Day 42: 'Knight and Day'

Cameron Diaz and Tom Cruise in 'Knight and Day'

It's 8:58pm. The Lakers have just won the NBA playoffs. My whole city is about to go insane. In honor of this victory - and because I'm extremely hungry - I'll be typing up this post in between swigs of Diet Pepsi and mouthfuls of pepperoni pizza.

Originally, I was supposed to see The Magnificent Seven at the Egyptian. But, since life does intervene, and 3/4 of the greater population seemed headed downtown for game 7 and opening day of the L.A. Film Festival (reviews for that to come later) and closing day of E3 (city planners? anyone?), I decided to be sane and caught a preview screening of Knight and Day at the Fox lot down the street.

Technically, I'm not allowed to review the movie until next Wednesday. So, instead, I'll just bring up a few salient points about Tom Cruise, Cameron Diaz, and the current state of moviedom. First, despite some missteps in recent years, there are a few things you always have to admire about Tom Cruise. Number one - his work ethic. The guy has no problem shedding sweat beads to earn your moviegoing dollar. Whether it's sprinting a half-mile across a rooftop in M:I-2, or sprinting a half-mile across a rooftop in M:I-3, you know he's ready to run. Second - Mr. Cruise can be funny. He's always been charming (or at least intense), and if you look at his work post-Jerry Maguire, from the R-rated self-help guru in Magnolia to the unrated Les Grossman in Tropic Thunder, you can't help but bust out a chuckle or two of admiration.

Finally, and only recently, there's Cruise's off-kilter appeal. After playing the cocky prettyboy to the hilt for years, and receiving his comeuppance onscreen in Maguire and offscreen in his personal life, we've come full circle to a slightly wisened version of Cruise's kooky cadet in his first movie, Taps. And that's good. Pair that Cruise with the beautiful comedienne from There's Something About Mary and you've got the makings of an updated, old-fashioned, spy movie travelogue...for fans who miss Charade, North by Northwest and Roger Moore era James Bond.

It's hard to point out "movie stars" in the current Hollywood. Mostly, we have good-looking celebrities, some of whom take acting seriously and some of whom view it as a necessary component of their lifelong dream to create a multi-platform, social media-friendly empire. Watching even the preview for this movie, you're grateful that Cruise and Diaz are first and foremost real movie stars. You're also glad you're not watching Ashton Kutcher and Katherine Heigl in Killers.

What say you? Looking forward to Cruise and Diaz in Knight and Day? Or more gung-ho for the rascally, younger Killer kids? Or waiting for Angelina Jolie to blow things up real good in Salt?

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