that the film can devote itself more fully to its primary focus: George’s romance with Lace Pennamin (Kyra Sedgwick), a single mother scarred by her experiences with men, and gun-shy about new relationships.

    All Michael has to do is be in the same zip code as a women to attract her, but George could literally levitate Lace’s house a thousand feet up in the air, then read her a love poem in every language, and she’d still equivocate about dating him. There are infinite directions the filmmakers could have taken the premise of a simple man who becomes superhuman, and Phenomenon decides to go the route of using this man to teach a bland middle-aged divorcée to open her heart and learn to love again, despite having been hurt in the past.

    Just as Michael is of interest primarily as an allegory for the perennial “Get Out Of Jail Free” card given to celebrities at Travolta’s level, Phenomenon is most compelling as a metaphorical take on Scientology. Because if you were to believe the honeyed promises of L. Ron Hubbard and the central tenets of Scientology, then reaching the highest apexes of the religion gives the devout not just the sense of peace or perspective associated with conventional religious faith, but something approximating genuine superpowers. When George is telling the scientific establishment that he thinks he was blessed with incredible powers to serve as an inspiration for man’s potential, it’s hard not to think of Hubbard and his ideas about the bottomless nature of human potential, and Scientology’s unique ability to realize that potential.

    Travolta and Whitaker reunited just four years later for another science-fiction film revolving around a simple man who becomes a super-genius: Battlefield Earth, a notable debacle that conclusively ended Travolta’s remarkable comeback, though he did go on to have occasional hits, some merited (Hairspray), some less so (Wild Hogs). It was the success of sappy little nothings like Michael and Phenomenon that gave Travolta the leverage over the puny man-animals who run film studios and let him finally make Battlefield Earth. And it seems strangely appropriate that the success of Phenomenon and Michael helped give Travolta the opportunity to realize his dreams—and in the process, to humiliate himself more spectacularly than ever before.

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  69. 7 Former Mega Stars Who Lost Their Box Office Appeal:
    http://www.fame10.com/entertainment/7-former-mega-stars-who-lost-their-box-office-appeal/3/

    John Travolta

    John Travolta was a pretty big deal in the ‘70s; however, during the ‘80s, his career was in decline. In the ‘90s, he was able to make a comeback thanks to his role in the hit movie “Pulp Fiction.” He was nominated for an Academy Award and was inundated with movie offers. He found himself on Hollywood’s A-list as a result, but it didn’t last. By the year 2000, he was no longer considered a box office draw. There were no more Oscar nominations. Instead, he won a Razzie Award for his lackluster performance in the critically reviled flick, “Battlefield Earth.”

    For years now, Travolta has been anything but bankable. He doesn’t do much film work and the sordid details from her personal life are now news. The last successful film he headlined was “Hairspray;” however, there were countless other stars in the film, which may be why it was such a success. His last starring was “Old Dogs.” It was panned by the critics and earned him another Razzie nomination.

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  70. How “Going Clear” Outs John Travolta:
    http://www.buzzfeed.com/kateaurthur/how-going-clear-outs-john-travolta

    In the new documentary about Scientology, based on the book, Travolta is used as an example of how the church allegedly uses its members’ secrets against them.

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  71. Travolta in “Battlefield Earth” mentioned in WatchMojo’s Another Top 10 Career Ruining Movies

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  72. “Going Clear” filmmakers say Church of Scientology thinks Tom Cruise is “useless”; uses John Travolta’s plane:
    http://www.lipstickalley.com/showthread.php/843949-quot-Going-Clear-quot-filmmakers-say-Church-of-Scientology-thinks-Tom-Cruise-is-quot-useless-quot-uses-John-Travolta-s-plane

    Though most of the public automatically associates Scientology with its big-name supporters like Tom Cruise and John Travolta, the filmmakers of the documentary Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief say that some in the church do otherwise.

    “Sea Org [a wing of the church] members in particular think of celebrities as useless — they don’t have a lot of respect for them,” said journalist Tony Ortega, who is interviewed in the doc, at a press luncheon on Wednesday at HBO’s New York headquarters. “In fact, when Cruise got that medal and [church leader David] Miscavige stood up and called him ‘the best Scientologist I know,’ I’ve talked to several former Sea Org members that were in that audience that night who said it was like a slap in the face. Because these people work 17 hours a day, they completely give up any relationship with outside family — they are hard-core. And they think of the celebrities as ornaments. They don’t take them very seriously. So when Miscavige started taking celebrities more seriously, that was actually controversial inside the church.”

    Director Alex Gibney clarified the film’s intention of zooming in on the organization’s Hollywood supporters, who have made the public pay more attention to Scientology altogether. “One of the reasons we’re trying to turn the spotlight on them is not to victimize them, but to really say, ‘You have a responsibility. You’re given an enormous amount of wealth as a movie star, and with that comes a certain amount of responsibility, particularly when people are joining an organization because of you. And I think if the popular opinion begins to swing in that way, I think you could see a change with them.”

    Gibney told reporters that, like his other docs We Steal Secrets: The Story of WikiLeaks and Mea Maxima Culpa: Silence in the House of God, he was again interested in the idea of “noble cause corruption,” coupled with Going Clear author Lawrence Wright’s empathetic take on the topic. “When people are convinced of the nobility of a belief system, they can do the most appalling things,” he said. “But the people [interviewed] weren’t victims, they found a way to speak out and fight back.”

    One of Gibney’s struggles in making the film about the religious organization created by L. Ron Hubbard was that “when we went to license footage from all the major networks, they all declined to license to us for legal reasons. Now, we put it in anyway via fair use, but I found that really interesting. That means that they felt, as opposed to images about Abu Ghraib or other inflammatory material, this somehow was too perilous to touch. That’s because the church beats its breast and goes, ‘If you show that material, we’re gonna sue.’ ” Still, several notable media interviews were left on the cutting-room floor to include more footage of Miscavige speaking directly to the congregation.

    The doc also highlights how, of the three levels of church membership — Public, Staff and Sea Organization — the latter is the most difficult to leave. “No child should be allowed to sign away his life like that, throw away his education and be impoverished by his service, and then, at some point later in life, … decide, ‘I made a mistake,'” noted Wright. “By that time, you have no job résumé, no education, you’re poor, if you go through the regular channels and say, ‘I want to leave,’ they’ll give you a freeloader tab for all the services they provided you while you were working for fifty dollars a week, year after year, and it mounts up into hundreds of thousands of dollars. That’s why you see so many people escaping. … There are a lot of people whose lives have just been shattered, and they live in the shadows.

    “There were other people who escaped and were dragged back,” he added. “In one case, Marty [Rathbun] went to fetch this one woman, and they send John Travolta’s plane to pick her up and be put into this re-education camp. And one guy, they knew he was a baseball fan — they caught him in the parking lot at the Giants’ stadium and took him back. It’s not easy for people to leave that organization.”

    Former church spokesman Mike Rinder, also interviewed in the doc, told reporters that the goal is not to take down Scientology for good — many of its fundamental beliefs are appealing, he admitted, and “if it were just really all bullshit and all abuse, then people like Paul Haggis wouldn’t stick around for 35 years” — but to end its dangerous practices. “I hope it will change how much coverage there is about what really goes on in Scientology,” he explained, adding that he knows at least some current supporters will watch.

    “I think it will at least give them something to think about — they have been told, in a campaign that the church has been running since they knew this film was gonna go forward and they were unable to stop it, that everybody involved in this film is a liar,” he noted. “This campaign will prevent a fairly large percentage of the out-in-the-world Scientologists from seeing it, but it won’t prevent all of them.”

    What’s at the root of the problem? Miscavige, said Rinder. “He takes a lot of things that might otherwise be innocuous or might otherwise be, in the hands of someone else, there’d be no problem at all, and uses those as tools or weapons to abuse people with.”

    However, Ortega noted, “I think the problem Hubbard got into is, if you read Dianetics, it makes the promise that it should only take 20 hours to become clear, and once you become clear, you’ll be impervious to illness, you’ll have perfect recall, basically you’ll become superhuman. People bought this book like crazy in the summer of 1950, he realized it was a gold mine and … he ran into this problem where people would do all the steps and not become superhumans. So he’d add another level and another level. I think it kind of got away from him at a certain point, and he needed to keep people on that hamster wheel.”

    “From the beginning, you have this constant: How you keep people happy if they never attain what you promised them to begin with? How do you keep them from breaking away?” he continued. “And he was always paranoid about outside influences, so by the mid-’60s, I personally believe all of the toxic stuff that’s still harming Scientology today was in place: disconnection, fair game, ethics, security checking, security checking of children. … There are people who come out today who want to blame everything on David Miscavige and they still like L. Ron Hubbard, but Hubbard baked all this stuff in early on.”

    As for what’s next, “Public opinion will have an effect on the government doing something or not,” Ortega predicted. “Scientology is also going through an internal crisis, and it continues to, and I think this film will exacerbate that as well. I have my own personal theory: I think the IRS is biding its time till when it sees the church is weak enough, and it’s gonna step in and do something. I think there are people at the IRS that are embarrassed by what happened in the ’90s [when the IRS granted the church tax-exempt status after years of court battles].”

    The Church of Scientology sent THR a statement regarding Going Clear:

    This bigoted propaganda by Alex Gibney and Lawrence Wright is built on falsehoods invented by admitted liars. All remain bitter after having been removed in disgrace and expelled more than a decade ago from the Church, after they secretly conspired to suborn perjury and destroy evidence. They cannot be trusted, and no statements they make can be believed.

    Mr. Gibney refused to answer over a dozen letters from the Church asking for an opportunity to address any allegations; he never even sent one fact to check and he shunned 25 people who traveled to New York to meet with him with relevant answers to every single allegation that is in the film. These individuals included the children, former spouses, superiors and colleagues who worked for years alongside his sources.

    Because Mr. Gibney has remained anything but objective, the Church has compiled the unvarnished truth in the form of video footage, court documents, publicly available records and testimonials by pertinent individuals and parishioners worldwide who do represent Scientology, and were intentionally ignored by Mr. Gibney and HBO. See http://www.freedommag.org/hbo/

    Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief hits limited theaters in New York, Los Angeles and San Francisco on March 13, and premieres March 29 on HBO.

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  73. 10 Most Polarizing Actors Of All-Time:
    http://whatculture.com/film/10-most-polarising-actors-of-all-time.php/5

    John Travolta

    Make no mistake: John Travolta used to be the King of Cool. With roles in movies such as Grease and Saturday Night Fever, there was a time when everybody wanted a piece. Then his career floundered in the late ’80s, and it wasn’t until Tarantino cast him as gangster Vincent Vega in 1994’s Pulp Fiction that he had something of a career resurgence.

    Soon enough, though, through a series of ill-judged movie choices, his career was back on the backburner. And then there was all that stuff with Scientology, and the persistent rumors that he was gay. It was too much, and Travolta found himself suddenly poised as one of Hollywood’s weirdo actors – a position he still pretty much occupies today.

    That would all be enough to create a sense of the polarization, of course, but people have often questioned the merits of Travolta: The Actor. He’s very much somebody who – paired with the right script – can produce great work, and – as a result – he has his fans. But it’s hard to know where on the talent scale to place a man who has been nominated for countless Razzies, and continually makes what are arguably the worst filmic decisions in Hollywood.

    Battlefield Earth? No, John – that was an unforgivable move.

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  74. The CineFiles Podcast: Episode 11:
    http://thisisinfamous.com/cinefiles-podcast-11/

    Eric Cohen

    May 8, 2015

    Podcasts, The CineFiles Podcast

    After having completed ten episodes of The CineFiles podcast, we enter a new phase with our eleventh and it’s a good one! We discuss films we’ve recently seen or revisited like the Mark Wahlberg remake THE GAMBLER, ABSENCE OF MALICE, Louis Malle’s LACOMBE, LUCIEN, the recent Nick Broomfield documentary TALES OF THE GRIM SLEEPER, SATURDAY NIGHT FEVER and the Leos Carax directed LOVERS ON THE BRIDGE. We also give our two cents on the latest, breaking Industry news. And finally we devote the rest of our programming to AVENGERS: AGE OF ULTRON. We have a lot say on this, people.

    But wait! There’s more! We also examine the upcoming Summer releases and flag the titles we are most looking forward to seeing. FURY ROAD all the way, raggedy fans! Ahem. Anyhoo, smoke ‘em if you got ‘em. Pull up a chair. We’d love to read your comments after you’ve listened to The CineFiles Podcast: Episode 11.

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  75. John Travolta and his assorted career comebacks:
    http://www.denofgeek.us/movies/john-travolta/248167/john-travolta-and-his-assorted-career-comebacks

    John Travolta’s acting career rose and fell, rose and fell, and rose and fell again. We chart his assorted career comebacks…

    It’s hard to think of too many modern movie stars who enjoyed so many bites at box office stardom. In three, arguably four, different phases of his career, John Travolta shot to the top of the box office, stayed atop of the Hollywood tree for a bit, and tumbled.

    Here, then, are the various career peaks and troughs that he’s been through…

    The Initial Breakthrough

    Few stars broke through so quickly and so memorably as John Travolta in the 1970s. Following roles in a few TV movies and TV shows, he got his first big breakthrough with a pivotal part in Brian De Palma’s Carrie, his successful adaptation of Stephen King’s book. That was in 1976.

    But the first of two massive hits would follow in 1977, and it’s fair to say that Saturday Night Fever – and the character of Tony Manero – catapulted Travolta onto the world stage. His breakthrough performance, accompanied by his now-legendary dancing, was a phenomenon, earning him an Oscar nomination and pretty much instant fame. And an even bigger role followed. 1978’s Grease, opposite Olivia Newton-John, would make him arguably the biggest movie star in the world.

    The numbers don’t lie. We’re used to films almost casually cruising past the $100m mark at the US box office today, but it was almost unheard of back in the 70s. Likewise, American films earning just as much, if not more, overseas was the exception rather than the norm.

    Saturday Night Fever coined $237m worldwide, with $94m of that business in the US. One word of note on that: it made $85.2m of that on its original release, and then Paramount re-released it with a PG cut in 1979, which added nearly $9m in America. The film’s US gross is over $300m if you take inflation into account.

    The re-release of Saturday Night Fever was no doubt inspired by the success of Grease, and over the course of its lifetime, that much loved musical has picked up just shy of $400m at the worldwide box office. $188m of that is from US cinemas. There’s been one big re-release to contribute to that total, but even so: Grease was and is a major movie musical, and a major box office performer. Travolta, who wisely skipped Grease 2, was on top of the world.

    Where did it go wrong?

    The bubble lasted for a little while for Travolta first time around, although he wouldn’t see Grease-sized numbers again for a very long time.

    That’s because Travolta’s film choices throughout the 1980s were, for the most part, not some of his best. After the huge success he enjoyed in the late 70s, he did kick off the 1980s in style, with Urban Cowboy, itself a box office hit. Brian De Palma’s Blow Out was, at worst, an interesting box office disappointment meanwhile, and Staying Alive – with Travolta back dancing – reached $64m in the US back in 1983. That’s some way off the take of Grease and Saturday Night Fever, but still impressive. His star was still bright.

    After that? He made fewer films, and his choices weren’t as strong. Two Of A Kind, reuniting him with Olivia Newton-John, saw the pair in a strange romantic comedy centred around the idea that God is fed up of human beings. Only Travolta and Newton-John can save the world. Which they do, but not many people were watching. Save for documentary That’s Dancing!, that was it until Perfect, opposite Jamie Lee Curtis, in 1985.

    Perfect may have dulled in the mind now, but it was a notable flop in the mid-80s. A drama that centred on the world of aerobics, it was hit by critics, and generally avoided by audiences. Travola’s performance in particular was singled out for special, er, ‘words’.

    Travolta would be off the big screen for four years subsequently, and would reappear in 1989’s forgettable The Experts. It’s a film most notable for being the one where Travolta met his wife, Kelly Preston. That said, he hadn’t been not working for four years. The Experts was shot in 1987, yet Paramount didn’t release it until two years later, presumably fearing it had a financial disappointment on its hands. Which it did.

    The First Big Comeback

    Just when it looked as if Travolta’s career had come and gone, he picked a plum project. Again, it’s easy to overlook just what a big deal Amy Heckerling’s Look Who’s Talking was back in 1989, but it was a massive hit out of nowhere, and suddenly, Travolta was back – temporarily – in fashion.

    That said, it would probably be fair to say it was more the concept than the star names that did the selling here. The main drive of Look Who’s Talking was centered around the idea of giving a couple’s new baby inner thoughts voiced by Bruce Willis. It made for a decent enough hour and a half at the movies, but it’s just as easily forgotten, in truth.

    Still, Travolta’s star was back on the rise. Look Who’s Talking banked just shy of $300 million worldwide. His success would hinge on what films he chose to make next.

    What went wrong?

    Look Who’s Talking Too and Look Who’s Talking Now. They may have completed a box set, but they almost have you yearning for Rush Hour sequels, they’re that weak.

    Look Who’s Talking Too (1989) introduced a baby daughter for Travolta and Kirsty Alley’s characters, and then pretty much told the same jokes, not as well, in less time. It felt a cheap and rushed sequel, and it did just over a third of the business of the first film. That, remarkably, didn’t discourage people though, and thus in 1990, along came Look Who’s Talking Now, which predated the never-ending Beethoven franchise by adding a talking dog. To be fair, Look Who’s Talking Now is arguably the funniest of a generally quite weak comedy boxset. But it took just over $10m in the US, one 14th of the original’s take, and it was decided to leave the whole Look Who’s Talking thing there. Travolta’s career was back where it had been prior to Look Who’s Talking.

    If only a major new force in cinema could come along and give it a proper resurrection this time…

    The Really, Really, Really Big Comeback

    Travolta himself admitted that he wasn’t expecting to be back on top of Hollywood again prior to Quentin Tarantino calling with an offer to do Pulp Fiction. It took a bit of wrangling all round to get him the part, but Travolta’s most memorable role since Grease was now in the works.

    Every now and then I read a piece that takes potshots at Travolta’s acting. Pulp Fiction is one film with no shortage of evidence to demonstrate just how good he is on his day. Travolta was rewarded with being front and centre of the most talked about movie of the year. At the heart of a $200m+ box office hit. He was nominated for an Oscar. And in the role of Vincent Vega, he redefined expectations of him on screen.

    What’s more, this time he capitalised on it. It was Tarantino that advised him to take the lead role in Barry Sonnenfeld’s Get Shorty, and once more, acclaim was showered onto Travolta. The film garnered strong reviews, and good box office ($72m in the US). And this time, the hits mainly kept on coming. In the years following 1994’s Pulp Fiction, Travolta would score box office successes of varying degrees with Broken Arrow ($70m US), Phenomenon ($104m US), Michael ($95m US), and the one-of-a-kind Face/Off ($112m US).

    It was Travolta’s best ever box office run, and even box office disappointments such as the ambitious White Man’s Burden ($3m US), She’s So Lovely ($7m US), and Mad City ($10m US) were swiftly overlooked, given that another big hit was around the corner.

    Even some of those disappointments still earned Travolta respect, such as his leading role as pretend Bill Clinton in Primary Colors. And he would round the 1990s off with another hit, as The General’s Daughter brought home $102m at the US box office alone. The second half of the 90s had few better, consistent box office draws.

    What went wrong?

    After a run where Travolta’s hit rate of interesting projects had been strong, his instincts started to falter again. He put plenty on the line in 2000 for the big screen take on L Ron Hubbard’s Battlefield Earth, and the film would – as you more than likely know – become one of the most notable flops of the 2000s, sweeping the Golden Raspberry Awards and taking a kicking from critics the world over. It should be noted that Battlefield Earth has some advocates, but released in the middle of summer, its $21m US take was a big disappointment. The same year, Lucky Numbers fell hard too, grossing just $10m in America.

    That said, it’d be wrong to say that Travolta’s career was irreparably damaged by Battlefield Earth. He continued to land leading roles in relatively big movies for most of the decade, but the hard truth is the films weren’t as good, or as interesting. Ladder 49, for instance, may have taken $74m in America, but few fish it out to watch time and time again. Middling hits such as the hilarious Swordfish ($69m, US), Domestic Disturbance ($45m US), Basic ($26m US), The Punisher ($33m), and the not very well received Get Shorty sequel, Be Cool ($56m US) kept the bills paid.

    Few were forming a line for his movies, though.

    The Smaller Bounceback

    That said, there was another Travolta career bounce to come.

    Come the end of the 2000s, and Travolta found himself part of a trio of big hit movies again. 2007’s Wild Hogs was the big surprise. Opening in March, the film scored a massive $39m opening weekend, against not particularly impressive reviews. Travolta was second billed behind Tim Allen, and above Martin Lawrence and Ray Liotta. And whilst the film didn’t travel as well outside of America, adding another $85m, it took a huge $168m in America. It was the 13th highest grossing film at the US box office in 2007, outperforming Die Hard 4, Rush Hour 3, Fantastic Four: Rise Of The Silver Surfer, and Ocean’s Thirteen.

    It also outgrossed a second $100m+ hit that Travolta was attached to in 2007: Hairspray. Again, he was part of a broader ensemble here, but still, the film picked up a cool $200m worldwide ($118m in the US). 2008, meanwhile, would see him get top billing on the poster for Disney’s Bolt, which attracted $309m of business across the globe. That said, the fact that it was a Disney animated movie, and that it featured Miley Cyrus at a point when she was Disney’s ideal family-friendly star probably helped too.

    What went wrong?

    A couple of other solid performances followed, but the hard truth was that by the end of the 2000s, Travolta had gone the way of many movie stars, and his name couldn’t open a film any more. So far in the 2010s, we’ve seen him in Oliver Stone’s disappointing Savages, and in heist thriller The Forger. The latter has enjoyed limited theatrical exposure, and got a video on demand release in the US.

    Today

    It’s easy to forget that John Travolta is now 61 years old, and in that time, it feels as if he’s had two or three very different movie careers. Inevitably, the big meaty leading roles tend to land for actors between the ages of 20 and 50 (although those rules do feel like they’ve been changing), and there are times when – sitting through a movie – I’ve wondered quite what Travolta ever saw in it.

    He didn’t always help himself with his peers either, reporting being overlooked for an Oscar nomination after insisting on a paycheck of $20,000,001 for appearing in Michael. That was so he could be Hollywood’s highest paid actor, overtaking the $20,000,000 that Jim Carrey had received for The Cable Guy. Other actors didn’t seem quite so keen on the move.

    Still: Saturday Night Fever, Pulp Fiction, Face/Off, even Swordfish on a rainy day. Travolta’s back catalog has thrown up – across his three or four careers – plenty of films to enjoy. Surely he’s just waiting for HBO to offer him a meaty TV role next…

    Like

  76. Fox finds its Urban Cowboy:
    http://www.tvinsider.com/article/34132/fox-finds-its-urban-cowboy/

    Mexican actor/singer Alfonso Herrera will take on the role played by John Travolta in the 1980 film of the same name. According to Deadline, he’ll play “an extremely popular rodeo circuit rider who is a puppet for the drug cartel, forced to flee Mexico after ticking off the wrong people. Now, with a price on his head, he and his sister make their way to Houston, given sanctuary by his Uncle Al, also an illegal immigrant who has made a life for himself in the United States.”

    Like

  77. I guess it makes sense to put it here given all of the rumors surrounding John Travolta:
    Matt Damon Suggests Gay Actors Should Stay in the Closet http://thr.cm/ahgzJM

    Like

  78. Matt does have a point actors should not indulge too much about their personal life. Let work speak for its self

    Like

  79. 10 Actors You Hate Because Of One Movie Role:
    http://whatculture.com/film/10-actors-you-hate-because-of-one-movie-role.php/3

    John Travolta – Battlefield Earth

    Is John Travolta that hate-able in Battlefield Earth that you forget about Pulp Fiction? Probably not. Is John Travolta still pretty hate-able in Battlefield Earth? Yes. Did Battlefield Earth kick-start an awful fifteen year spell of films that make it really difficult to remember how good JT was in Pulp Fiction, especially when you consider that that film (PF) was over twenty years ago and maybe Quentin Tarantino fluked one out of Danny Zuko and Tony Manero? Yes. (As a side-note, is John Travolta also one of the weirdest men alive? I digress.)

    These questions are vital to the John Travolta conundrum, and, if you go the route I have in posing them, it becomes acceptable to hate John Travolta, even if your best instincts tell you otherwise.

    Alas, though, Battlefield Earth, a disastrous production in every sense possible, is a more prominent John Travolta performance than his Vincent Vega in Pulp Fiction, not for the role per se, but in what it stands for, and what it brought on. A couple more truly great Travolta performances on his CV might’ve saved him from this fate, but it’s time to stop forgiving actors for decades of awfulness because they were fleetingly good in the past.

    Like

  80. John Travolta (I) : When did he go bald?

    http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0000237/board/thread/248350363?d=248450949#248450949

    He started to noticeably bald in the early 90’s. He still wore his real hair for the most part in movies until the late 90’s, but with a little bit of help.

    If you watch something like Broken Arrow for example, with the harsh lighting you can tell that they painted his hairline on his scalp, the hair that’s left is pretty sparse and not that thick.

    In Pulp Fiction that long hair was mostly either hair extensions or a weave.

    He still could get away with putting a bunch of concealers in his hair in public until a few years ago, but he had lost so much hair by that point that it literally looked like his head was painted, which in essence it was.

    For many years whenever you saw him in short hair it was his own but “painted on” and whenever you saw him with long hair it was a toupee. But recently even the short hair is a piece, and I mean the entire thing, the top, sides, back, everything is one hairpiece. William Shatner wears a similar one, but I must say his is much better. With John you can see the lace clearly, it’s not fooling anyone.

    It’s pretty bizarre considering that he seemingly has no problems going out and about without his piece and even photographed with fans without it, and he has done many roles with his natural hair like Taking of Pelham and Savages, but he still wears the bad piece to every red carpet event and interview.

    Like

  81. Watch a glimpse of John Travolta on American Crime Story: The People v. O.J. Simpson:
    http://www.eonline.com/news/709003/check-out-a-very-different-john-travolta-in-the-first-footage-from-american-crime-story-the-people-v-o-j-simpson

    The FX event series released its first clip, of Travolta as Simpson defense attorney Robert Shapiro.

    Like

  82. Top 10 Actors and Actresses that Aged Badly

    Beauty may be in the eye of the beholder, but some eyes are less forgiving. Join http://www.WatchMojo.com as we count down our picks for the Top 10 Actors and Actresses that Aged Badly. For this list, we’re looking at Hollywood actors and actresses whose appearances changed drastically over the course of their careers.

    Like

  83. What do you think of John Travolta’s film choices after Pulp Fiction?

    http://www.imdb.com/board/bd0000007/flat/251135319?p=1

    Like

  84. Lebeu off topic but any chance you think Michael Cera will be added to the list. He had a lot of hype after Superbad he was working a lot. However most of his post Juno flicks flopped. The failure of the interesting Scott Vs the world destroyed any chance of studio ever putting big gamble on him. Hes done cameos and direct to dvd flicks since. Hes one of those actors who can only play one type of role awkward guy and audiences quickly grew tired of it . Hes still young but most likely due to his kid like features and range he will probably not mature into adult roles. It would look weird having Michael playing awkward guy in his 40s. After Superbad if you told me back in 2007 that Johnah Hill would have bigger career I would haVE LAUGHED. Michael was expected to be huge.

    Like

  85. 15 Most Critically Hated Films From 2015

    http://whatculture.com/film/15-most-critically-hated-films-from-2015.php/2

    The Forger

    Rotten Tomatoes Score: 8% (4.2/10)

    Why Critics Hated It: Here’s a movie that just doesn’t know what it wants to be: it aspires to be a slick art heist, a family drama and a cancer-driven tear-jerker all at the same time, and unsurprisingly succeeds at being none.

    John Travolta gives a somnambulant performance in the lead role, though some light relief does emerge whenever the camera focuses on his blatantly fake hair. Great actors like Christopher Plummer, Jennifer Ehle and Tye Sheridan are meanwhile pretty much hung out to dry here without a scrap of good material to work from.

    It never feels especially authentic or like anyone involved is trying much, and so aside from Travolta’s hilarious hairdo, you won’t remember much of it a week later.

    Like

  86. 11 Actors Who Survived Career Suicide Twice

    http://whatculture.com/film/11-actors-who-survived-career-suicide-twice.php/10

    John Travolta

    Travolta is pretty much the comeback king, having gone up and down the A-list ladder faster than a demented window cleaner. He first made it big in the seventies, with Grease and Saturday Night Fever giving him a place in the heart of audiences. A string of poor choices (Staying Alive, Two Of A Kind, Perfect) sank his career in the mid-eighties, and putting on a bit of weight didn’t help either.

    It wasn’t until Tarantino gave him another shot with Pulp Fiction that he regained his crown, and he again made a batch of hits like Face/Off and Get Shorty. His next fall from grace was pouring the goodwill he’d earned into making Battlefield Earth, based on the book by the founder of Scientology. The movie left such a stink it practically killed his career overnight, with most of his follow-up movies bombing.

    While he’s mostly known these days for his weird hairline and creeping behind Scarlet Johansson, he’s evolved into a great character actor, which can be seen in Savages and American Crime Story.

    Like

  87. 10 Actors Who Stupidly Turned Down Iconic Roles

    http://whatculture.com/film/10-actors-who-stupidly-turned-down-iconic-roles.php/9

    John Travolta – Forrest Gump
    Paramount Pictures

    The Role: Forrest Gump

    These days it’s hard to imagine anyone other than Tom Hanks in the role of the lovable and slow-witted hero of Robert Zemeckis’ adaptation of Winston Groom’s book, but it was almost a lot different as Grease star John Travolta turned the role down.

    He has since admitted that the decision was a mistake, but the same year, he did make Pulp Fiction for Tarantino, and re-announced his cool in a way that Forrest Gump would probably never have managed. But then, when the role you turned down ends up landing its eventual star an Oscar for Best Actor ahead of your own nominated performance, as happened to Travolta in 1994, it’s probably a lot easier to just accept that it was a mistake.

    You would have thought John might have learned from his experience during the 80s – a decade of waste for the actor, who couldn’t seem to catch a break, and managed to turn down both An Officer and A Gentleman and American Gigolo during his so-called downturn. But no.

    Like

  88. Actors whose careers were killed by one terrible movie

    Battlefield Earth was so bad no one even acknowledges it, but I guess maybe it’s a candidate for this list.

    I think Pulp Fiction set high expectations for him for a new generation, and he followed that up with a lot of mediocrity(Swordfish, Face/Off, Phenomenon). Personally I think he’s doing fine as Shapiro, and a lot of his perceived creepiness has been created by the whole “Travolta is gay” scandal and his Scientology ties.

    Like

  89. I just thought about something: John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John starring “Grease” together (also “Two of a Kind”, but let’s forget about that one). Olivia Newton-John’s music video of her song “Physical” focuses on working out (in that totally 1980’s way), and later Travolta stars in “(Im)Perfect”, which is about health clubs. I don’t know, I just found that interesting.

    Like

  90. I meant “starred in” and also, no John Travolta/Olivia Newton-John post should go without mentioning their Christmas album!

    Like

  91. John Travolta would be open to doing more TV — as long as it’s a limited series with the right people

    http://www.tvinsider.com/article/83339/john-travolta-open-to-doing-tv-again-after-the-people-v-o-j-experience/

    “I wouldn’t say arbitrarily that I’m ready to go do any TV, but I’m ready to do their TV,” The People v. O.J. Simpson star says of working with Ryan Murphy’s people. But only if it’s a limited series. “I couldn’t do a full-time series, that would take too much of my time and I still enjoy doing movies which, for one thing, are shorter,” says Travolta.

    Like

  92. Deanna Smith-Fagin

    “The People VS OJ” is an excellent ministries with extremely good actors,including Travolta, who plays Shapiro to a T. Impressive too is the make up. Most of the actors really look like their real life counterparts

    Like

    • Yeah, hats off to the makeup artist(s), especially with John Travolta, who in that look is fit to shoot a commercial for LegalZoom.

      Like

  93. Warner Bros.’ First Choice For Prince’s Role In ‘Purple Rain’? John Travolta!

    http://uproxx.com/movies/purple-rain-travolta-prince/

    Like

  94. Nostalgia Critic Real Thoughts On: Face/Off (1997)

    Two hams for the price of one? Sounds like Doug and Rob’s kind of movie! Here are their real thoughts on the Cage and Travolta movie Face/Off.

    Like

    • 15 Actors Who Desperately Need A Hit

      http://whatculture.com/film/15-actors-who-desperately-need-a-hit?page=10

      John Travolta

      John Travolta has had one of the more unpredictable careers of just about any actor out there: he started out strong with hits like Saturday Night Fever and Grease, then got relegated to the Look Who’s Talking franchise until Quentin Tarantino bailed him out with Pulp Fiction.

      Travolta was nominated for a Best Actor Oscar for his work on the film, and the move is largely credited with reviving his career…at least until 2000’s calamitous Battlefield Earth came along.

      His last significant hit was 2009’s Old Dogs, and in the years prior to that successes had been fairly sporadic. He’s mostly relegated to straight-to-VOD thrillers these days, and he’s clearly just waiting for Tarantino to come a-calling and rescue his career once again.

      Like

  95. Was Look Who’s Talking Now the low point of John Travolta’s career?

    https://www.datalounge.com/thread/17286619-was-look-who-s-talking-now-the-low-point-of-john-travolta-s-career-

    Considering the movie flopped and everyone hated it the movie was not only the low point in the series but considering he was upstaged by 2 dogs couldn’t have been good for his ego.
    —Anonymous (43 views)

    5 replies 22 hours ago

    You’re forgetting his first career slump in the mid-80s. Two of a Kind, Perfect, The Experts. He’s no stranger to everyone hating his movies.

    —Anonymous

    reply 1 2 hours ago

    On balance he’s had more lows than highs. Remarkably resilient, though, but his reputation is tarnished by Scientology and the worst glass closet imaginable.

    —Anonymous

    reply 2 2 hours ago

    No, his low point was releasing two straight-to-video movies,”Chains of Gold”, “Eyes Of An Angel”, as well as the theatrical bomb, “Shout”. He was all but over after that–then Tarantino showed mercy and gave him a role in “Pulp Fiction”.

    —Anonymous

    reply 44 1 minutes ago

    Like

  96. Mr. X Blind Item #1

    http://www.crazydaysandnights.net/2016/07/mr-x-blind-item-1-90.html

    So that long-in-gestation biopic that is starring and financed by that closeted former A-list actor and his B/C-list actress wife-beard is finally in production, but without a distributor

    Why? Very simple, they have no cash. The wife-beard has been taking money out of her husband’s bank account again to finance her coke and pill habit (nothing new there, it’s been happening throughout their faux marriage). Plus she’s donating money to that shady organization she is still very much a part of, whereas the husband only shows up for the organization’s events where he knows he will get paid. He knows something’s up, but he’s afraid to put his foot down. Something’s gotta give, and it won’t be pretty.

    Like

  97. For one reason or another, these actors seem to have lost their way. Welcome to http://www.WatchMojo.com, and today we’re counting down our picks for the Top 10 Actors That Have Lost Their Mojo.

    Like

    • The evidence is overwhelming that I don’t even question the validity of this claim anymore. But what’s the deal with Kelly Preston? She isn’t some trophy wife nobody. She had plenty going for her. Why did she marry him?

      Like

      • She was engaged to Charlie Sheen, so maybe she just wanted to be with somebody she felt safe with?

        Like

      • That’s something I have wondered about too. I don’t know the specifics of Preston’s decision. That will probably have to wait until the day when/if I write about her. But I know that arranged marriages and relationships are fairly common in Scientology. Especially for celebrities like Travolta and Cruise. Preston was probably promised a lot of things to play along. Once you’re in, there are costs to getting out.

        Like

  98. John Travolta reveals the “glue” that’s rebonded his family since son Jett’s death: http://usm.ag/2debYkM

    Like

  99. Donald Trump recalled hitting on Kelly Preston in a note about her son’s death http://huff.to/2dGAwCL

    Like

  100. Blind Items Revealed #2

    http://crazydaysandnights.net/2016/12/blind-items-revealed-2-639.html

    July 3, 2016

    This former A+ list movie and television actor who has a connection to Blind Item #1 (Tom Cruise) is so hard up for cash that he is doing paid meet and greets.

    John Travolta

    Like

  101. John Travolta has absolutely no interest in watching Leah Remini’s Scientology series http://huff.to/2hnnXiR

    Like

    • Yeah, if John Travolta is still in support of Scientology, then he isn’t that program’s intended audience.

      Like

    • I have been watching the show because I find Scientology fascinating. For my money, Remini is the least interesting part of the show. She tries to put herself in the spotlight as a do-gooder a little too frequently. On the other hand, she takes responsibility for having promoted Scientology for most of her life, so I guess she feels the needs to offset that.

      As for John Travolta, he’s been blackmailed by Scientology for decades. He couldn’t leave if he wanted to. I suspect if he could have left without repercussions, he would have done so a long time ago. Now he’s the famous person Scientology uses to take down their critics. They can’t risk using Tom Cruise for that sort of thing, but Travolta is famous enough to make headlines without actually being a movie star any more.

      Like

      • Yeah, I question John Travolta’s current devotion to Scientology as well, but no matter what his true feelings are, it looks like he’ll forever be affiliated with that organization, in their eyes and the public’s eyes. His seemingly sincere belief in “Battlefield Earth” though, is confounding to me (however, it isn’t like he hasn’t made questionable career decisions outside of that film).

        Like

        • If you have spent your entire adult life in a cult, lying to yourself becomes easy. Believing in the merits of Battlefield Earth is pretty simple when you have convinced yourself to believe in an alien warlord named Xenu.

          Like

        • I don’t think I’ve ever quite gotten over the look of Xenu since the first time I saw that; it’s like an elephant & a squid had a baby together. That’s one spoiled baby though, that needs lots of contributions.

          Like

        • I’m not sure if that’s the official look of Xenu. I have seen him drawn in all kinds of ways including some very Flash Gordon/Ming the Merciless looks. He’s actually the bad guy of the piece. LRH (L. Ron Hubbard) is the central hero figure in the mythology with his replacement (David Miscavige) as his heir. In reality, Miscavige is more of a tyrant than any intergalactic overlord could ever be. He’s the spoiled baby demanding hundreds of thousands of dollars in contributions.

          I have to stop now before I get declared an SP.

          Like

        • It’s probably too late for that, since this is a John Travolta article:-). They probably have files on all of us now, and one day I’ll likely find myself waking up in the basement of the Downtown Buffalo Church of Scientology basement hog-tied and gagged. Oh well: as Moe Szyslak once said on “The Simpsons”, “Remember me…as a peacemaker!”.

          Like

        • They actually opened a center about 20 minutes from where I live. They take out ads on local buses. It’s scary to have them in my backyard!

          Like

        • Yeah, I find the presence of their buildings unsettling; I think I’d prefer Dracula’s castle.

          Like

  102. 10 Worst TV Performances Of 2016

    http://whatculture.com/tv/10-worst-tv-performances-of-2016?page=9

    John Travolta – Robert Shapiro (American Crime Story)

    In recent years John Travolta has become something of joke within Hollywood. He’s been in a string of awful films like From Paris With Love, Savages and even Gummy Bear The Movie 3D. Ever since he mispronounced Idina Menzel’s name as “Adele Dazeem” at the 2014 Academy Awards, he’s been regarded as someone to laugh at rather than with. Oh, and the whole Scientology thing really doesn’t help.

    News that he’d be playing O. J. Simpson’s defense attorney in American Crime Story, then, was met with skepticism. And despite the show itself receiving critical praise, there’s been a permanent divide over Travolta’s performance.

    Some see it as a return to form for the veteran actor, while others think it’s goofy and erratic, impossible to regard with any actual seriousness. And it’s true: Travolta is not an unassuming-looking man. Given his position in modern Hollywood, he’s incredibly difficult to take sincerely, and his acting often comes across as more puzzling than anything else. It’s like watching an actor try to act, and that’s never a good thing.

    Like

  103. I really enjoyed this article but was disappointed that it only went up to 2012, when this post was published. Why not update it to include information on what he’s done in the last 4 years?

    Like

  104. Leebau wouldnt you agree that john michael co star william hurt would make an interesting article. He had a string of several hits in the 80s alot of them leading . He seemed poised to hit a list but for some reason in the 90s he became a charactor actor. Most actors start becoming charactor actor when they either get too old or there career is in trouble no studio will trust them with a lead role anymore. but he all of sudden switch to supporting roles when his career was getting bigger and he was close to superstardom. I think maybe he found supporting roles more interesting

    Like

  105. Flop House Classic – Old Dogs

    http://www.flophousepodcast.com/2013/03/flop-house-classic-old-dogs/

    A fan-chosen repeat of a classic episode. Enjoy re-living the misery! * * * Is it possible John Travolta and director Walt Becker could top Wild Hogs? Well, when it comes to Old Dogs, it depends on what you mean by “top.” Meanwhile, Stuart reveals some exciting …

    Like

  106. John Travolta’s junk played a major role in Ricky Martin’s life

    https://t.co/0Yd4BwOFgg

    Like

  107. Saturday Night Fever, Forty Years Later

    https://www.datalounge.com/thread/18576007-saturday-night-fever-forty-years-later

    I got to see Saturday Night Fever — for only the second time ever — on the big screen last year. It really is a great film, filled with realistic, believable characters (they do not hesitate to use racist, homophobic and sexist language) that absolutely captures the milieu. And the music/dancing scenes are hypnotic.

    Personally, yes, I think Travolta deserved the Oscar that year, though Richard Dreyfuss is very entertaining in The Goodbye Girl. Although Saturday Night Fever was a big hit and an acclaimed film, the only Oscar nomination it got was for Best Actor (yes, as crazy as it sounds, NONE of those classic songs were nominated for Best Original Song, all 5 hits were eligible — “How Deep Is Your Love”; “Stayin’ Alive”; “Night Fever”; “If I Can’t Have You”; “More than a Woman”); I suspect Dreyfuss won because not only was The Goodbye Girl a hit, it was nominated for 5 Oscars in total (aside from Best Actor, it was also nominated for Best Picture, Actress [Marsha Mason], Supporting Actress [Quinn Cummings] and Original Screenplay) and Dreyfuss had starred in another big, Oscar-nominated hit that year, Close Encounters of the Third Kind.

    —Anonymous

    reply 2 Last Saturday at 4:37 AM

    Like

  108. Watching Urban Cowboy on HBO Demand

    https://www.datalounge.com/thread/18716056-watching-urban-cowboy-on-hbo-demand

    John Travolta (in his prime, obviously) just seems like he was one of the last real movie stars (someone you would consider a “real” movie star in the traditional sense).

    He had “Saturday Night Fever”, “Grease”, and “Urban Cowboy” pretty close together.

    It’s hard to think of a male “star”/famous young movie actor today that’s the same age as Travolta was during his most successful period and that has started in that many equally zeitgeisty movies that drove audiences crazy, changed the culture, and brought in tons of cash at the box office…

    (Not to even mention that at that time, Travolta also had charisma for days–something that a lot of current “stars” are sorely lacking in).

    —God, and he was so cute to look at it his prime; charming and good actor

    reply 4 04/15/2017

    Debra Winger OWNED that part as Sissy. One of the best castings ever in a film. It’s really incredible that Travolta really a run of three great films and the bottom fell out of his career until Look Who’s Talking and another Oscar nom for Pulp Fiction. He probably thought everything he touched would turn to gold after Urban Cowboy. Turned out one film was worse than the next for him in the 80s.

    —Anonymous

    reply 7 04/15/2017

    Like

  109. Good Bad Flicks: Swordfish (2001)

    Liked by 1 person

    • I don’t know, I kind of liked “Swordfish”, and it had nothing to do with Halle Berry showing her Halle Berry’s for the first time on screen. I mean, I suppose all those computer-internet related films are a little outlandish, but I like the other two computer related films mentioned in the video (“Hackers” & “The Net”). I see “Swordfish” as no better of worse than those two.

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  110. Johnny Depp Passed on Face/Off Because He Was Disappointed to Learn It Was Not a Movie About Hockey

    http://www.vulture.com/2017/07/johnny-depp-thought-face-off-was-about-hockey.html

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  111. 14 Actors Who Desperately Need A Hit Movie

    http://whatculture.com/film/14-actors-who-desperately-need-a-hit-movie?page=5

    John Travolta

    Seriously, who did John Travola p*** off in Hollywood? Despite an impressive, Tarantino-fueled comeback in the mid-90s, the guy’s been in straight-to-video jail for quite some time now, starring in hilariously-titled movies such as I Am Wrath, Life on the Line and Killing Season.

    In fact, Travolta’s last bonafide box office hit was almost a decade ago with 2009’s Old Dogs, which ironically also led to him receiving a Worst Actor Razzie nomination.

    At least Travolta recently earned Golden Globe and Emmy nominations for playing lawyer Robert Shapiro on American Crime Story, but in terms of enticing upcoming movie projects, it’s hard to expect much from movies with titles like Speed Kills and Trading Paint, which will presumably go direct-to-streaming.

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    • 15 Movies That Completely Ruined Actors’ Reputations

      http://screenrant.com/movies-that-ruined-actors-reputations/

      BATTLEFIELD EARTH – JOHN TRAVOLTA

      Despite being the biggest icon of the 1970s with Saturday Night Fever, John Travolta started to become more and more obscure during the ’80s. Things took a turn for the better in 1994, however, when Quinten Tarantino made the brilliant decision to cast Travolta as a cheeseburger-eating gangster in Pulp Fiction. Just like that, Travolta was experiencing a second wind, and he was once again on top.

      That is, until Battlefield Earth hit theaters in 2003. Just when it looked like Travolta’s career had been saved, this misguided sci-fi flick, based on the works of scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard, destroyed what credibility the actor had left. The movie was universally despised by both critics and moviegoers, becoming one of the biggest flops in cinema history.

      Sure, he’s been in Hairspray and American Crime Story, but Travolta was once one of the biggest stars on the planet, and playing second fiddle to Cuba Gooding Jr. just doesn’t cut it.

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  112. During the filming of Pulp Fiction (1994), John Travolta convinced Quentin Tarantino to make Marvin’s death an accident in order to keep Vincent Vega from becoming unsympathetic

    https://streamable.com/pvk4q

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  113. 15 Famous Actors Who REALLY Aren’t Aging Well

    http://screenrant.com/celebrities-actors-not-aging-well-look-old/

    JOHN TRAVOLTA

    John Travolta is a man of mystery. He always has been. So, it should hardly be a surprise to learn that the actor once famous for his boyish good looks on films like Grease and Saturday Night Fever would want to preserve that image for his fans. Multiple face lifts, hair transplants, and Botox are just a few of the procedures Travolta is accused of undergoing. Travolta denies it all of course, despite the fact he’s beginning to look increasingly like a Ken Doll version of himself.

    The situation was hardly helped in 2016 when Travolta played real-life OJ Simpson lawyer Robert Shapiro in The People vs OJ Simpson: American Crime Story. It was genuinely difficult to know where Shapiro, famous for his unusual appearance, ended and Travolta began.

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  114. John Travolta plays the Teflon Don in Gotti trailer

    http://www.looper.com/87762/john-travolta-plays-teflon-don-gotti-trailer/

    John Travolta walks the walk and talks the talk in the first trailer for the biopic Gotti.

    The trailer debuted on Good Morning America, and it offers our best look at Travolta as the late John Gotti, head of the notorious Gambino crime family in New York. 

    Directed by Entourage star Kevin Connolly, the movie follows Gotti’s life over the course of three decades, chronicling his rise to the top of the criminal underworld. Travolta’s real-life wife Kelly Preston plays Gotti’s wife Victoria, and the film especially focuses on their relationship.

    Travolta told ABC News that he got into character by borrowing some of Gotti’s actual clothes during filming. “I got to wear his jewelry,” he said. “In several of the scenes, I’m wearing his real ties.” Gotti’s son John Gotti Jr. was a key adviser for the movie and also frequently visited the set.

    Look for the movie in theaters on Dec. 15. Meanwhile, take a look at some actors who underwent intense facial transformations for a role.

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  115. This man shares his story about ALLEGEDLY being sexually assaulted by John Travolta.

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