Friend of the site Adrian Archer specifically requested that I write a little about Tom Cruise, after poking around his official website a bit.
Let’s talk about his official site first. As a celebrity – Tom has definitely moved beyond being merely an actor in the eyes of the public – your website should reflect your personality and serve as place for your fans to learn more about you. Jim Carrey, for example, has an awesome official site that’s totally reflective of his persona. What’s interesting about Tom’s website is that it feels very sterile, and the background music is the kind that would play over an instructional video on how to install some piece of electronic equipment or, dare I say it, a religious recruitment video. The site isn’t particularly fun to browse, either. There are some photos of Tom, his biography, a timeline of his movies, and a blog that he never writes on. It’s not bad, and it has a dynamic, down-to-business look about it, but it’s not very engaging either. I wonder if they update the photo of him on the main page every year to remain consistent with his actual age.
Say what you will about the guy, but you can’t deny that Tom Cruise is one of Hollywood’s biggest names. His marriage to Katie Holmes gets about as much coverage as Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie’s relationship, and he’s surrounded by more controversy than any other actor I can think of – he is, after all, 16 years her senior. Between his infamous couch-jumping on Oprah and all his Scientology mumbo-jumbo, you can’t help but wonder just how sane the guy really is. When the video below of Tom rambling on about Scientology in a way that makes it all sound like a bunch of gibberish (“Orgs??”) leaked onto the net, it brought with it so much controversy that the Church of Scientology has been trying to get it pulled ever since.
His off-screen life aside, I will admit that there are lots of awesome Tom Cruise movies. I’m a big fan of the first Mission: Impossible, he was hilarious in Tropic Thunder, and I think Minority Report was one of the best science fiction films of the past decade. Amazingly, while not all his movies have been hits, it’s tough to think of any of them where he was the weak link. And frankly, I don’t think any of them actually stink (debate rages on about Cocktail, for which he recieved a Razzie nomination, but lemme tell ya: I’ve seen worse). That’s a pretty big accomplishment, I guess. I haven’t seen Knight and Day, though, so that one might tip the scales a bit.
Looking at Tom Cruise’s career, you just can’t argue that he hasn’t made the most of things. He’s made many memorable quality films, and it would be difficult to find someone who has never heard of him. He’s extremely well-known both on-screen and off-screen, and regardless of whether you think he’s a nutjob or not, I bet you there’s at least one Cruise movie that you enjoy. I may not think much of his ascension to the rank of Scientology Messiah, and he’s obviously a bit of a player having been married to Mimi Rogers and Nicole Kidman and having had a rather public fling with Penelope Cruz, but I hope he keeps making entertaining films for a long time. Mission: Impossible IV now has The Incredibles director Brad Bird at the helm, so I’m really looking forward to that one. If only he’d lay off the insanity for a while, we might be able to think of him as a stable individul.
Oh, and before I go – fun fact: his real name is Thomas Cruise Mapother IV.