11 years. That's how long it's been since Cuba Gooding, Jr. won the Oscar for Best Supporting Actor for his dead on portrayal of egotistical pro football player, Rod Tidwell in Jerry Maguire. The irony of that role was that the subject of Tidwell's catch phrase 'Show me money' is something strangely lacking from the box office receipts of the many movies Gooding has made since. That has ol Ty wondering, that after receiving critical praise for his role as Tre in 'Boyz 'N The Hood' and an OSCAR, how things could go so tragically wrong? Now the brother is filming Hanes underwear commercials with Michael Jordan (who?). What happened to this brother?...
Let me get the tragic facts out of the way first. Of the 23 films ol boy has made since then I can count on four fingers the ones that stood out (As Good As It Gets (good stuff), Instinct (borderline), Men of Honor (good stuff) and Radio (good stuff)). Mixed in there are some heinous joints like Rat Race, Boat Trip, Snow Dogs and his latest, Daddy Day Camp. I left out Norbit since that was really Eddie's hot mess - that was one turrrible movie (though Eddie's ease of doing multiple characters is always impressive...).
Anyway, I bring all this up in the hopes that Cuba's next role, that of 70's pimp Nicky Barnes in Denzel Washington's hotly anticipated American Gangster, which drops in November, is the one that FINALLY brings this brother back to the fold.
I've liked homeboy since his Tre Styles days and I'd like to see him get back some semblance of a respectable career. Granted the brother ain't no Don Cheadle or Denzel or Forest Whitaker or Chiwetel Ejiofor or Djimon Hounsou (don't hate on Djimon, y'all - 'Give us us free!') or ... but he is talented. The brother just needs to figure out a way to say 'hell to tha naw' to any old script that is looking for a southside fool. I know it's tough waiting on scripts to find their way through the fingers of all those previously mentioned brothers (not to mention Will Smith and Samuel L. Jackson) but come on - BOAT TRIP!
Cuba, be patient, brother. Let the game come to you - you have an Oscar baby. Try sticking close to those other brothers I mentioned- they'll pull you out of the wilderness.