Matt Pais, @mattpais
RedEye movie critic
May 22, 2012
We've never met, but I'm a big fan of yours.
In fact, you made me the man that I am today. Confident and resilient, I may not have all my issues in order, but I eat adversity for breakfast. I'm a good guy to have on your side, even if people might take a broad look at me on "Friday Night Lights" and think, "That guy's no good. He's troubled and reckless and he'll never turn it around."
So I relate to you, man. Neither one of us believes in sugar-coating things, so let's just say it: Your movie career's rough right now. Your first major starring role ("John Carter") lost $200 million for Disney and caused the chairman to resign. Now "Battleship"--which I thought was fun by the way, forget what anyone else says--scored what's reportedly the worst domestic opening weekend tally for a movie with a budget exceeding $200 million. The thing's a hit overseas, but for a movie that repeatedly conjures the phrase, "America, [bleep] yeah!" we both know "Battleship" needed to get it done in the states.
Anyway, I'm here to tell you to keep your chin up. We've both made mistakes; my college career pretty much ended before it began. And there was that whole sleeping-with-my-recently-paralyzed-best-friend's-girl thing. But I learned from that, just like you'll learn that the next time someone comes to you with a project that costs $200 million, there's no guarantee the movie will make the money back just because it looks expensive. Again, I liked "Battleship," but clearly people didn't give it a chance because at a glance it looked so much like "Transformers," which might have been a good thing five years ago but not anymore.
No matter what, now's definitely not the time for you to walk away. In July people will see more of what you can do in "Savages," which looks like the best movie from that guy who did "Any Given Sunday" in a while. (Not saying much, I know, but go with me on this.) I am you, Taylor. In many ways you are me. And we both know that the tough moments make victory that much sweeter. Here's to your hard work and persistence, and what goes around eventually coming around.
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