Over the weekend I saw a movie on cable: New York, I Love You (it was a case where the wife started watching and I was there with her). It's a series of vignettes about fictional New Yorkers (each written, directed, and shot by different crews); some intertwine slightly but overall there just small scenes strung together. I'm not sure how impressed I would have been with that regardless of the cast, but right out of the gate it opens with a story that features Andy Garcia, Rachel Bilson, and… Hayden Christensen (a.k.a., He Who Ruins Any Movie He's In Because He's So Abysmal). The specifics of the scene are unimportant for this (although the vast difference in levels of talent when he acts opposite Garcia is flabbergasting).
Suffice it to say, I could not recommend the movie.
Later in the day, while flipping around on channels I stopped on Star Wars (A New Hope), which Spike shows with the regularity that TBS used to air The Shawshank Redemption. Being old enough to have seen it in the theater in 1977 I paused and viewed a little while out of nostalgia. The thing about watching that film now is that when I see Darth Vader, badass Sith that he is portrayed to be, I can't help but think of the whiny Anakin played (horribly) by Christensen in Episode II and III (from last decade). That's right: He's so awful that he ruins movies that came out nearly three decades earlier (and, let's be frank, did not feature particularly good acting in general). And while plenty of blame should be heaped on George Lucas for those films, that doesn't explain why Christensen was cast in NYILY. (The fact that it also featured his Ep II and III co-star Natalie Portman justifies nothing.) Putting him in an ensemble cast is still putting him on screen.
Then later in the day I was driving down the freeway and spotted a billboard for the upcoming movie Takers. And right there, on the giant poster, included in the sequence of actors' faces, is… Hayden Christensen. Again.
Not that I thought much of the film from the previews I've seen but it's a sure loser on the fact that the erstwhile fallen Jedi is in the cast at all. Let's just hope it doesn't retroactively ruin heist movies from earlier decades by proxy for those who are unfortunate enough to see it.