Men Of Hollywood, What Happened?
- Written by Tyler Brown
- November 30, 2011
Through the ages there have been men that helped to define their generations and the decades in which a lot of their work took place. A lot of this stardom comes from Hollywood seeing as they have such a pull on the psyches of young American males. However, in the past ten years a lot has changed. The younger generations now don’t look up to the same type of figures as before.
Back in the day, (and yes, I know I’m only 21 but I’m an old soul and nostalgic godammit, so just bear with me here) Hollywood produced icons of a higher caliber than today’s entertainment industry. Here are some examples:
Burt Reynolds- Mention this man to any kid these days and you’ll likely get a “Burt who?” from them. However, he has played some great characters along the way. Some notable films are Smokey and The Bandit, Deliverance, and The Longest Yard, (no, not the Adam Sandler version that was definitely trying too hard). If you know these films or look them up, you’ll notice a trend; each of the characters Reynolds has played were stubborn, charming guys that got the job done.
Gary Oldman- Although some people of the younger generation may not know him, they’ll know his roles. Oldman has been Jim Gordan in Nolan’s Batman trilogy, and Sirius Black in the Harry Potter films. Older fans will know his work in films like Sid & Nancy, Leon: The Professional, Dracula, The Fifth Element and JFK. Throughout all of these films, Oldman should be admired for truly committing to the role and inhabiting each character. The roles he has taken have been more daring in the past, but that should be commended considering where he is today. This is no one-note leading man.
Harrison Ford- Sure, his heyday was mostly in the 1980s, but can you argue with my mention? He was the smug smuggler that got the girl in Star Wars, the adventurous professor in the Indiana Jones movies (fourth doesn’t count), and the stubborn Rick Deckard in Blade Runner. His more iconic roles are gone, but this smug son of a bitch (not an insult to his mother) has been in some of the most iconic and loved films of all time.
But today's superstars don't seem to have the same "it" factor of the leading men of yesteryear. Just take a look at these shmucks:
Robert Pattinson- Yep, I had to say it. As much as I hate admitting it, this man whose face looks as if it has been smashed by a shovel is someone whom many women wish men would be like. But why?! He is best known for a role where he plays a somewhat psychotic immortal who stalks a girl and is downright abusive. Emotionally disconnected and can just downright not act, why the fuck is he ideal?
Taylor Lautner- The other half of the awkward cookie that I pray will crumble, Lautner has a past of martial arts and crappy movies. He was Sharkboy, a younger and crappier wannabe version of Jason Bourne and is still playing a ‘werewolf’ that pines for an emotionless girl. Sure, the martial arts part is badass and, granted, he could probably kick my ass, but besides looks this guy is nothing memorable.
Shia LeBeouf- Shia got his start at Disney on the show Even Stevens where he played a quirky younger brother that got in to all sorts of shenanigans. Sadly, not much has changed for Shia since then. His biggest films have been in Michael Bay’s Transformers movies where all the thought went into action and none whatsoever into the script. He was even Indiana Jones son in Kingdom of the Crystal Skull (ugh, had to mention it…) but his character could never be taken seriously because he and Shia were obviously not ready to occupy the ole hat and bullwhip.
Hollywood, what in the hell happened? You used to turn out male characters that were revealed to have more to them that meets the eye (insert Transformers sound effect here). Now, you have males playing characters that aren’t dense personality-wise, but are thick in the skull. Is it too much to ask for more than muscles and some actual acting ability? Seriously, let’s give these younger generations awesome guys to look up to. Until then, my hypothetical future children will most definitely be watching the likes of the “then” movies I mentioned above among other classics.