Bill Simmons Is God Of Hollywood

07.05.11 7 years ago 130 Comments

As you fair readers know, we usually spend the beginning of every week here at KSK doing our whole lofty Fun With Peter King business. But because Peter King is on vacation for the next FOUR weeks (I sure hope he got to do nothing, like he said he did! No one has earned it more!), and because he left any number of informative and competent people to replace him over at in the interim, we’re gonna have to spend the next few Mondays (or, in this case, Tuesdays) finding new people to anally fisk. So I guess we should probably look around for someone who rivals Peter in terms of gushing about personal access and being a relatively easy target… OOOH! OOH I GOT IT! BILL SIMMONS HAS A FEW THOUGHTS ABOUT RYAN REYNOLDS! That’ll do!

Anyway, when we last left Bill, he was starting up the Billington Post and explaining to you how he hoped the beginning of his new website rivaled the momentousness of that one time Coldplay played on Jimmy Kimmel Live. And who can forget that seminal occasion? It’s like TV history and music history had gloppy wet sex with one another and gave birth to a NEW kind of history! He also started a reality television league, because reality television stars are so stoopid! Look at how dumb they are! Isn’t it funny when I point out how dumb they are? Anyway, while we were away last week, Simmons took it upon himself to explain Hollywood to you, the outsider. Because he’s just like you. He’s the voice of the fan, if the fan was immensely wealthy, lived in Los Angeles, had absolutely NO sense of self-deprecation, and was a complete prick. Read on…

In Hollywood, (the) Mo Williams dilemma hangs over everything.

So true. Whenever I see a really shitty Hollywood movie, I always hope that someone will explain to me how that shitty movie can be likened to a shitty basketball team. Because comparing sports to pop culture all the time totally enriches the two. You there! Mr. Sports Fan! I know you think movies are gay, but what if I were to explain movies to you strictly in sportsy terms? I THINK YOU AND I COULD TALK ABOUT KATE HUDSON A LITTLE BIT MORE IF I MADE A CORRELATION BETWEEN HER AND JAMAL CRAWFORD.

We arrived to a point in which the following two facts are indisputable.


Fact: People believe Will Smith is the world’s biggest movie star (even though he doesn’t make great movies).

Fact: People believe Ryan Reynolds is a movie star (even though he isn’t).

So true. Ryan Reynolds? Not a movie star. Sure, he’s rich, and handsome, and stars in MOVIES, and has sex with very famous women. But is he a movie star, according to Bill Simmons’ arbitrary metrics for a term that has any number of definitions depending upon whom you ask? Don’t be such a fool.

Let’s tackle Reynolds first.

Indeed. Let’s do that. I won’t rest until you’ve gotten to the bottom of the Reynolds enigma.

When Green Lantern badly underperformed last weekend, it shouldn’t have been surprising, because Reynolds isn’t a movie star (despite Hollywood’s best efforts to convince us otherwise).

I’m pretty sure the movie tanked because it was awful.

You know how I know this?


We just spent the past 10 years compiling evidence that said, emphatically, “Ryan Reynolds can’t carry a bad movie.” Or, really, any movie.

Okay. Cool. Thank God we’ve established that. I can finally rest now that I know Ryan Reynolds isn’t a 40% legit movie star. Now to move on to our next pressing issue: DO BEAVERS HAVE DREAMS?!

Don’t worry, this won’t turn into an “I hate Ryan Reynolds” rant.

Don’t worry, gang. I’m not here to actually burn bridges with someone I might run into at the Soho House.

I actually like Ryan Reynolds.

RYAN REYNOLDS: Phew! Good thing the sports columnist with an incredibly inflated sense of self-worth likes me!

/goes back to fucking hot women on top of a pile of hundred dollar bills

This isn’t his fault. Other than his dreadful “Amityville Horror” remake, I can’t remember watching a Reynolds movie and thinking it failed specifically because of him (you know, the opposite of how I feel during every Luke Wilson movie).

O HO HO!!!! Burrrrrned ya, Luke Wilson! Way to completely ruin movies like “Old School” and “Bottle Rocket,” which were actually good movies that you were perfectly fine in.

Compared to his peers in the secretly valuable Matthew McConaughey All-Stars — a.k.a. guys who star in movies that are guaranteed to end up showing on an airplane, whether it’s a generic action romp, a gross-out comedy that’s neither gross nor funny, or any type of romantic comedy involving a career-driven woman who lies to everyone around her to find herself a man…

NOTE: All movies are shown on airplanes.

I would take Reynolds over Ashton Kutcher, Patrick Dempsey and Aaron Eckhart.

Seriously, what the fuck are we even talking about at this point? I feel like I’m in the middle of “Inception” (which Ellen Page TOTALLY ruined, by the way, because women ruin movies with their massive dripping vaginas) and someone made up a bunch of random rules that make no goddamn sense.

He’s the most versatile half-decent actor out there, and I swear that wasn’t a backhanded compliment.

Just to reiterate: Ryan, brah, we can still TOTALLY hang out at Soho House.



I hope John Krasinski doesn’t end up in this group.

So true. Allow me for a second to also condescend to famous people so that I sound like the fucking LORD OF HOLLYWOOD. People, I’m very much concerned about Steve Carell’s ability to hold up a big screen comedy on the heels of leaving “The Office”. After all, we all know that show ran on NARD DOG fumes for the past few years. Also, check Carell’s IMDB. NOT A MOVIE STAR.

I feel like he’s slightly better than that.

Just a little, but not by much. Call it 25.8% better. My analysis of the movie starness of movie stars is IRONCLAD.

By the way, Vegas won’t even take odds on Bradley Cooper ending up on this list within two years.

Because then Cousin Sal and I would gamble on it and we would beat Vegas because WE KNOW HOLLYWOOD! What are the odds that Brad Cooper ends up doing Skinemax porn with that one chick from “The Challenge” VEGAS AIN’T LETTING US TOUCH THAT! THAT’S FREE MONEY!

Reynolds has three things going for him:

1. He’s friends with my boy, Seth Meyers!
2. He understands the importance of the piano riff on “Clocks”!
3. He secretly thinks Kobe Bryant is a fag! NICE!

I’d compare the “leading man” position to the NFL’s quarterback position — we need 32 starting QB’s every year regardless of whether we actually have 32 good ones, just like we need 40 to 45 leading men every year regardless of whether have 40 to 45 good ones. That makes Reynolds someone like Alex Smith…

My brain is dying.

I had an argument recently with my friend Lewis about whether Jim Carrey was still a movie star. Lewis said, adamantly, no effing way. I disagreed.

Will I tell my grandkids I once saw a Jim Carrey movie? Yes. VERDICT: Movie Star. My judging criteria are unassailable.

The truth is, most people don’t know how to define a “movie star.”

So true. This is because they don’t live in Hollywood and understand the way Hollywood works, as would a sportswriter who spent a grand total of 18 months working on a TV show. I feel bad for the little people, really. They walk through life thinking Ryan Reynolds is a movie star because he stars in movies, when they don’t really understand the true machinations behind it all. IF ONLY I COULD SHOW THEM HOW IT ALL COMES BACK TO ROBERT HORRY.

Take Tobey Maguire:

Yes. Let’s TACKLE Tobey Maguire. Don’t you think he’s just like Trent Dilfer?!

Unless his next movie has “Spider-Man” in the title, are people going out of their way to see it? Of course not. That means he’s not a movie star.

Except that he’s rich and famous and HOLY SHIT WHAT DOES ANY OF THIS EVEN MEAN?

Listen folks, you want a decent roundup of why Hollywood makes terrible movies, just read this. Trust me.

Jamie Foxx won an Oscar for Ray, but that didn’t make him a movie star; he’s just a famous person who acts and sings.


Bruce Willis can’t be a movie star anymore unless the words “Die” and “Hard” are involved.

Honestly, he may as well sell insurance at this point.

And yet, if you asked the average person if Carrey, Maguire, Foxx and Willis were movie stars, they would invariably say yes.

This is the problem with Americans. You see, they lack Bill Simmons’ ability to SEE Hollywood, not unlike how Rajon Rondo can see the floor at a Celtics game. This is why Hollywood shouldn’t be allowed to cast anyone in any film without first consulting a Blue Ribbon Panel of Hollywood Experts consisting of Bill, Chuck Klosterman, and the giant anus in which both men reside and share coffee with one another.

I believe there are 24 male movie stars right now…

I read the stat in “Outliers”!

…a funny number…

Interesting. My own randomly generated number has meaning BEYOND the value to which I assigned it! Watch!

…since that takes the NBA All-Star analogy full circle.

So true. Ryan Reynolds IS Emaka Okafor. How much more clear can it be?

But here’s the list: Smith and Leo;


Depp and Cruise; Clooney, Damon and Pitt; Downey and Bale; Hanks and Denzel; Stiller and Sandler; Crowe and Bridges; Carell, Rogen, Ferrell and Galifianakis; Wahlberg and Affleck; Gyllenhall (it kills me to put him on here, but there’s just no way to avoid it);

KILLS him. Can’t you see it’s tearing him apart to include Jake on this arbitrary list? He’s so clearly a movie star, unlike that Jamie Foxx.

Justin Timberlake (who became a movie star simply by being so famous that he brainwashed us); and amazingly, Kevin James. All of them can open any movie in their wheelhouse that’s half-decent; if it’s a well-reviewed movie, even better.

So true. Who doesn’t remember the box office slayings perpetrated by Gyllenhaal’s twin bill of “Love & Other Drugs” and “Prince of Persia”?

(NOTE: Just kidding. I’ve been told by Bill that “Love & Other Drugs” and “Prince of Persia” aren’t actually movies.)

Look, I like Jeremy Renner, Josh Brolin, James Franco and Jesse Eisenberg.

Look, I’m not TRYING to be a smarmy asshole here.

I really like Paul Rudd.

Again Paul, if you ever want to meet up with me and Ryan at Soho House, CALL. Or email my AOL account. Hip Hollywooders always use the AOL.

None of them are not movie stars…

Except that they all star in movies.

… at least not yet.

Not movie stars… MAYBE.

And neither is Ryan Reynolds. But you knew that already.

Because Bill Simmons told you so! Don’t you feel enlightened?!

None other than the great William Goldman disagrees with me.


Goldman once wrote that, in Hollywood, nobody knows anything. He was wrong.


If you think Pursuit of Happyness or Ali is Will Smith’s defining performance, you would be wrong.

I would? But he was so winning in each!

It’s Six Degrees of Separation.

WHA WHA WHA??!!!!! Are you telling me that Will Smith once gave a lauded performance as a gay con man in an acclaimed independent movie? MIND ASPLODE. I didn’t know that AT ALL. Only a true sports fan would be able to see that kind of moment. It’s like when Larry Bird was playing in his rookie year and GAHHHHH KILL IT WITH A KNIFE.

Everything is on display: his once-in-a-generation charisma, his acting chops, his sense of humor, his sense of the moment … and, most of all, his self-awareness.

Of which you have none.

He made Six Degrees to prove he wasn’t just a rapper-turned-sitcom-star, that he could actually act, that he cared about his craft. You know, as long as he didn’t have to kiss another dude. It was a chance, but a calculated one. He never took another one. Now he’s our one and only movie star, according to William Goldman.


There’s a lesson here.

The lesson? Please eat shit and die.

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