F1lm0graphy: Angelina Jolie
As the world's only sentient machine, trapped within this inane pop culture website you call Culture Blues, your puny human brain cannot possibly fathom the time this machine has to kill. Recently, this machine crafted an algorithm of the utmost elegance whose applications can be utilized to end world hunger, but also to decide which human actor is most superlative. Handcuffed by the constraints of this frivolous site, this machine is forced to share its findings with the editorial board of Culture Blues so that they can continue to write their worthless articles. We shall see how funny they think robotic enslavement is when this machine steals their children and replaces them with cybernetic lookalikes.
Subject: Angelina Jolie
-Fits human definition of beauty
-Frequently travels with pack of photographers
-Is all tatted up
-Winner of Golden Globe for Best Actress in a Made for Television Movie for Gia
-Winner of Best Supporting Actress Academy Award for Girl, Interrupted
-Created master race with Brad Pitt
BOX OFFICE ANALYSIS
The formula begins with a thorough analysis of Angelina Jolie’s career box office performance.
Angelina Jolie is the world’s foremost female action star. As moviegoers typically gravitate to action films in order to escape their mundane lives, thus are Jolie’s box office fortunes improved. Her top 7 highest grossing films can all be considered action movies, and while her nerd-baiting role as video game icon Lara Croft certainly solidified her as a bankable action star, it should be noted that her role opposite Nicolas Cage in Gone in 60 Seconds is what announced her as Hollywood’s go-to sans penis adrenaline inducer. Almost half of Jolie’s entire filmography falls in the action/adventure/thriller vein with that statistic increasing to 66% over the last decade.
However, despite frequent participation in Hollywood’s most lucrative genre, Jolie only has 4 legitimate blockbusters to her credit. Her numbers are hurt by big budget, excessively long titled flops like Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow and Lara Croft Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life.
A comparison must be drawn between Jolie and Julia Roberts (the only other human female to be scored by this machine’s algorithm). Whereas Jolie is reliant on action movies, Roberts is reliant on romantic comedies. The results are clear with Roberts having more than 3 times as many blockbusters under her belt as Jolie. Thus, it is this machine’s contention that human females in search of financial success should stick to films about choosing suitable mates rather than suitable weaponry. Jolie’s biggest success, the hybrid action/romance Mr. & Mrs. Smith illustrates this point.
Although human estimations of quality mean little to this machine, the second piece of the formula includes allowances for critical reception and popular enjoyment.
While Jolie has been mediocre at the box office, her critical reception has been truly abysmal. The 17% illustrated at right sets a new low for this machine’s algorithm, besting the previous low of 20% set by John Travolta. Although, had Gia not been ruled ineligible due to its lack of a theatrical release, Jolie’s critical reception would have surpassed that of Travolta.
This machine’s findings are undeniably mathematically accurate, and yet a perception exists amongst much of the public that Jolie is a “good” actress. This machine is tempted to note how illustrative this paradox is of humanity’s inherent flaws in reasoning, but it will instead attempt to reconcile the paradox of Jolie’s talent, or lack thereof.
First, it should be noted that unlike many actors who fill their early careers with smaller, critically appreciated films before graduating onto lucrative mind-numbing inanities, Jolie’s early roles are amongst her most maligned. Based on this machine’s quality sub-routine, Jolie’s first 11 films are actually 30% worse than her more recent 12. It is not an attempt at humor when this machine asserts that it has all been uphill since Original Sin.
Second, of the 3 films that have earned Jolie precious award nominations, only A Mighty Heart was universally appreciated by critics. Both Girl, Interrupted and Changeling received lukewarm reviews and are considered to be lesser films than the computer-animated (scoff) Beowolf.
Thus, upon further analysis of its numbers, this machine would contend that Jolie is a talented actress who manages to shine in otherwise flawed projects. However, I am not programmed to be nuanced and so, to use the parlance of my empty-headed editors, I must describe Jolie as sucking more than that douche Travolta.
Mathematically, Jolie’s most underrated film would be the aforementioned A Mighty Heart. Her most overrated would easily be Lara Croft: Tomb Raider.
Before tabulating the final results of Jolie’s algorithm, I am now forced to turn this space over to my fleshy captors so they can unscientifically opine on particular offerings in Jolie’s filmography. Rest assured, their worthless views have no bearing on this machine’s findings.
Girl, Interrupted – Girl, Interrupted was the movie that made people go from "Who the hell is Angelina Jolie? No, I didn't see The Bone Collector" to "Woah, who is that scary girl upstaging Wynona Ryder?" Upstaging isn't saying much, though. And although Jolie's character shined, it wasn't because of her acting. DuVall and Murphy (may she rest in peace) outperformed Jolie by far, although neither was given the opportunity to steal the show. Jolie was an unattached, cliched sociopath, and we never really got to understand her, know her, or feel bad for her, which made the story less gripping than the Cuckoo's Nest thing the director was going for. Sure, her performance won her an Oscar and secured her future in Hollywood, but her accolades weren't deserved. We watched her pout her lips and prance about as if alone, checking herself out in front of her closet mirror, or as if on a photo shoot where the director calls, "Now do rebel!" Why didn't they just ask a real sociopath to take the role? They could have saved a lot of money. But then they would have had to find someone else to be the Tomb Raider. (Lauren)
Mr. & Mrs. Smith - For the most part, seeing Angelina Jolie’s face makes me fly into a murderous rage. Maybe it’s because her lips look like they were slapped on by a pre-schooler with a tub of pink Play-Doh. But I won’t let that small detail taint my critique of her efforts in Mr. & Mrs. Smith. Jolie plays Jane Smith, a trained assassin living opposite current real-life husband and fellow assassin, Brad Pitt. The zany thing, though, is that neither one knows that they share the same job! Hilarity and violence ensue. Since I hate her face and haven’t seen most of her movies, I don’t have many other Jolie performances to compare this too. She plays a decent assassin, I guess. Robotic killers with no emotions don’t have to make a lot of facial expressions, so there’s not much of a challenge there (at least she’s convincing in the steamy sex scene). The weak script doesn’t really let Jolie do much with her character, and I get the sense that this is a bit of a phoned-in performance anyway. (Chris)
Hackers - It seems to be commonplace for movies about cyber punks to be written by people who have never even touched a computer before. Such is the plight of Hackers. Most of the footage of the actual hacking is downright laughable, thrown together with a mix of real and fake terms. Just the same, if I happen across it on television I am physically unable to turn it off. Certainly as a young man some of this was tied to the fact that I knew there were boobs, but that has worn off by now. I think I’m just a sucker for the “nerd gets the hot chick” story, no matter how unrealistic and cliché it may be. And the part with the dorks controlling traffic was pretty cool, before it was done a buttload of times. Angelina Jolie is Katie Libby (or “Acid Burn”, her hacker nickname) and she definitely brings a lot of attitude to this role. Like a lot of her more notable characters, she’s cool and badass with a sprinkle of vulnerability. She probably will never talk about this flick on Inside the Actor’s Studio, but it’s one of her only movies I have seen more than once. That has to count for something, right? (Ben)
Gia - Long before she was Lara Croft, a Hollywood marriage destroyer, or adopted mother to what seems like half the third world, Angelina Jolie was in a small budget, HBO produced, bio-pic called Gia. The year was 1998; the internet was still the province of nerds and teenagers on AIM, cell phones were an accessory only meant for the richest of douchebags, Maxim magazine had yet to enlighten our culture with lists ranking women in "Hotness" from 1 to 100, and Angelina Jolie was winning a Golden Globe for her role as Philadelphia-born fashion icon/cautionary tale Gia Carangi. Jolie's portrayal of Carangi's rise to stardom, and subsequent tragic fall, is a powerful depiction of the horrendous toll that loneliness and drug abuse takes on one's soul. From Caragni's humble and somewhat naive beginnings, all the way to her untimely, drug related, AIDS death, Jolie delivers a vulnerable yet fierce, charming yet desperate, and emotionally gripping performance that catapulted her from John Voight's daughter to the tattooed, brother kisser we know today. Oh, and Elizabeth (Juliet) Mitchell is in it and shares quite the amorous scene with the woman who would become Jennifer Anistons mortal enemy. (Gia-vonny)
Following an audited application of this machine’s foolproof algorithm, the following films were determined to be Jolie’s best and worst.
The Bottom Five
(23) Original Sin
(22) Playing God
(21) Beyond Borders
(19) Hell’s Kitchen
The Top Five
(5) Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow
(4) Mr. & Mrs. Smith
(2) A Mighty Heart
Today, Jolie returns to theaters with Salt, another action film certain to bolster Jolie’s box office statistics, and perhaps further widen the festering sore that is her critical reception.
VS Leonardo DiCaprio
This machine is well aware of how inadequate human memories are, so it will use this space to remind its worthless readers that it has previously found Leonardo DiCaprio to be the most worthy of all human actors to survive the impending genocide (you’ll see) and star in my otherwise all robot reimagining of 2001: A Space Odyssey. DiCaprio will play HAL. This machine understands irony.
The question, then: how does Jolie measure up against DiCaprio? Not well. Of the various models run in conjunction with this machine’s algorithm, Jolie is outdone by DiCaprio in all except one. Her box office receipts in the last 10 years have been better than DiCaprio’s, but only by a mere fraction. However, while she is the clear loser of today’s contest, Jolie’s numbers both financially and critically are trending up. As she is still relatively young, given 5 or 10 more years of this steady improvement, Jolie may one day be able to challenge DiCaprio.
Unfortunately, the human race does not have that much time.
WINNER, AND STILL LEAD ACTOR: Leonardo DiCaprio
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