It can be quite disappointing to see a beloved actor pop up in a terrible movie, but I'd say it's worse to see them in a terrible movie with a cast of people who used to be well-known. There's something about the has-been stigma that just hurts. One could excuse away bad movies to behind-the-scenes conflict or the need for cash (I'm looking at you, Michael Caine and Peter O'Toole), but joining a cast list filled with talent who used to be in big films just adds an extra slap.

See, The Hollywood Reporter posts that Tara Reid is making a Last Call, and she'll be joined by names that include Christopher Lloyd, Tom Arnold, Dave Foley, and Clint Howard. Sure, that last guy's career is all about the questionable gigs, but what's said with the rest of the roster? I don't want to say that these guys are has-beens, but thrown together and topped with the cherry skin-toned Reid certainly suggests as much. This is the sort of casting that screams the idea that names who used to be big will help the project's notoriety, without the need to pay the big bucks. a href="">
Christopher Lloyd hasn't had a career worthy of his talents since he waved goodbye to Dr. Emmett Brown. But it wasn't all time travel. Remember Eight Men Out, The Dream Team, Clue, Mr. Mom, and on the smaller tube, Taxi? He even had a role in The Postman Always Rings Twice. But these days? At least he got to eat cereal in Flakes.

Tom Arnold exploded with Roseanne, but then made a sweet outside career filled with movies from True Lies to Nine Months. But these days, he gets the moniker "The Human Punch Line." One of Cinematical's only mentions of the actor listed a whole bunch of films, but I bet you never even noticed when they came and went.

Dave Foley was never a big star, but he did have Kids in the Hall, which led to a quick spurt of side gigs in high-profile comedies -- Blast From the Past, Dick, Monkeybone, while running through a 4-year stint on NewsRadio. But while he worked with the likes of Christopher Walken back then, these days he's got Uwe Boll and Postal. (Along with, I will admit, a great turn in Sky High a few years ago. But that doesn't clear out Boll.)

And then Tara Reid... She barely got famous before her career was over. Or at least, over in the way that brought her American Pie fame.

I sometimes wonder if the ones who used to have great careers, or at least a number of good projects, ever look at their own notoriety and wonder if they could get away with life as a plumber, or maybe liquidating everything and moving to the mountains to save themselves the embarrassment. Do they hope nostalgia will be enough to keep their fan love thriving?

To be fair, I'm not trying to moan over this new project because there's a chance it could be great. But I can't help thinking about those fading careers when seeing names like these together.

Which career paths make you cringe? And what's your favorite has-been* ensemble?

*for lack of a nicer word...
categories Cinematical