We start the Top 7. You finish the Top 10.
Attn: Justin Bieber -
This is a list dedicated to entertainers who tried to give us the best of both worlds, meaning acting AND singing – and failed. Sometimes, devastatingly so.
It is not meant to indicate any pessimism for Miley Cyrus or her new film The Last Song, as she is just beginning to start her venture into “real” acting (and The Hannah Montana Movie had worse acting, and not from her, anyway.)
Of course, the legacy of the singer turned actor has had some great moments, like Ice Cube in Boyz N the Hood and Mandy Moore in Saved! Mariah Carey even saved herself from this list with her performance in Precious: Based on the Novel Push by Sapphire.
This list features moments that you may have missed from your favorite entertainers, but heaven knows if you actually saw some of these gems, you’d never forget them.
7. Snoop Dogg in “Bones” (2001)
Recap: Rapper Snoop Dogg plays a dead pimp named Jimmy Bones who haunts the nightclub of which he is buried under. Opened at #10 in the box office, and only grossed seven million dollars.
Reason: According to IMDb, Snoop Dogg has a beefy resume when it comes to film appearances, with dips into serious acting (Baby Boy) and bit-cameos (Soul Plane). Bones, a flick made with B-movie intentions that falls flat on his face, is his worst. The movie invests too much in its weak horror to really be laughed along with, and the same can be said for Snoop Dogg. Yes, it’s not an entirely serious concoction, but does he really to have say “It’s dog eat dog”?
Recap: Toby Keith, composer of “Courtesy of the Red, White and Blue (The Angry American) is Bill Racklin, a lawman who is friends with fellow Deputy Sheriff Lonnie (Rodney Carrington, who co-writes with Keith). They’re just some good ol’ boys never meaning no harm until Bill’s girlfriend, Annie gets kidnapped by a buncha foreigners who make meth usin’ good American turf. F*** yeah!
Reason: Right from the beginning, (hoppin’ outta his truck) Keith glorifies himself and becomes the hero. To highschool sweetheart Annie he’s a knight in shining truck. To his little country town he’s the biggest vigilante to small populations since Steven Seagal’s Jack Taggert in Fire Down Below. To himself, he might as well be Seagal – amidst an array of bullets, he jumps sideways across the room, shooting two guns – which is exactly how deputy sheriffs from Oklahoma fire their weapons. Besides, is giving beer to a horse even a good idea? Sure, the Budweiser horses carry around all that brew, but do they fuel up with that stuff? I would think that beer for those horses would probably be like just like this movie – poisonous.
5. Usher in “In the Mix” (2005)
Recap: Usher plays a nightclub DJ who gets caught … wait for it … In the Mix when he catches a bullet meant for a mafia member’s daughter. He’s then chosen to be her bodyguard, which starts a close relationship between the two, and offers many instances where females glare at Usher and burn a hole through his body with their eyes. Currently #70 on IMDb’s Bottom 100 Movies list.
Reason: Coming a few years after On the Line, (#1 on this list), this movie could be chalked up as Emmanuelle Chriqui Strikes Back, considering that this is the second movie where the actress stars opposite a pop singer whose birth and death into lead acting is witnessed within a ninety minute running time. Usher bumbles through both the action and romantic moments of the movie, and feels most at home when playing a DJ. For the most part, Usher plays Usher, taking off his shirt and whipping out the pearly whites whenever it seems like all other hope for any other part of the movie is lost.
4. Britney Spears in “Crossroads” (2002)
Recap: A recent high school graduate named Lucy and her former gal pals go on the road trip of a life-time. Lucy wants to finally see her estranged mother, Kit (Avatar’s Zoe Saldana) wants to meet up with her fiancée, and their pregnant friend Mimi (Taryn Manning) wants to go to LA to become the next Britney Spears. They end up dancing at a risqué karaoke club, singing along to N*Sync in the car, and Kit finds out that her fiancée raped Mimi. Wait, what?
Reason: Spears proved she really was not that innocent with this wild and surprisingly grim addition to the road-trip sub-genre. Very conscious of her image, the film slowly deconstructs Spears from southern-belle virgin (she won’t have sex with Justin Long) to a rebel who is excused from her moments of sexuality (she has coitus with a dude she barely knows) by saying she’s in maturity limbo. “I’m Not A Girl, Not Yet A Woman” sings Spears on the ballad that tries to capture the awkward place her character is caught in, a song that may be the best part of the entire Crossroads experience. Spears’ attempt at acting certainly isn’t the most painful, but it was certainly doomed from the moment she read this script.
Recap: “Hey Ma” rapper Cam’Ron, known for wearing purple fur coats and driving Escalades of the same color, channels his inner Woody Allen and writes/directs/and acts in this movie about a young hustler who will do whatever it takes to get to the top of the “game.” Features appearances by Juelz Santana, Funkmaster Flex, and a lot of strippers. This movie is 128 minutes long.
Reason: Killa Season is a straight-to-DVD hood epic that proves that just as people need licenses to own guns, the same should be done with professional film cameras. Cam’Ron (real name Cameron Giles) is given a writing credit, which is mysterious, considering that this flick has no structure, and the dialogue seems improvised, with each on-screen personality (some of them fellow rappers) channeling their inner thug. Then of course there’s his acting, the tip of the iceberg of crap, which is a consistent reminder that we are dealing with a clown who just wants to have fun, or a moron who has no clue just how awful his creation is. Using home video footage and his real last name, Cam’Ron creates an autobiographical angle to the phony Killa Season (I doubt his real life was actually this hilarious.) Thus, his pride and joy reminds me even more so of Glen or Glenda, the first acted/written/directed B-movie classic from the real god of crap movies, Ed Wood.
2. Ray J in “Envy” (2005)
Recap: Host of “For the Love of Ray J” and co-star of Kim Kardashian’s home videos, the R&B singer plays, sigh, a young hustler who will do whatever it takes to get to the top of the “game.” Blah blah blah this went straight to video, but can currently be viewed on Instant Netflix. No, it’s not worth it.
Reason: Starring in yet another movie made by a clown who has seen only one film in his entire life – Scarface – Ray J is a gun-toting dork named Alvin with a whiny voice that would embarrass Scrappy Doo. Just like Beer for My Horses and Killa Season, this flick that declares war on movie quality is based around creating an image for the star, despite the fact that no one sees these stinkers (I’ve now seen this one twice.) Ray J’s macho moments backfire because of his scrawny physique and his failed thug-ego tripping. When a friend suggests to him that he should leave the gangster life, he claims “I didn’t get no degree at Michigan State – I got my degree on the streets!” In other scenes, he is shown whining to his mom about why what he’s doing is best for him (“Ma, people envy me!”) I disagree. There’s certainly nothing to envy about a wannabe gangster who looks like he’d get laughed out of a gunfight.
1. Lance Bass in “On the Line” (2001)
Recap: A young man (Bass) in advertising has a brief connection with a female he meets on a Chicago subway train. When it’s time for the two to part ways, he makes the mistake of not asking for her phone number. Now, with the help of his three wild and crazy friends (Fatone being one of them,) he plasters his passion with posters all over Chicago, and tries to find the right girl through a sea of lonely people in the Windy City. Nominated for two Teen Choice Awards, including “Choice Hissy Fit” for Lance Bass.
Reason: To put it kindly, Lance Bass has the acting skills of a high school student who bombed in his audition for “The Importance of Being Earnest.” It is astounding to think that an entire film production could be dedicated to his consistently awful delivery. He struggles to get through every scene, and even when working off talents (Dave Foley, for example), Bass lacks any form of charisma. On the Line tries to offer a few distractions from its horrendous lead performance with appearances by Al Green, Richie Sambora, and co-N*Sync-er Joey Fatone. There’s even a moment where Bass randomly break dances in his office. But Bass’ acting is so bad that it just barely may have worked on a Disney sitcom. There’s nothing funny about how painful this entire experience is. A laugh track couldn’t even save it.