Crossing over

Singers trying to act

There is a significantly greater number of people who switch from singing to acting. That could be because those people think the latter seems easier. Boy, are some people wrong. Agents should be fired accordingly. Publicity, shmublicity, stop embarassing yourselves!

The “Queens” of Music

The music industry is ruled by a group of strong independent women known as the queen of pop (Madonna), the queen of controversy (Courtney Love), the queen of crazy (Mariah Carey) and the queen of crack (Whitney Houston).

Madonna has long pushed the boundaries of popular music by pretending to do the unmentionable on stage. She brought on a sexual revolution of sorts, which was recently displayed by the saliva exchange with Britney Spears. The material girl’s choice in movie roles has lately been less than flattering (Shanghai Surprise, The Next Best Thing, Swept Away).

Love rose to fame as Kurt Cobain’s wife and not through talent. In the wake of his death, she took center stage by insulting other musicians and showing every possible inch of her ghastly body. Ironically, when Love was not spending time in rehab she gained rave reviews for performances in both The People Vs. Larry Flynt and Man On The Moon. Good reviews became a thing of the past when Love starred opposite Kevin Beacon in the bomb Trapped.

In the ’90s, Mariah Carey ruled the music industry landing more number one singles than any other female ever. Her image took an unexpected insanity hit after unleashing the crap-a-thon Glitter and the cheesy Wisegirl, which went straight to video.

Houston claims that “crack is whack” (as she stated during a primetime interview), but not much later, her music/movie career took a backseat to snorting lines with hubby Bobby Brown. From Houston’s stiff performance in The Bodyguard, the mind-numbing Waiting To Exhale to the sinfully boring The Preacher’s Wife, this diva needs to lay off the crack and rehabilitate her career.

Young Hollywood

Beyonce, Britney and Mandy: all are cute, unattainable, barely legal, and know how to entice millions of fans. Beyonce uses her firm body to garner the attention of all males but her inclusion in Austin Powers In Goldmember and The Fighting Temptations proves that her looks outweigh her talent. A brick wall may have been blessed with more emotions than her.

Britney Spears dominated the pop music universe with flawless blonde hair and a body that would make most women jealous, but in Crossroads none of that mattered. For the first time, her on-screen skills would be noticed. Britney’s acting is at the same level as that of a ten-year-old performing for the first time at a school play — awkward and rather unnerving.

Mandy Moore, while not as bad as Britney or Beyonce, has made poor choices in her roles; the bland and predictable A Walk To Remember and this summer’s teen comedy, How To Deal that failed to register at the box office.

Hip Hop “Superstars”

The good (Tupac and Ice Cube) and the just plain ugly (LL Cool J and DMX) have used the big screen to further their egos and careers.

The late Tupac Shakur was hailed as one of rap’s most talented emcees and his performances in Poetic Justice and Gridlock’d gained him critical acclaim in a different arena.

Ice Cube made a name for himself alongside Dr. Dre and Eazy-E in N.W.A. but after the group disbanded he went solo. Ice Cube jumped to the big screen with Friday and later with J-Lo in the mediocre snake film, Anaconda, and later used his natural charisma to turn 2001’s Babershop into a blockbuster.

Both LL Cool J and DMX have a large following that adores every subpar record, but movie audiences have been less understanding.

LL is a repeat offender with duds such as Deliver Us From Eva, the slightly more popular but still aweful S.W.A.T. and the nearly unwatchables Deep Blue Sea.

While DMX sees himself as an action star, playing opposite the likes of Jet Li (Cradle 2 The Grave, Romeo Must Die) and Steven Seagal (Exit Wounds), viewers just see him as a bad actor that can’t get the message. Just stick to rapping, buddy.

— compiled by Pablo Saldana

Actors trying to sing

It seems much harder to find actors who can, or think they can, sing. But behold, the ‘scene’ staff has managed to find and critique the cream of the crap. Be gone, Hillary Duff, you stand no chance among the Eddie Murphies and Don Johnsons of the world.

Keanu Reeves

The Wyld Stallyns should have been enough foreshadowing as far as Keanu’s ambitions as a musician go. But, instead of just playing air guitar for the duration of Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure, the actor known to many as Neo gets to play bass for his band, Dogstar. Hey at least he’s not the lead singer. Dogstar, whose roster includes another actor-type, drummer Rob Mailhouse who has worked on Days of Our Lives, has released three albums. With the perpetual time constraints Dogstar’s members have, there have been no recent plans for a new album. But don’t fret, you can look forward to seeing Keanu in a new Bill & Ted movie, Enter the Dogstar- Rock Reloaded. It’s set to release right after Eddie Murphy and Corey Feldman finish their collaborative album.

Corey Feldman

Who would have thought one of the stake wielding, water-gun toatin’ Lost Boys’ killer would ever release an album? Well, obviously Feldman wanted to surprise the world and he did … thrice. Love Left, the Feld Man’s first album, was sung and written completely by Corey. Obviously not satisfied enough with LL, the voice of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles’ Donatello released two other treasures, Still Searching For Soul and Former Child Actor. Both critical commentaries on Corey’s life, they fell horribly short of the prowess provided by Meatballs 4. Frankly, three albums by the wheezing Sean Astin featuring the late “Baby Roof” swallowing Sloth would be more enjoyable. Feldman recently got married to a 20-year-old college student. Hopefully this marriage will occupy enough of his time so he can’t think about any more musical ventures.

Eddie Murphy

Classics are often defined as works of excellence that will go down in history as being one of a kind. It’s a good thing the definition doesn’t specify that the work has to be good. In 1985, Eddie Murphy decided to create a classic, and no, it wasn’t Beverly Hills Cop (1984) or the Golden Child (1986). How Could it Be, a musical wonder of an album (wink, wink), was released by Sony and immediately became a “classic” to later go along with other Murphy greats like Vampire in Brooklyn, Bowfinger and Holy Man, which provided some box office wonder of their own. “Girl I can’t understand it, why you want to hurt me/After all of the things I’ve done for you,” was the prelude to the chorus that as quite possibly one of the best of all time introducing the world to “My Girl wants to party all the time/Party all the time/Party all the time.”

Don Johnson

Who said that Sonny Crockett, with all his glorious chest hair and flashy Miami sports cars, couldn’t sing? Nobody did and needless to say, they all made a big mistake. The hunk that starred opposite Philip Michael Thomas in the ’80s cop shoot-em-up, Miami Vice put down his colorful blazer and jet black shades to record Heartbeat, which happens to feature Stevie Ray Vaughan among other rock/blues greats. A splendid vocal talent, Johnson later lent his voice to Falcon, a pivotal character in G.I. Joe: The Movie (1987). Johnson has made no comments about recording another album, but it is likely that this D.J. isn’t done with music or television. Just look at the longevity of Nash Bridges.

Tony Danza

Who’s the boss? Well, Tony certainly isn’t. Antonio Ladanza, who portrayed the happy-go-lucky Tony Micelli in Who’s the Boss, is a talented actor who also happens to like singing, — sweet Lord, save us all. His recent album released in 2002, The House I Live In, showcases the singing merits that Danza has had bottled up all these years. Wonder why he never did anything earlier? Who could blame him? If my best role lately was Mel Clark in Angels in the Outfield, an album would look pretty tempting too.

— compiled by Rorik Williams