Friday, August 27, 2010

Regarding Mick LaSalle's column

So I was reading Mick LaSalle's column this week and I came across this entry:

Dear Mick LaSalle: It may be saying something about how soft we have become as a country when 60-year-old tough guys like Sylvester Stallone, Bruce Willis and Mickey Rourke put our current generation of "action heroes" like Tom Cruise and Brad Pitt to shame. When the toughest action guys on screens today are an 80-year-old Clint Eastwood and a 64-year-old Stallone, how does that reflect on what America has become today?

Mike Spitzer, Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

Dear Mike Spitzer: It says nothing about America, except that there was a certain kind of action movie in vogue 25 to 35 years ago, and the vogue faded, and now all those tough guys who were in those movies are getting up in years. However, it may say something about the country that there are actually people looking at the relative toughness of movie actors to gauge the current state of American resolve. I can't for a moment conceive of anyone in 1940 saying or even thinking, "Well, Clark Gable looks a lot tougher these days than Doug Fairbanks looked 20 years ago, so heck, we must be in great shape." Please, let's just not worry too much about the country going soft - except in the head.

Read more:

While I agree with Mick's well thought out response, I felt like he missed part of the problem with Mr. Spitzer's letter. Here's my response:

Dear Mick,

I believe Mike Spitzer revealed his age in your column. I'm pretty certain no one in my generation (I guess we're sticking with the term 'millenials'?) considers Tom Cruise or Brad Pitt our action heroes. They are nearly 50. Try Angelina Jolie, Tom Hardy, Ryan Reynolds, Chris Pine, Michelle Rodriguez, Milla Jovovich, Christian Bale, Maggie Q, Michael Fassbender, Summer Glau, Zhang Ziyi, Tony Jaa, Zoe Bell and Chris Evans. I'm sure the younger members of my generation would also include Kellan Lutz, Channing Tatum, Cam Gigandet and Taylor Lautner. All capable of kicking more ass than the Expendables and all under 36. Even the average age of The Avengers line-up is 39, and that is including Samuel L. Jackson.

The other thing I notice about today's action stars? Besides the gender inclusiveness (Mr. Spitzer didn't mention Sigourney Weaver or Linda Hamilton), nearly half of that list is foreign-born. We don't care if our stars carry an American flag. Well, except for Chris Evans. (I'm looking forward to that.)

I guess I don't really have a question for you. So you probably won't print this. But I thought you might like a different generational viewpoint.


ETA: He wrote me back!! "I agree with everything you said." Yay!

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