Tom Cruise plays Frank Mackey, a "Men are from Earth, Women arefrom the Bowels of Hell" self-help guru, in this, the latest film from "Boogie Nights" director P.T. Anderson. There's a scene in which Frank is about to be interviewed by a reporter and he's in his underwear. Well, you can't help but notice that Cruise has a ferret or something flopping around in his shorts. In fact, as I'm marveling at the size of his package, I feel this breeze shift my hair as every woman in the theater leans forward and locks onto Frank's jumbo-sized frank like the sights of a laser-guided missile.
Actually, I'm not really impressed by this thing; I'm just trying to figure out whether it's real. Since there have been all sorts of questions about Cruise's sexuality and prowess, I'm sure he thought it would be a good idea to make himself look like John Holmes. At the very least, I figure Cruise was in his dressing room giving himself a puffer right before the shoot. However, given Anderson's improvements on Mark Wahlberg, one shouldn't discount the possibility that the director just jammed a piece of pipe in there for effect.
This whole Tom Cruise distraction was actually a good thing since by that point in the film, most of the right side of my body had gone numb. I was only about 90 minutes into the thing and was well aware that there was still a whole other feature film to go. And that outlook was none too pleasing since the only way you could get a more miserable cast of characters in one place would be to surreptitiously pipe the ending of "Schindler's List" through the television during Thanksgiving at Pat Buchanan's house.
Earl Partridge (Jason Robards) is dying and so is game show host, Jimmy Gator (Philip Baker Hall). This makes Earl's wife, Linda (Julianne Moore) nuts, which involves a lot of screaming. There's this whole game show thing where you can see whiz kid Stanley Spector (Jeremy Blackman) ending up like Donnie Smith (W.H. Macy). And then there's Gator's daughter, Claudia (Melora Walters), who's a basket case like her stepmom, the reason for which isn't revealed until minute 178 or so. To make matters worse, the only decent character in the film, an LAPD cop of all things (John C. Reilly), is trying to get in Claudia's pants. It just goes on and on and on.
You know, if Paul Thomas can start abbreviating his name, can't he start abbreviating his films?
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