Hollywood is aligned like so: Tom Cruise, first; Brad Pitt, second. Tom Cruise, Lestat; Brad Pitt, the other vampire. And so on and so forth. To tinker with the natural order of this star system is to tempt fate, and perhaps make the moon explode.
We don't want the moon to explode. We want to see Avatar in December.
Save the planet. Read our talking points.
1. An eye patch, such as the one worn by Cruise in Valkyrie, is the stuff of the world's most interesting men—and women. (Please note Angelina Jolie wore one in Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow.) A mustache, such as the one modeled by Pitt in Inglourious Basterds, is the stuff of guys who didn't get the memo.
2. Mr. & Mrs. Smith, starring Pitt and real-life love Jolie, was good. Eyes Wide Shut, starring Cruise and then-wife Nicole Kidman, wasn't—or so we thought at first. But like the coolest movies, Stanley Kubrick's nightmare stayed with us. Copious nudity, after all, never goes out of style.
3. In Pitt's early days with Jolie, he stood at arm's length from her in public. In Cruise's early days with Katie Holmes, he jumped up and down on Oprah Winfrey's couch. He lost his cool over love. Which, in retrospect, is cool.
4. Cruise played a guy named Cole Trickle—and lived well to tell about it. Pitt, meanwhile, nearly got done in, careerwise, by the perfectly normal-sounding Joe Black.
5. Pitt worked with the king of cuss, Quentin Tarantino; Cruise was the king of cuss in Tropic Thunder and, even fouler, Magnolia.
6. The hat that Pitt keeps wearing—the one that's worse than the Inglourious Mustache mustache—is absolutely uncool. The hair-conscious Cruise would never wear that hat, thereby making him, yes, absolutely cool.
7. The Brooke Shields factor. We've been liking Shields a lot since she made Michael Jackson seem all-too human at the singer's memorial service. So we're going to take it as a point in Cruise's favor that, while he briefly feuded with Shields, he made up with her, even extending her an invite to his wedding with Holmes (which she, Shields, accepted). To sum up, if Shields is cool with Cruise, then we're cool with Cruise.
8. We don't know where Shields stands on Pitt. Not cool.
9. Pitt is building a bunch of houses in New Orleans. Show-off!
9. We don't know where Cruise stands on New Orleans, lending an eye-patchy sense of mystery to the man.
10. If you haven't already noticed, we will say anything to ensure that the moon does not explode. Truth is, we actually think Will Smith is the only dead-solid perfect movie star in our midst, but we will deny everything in order to ensure our world's future. And good seats for Avatar.