Sunday, June 6, 2010
Just Let The Music Play
I don't mean to get all Sam Jackson on you, but what's with so many of music's finest taking up space on the big screen these days? It's one thing to go to jam at their concerts and listen to endless radio play from Miley Cyrus, Mary J. Blige, Janet Jackson (that's Ms. Jackson, to you), 50 Cent and most recently Puff Daddy (or whatever he's called these days), but just because they're a force to be reckoned with on the Billboard charts doesn't mean they should be acting. Acting is NOT singing/rapping.
Though Puffy is earning raves for his comedic turn in this weekend's #2 movie Get Him To The Greek, why couldn't that role have gone to someone else--like Chris Rock for instance? Why was Mary J. Blige just cast as jazz great Nina Simone in her biopic? Kimberly Elise or Kerry Washington could have really shined in that role. And though 50 Cent's dramatic weight loss in his upcoming movie about an athlete whose body is overcome with cancer Things Fall Apart is admirable, the role seems more suited for a seasoned actor like Don Cheadle or Derek Luke.
Both Janet Jackson and Mariah Carey have each gotten cast in two different Tyler Perry-related films, but neither of them have been that convincing in their performances. They are both wildly successful artists who have shown that their undeniable musical ability does not cross over to their acting talent. Thankfully, Perry has cast a good team of actors in his upcoming film adaptation of the Tony award-nominated play For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide When the Rainbow Is Enuf that includes Washington, Elise, Anika Noni Rose, Loretta Divine, Whoopi Goldeberg and Phylicia Rashad. But of course he rounded up the cast with Jackson and Carey (who just dropped out of the production due to "doctor's orders").
Though I'm not saying that there are no singers who can make the leap from the charts to the movies (Will Smith and Barbra Streisand anyone?) and draw big audiences, but there are tons of underrated actors out there who can certainly do better justice to a Tyler Perry movie or hold their own as Sandra Bullock's husband (in lieu of country star Tim McGraw) in The Blind Side, or even play unruly teens as Taylor Swift and Miley Cyrus did in Valentine's Day and The Last Song.
In light of this neverending recession, can we at least throw a bone to the real actors out there? For the most part, they don't have CD releases to fall back on.