I've noticed that some of my favorite stars of my early years have stopped making anything of value after 2001. This isn't true for all my favorites. Bill Murray and Robert Duval, for instance, have done much quality work since HAL went mad and was disconnected. But I'm going to focus on five stars this week that have sadly stopped making good films by highlighting their best with a Top Ten List (or Top Five if that's all they managed.)
Let's start with JOHN CUSACK
This is a particularly sad case because I love his early films and his latest have been so very bad. ("The Ice Harvest" and "1408" are okay, but their meager achievements are blotted out by "War, Inc." and "Grace is Gone".)
10) "One Crazy Summer" (1986) The film career of director Savage Steve Holland has been light, but glorious.
9) "The Journey of Natty Gann" (1985) A sweet Disney drama (quite a contrast with say #6 on this list.)
8) "Eight Men Out" (1988) John Sayles' telling of the Black Sox Scandal.
7) "Bullets Over Broadway" (1994) Woody Allen directed. (Woody barely avoided a place on this list.)
6) "The Grifters" (1990) A very dark, yet funny, tale, which describes much of Jim Thompson's writings.
5) "High Fidelity" (2000) The last great Cusack film, based on Nick Hornby's novel.
4) "Gross Point Blank" (1997) Now this is what class reunions are supposed to be like.
3) "Being John Malkovich" (1999) One of the strangest films ever made by a major studio. I like it very much.
2) "Better Off Dead" (1985) Savage Steve Holland's Masterpiece
1) "Say Anything" (1989) Cusack's best film, Cameron Crowe's best film and, yes, Ione Skye's best film.