While zipping through my RSS feeds this week, I found a blurb from In Style, via CNN. With the title "The world according to Katie Holmes," I couldn't resist. What followed was a word association game that shared her thoughts on a bunch of brief, personal topics like her work, marriage, fashion, and age. Between listing one of her roles of a lifetime as being a wife, making many marriage references, and talking about what husband Tom Cruise likes to see her wear, I started to muse about the good old days.

Remember when she was just starting out and lived for herself? When her main interest in life wasn't the fact that she nabbed Mr. Cruise? How about when Tom was wowing audiences everywhere instead of being the tabloid face of Scientology? It seems like a million lifetimes ago that Holmes was a big up-and-coming actress, and Tom was the uber-awesome, megastar actor that everyone loved. In memory of those days, I thought it would be nice to throw a couple great flicks into the DVD player that captured their great, successful, and gossip rag-free early days.

The Ice Storm



Before popping up in Dawson's Creek, Katie Holmes was Libbets Casey, a wild schoolgirl in the '70s who makes Paul Hood's (Tobey Maguire) Thanksgiving all sorts of memorable in Ang Lee's The Ice Storm. My favorite of Ang's films, Storm stars one heck of a cast -- Kevin Kline, Joan Allen, Sigourney Weaver, Christina Ricci, Maguire, and Elijah Wood. Instead of the regular thanks and turkey gluttony, the film deals with two families who struggle for happiness and a road out of romantic disillusionment -- all in a '70s backdrop of changing times and political lies.

But Kate comes into play outside of the family dynamic. Libbets is the object of Paul's affection, but he has to battle his paramour-stealing friend Francis (David Krumholtz) for her attentions. While her role is brief, it looked to be the start of something good. Of course, some of the work that followed couldn't even be classified anything but stinkeriffic, but still -- there's some good ones like this wonderful first role, Go, and of course, her next film with Tobey -- Wonder Boys.

Unfortunately, while you can find a few trillion billion TomKat videos up on YouTube, no one has reveled in Libbets love yet. So, here's a selection of other goodies from the movie, and some retro Katie action for good measure.

Charlie Rose Interview -- Ang Lee, Rick Moody, James Schamus

Clips set to the song "Santa Clara"

Christina Ricci, Elijah Wood, and where to store your gum when making out.

Katie Holmes sings I Hate Myself for Loving You

Katie on Speed in Go -- Ignore the Dubbing
Born on the Fourth of July



Picking which Tom Cruise film would be best was tough -- in the good old days, there was lots to choose from. There's the ultra-old-school Outsiders, or the action-packed and romantic Top Gun, or even a little brotherly Rain Man. However, I chose one of the films that brought Cruise an Oscar nomination -- Born on the Fourth of July. Between Academy love and a similar time-span, it's a good match for Lee's Ice Storm. Based on Ron Kovic's autobiography, and co-written by director Oliver Stone, the film details Ron's voluntary tours of duty, and how his admiration for his country led to paralysis, disillusionment, and revolt.

In the world of clips to share, the selection is lighter than much of the film, but to whet your appetites, check these out:

Shouts of angry 'Penis' through the Night.

A Willem Dafoe and Tom Cruise spit fight.

Tom's Kovic hits on a teenage Holly Marie Combs.

A Long Clip -- Cruise's Kovic protests at a Nixon convention.

The cynic in me doubts that we'll ever get back to these old days for both actors, but one of the perks of the fine world of cinema -- you can always relive the past on your own TV.