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Tom Cruise: Unfairly treated by the media or not?

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    Your dooyooMiles Miles

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      10.02.2009 15:45
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      I should dislike him but he amuses me

      Well, I wouldn't have thought of using this subject for a review, but I've just come across the other 5 reviews and it got me started.....

      Maybe I do have more opinions on Thomas Cruise Mapother IV than I ever thought I did. Did you see that, I know his full name, why do I know his full name? That's crazy, because he's not even my favourite actor and I don't even fancy him, and yet I know these trivial facts about him: Because he's been in the public eye for just about as long as I can remember, and is such a great manipulator of the media that I have absorbed these facts without even trying, which is what every celebrity wants from their punters. So don't feel too sorry for him!

      As I was trying to think of the first thing I saw him in, it came to me: who can remember "The Outsiders" ? (Or is it just me?) I remember watching this classic film at school in the 1980's , it sticks in the mind because it was a special event when the teacher had to book 'television time' and roll it into the classroom on a special wheely stand....anyway, I digress.

      We had to write a review of "The Outsiders" for our English assignment, it starred every single one of the 1980's 'Brat Pack' including Mr Cruise, all with original teeth - not a pretty sight. A quick google reveals that this was back in 1983, and my point is this: up until the enormity of Top Gun in 1986, Tom was just your average normal acting type, making films where he danced around in his underpants and wore those red sport jacket things with the white sleeves, you know the ones I mean. The more mega-famous a person becomes, the more the media try to dig the dirt, and if there isn't enough, make some up.

      We know of his difficult childhood, without his father, and fighting dyslexia. I think that, it's not so much that he's unfairly treated by the media, more that he is a great player of the media when it suits him.

      Look at the great service he gives when he is attending one of his film premieres: I can't think of another movie star who gives so much bang for your buck, he works the crowd for up to 2 hours, allowing photographs, autographs, getting squirted with water, anything goes.

      In recent years, his behaviour has been 'different' , what with the sofa-jumping and the loudly-proclaimed opinions on everything from anti-depressants to the meaning of true love. So the media have grasped this and run with it, because it's tabloid heaven when a star starts behaving like this: But I never think for one minute that Tom (Thumb) is ever not in control of his actions in public. I think he's had a tough start in life, and made a decision to change things. Then he has grown up , got rich and famous, and decided to hang on to his success with a vice-like grip and good luck to him.

      Maybe his outbursts over the last few years were just down to his age and it was a bit of a mid-life crisis, a long-time married man suddenly off the leash - he certainly seems to have quietened down now that he has remarried and had Suri, (surely a contender for the cutest toddler ever).

      Did you see his appearance on Parkinson a few years back? He was smiley, friendly and chatty, going along with the flow. But when Parky strayed onto hostile territory, (the subject of his father) Cruise simple steered away from it by just fixing a rictus grin onto his face and ignoring the questions that he didn't like. No-one is treating him unfairly, he is the one in charge.


      I am no expert on Scientology but I believe that he has turned to this religion because it offers him the strictness and security that he loves. I'm not his biggest fan or anything like it, but I have seen most of his films and can't think of any that I wouldn't watch again, they have all been entertaining in their different ways: His name on a film poster usually guarantees a good movie. (okay , maybe not Cocktail).

      I try really hard not to like him, yet I just can't. There is something 'different' about his manner, yes, but somehow I just like him. His films are good, his outbursts make me smile, his wife looks like his mirror image, what more could a fan want? ;)

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        09.02.2009 17:15
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        He could be creepy, but he is still hot !

        Tom Cruise, one of the 1980's hot, young actors, he wasn't a one hit wonder, he had (in the 80's) several films of all different names, essentially the same, guy is doing something dangerous (Days of Thunder/Top Gun) meets girl falls in love, someone dies etc. But these films are close to our hearts as we remember Tom Cruise - Before he went mental.

        Now flying around the media is a hell of a lot of libellous stuff (which I won't repeat for fear of getting sued). It includes controversy about his sexuality, the truth behind TomKat, Nicole etc.

        I have been a fan of Tom Cruise, since I could identify hot men. He's my 'type'-(I have discovered along with my Boyfriend and Gary Barlow who all have the same look - lucky me!) although slightly too short for me (I'll never meet him anyway!). He was 'the guy' I held other men up to. He had the cheeky smile, sense of humour; he's a family man, caring (adopted children). The list is endless. I always knew he was too old for me - but still very hot.

        Previously we never heard about Tom's religious or other views. Scientology was something no one really understood and no one really cared one way or the other. From my memory he started to go a bit nuts when he became 'The Man' - what I mean by this is that Tom Cruise used to be an actor, now he is directing, producing- hell- he's probably writing the theme tune and singing the theme tune (Little Britain reference there).

        This is when - it seemed he got a bit too big for his boots. I'm not sure on the official timeline, but Tom and Nicole split up, He jumps on the couch after suddenly announcing he was going to be a father. Paramount weren't having his weird behaviour so dumped his production company.

        Hang on- Rewind - who has he been dating. Apparently he has been dating someone a year younger than me. Now if I'd have known I would have camped on his doorstep and waited.

        I digress.

        So no wonder the press had a field day with Tom's slightly weird behaviour, weird girlfriend/wife who suddenly appeared. He put himself out there, jumping on couches, having babies with young women. The list is endless. Thankfully he has calmed down slightly, knowing that people are freaked out by the whole scientology bit seems to have hit a point (or his managers have told him to shape up) where he has stopped. To be honest I don't care about people's beliefs or personal life, just that he keeps doing brilliant movies, that is what he is good at, and I hope to see him continue in that way as long as possible. We know and I'm sure he knows he is no Thespian, but we can be safe in the knowledge he will do his own stunts (without sofa's) and he will get the girl (if it's that kind of movie). So in answer to the question- is he unfairly treated by the media. In an answer no. I think if you court the press, you go on shows telling people about your personal life, hang out with the Beckhams in public, you are asking to be talked about and photographed. However if you keep yourself to yourself (as many stars do) you can remain anonymous to an extent.

        Since Tom Cruise has got back to a level of normality he is talked about less, his movies are the things most talked about and him in a professional sense. As long as he doesn't fall out of any clubs or b*tch slap David Beckham, they should be all ok.

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          19.01.2009 12:41
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          He needs to lighten up and not get so defensive

          There is something weird about Tom Cruise. I can't quite put my finger on it but there is something not quite right about the man. In interviews, he never seems natural. It is as if someone has asked him to play the part of 'Tom Cruise: the film star' in some kind of Truman show type ongoing movie. The next time you see him on TV, look at his eyes; they are a mix of complete soullessness and religious zeal which is quite creepy.

          Saying that, I don't think he is as sinister as he is presented as being by the media. There is definitely something calculated about his life and it seems like a very well organised publicity generating machine. But I don't think he is as cold or unfeeling as people portray him as. To sustain the level of international success that he has enjoyed for so many years must require incredible drive and determination. It must also require sacrificing a large portion of your personal life to remain an accessible, box office hit. I think this is what Tom Cruise has done. In fact, I think he is probably so used to it that he sees photo-opportunities rather than enjoying social and personal events as most people would.

          As for Scientology, there are obvious sinister and cultish aspects to that. But again, I do not think that Tom Cruise practices this religion with malice, rather it fits in perfectly with his determination to succeed.

          As someone who lives his life in the public eye and is open about his links with such a controversial set of beliefs, Tom Cruise must accept that the media are going to be all over him. I don't think the 'closing ranks' of Scientology when is comes to dealing with the press does him any favours but I think that journalists are justified in trying to get to the truth of this organisation. I also think that Cruise should accept mocking from the papers with more humour than he often does as his inability to laugh at himself only creates more ridicule.

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            21.10.2006 11:21
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            Tom Cruise: crazy dude

            When 44 year old A-list Hollywood movie star Tom Cruise got together with 27 year old ex-Dawson’s Creek star Katie Holmes, there was, not surprisingly, a lot of press attention. I’ve followed the story of Tom and Katie, who have been nicknamed TomKat by the press, with both interest and despair, and this review gives my opinions on the relationship, the religion, the baby, and the media reaction to it all.

            ~The Age Gap~

            Firstly there was the issue of the 17 year age gap. Now it’s not particularly unusual to have an age-gap relationship (I have one myself –7 years), and especially in the land of celeb it’s not really too frowned upon – just look at Michael Douglas and Catherine Zeta-Jones. I think (on this point at least), Tom can be forgiven, after all what man his age wouldn’t want a beautiful young woman on his arm? And what young actress (or any young girl really) wouldn’t want to be dating a mega-rich Hollywood movie star? The only thing I found slightly disturbing about this aspect of their relationship, was that Katie Admitted to having posters of Tom on her wall as a teenager – weird or what?

            ~The speculation it was a stunt~

            In the very beginning many cynics assumed that this relationship was a publicity stunt. After all Tom was promoting War of the Worlds at the time, and Katie was promoting Batman Begins. The couple were also very vocal about the relationship from early on, and there were several sickening public displays of affection. Three months into their relationship, Tom proposed to Katie at the top of the Eiffel tower. The speed of the proposal shocked people, and, as before, many assumed it was a publicity stunt. Those who did believe it could be forgiven for thinking it wouldn’t last. Personally, at the time I was in agreement with the media, and thought this was merely a stunt – especially when he proposed so quickly.
            I don’t think the media treated Tom Cruise unfairly during this time, as everything about this seemed to point to it being a set up, and let’s face it the ‘is it true love? / is it a stunt?’ debate made good reading at the time. When any two big celebrities get together there is always speculation and at that point, that’s all it really was – speculation. I don’t think Tom helped himself with the public displays of emotion either, as the press correctly noted, he had always been very secretive and private in previous relationships, so I don’t think the press were ever going to take this seriously.

            ~The Sofa Hopping Incident~

            What happened next in this bizarre sequence of events, is, in my humble opinion, was as good as suicide for Tom’s reputation. Tom appeared on the Oprah Winfrey show, and the infamous ‘sofa-hopping’ incident occurred. If you somehow managed to escape hearing about this outrageous act, then I’ll fill you in. Tom, for reasons only known to himself, decided to declare his love for Katie while jumping up and down like an idiot, screaming ‘I’m in love, I’m in love!’ on Oprah’s sofa. Oprah, the consummate professional that she is, smiled with one of those all American glued-on smiles, and pretended to think it was magnificent. When the shot cut to Katie backstage, she too had the fixed smile, but it couldn’t hide the embarrassed, bemused look on her face. Millions of viewers must have cringed in unison at this impromptu display, and of course the media jumped on this like a dog on a bone.
            Supporters of Tom protested that he was being ridiculed for expressing his love for his girlfriend. Fair enough, but surely he brought on this criticism himself? If he had merely said ‘I love Katie to bits, she is the woman of my dreams and I can’t wait to spend the rest of my life with her’ (or something to that effect) I think the media and public would have a much more positive view of him. I think the jumping round like a child who’d eaten a jar of sugar cubes routine, made the public feel uncomfortable, nauseated and embarrassed (more for Katie than for him). I don’t blame the media for their negative reaction to Tom in this situation, as he has been a public figure for long enough, to realise that acting in that manner is, yes, going to get attention, but not positive in any way. The fact of the matter is, if one of your mates came round and started telling you about their new bloke/girl, and started jumping on your sofa, you would be very worried for the state of their mental health!

            ~The religion~

            Tom Cruise, like other celebrities such as John Travolta and Issac Hayes, follows the beliefs of scientology, a ‘religion’ founded in the 1950’s by a sci-fi write Ron L Hubbard. For anyone who doesn’t know about the religion, I’ll give you a bit of an idea of what it’s about. Scientologists, as they are known, refer to themselves as Thetans. The church is banned in several countries due to some of its controversial practises. Members of the church are taught to believe that both anti-depressants and psychology are wrong, and the scientology church are involved in what’s called the anti-psychiatry movement. The church is widely believed to be unscrupulous, exploiting its members for money and using mind control techniques on their members.
            The fact that Tom has converted Katie from being a devout Catholic, to following his somewhat unconventional scientology beliefs has contributed to much of the speculation surrounding their relationship.
            Rumour has it, that Tom made Katie give birth to their daughter, Suri, in silence, and also that he forbade her from talking to the baby until she was 10 days old – both of these actions in accordance with scientology beliefs. These matters outraged fans, and led to T-Shirts being printed and sold with the slogan ‘Free Katie!’.
            Tom has been openly promoting scientology at every opportunity of late, and openly criticised Brooke Shields on TV for using anti-depressants after the birth of her last child.
            Tom must be sensible enough to know that his religion is very controversial and that wild statements like ‘no-one should be using anti-depressants’ are going to bring a huge critical reaction. I think this is another issue of Tom bringing this on himself.

            ~Overall Verdict~

            All in all, I don’t think that the media has unfairly treated Tom Cruise. Every celebrity is going to get a negative media response at some time during his or her career, but it’s almost as though Tom Cruise goes looking for one. Someone who has been in show business for as long as him will be well aware of how the media works, and I think he is solely responsible for the negative image that is now surrounding him. Surely he will have advisors who will try to guide him on his public behaviour, what to say, what not to say, damage limitation etc. and it seems Tom is just not listening.
            I think that all we can do is watch how the TomKat saga unfolds, and I have a feeling it might be interesting….

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              05.09.2006 18:38
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              So Entertaining!

              I love a good media story especially when it involves ‘A’ list celebrities. I am the kind of person who is so jealous of these people and I love to see interesting stories and ones that show them to be absolutely mad are even better. Imagine my absolute pleasure then when we found out that Tom Cruise was dating Katie Holmes and this was the hottest bit of celebrity gossip we had seen for ages. I mean how this man in his forties dare date a girl in her twenties? Now I personally do not have a problem with it but the media had a filed day and put so much press out suggesting that he was way too old to date her and also speculation that the pair had been holed up for days when she was supposed to believe in sex before marriage and had been preaching it for years. so here is my review on exactly how I view the Tom Cruise saga.

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              Tom Dates Katie:

              She was seen as a girl next door in America who believed in sex before marriage and followed the Catholic religion. Katie had had a long relationship with Chris Klein and it was said that she was following her no sex rule. Tom Cruise was seen as a bit of a wild cad in America, a top actor who had a long marriage with Nicole Kidman and had dated many high profile celebrity women.

              When they got together it was shocking because of the age gap but mainly because they were such an unlikely pair of celebrities to get together. Suddenly their relationship was professed as a shambles by many of the media with just a few saying it was for real.


              My verdict on their actual relationship is that at first I thought the same as most people and that is that I was not sure what I was seeing and I didn’t believe it. As more pictures came out though I still believed that it as all a publicity stunt and that it was just to promote both of their films that were due out a month after they had confessed to being in a relationship.

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              Tom Loves Katie:

              So the Tom Cruise story continues and just when the shock of him and Katie was dying down he manages to make a complete fool of himself doing one quick and rash thing after another. Professing his love for Katie at every opportunity, proposing to her on the top of the Eiffel tower and then going on the Oprah Winfrey show and physically jumping up and down on her sofa. It was at this point that everybody believed Tom had gone a little crazy but this was nothing as the most shocking news was still to come.


              When I saw him doing these mad public displays of affection I still believed that it was all for publicity. The excitement of two major blockbusters coming to the screen had still not died down so I thought it was a last ditch effort for them to get more cinema ratings. I thought it was quite sweet of Tom though as I am sure if it is real that he would be that happy. I mean I don’t think he is good looking and never have because he has a strange face and I can’t stand to watch him in films. For him to be that age and actually be dating a woman who is as beautiful as Katie who is half his age then I cant blame him for wanting to tell everybody.

              I actually think the media did treat him a bit cruelly at this point because I am sure most people would be happy if they were him and they seemed to have labeled him as a crazy loon at this point which is a little bit harsh. The person I was worried about at this point was Katie because Cruise seemed to be getting full on pretty fast and I was thinking to myself that this relationship seems to be moving awfully quickly so I was wondering if Cruise was putting her under pressure with all of his antics.

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              Tom, Katie and the Bump:

              Who would have thought that we would so soon hear the words Katie Holmes is pregnant with Tom Cruise’s baby? But this we did and the press kept a watchful eye on them closely after the announcement which was good as we got to know what was going on. So the pregnancy bloomed causing considerable stress to Katie fans and I am sure her parents that this devout Catholic girl who believed in no sex before marriage was now standing here pregnant by a guy twice her age. The media begins to treat Cruise a bit worse now and people were slowly beginning to disrespect him a little thinking he was stealing Katie’s innocence away. It was not a good idea at this point to ask a Katie fan if they liked Cruise as you would fear for your life.


              What I found a bit funny at this point was that this relationship was moving so fast and although we were hearing lots about Cruise and his undying love for Katie, we were not hearing much from Katie. For a relationship that was progressing quickly and moving into areas that usually take more than a matter of weeks, the mother-to-be was very quiet. Throughout the pregnancy instead of Katie looking like she was enjoying it she always looked quite moody and as if she did not want to be pregnant at all.

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              Tom and his Aliens:

              Now people like me who are keen readers of celebrity of gossip will have known for a long time that Cruise is into Scientology which means he believes in aliens and strange goings on. I think it is a pretty strange thing to believe in but I quite like it because you know if people were all the same then life would be pretty boring wouldn’t it? Now Tom is their most high profile member of the church of scientology and everybody knows it. He has been preaching it around everywhere including apparently pushing Katie into it and planning to teach his child hot to follow the religion.


              My verdict on this bit of the now famously known as TomKat saga is that Tom should not be preaching his scientology to everybody. I even heard that he has fallen out with actress Brooke Shields because he went mad at her as she does not believe in what he does. I think everybody is entitled to their own thing and I find it fascinating what people believe in but I never think it should be preached to everybody and if they don’t believe in it, Cruise takes it personally.

              Of course the media have loved Tom and Scientology because it has filled up so much column space for months because everybody finds it interesting. I mean seriously how could you not?

              The fact that he was trying to make us all think it is right to make Katie give birth in silence and then not touch her baby for a while afterwards as told in scientology was absolutely absurd. Then again we can’t really say too much as Katie has been silent throughout all of this so we have no idea how she feels at all. I can’t imagine she was pleased about the silence thing though.

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              Where is the Baby?

              So Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes have now given birth to a wonderful baby girl named Suri. The only thing is nobody has even seen her so how do we know she even exists?


              What I think is that the media have truly rolled with this story and that they have made it seem a lot worse than it really is. If I had a baby and I stayed cooped up in my house for a few months just having the occasional family and close friends then nobody would find that strange at all. The fact that they are famous should not change this but with the trend for celebrity parents to sell photos of them and their new addition has made us all go mad with wonder about little Suri.

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              Tom and Paramount:

              As if Tom Cruise does not give us and the media enough to talk about, his now split with Paramount has caused even more embarrassment and confusion from the star. So what are we to believe? The media are running two things on this, the first is that Paramount have dumped the actor because of his latest crazy antics and the second is that Tom came to a mutual agreement with them to leave.


              My opinion is that the media have been fair with this part because they have tried to show that both parties are practically blaming each other. I am not sure who I agree with but lets just say I think Cruise has been acting strange and because he is apparently losing quite a few of his fans I think it is a good move for Paramount in the long run. It is a shame for Cruise but then again he is acting oddly and to be fair he has got millions in the bank I am sure so I can’t feel too guilty for him.

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              Overall:

              Tom Cruise is a strange celebrity case but he one of the most entertaining around. He is this actor who is so well-established and he seems to have just been attacked by an extreme case of puppy love and going mad with it. In a way I find myself endearing to him as I think it is quite sweet but as a celebrity I don’t think he can moan too much about the media as the way he is acting, everybody wants to know and also we anticipate what is coming next as each step of the way I sit here and think can he get any stranger?

              With respect to the media I am of the opinion that they are being quite fair to him. In life if you act strange you do get strange looks from people around you and it is no different for the celebrity. I am sorry celebrities but you chose that lifestyle knowing that people will be interested in whatever you do. I do not agree with the media hounding him to get a story but Cruise is one of those people who you do not even have to chase as he throws it right out there for everyone to see.

              In conclusion I am going to give this topic five stars because I think the media are being fair on Cruise because over the past year he has been fascinating to watch and as long as he keeps doing strange things I will want to read about them.

              Thanks for reading.

              xxx

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                30.08.2006 02:18
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                He shouldn't have jumped that couch, I guess!!!

                Following the recent announcement that Paramount Pictures was not going to renew Tom Cruise’s 14 year long contract with them due to his recent “unacceptable behaviour”, it made me feel compelled to put this topic forward for Speaker’s Corner…

                Love him or hate him, Tom Cruise is one of the world’s biggest actors (when it comes to his fame - not his height!) and has been in a huge succession of major blockbuster movie hits for Paramount and other film studios. So the question has got to be: Has Tom Cruise been the victim of unfair media coverage that may have tarnished his career or has he been a victim of his own foolishness?

                Cruise has been in the firing line of the media over the last few years since he joined the ranks of the controversial Church Of Scientology. Scientology is a belief system that was founded by the late Science Fiction writer L. Ron Hubbard. It was devised as a methodology that would allow human beings to raise themselves to full spiritual awareness and therefore live healthier and happier lives.

                Some other famous Scientologists include household names such as Kirstie Alley, Nancy Cartwright (the voice of Bart Simpson), Isaac Hayes, Jason Lee, Juliette Lewis, Lisa Marie Presley, Priscilla Presley and John Travolta among many others. It’s clearly not an exclusive membership to Tom Cruise - so how come he has had worse press than some of the other big names who are also a part of Scientology? It’s clearly not been his role in Scientology alone that has done the recent damage - but may certainly have been the start of it.

                So where did it all go wrong?

                While married to his first wife - the actress Mimi Rogers, it is thought that she introduced Cruise to Scientology back in 1990. Through the years, Cruise has become more and more outspoken on behalf of Scientology - and this has stirred up a hornets nest within the media frenzy that would follow.

                Following on at this point in his career however, things were on the up and up - with him being named within the 50 most beautiful people in the world - according to People magazine - in 1990, 1991 and again in 1997. In 1995, renowned movie magazine, Empire rated Cruise among the 100 sexiest stars in film history before naming him as one of the top 5 movie stars of all time in 1997.

                There was no doubting his popularity and it was due to increase… for a while.

                In 2001 and 2002, Premiere magazine rated Cruise among the top 20 of it’s annual ‘Power 100 List’.

                Bringing us right up to date and despite some already very negative press coverage, Premiere magazine had Cruise at number 13 on it’s 2006 ‘Power List’. He was the highest ranking actor on the entire list. Perhaps proving that ultimately 13 is still unlucky for some.

                As recently as June 2006, Forbes magazine published it’s ‘Celebrity100’ list (these publications certainly love their lists - don’t they?). This comprised of 100 most powerful celebrities - of which Cruise topped the list - based upon incomes between the months of June 2005 and June 2006 as well as the amount of appearances on magazine covers the world over. It all looked peachy for Cruise… but it wasn’t.

                Behind the scenes, the power-struggles and biting media coverage of Cruise and his exploits were getting worse. Much worse.

                With his relationship with Batman Begins star Katie Holmes, Cruise’s behaviour became that of a love-struck teenager - and not that of one of the most famous actors in the world. While on tour promoting Steven Spielberg’s ‘War Of The Worlds’, Cruise was pretty much bringing more media attention to his relationship with Holmes than the film he was there to promote. There were rumours of Spielberg’s displeasure at this - though it has been hotly denied by the Spielberg camp since.

                The most famous instance of Cruise’s bizarre behaviour regarding his relationship with Katie Holmes took place when he appeared on The Oprah Winfrey Show in May 2005. Cruise stunned Oprah Winfrey and the rest of the world by jumping around the set and most famously jumping up and down on her couch in a very excited state before getting down on one knee and repeating over and over again how much he loved Holmes. This bizarre occurrence is so infamous that it has now generated a term which can now be used to describe someone who has pretty much lost the plot and acts so strangely that they are obviously out of their depth. Hence: “Jumping the couch”.

                Cruise has also been extremely outspoken against the use of medication to overcome depression and similar conditions. He famously openly criticised the actress Brooke Shields for taking anti-depressants to help her overcome postnatal depression following the birth of her daughter in 2003. Brooke Shields responded to Cruise's outburst by calling his views “irresponsible and dangerous”.

                As well as speaking out against medication to relieve conditions, Cruise has also been publicly opposed to other forms of self-help such as psychiatry. Is Cruise's belief that psychiatry is a pseudoscience based upon his own personal beliefs or those forced upon him by the Scientology methodology? Lest we forget that Scientology itself was based upon what was initially a self-help device created by L. Ron Hubbard - so why not rubbish other forms of self-help and push forward their own beliefs?

                Possibly the straw the broke the camel’s back was the string of incredibly negative media attention that Cruise received in the run-up to the birth of his and Katie Holmes’ daughter, Suri - and shortly thereafter.

                Cruise was heavily criticised by the medical world and the media for buying an ultrasound machine. The American College of Radiology claimed that overuse or indeed the misuse of such a piece of medical machinery could be harmful to the health of the unborn baby and that buying medical hardware such as a sonogram machine may very well be illegal. As a result, in May of 2006, a bill was passed by the California Assembly to ban the selling and distribution of ultrasound machines to anyone who is not a licensed practitioner.

                Just when you thought Cruise couldn’t whip up any more controversy for himself, he announced that when giving birth to their child, Katie Holmes would have to endure a silent birth in order to reduce trauma to the baby. This was based upon a birthing procedure devised by the founder of Scientology, L. Ron Hubbard. The thought behind it was that a child born into a scene involving a mother screaming out in labour pain while doctors, nurses and other medical staff rush around her shouting at her to keep breathing and PUSH would be highly distressful to the newborn child - hence everything is kept extremely quiet for the silent birth method - with no music or talking etc. For the first seven days of the baby’s life, every effort is made to prevent exposing the baby to loud sounds, talking, stress or pain (who would actually want to cause a baby stress or pain anyway?!?). This is based upon the belief that upon being born, a baby experiences a great deal of pain - and therefore it should not have to endure any more pain.

                Following the birth of Suri (which means ‘Princess’ in Hebrew, ‘Red Rose’ in Persian though most bizarrely, the name apparently means something very different in Japanese… “pickpocket”) the controversy continued as Cruise announced that Katie Holmes would be taking a break from her acting career in order to look after their daughter. This further outraged women’s groups who were already incensed at the reports of the forced silent birth - who then branded Cruise the world’s most sexist celebrity… One title that he probably didn’t like as much as the ones mentioned above - though I doubt Premiere or any other publication would publish their ‘Sexist 100’ lists… even though they could be interesting and amusing - if for all the wrong reasons.

                It suppose it would be more than fair to presume that instances such as those mentioned above will have certainly contributed to Paramount Pictures ending the 14 year long contract with Cruise that has seen some very well known and well liked films come the studio - including:

                TOP GUN (1986)
                DAYS OF THUNDER (1990)
                THE FIRM (1993)
                MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE (1996)
                MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE II (2000)
                VANILLA SKY (2001)
                COLLATERAL (2004)
                WAR OF THE WORLDS (2005)
                MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE III (2006)

                I personally find Tom Cruise to be a very good, reliable and often under-rated actor. In recent years, he has proven himself to be more than just an action actor - by taking on roles in some very unusual movies that proved himself to be very versatile.

                Some of my favourite films starring Tom Cruise to name but a few, include the following:

                ------------------------------


                VANILLA SKY
                -----------

                This is a Hollywood remake of the Spanish film “Abre Los Ojos” (Open Your Eyes), and as a consequence is disliked by fans of the Spanish original.

                Having seen the original movie on television, I have to be honest and say I wasn’t impressed by it at all and find Vanilla Sky a far, far superior telling of the same story.

                In Vanilla Sky, Tom Cruise plays David Aames, a successful magazine publisher who has been left in charge of his late father’s company. He is somewhat self-obsessed and doesn’t pay full attention to the feelings of others around him - notably Julianna ‘Julie’ Gianni (played by Cameron Diaz) - a friend who David uses for sex - but without giving her any emotional attachment - despite the obvious fact that she is madly in love with him.

                At David’s Birthday party, a friend of his brings along a date - Sophia Serrano (played by Cruise’s previous real-life love interest, Penélope Cruz - who also played the same role in the Spanish original) who David instantly falls in love with. Julie - who has appeared uninvited at the party - sees David’s instant infatuation with Sophia and is furious at being spurned by him.

                After escorting Sophia back to her apartment, David spends an amazing few hours with Sophia where true love seems possible - before heading out to his work. Outside Sophia’s apartment, David realises that Julie has followed him and invites him to get into her car with her. Stupidly, he does exactly that and realises that Julie is heart-broken at being tossed aside by him - and has clearly passed the point of no return. Julie drives her car over the side of a bridge - where upon it slams into a brick wall - folding like a concertina. Julie is killed in the crash (or is she? all will be revealed... or will it?) and intends to take David with her - but he survives with a severely shattered jaw and arm. This allows Cruise to throw away the whole “pretty boy” label he has had to endure throughout his career and is quite horrifically disfigured in the aftermath of the crash. I remember reading some people’s opinions that Cruise wasn’t disfigured enough to be convincing in the film. To that I have to wonder just what the hell is wrong with these people? His character is more than disfigured enough to make you wonder how you yourself would cope with a life altering physical impairment such as that shown in this film.

                There is very little I can write about Vanilla Sky here that can do it any kind of justice that it deserves. I think that it is a film that has to be seen in order to appreciate it. That said, I’m certain it won’t be everyone’s cup of tea - but I love it. It’s a film that I personally could watch over and over and take in something new that I missed the last time - and leaves you with new theories on what the incredibly odd twists and turns of the plot could actually mean.

                This film has everything. Humour, romance and shovel loads of emotional weight that will leave you teary-eyed in places… Or as the tagline to the film said to sum it up (I’ll type it like it is on the poster/DVD cover):

                LoveHateDreamsLifeWorkPlayFriendshipSex

                If nothing else, it will leave some little things that are said during the film in your mind. Some of my favourite ones are:

                “Every passing minute is another chance to turn it all around.”

                “The little things. There’s nothing bigger… is there?”

                And the fantastically strange:

                “I’ll see you in another life when we are both cats.”

                Make of that what you will!

                ------------------------------


                MINORITY REPORT
                ---------------

                This futuristic thriller is based upon a Phillip K. Dick story of the same name. Directed by Steven Spielberg - it proved that the teaming up of Spielberg and Cruise was one to be reckoned with.

                The year is 2054 and crime prevention has taken an incredible new twist. Murders can be prevented before they even happen by use of three pre-cognitive and genetically modified humans (referred to as Pre-Cogs) who work psychically together whilst floating in a tank of fluid which help conducts their brainwaves that are connected electronically to computer equipment.

                When this occurs, alarms ring in the Pre-Crime Police division and a computer system that cannot be tampered with (or at least so it is thought) creates balls which arrive from different areas of the system. One carries the name of the victim (or at times, victims) and the other bears the name of the perpetrator of the crime. With the clock already counting down to the crime being carried out, the Pre-Crime division have to quickly assemble sketchy pieces of information about the whereabouts of the impending crime - before it is actually carried out. When the Pre-Crime Police catch their target, they can then arrest them for the crime they were about to commit. Of course, despite saving lives, the moral implications of this system are how you can actually charge and imprison someone of a crime that they would have committed but didn’t - hence meaning that they have murdered no-one and therefore… innocent?

                Cruise plays Pre-Crime Police Chief John Anderton - a man with a tragic past. Having lost his young son to a crime six years previous, his marriage has fallen apart and in trying to deal with both losses, Anderton has taken to drugs in order to get by (Drugs?!? Not very Scientology friendly that - is it? What would Tom Cruise say?!?).

                Up until the arrival of a cocky young observer from the Department of Justice, named Danny Witwer (played by Colin Farrell) who is there ahead of a national vote on expanding the Pre-Crime program, John Anderton has never had to consider the moral implications of what he does for a living and whether it is right or wrong. In all honesty, he doesn’t want to think about it. Driven only by the hatred of criminals due to the loss of his son and marriage.

                Anderton has to rethink whether the system is right or not when the alarm sounds the arrival of another crime that is soon to be carried out… The ball carrying the name of the victim says ‘Leo Crow’ and the name of the perpetrator… John Anderton.

                Forced to go on the run, Anderton strives to clear his name of a crime he knows he will not commit (will he?). The question is, how can you run in a futuristic world where everything from billboard posters to getting on and off trains etc use eyes scanners to keep track of everyone’s every move? The answer is simple: you visit a grimy back-street surgeon to remove your own eyes and implant new ones…

                This is sci-fi heaven - with thrilling action and nail biting tension. If this genre is your thing, you simply must see Minority Report…

                EVERYBODY RUNS…

                ------------------------------


                THE LAST SAMURAI
                ----------------

                This one is a very unusual Tom Cruise movie but works incredibly well - perhaps because it is such a change of style for him.

                Set in 1877, The Last Samurai is the story of Cruise’s character - Captain Nathan Algren who is training the Emperor’s army in Japan to use modern weaponry to find and wipe out the last Samurai in the country.

                When Algren is captured by the Samurai and taken prisoner, he soon becomes a part of the village in which he is being held - and comes to realise that their way of life is actually suited to him. He eventually befriends the people of the Samurai population and endures training to become a Samurai himself - becoming what was once regarded as an enemy of his cause.

                The Japanese army eventually continue their hunt for the Samurai - and when they find them are stunned to find Algren fighting alongside the Samurai and against them. They see Algren as a turn-coat traitor who must share the same fate as the rest of the Samurai - but Algren is fighting with a true sense of honour for the first time in his life as he makes a stand with the Samurai.

                This film is absolutely stunning. Everything is just right - from the acting itself, set design, costume design and photography. It is just stunning. I absolutely love it and cannot recommend it enough.

                ------------------------------


                WAR OF THE WORLDS
                -----------------

                This is an updated version of H.G. Wells’ classic novel The War Of The Worlds - and the 1953 George Pal movie of the same name.

                This new version of War Of The Worlds is directed by Steven Spielberg - reuniting him with Cruise for another fantastic slice of sci-fi! This film is pure Spielberg magic - but unlike a lot of his earlier films, this dark Spielberg post 9/11 magic. It is a dark tale that is so clearly set in today’s unstable world.

                Cruise plays Ray Ferrier - a New York docks worker who has been so self-obsessed that he has a failed marriage with two children - none of whom live with him. When his ex-wife leaves the kids in Ray’s care for the weekend, he assures her that everything will be fine and that there is nothing for her to worry about. This of course turns out not to be the case.

                A strange lightning storm strikes Ray’s neighbourhood - but the lightning is not accompanied by thunder. It soon comes to light that these lightning strikes have been reported not only throughout America - but throughout the entire world.

                Finding that everything electrical has stopped working after the lightning strikes, (cars, power to the house, mobile phones and even watches etc) Ray leaves the kids alone in the house in order to visit the scene where the lightning struck the ground - leaving a large crater in the middle of the street. A rumbling sound is heard beneath the street… the sound of something moving.

                A monstrous, metallic tripod rises up from beneath the ground - towering over the street and simply standing over all the startled and terrified people. With a loud, booming blast from the tripod, it unleashes a first, deadly attack on the helpless people beneath it - evaporating them with it’s heat-ray and blasting them instantly into particles of dust and ash. As cheesy and B-movie-esque as this might sound, it’s actually quite a terrifying scene and is so convincing it makes my skin crawl and my hair stand on end.

                Ray narrowly escapes with his own life and makes his way back to the house where he gathers up the kids and escapes the neighbourhood with them in a newly-fixed car that he steals - mere minutes before the entire neighbourhood and everyone there are wiped out by the attacking aliens.

                Whilst on the run from the marauding aliens, Ray has to come to his senses upon realising what a terrible father he has been to his children and try to keep them alive so that he can have a second chance to do the right thing by them.

                The amazing thing about this movie is that the intention was for Tom Cruise not to simply be Tom Cruise in it - and in my personal opinion, I would say that they succeeded. This is not a case of Tom Cruise saves the world! Quite the opposite. He is as most people… you and I might be in a terrible situation like that portrayed in this film - scared out of your wits and utterly helpless.

                The only thing that has ever troubled me about this remake is the ending - which though very faithful to H.G. Wells’ conclusion to his story - feels very rushed as a consequence. Who knows? This may have been one of those rare times where a Hollywood rewrite of an ending might have been a very welcome addition. As it stands though, I love this film.

                ------------------------------

                *** NEW!!! *** BONUS SECTION!!! *** NEW!!! ***

                Now that Tom and Katie have since shown the world baby Suri, has it put paid to the wagging tongues of the press? Has it hell!!!

                Instead of being happy for the parents and their little girl, when they posed for a magazine photo shoot, people started going on about how fake and utterly posed the photos were... but then... is it any different when Joe and Josephine public take their baby for a portrait photo shoot? No... of course it's not... but Tom and Katie have been accused of doing this for themselves - and not baby Suri...

                This of course leads to a new sticking point about the revelation of baby Suri herself. Most people in the press were convinced the relationship between Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes was an elaborate hoax just to get them publicity... I have to admit that although I never knew much of Katie Holmes prior to being the new lady in Cruise's life - having only ever caught passing glimpses of her when I walked past the TV and Dawson's Creek was on... so maybe she needed a little more time in the limelight... but CRUISE?!? I'm pretty sure he would have survived if he hadn't received this latest publicity... or ironically, at least his contract with Paramount might have.

                Anyway... getting back to the unveiling of baby Suri... Instead of the press going: "Oooh!", "Ahhh!", "Awww!" and maybe even some form of thinking they might have had the wrong idea about Tom and Katie's relationship all wrong, somehow they just saw the baby and started talking about how odd she looked... Extremely dark hair and a somewhat Asian look about her... Hmmmm... So started all of the bizarre conspiracy theories about what this would actually mean...

                Among other notions was that Suri was an adopted baby from somewhere in Asia and that the images of her were heavily touched up in a graphics package in order for her to appear more white... as let's face it... Tom Cruise is one of the whitest guys in America! I don't know if this theory holds much water... If Suri is indeed a baby adopted from Asia and is not actually the offspring of Tom and Katie, I'm sure it will become more obvious the older she gets and especially if she begins to look very distinctly Asian... Watch this space...

                Other crazy notions were that she doesn't exist at all and was a computer generated baby for the photos... Personally this has to be one of the most ludicrous things I've ever heard...

                Certainly right up there with the theory that Suri is not only a real baby - but came from somewhere further away from the Asias... much further away... Some think that given Tom's Scientology background and its beliefs about alien life make it a good bet that Suri may actually be the result of alien intervention... I can just see the confession interview with Katie Holmes:

                K.H.: "It was an easy mistake to make... it was a little green man... and Tom's kinda small... so... in the dark it was a mistake any girl could have made... right?"

                One thing's for sure, if when Suri begins to grow up, she develops a glowing tip on her index finger and babbles on about phoning home, then "TOMKAT" will be in trouble and no mistake... and they can count themselves lucky...

                Can you imagine the CSA bill that E.T. will get when they finally 'phone home' to speak to him...?!? I rest my case!!!

                ------------------------------

                Okay… I think I’m all Cruise-d out now… and for those of you who haven’t fallen asleep already or slipped into a Scientology-induced coma - I can’t thank you enough for reading this.

                Derek.

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