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"I wouldn't begin my day without it. I've learned so much." - Lindsay Lohan

Saturday, August 28, 2010


Hello again my fellow movie lovers. This week we are going to move from the theaters to the living room. The release of Jennifer Lopez's movie, "The Back Up Plan" on DVD got me to thinking (which is usually a dangerous endeavor). While Miss Lopez is certainly easy on the eyes (I could pitch a tent and live on that rump quite happily for quite some time), her acting and subsequent movie choices are generally abysmal. The "Back Up Plan" is no exception. Pure unadulterated crap.
I started thinking about "cross-over" stars, like the aforementioned Miss Lopez, and wondered who is the most talented and successful, if any, of any of these sort of people.

Let's start with singers who have attempted to become actors.
Now, I may be mistaken, because I don't really like to do all the boring research, but I think J Lo (that's her aka on the streets or so I hear) started off as a dancer, a "Fly Girl" I believe they were called on the show "In Living Color". I could be mistaken, but truthfully, I don't care. So, I'll tell you what we'll come back to her in a bit. We'll continue, unless you have something better to do.
I didn't think so.

The latest crop of "cross overs" (singers to actors) is becoming very crowded. Singers such as: Justin Timberlake, Miley Cirus, Britney Spears, Beyonce, Jennifer Hudson, have all made their jump to the big screen. Of this new crop, we'll have to go with Jennifer Hudson, since she won an Academy Award (1 of only a very few "cross overs" to achieve this distinction. We'll get to the rest in due course, keep your shirt on). My personal favorite, however, is Beyonce.  I could watch her lounging around the pool in a bikini and become quite captivated, which is exactly what I've done. Investing in a powerful telescope is the best gift I've ever given to myself.

Let's move on. For the record, I don't accept Rap music as singing. As a matter of fact I don't even accept it as music. I call Rap- Retards Attempting Poetry. My wife hates when I say that, she calls me close minded. I really don't care, I'm old and I say whatever the hell I want. That's one of the benefits of being old. Now, even though I have zero tolerance for (c)rap , I'll allow it as music only for the benefit of this article. I have to, it seems every rapper eventually segues into acting. I don't know why this is, it just is. Who the hell knows?
It must be some unwritten rule that regular shmoes like you and I aren't privy to. You rap then you act.

The list is endless and most of these "singers" aren't worth spit as "actors" so I'll whittle the list down to a few of the ones that I think are worthy of mention. I believe the grandaddy of all these rappers turned actors is LL Cool J. I've seen worse, I'm calling you out DMX (figuratively of course, don't come looking for me to put a cap in my ass, or whatever the hell they say). Alright, let me list a few of these ridiculous "names" with the creative spellings, and I'll tell you who I think is the best.  P- Diddy, Ice Cube, Ice-T, Eminem, Mos Def, Snoop Dog, Common. Of these, I'll go with Mos Def, he's not bad, but the best of the rappers turned actors comes down to just 3 names. Queen Latifah, Marky Mark and the one and only Fresh Prince, Will Smith. Mr. Smith is the clear cut winner in this category. I can't believe he was actually once a rapper, he probably can't either. Thank God he moved on.

Now, let's go "old school" and go back to the beginning. It all started with one man, The King, Elvis Presley. He jumped into acting back in the 1950's and cranked out one clunker after another through the 1960's. I'm sorry, but as an actor Elvis was awful. He had a screen presence, I'll give him that, but his acting and movies stink. Save your letters, ok, because I don't read them anyway.

On this list of old timers, along with Elvis are the following:  Frank Sinatra, Bing Crosby, Dean Martin, Sammy Davis, Jr. Let's add some ladies to the list: Barbara Steisand, Bette Midler, Cher and oh what the hell, Madonna. This is a powerful list, and while I'm sure most of you would go with Ol' Blue Eyes (Sinatra), I'm going with Cher. Once again, save your lousy letters, I'll use them to line my bird cage if you send them, no offense. Sinatra did win an Academy Award for his acting, but in my humble opinion, Cher has more range as an actor/actress, and she also has a much better body. Now, listen, Streisand is probably the most talented, because she is a competent director as well, but I can't stand her holier than thou persona. So that's that. Cher wins this round.

Alright, let's throw one final cross-over list into the mix, containing athletes and dancers. This list is pretty thin, as not many have made the successful transition. The most famous is former body-builder Arnold Schwarzenegger (or however the hell you spell that mess of letters). He would definitely be the most successful, and he's been in  a few good movies (Terminator, T2, True Lies) and plenty of bad ones. The rest of the list goes like this: Jim Brown (football), OJ Simpson (murderer, oops sorry- football), Chuck Norris (karate),  Bruce Lee (martial arts), Carl Weathers (football), Bob Uecker (baseball), Mikhail Baryshnikov - I have no idea if I came close to spelling that right, nor do I care (ballet dancer), Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson (wrestling) and let's end where we began with the ample buttocks of Jennifer Lopez (Dancer). Let's face it, the acting on this list is pretty lame. We have to go with J Lo on this one, although maybe I'm going senile, but The Rock has shown some potential (if he can stop making kid friendly garbage that even kids hate).

I love lists, so here is my Top 10 all-time "cross-over" actors:

1. Will Smith (2 time Best Actor nominee- Ali  and The Pursuit of Happyness)
2. Cher (Best Actress Academy Award for- Moonstruck)
3. Frank Sinatra (Best Supporting Actor Academy Award for- From Here To Eternity)
4. Barbara Streisand (Best Actress Academy Award- Funnygirl)
5. Beyonce (No acting nominations, yet, but in a word, delicious)
6. Jennifer Hudson (Best Supporting Actress Academy Award for- Dreamgirls)
7. Queen Latifah (Best Supporting Actress nominee- Chicago)
8. Mark Wahlberg (Best Supporting Actor nominee- The Departed)
9. Jennifer Lopez (Golden Globe nominee  Best Actress- Selena)
10. who cares ?? It sure ain't Hulk Hogan...  I've grown bored with this, and I'm sure you have too

Until next time, don't choke on any kernels......I'm Pop Kahn

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