Top 3 Summer Movies Coming Out For 2017

Blockbuster season is already in high gear in May, but 2017 will be no exception to the rule that high-octane, bombastic, big-budget movies will continue to roll out until the leaves start to change colors. Although this year promises to return us to many beloved franchises – and perhaps spark a superheroine movie revolution when Wonder Woman drops on June 3 – these three potential movie blockbusters have us salivating for shorts season the most.

Potential Movie Blockbuster #3: The Dark Tower – Release Date: August 4, 2017
It’s been a long road for The Dark Tower from page to screen. Stephen King’s longest novel series – 8 books in all – and arguably some of Horror Uncle’s best work ever is beloved by readers for, among other things, linked into the larger King multiverse. J.J. Abrams was attached to the horror sci-fi Western in 2007, then unattached. A 2010 press release promised a release date of 2013 for the first film of trilogy, with material released as a TV series to fill in the gaps between the three films. Russell Crowe was slated to play the protagonist, Roland Deschain (a.k.a. The Gunslinger), at one point. None of that ever materialized. Finally, the trilogy is set to kick off with Idris Elba recast as Deschain and Matthew McConaughey coming on board as Randall Flagg. The script has been worked over by Da Vinci Code screenwriter Akiva Goldsman. Reviews of films based on King’s novels have traditionally been mixed, and some fans have wondered at Tirana’s (played by Abbey Lee) adaptation upgrade from minor villain to female lead, but the buzz is there.

Potential Movie Blockbuster #2: Dunkirk – Release Date: July 21, 2017
This historical epic set during a crucial battle of the European theater of World War II is a return to the big screen for Christopher Nolan, who has not directed a full-length film project since Interstellar (2014). In traditional Nolan style, he casts some of his favorite actors, including Tom Hardy and Cillian Murphy. Picture it: Late May, 1940. The Battle of France rages. A coalition of Allies from Belgium, Canada, France, and the United Kingdom find themselves stranded on the beach of Dunkirk, surrounded by the German army, seemingly without hope of escape. They had no option but to die fighting valiantly against the invading Nazis. (Remember, no help from the U.S.A. would come until after Japan attacked America in December 1941.) “No spoilers” doesn’t really apply to action films based on a true story, but if this movie goes anything like history does, we’re crying manly tears of mixed sadness and pride already. Dunkirk has already been nominated for an Indiewire Critics’ Poll “Most Anticipated of 2017″ award. It came in third, so we concur that it belongs on our top 3 most anticipated films of the summer blockbuster season.

Potential Movie Blockbuster #1: Alien: Covenant – Release Date: May 19, 2017
Prometheus was fun to contemplate and scratch our heads over, but in the end, the Alien prequel that dropped in 2012 left us unsatisfied. We’re looking for some answers in this second prequel to 1979’s Alien, the film that launched the entire 6-film franchise. Noomi Rapace will be returning as Dr. Elizabeth Shaw, and Michael Fassbender will be doing double duty as the android David and an upgraded version called Walter (because David Giler and Walter Hill, credited as writers on every single Aliens film). We’ll also get to see Katherine Waterston, who previously impressed us as American witch Tina Goldstein in Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, take on a whole new species of fantastic beast of the Xenomorph variety in her role as Daniels. Is Daniels the new Ripley? It’s kind of unfair to compare the two actresses, both of whom are extremely talented. We’ll be pleasantly surprised if Jussie Smollett’s character Ricks is anything like Jenette Goldstein’s Vasquez in Aliens (1986). Vasquez was a badass, but she never seems to get the fandom love she obviously deserves.

Which summer blockbuster are you most looking forward to? Which ones do you think will do well at the box office, and which ones do you think will bomb? Tell us in the comments below or on Facebook.



Protect the Quality of Your Movie Posters by Framing Them

MOVIE POSTER POPULARITY

Movie posters are a hot commodity among collectors. Whether they are vintage or from the newest releases, movie posters can come at a hefty price and can be a major investment. It only makes sense to protect and preserve them to ensure quality and make for many years of enjoyment. Framing your movie posters will keep them in mint condition as well as providing an attractive, classy way to display them in your home, office, or anywhere you choose to proudly share them.

WHY PUT MOVIE POSTERS IN FRAMES

Over time, a number of factors can contribute to the breakdown of movie posters that are not properly cared for, regardless of how high quality they may be. Lighting, temperature, handling/touching, moisture, etc, can ruin unprotected posters. Over time they will become faded, edges will curl, the smooth surface of the poster will become wrinkled, bubbled, or otherwise deformed. Any touching or handling of the poster will destroy the paper, it’s backing, and the ink used to print it. This is due to the natural acidity of the skin. These naturally-occurring acids are present on the pads of the fingers and are transferred onto every surface the fingertips come into contact with and begin immediately causing damage to the sensitive materials of the poster.
Many movie posters, particularly those of a vintage variety, are extremely valuable. By placing them in protective frames, they are kept safe from the harmful factors in the environment around them.

CHOOSING THE RIGHT FRAMING FOR YOUR MOVIE POSTERS

When choosing a frame for your movie posters, keep in mind that the frame itself is secondary. That part of the frame is purely for decorative purposes. The most important parts of the frame are the front and the back, as they will come into direct contact with the poster itself. Not all frames are created equal; there are specific types of frames to be used for specific poster materials.

Glass-front framing is never recommended for collectible posters. This is because glass can trap and hold moisture between the poster and the frame front. It also allows all types of unfiltered light to get to the poster, resulting in fading and breakdown of the material itself. Glass presents the possibility o breaking as well, scratching and tearing the poster.

Plexiglass may be used, but it must be high-grade plexiglass that is scratch-resistant and resists discoloration. Be aware, however, that even the highest quality brands of plexiglass do not filter out UV rays. Those brands which do filter out these damaging rays feature a yellowish tint. This is the best frame-front choice for use on extremely valuable posters, particularly those that will be displayed in areas where there will be a great deal of exposure to light containing UV rays.

The backing is the most important component of any poster frame. This piece must be acid-free. This is because poster paper will quickly absorb acid from the backing, causing the poster to become brittle and discolored. The same applies to foam-core backing. Many people think that foam-core is safe and acid-free. This is not the case. When purchasing a frame for your movie poster, be certain to ask questions so that you make the right choice.

You will find the perfect framing materials to keep your collection safe, vibrant, and in mint condition. Don’t trust just anyone to provide you with frames to protect your investment. Making the correct choice will help your posters to increase in value and retain their beauty and quality.



How Some Movies are Like a Pro Sports Draft

It’s been talked about and dissected so much that the first public appearance is already considered an anti-climax event. Success hinges heavily on a grand opening night performance because mixed reviews will doom future ticket sales.

We aren’t talking about a young collegiate athletic star making his highly anticipated professional debut. Instead, we’re talking about a blockbuster movie and the serious threat of it failing at the box office.

Gone are the days when movies were unknown to the world until the day their name was put on the theater’s marquee for the first time. Elaborate premieres were scheduled only for films that had a legitimate shot of gaining an Academy Award nomination. Now, Hot Tub Time Machine gets the same media attention as La La Land. Today, it isn’t about making a movie and maybe making some money; it’s about making money to make more movies. The almighty dollar outweighs quality every time in Hollywood.

Sports and the entertainment industry have drastically changed their approach to marketing themselves locally and nationally. Fans have access to a conveyor belt of commentators that have instant opinion on everyone and everything. Remember, all of this is still an inexact science, but a poor review can hurt an athlete or movie star’s career. Their fate is depended upon them turning around the momentum in their direction quickly.

The Hype Machine

Hype isn’t solely owned by sports any longer, as fans from both genres are eager to be apart of a winner. Movie studios felt live action films were the perfect venue to develop a marketing campaign that hyped the movie before the release date. They felt it gave them a guarantee payday before ever selling one movie ticket.

It’s hard to avoid the hype machine that surrounds a movie. We are inundated with plot detail rumors, set photos and other teasers before the final cut of the film has been set to print. Usually, the movie fails to live up to expectations.

It’s no secret that summer blockbuster movies receive the most attention and have largest ticket sales, but too often the hype was more appealing than the film itself. Too many viewers have been fooled into thinking a movie is entertaining after watching the trailer, only to be disappointed at the full-length film. Often, they leave the theatre feeling the best scenes and funniest parts of the movie were in the preview.

The hype machine continues with movie critics releasing their guide to the summer’s biggest blockbuster films for all to read before the actual movie release date. Each critic boldly predicts which films will become big box office winners. Some of the blockbusters live up to the hype, like Captain America and Guardian of the Galaxy, while others fail miserably at the box office like Battleship and Pearl Harbor. Movie studios aren’t concerned with poor reviews unless it hurts them at the box office.

Pedigree= Financial Success

Some movies have the pedigree that draws a fan’s interest regardless of how well the movie is reviewed by the critics. Think of it as a NBA franchise drafting a player from Duke or a NFL team drafting someone from Alabama, the expectations are high. The coaching staff expects the young player to fit immediately into their lineup because they have been taught the fundamentals to exceed at the next level. It’s a no-brainer, just look at the box office results from the Star War series. It didn’t surprise anyone in Hollywood when Disney bought the series from LucasFilm a few years back.

The process is an incredible hit-or-miss affair; the true stars of sports balance their career perfectly, and thrive in providing crowd-pleasing moments for all to see. A great cinematic experience inspires the audience to pursue their own dreams. Star athletes that struggle early on in games are similar to movies that have their release date delayed because of production issues. In both cases, neither product is ready to be seen because the performances are mediocre at best. Sometimes, it’s better to acknowledge a poor performance immediately and turn the page professionally before facing any further consequences.

Often, blockbuster movies get passed on the outside lane by independent movies that embody a movie watcher’s thoughts and feelings. Too often, these type of movies get overlook come award nomination time, but usually they’re the best movies to watch. Studio executives call this formula a classic case of “cool and mainstream,” where if a hyped movie was cool beforehand, then once it became part of mainstream culture, it stop being cool.

Achieving excellence in sports and movies requires constant work and effort from an individual to improve in their craft, which allows them to become consistent at the workplace. To maintain long-term longevity, a star in each profession must understand their audience and ultimately give them what they want.

Moviegoers rarely go to the theater on a whim, as they rely heavily on the hype machine to point them in the direction of the most popular film for the weekend. The studios care less on the quality of the film as long as the hype machine boosts box office attendance.

And just like sports, if a movie season fails to deliver, then all eyes turn to what next year will bring to the big screen.



Top 5 Bruce Willis Movies of All-Time

Bruce Willis has been a house hold name whether you are familiar with his work in the ever living Die Hard or as Rachel’s boyfriend/ Elizabeth’s father in the 10 year running sitcom Friends, or even if you know him as Cole Sears’ therapist in The Sixth Sense, Bruce Willis’ acting appearances are quite unavoidable. Bruce Willis has been a complacent A list actor for a near three decades. Willis is an actor who has been known to play any role handed to him and delivers each role with class and dignity. Despite if you are a fanatic of Bruce Willis’ action movies or his portrayals under his dramatic scenery, mostly everyone has seen a Bruce Willis film. But exactly what are Bruce Willis’ top movies and for what reasoning?

Our first contender is titled Unbreakable released in 2000. This film was directed by M. Night Shyamalan and is an undoubtedly thriller that amazed audiences everywhere. This film consists of security guard David Dunn who survives a catastrophic train crash near the outskirts of Philadelphia. Miraculously, he is the only survivor of out of 132 passengers as well as being the only one untouched. A while later, Elijah Price, who is a comic book specialist, comes up with the conclusion that David Dunn possesses everything that Elijah lacks. David Dunn does not agree to this hypothesis at first, but every single thing Elijah has pointed out so far has been true; that David has never been ill or injured before in his life. David then slowly but surely discovers the truth behind Elijah’s theory. David Dunn sets out to find a place in the world and provide proof of his own existence.

Of course this list would not be complete without Bruce Willis’ most infamous movie Die Hard released in 1988. This action packed movie is where Bruce Willis got his stardom card. The ultimate conclusion of Bruce and Sylvester Stallone would not have come into play if not for this timeless movie. This film takes place in New York City when John McClaine who travels to Los Angeles, California to visit his wife Holly and his children. Upon arriving at Nakatomi Plaza, he his wife Holly go into a private bathroom and get into an argument. Just after Holly leaves the bathroom to give a speech, thirteen terrorists who are armed and followed by their leader Hans Gruber take control of the entire building and place them all on one floor. John McClaine is excluded from the narrative of Hans Gruber’s plan, and needs to figure out how to save everyone before the terrorists are able to get their way.

Thirdly, there is Bruce Willis’ 1989 film titled Look Who’s Talking. This comedy induced film consists of Bruce Willis voicing a newborn baby boy. An accountant named Mollie is having an affair with one of her clients named Albert who happens to be married. Just when she becomes pregnant with his child, she relies on hope that he will be there for her and the new baby. However after the baby is born, Albert leaves Mollie and abandons both her and the baby. Just after she thought she had given up, she finds comfort in a swift cab driver named James who seems to be the perfect fit for her. When Albert decides to come back, Mollie has a large decision to make. All of which is narrated by Mollie’s son, Mikey. This film is unforgettable to audiences because of the humor factor and Bruce Willis’ clever lines.

Next, we have the ever so popular The Sixth Sense which ranked in $461.7 million in gross earnings. Again, we visit a chiller directed by M. Night Shyamalan that gave millennials back then nightmares. Released in 1999, Bruce Willis portrays an award winning child psychologist who, on the night of receiving his award, gets an unexpected visit from a not so happy past patient of his. After the encounter, Bruce’s character named Malcom Crowe gets assigned to a young boy who is extremely schizophrenic. Malcom Crowe spends much time with the patient, named Cole, much to the dismay of Malcolm’s wife. Cole’s mother is desperate and is at her wit’s end to this steady increase of her son’s immense problem.

Lastly, there is Bruce Willis’ high grossing film titled Pulp Fiction, released in 1994. This $203.6 million gross earning film is currently number 7 on IMDB’s top 250 films and winner of the Palme d’Or award at the Cannes film festival in 1994. Bruce Willis’ character named Butch Coolidge is a boxer who has been greeted by Marsellus Wallace, the boss of Vincent Vega and Jules Winnfield. Butch Coolidge has been instructed to forfeight his next fight. Butch then kills the boxer and must plan his escape from Marsellus Wallace. Butch Coolidge plans to leave the city but refuses to leave behind his father’s watch. In the end, the lives of the hit men, a boxer, a gangster’s bride, and a pair of thieves are mixed together in a tale of violence and justice.

In conclusion, Bruce Willis’ iconic movie roles will live on for eternity. These life changing movies will be passed down from generation to generation in hopes to change the lives of others in the years and future generations to come. Epic movies such as Die Hard and its correlating sequels will live on in the hearts of the cast and crew, and especially those who have seen it hundreds of times.



The Importance of Makeup Artistry in Hollywood

If someone were to tell you that all you needed was Meryl Streep or another A-list celebrity and a good script for a movie to succeed, they would be wrong. Dead wrong. The correct answer would be that you would need a good actor, a good script, and a good makeup artist for a movie to succeed, in my opinion.

There is no question that the makeup artists in Hollywood do not get the credit that they truly deserve. Sure, they will be recognized in some capacity but not nearly in the same breath as the artist who acts and portrays characters. I believe that, in itself, is a travesty to the artists who are assigned the job of transcending an actor into a character completely separate from themselves. Without the careful and masterful creativity that is mandatory for a makeup artist, the character will remain a one-dimensional figment of our imagination. In order for actors to transcend into someone other than themselves, they would have to believe that they have been transformed. No one, and I mean no one, is capable of doing that better than the makeup artists in Hollywood.

Many believe that being a makeup artist in Hollywood is easy and just loads of fun. Well, that is not completely true. Yes, it can be very exciting to work on a movie set and be surrounded by such creative and talented people but the work is hard and the days are long. The pay is initially very low and the market is saturated with young, makeup artists vying for a spot on a makeup team that will launch their careers. It is not all glamour and glitz. To become a successful, makeup artist in Hollywood requires a lot of blood, sweat, and tears and the road is not always paved in gold. Many people would agree that these driven but creative people do not nearly get the credit that they deserve. I am definitely one of those people.

The makeup artist most singular job is to help convey the message of believably to the audience. As early as 1931, a makeup artist by the name of Jack Pierce was able to transform Boris Karloff into Frankenstein’s monster. The importance of such innovation by a makeup artist has only increased since then. A makeup artist is key in any effort a Hollywood movie is made and that contribution should not be taken lightly.

Whether it’s Greg Cannom who transformed the late, Robin Williams into the legendary, Mrs. Doubtfire to the exquisite, intrinsic work of Stan Winston, who morphed Johnny Depp into Edward Scissorhands, the proof is in the pudding. The vision must align with the script and this visual medium needs sound, makeup artists to bring it to fruition. The makeup artist allows the directors, writers, actors to bring their vision to life. The very best makeup artists are rarely seen and recognized even less. But, they are the glue that keeps the visual together. A bruise must look like a bruise and a robot must look truly robotic in order for your movie to be believable and ultimately, turn a profit. Being a makeup artist is viewed by many as a labor of love. Going through the ranks from school to an assistant can be grueling but part of the process to reaching your goals. Ultimately, the makeup artist is one of the few people whose job can bring the illusion tumbling down if not properly executed. Once you lose your viewer, it is nearly impossible to regain it. If it is a small budget indie or a large, multimillion dollar studio film, the makeup artist still has the same job and is required the same level of passion and execution.

In the grand scheme of things, the makeup artist is one of the most integral parts of the Hollywood movie scene and will continue to be.



Alec Baldwin Has Been The Talk of Hollywood Lately

For many years, the Baldwin family was considered something of a joke in Hollywood. However, that reputation has begun to change in more recent times, mostly due to the continued success of Alec Baldwin, the oldest and most prominent of the Baldwin brothers. Attitudes toward the family first began to change around 10 years ago after the debut of the critically acclaimed and award-winning NBC sitcom 30 Rock with many critics hailing Alec Baldwin’s role as network executive Jack Donaghy as one of the primary drivers behind the show’s immense success and popularity. Still, despite his success with 30 Rock, nothing compares to the prominence that Baldwin’s portrayal of Donald Trump on NBC’s Saturday Night Live has brought, suddenly catapulting him to become one of the most sought-after actors in Hollywood.

Alec Baldwin, Donald Trump and SNL

Saturday Night Live has a long history of poking fun at U.S. Presidents and also for its comedic portrayals of Donald Trump. In fact, one has to go back to the 1988 season to find the show’s first sketch featuring Trump as portrayed by the late Phil Hartman. From that point on, three other cast members also portrayed “The Donald” in various sketches, but it wasn’t until October 2016 that the world was treated to Baldwin’s especially convincing performance as then-Presidential candidate Trump.

Baldwin’s Trump parody made its public debut on October 1, and since then, the actor has gone on to reprise the role in numerous episodes both before and after his election. While Trump himself has gone on record (tweeted) about his dislike of Baldwin’s portrayal, most other media sources have praised the SNL parody. In fact, many people have claimed that it belongs near the top with some of the show’s other famous presidential parodies, such as Dana Carvey’s role as President George H.W. Bush Sr., Darrell Hammond’s portrayal of President Bill Clinton and Will Ferrell’s role as President George W. Bush Jr.

Of course, none of these other portrayals ever drew a response from the President being parodied, which is something that definitely makes Baldwin’s role unique. Another thing that sets the Trump parody apart from the others is the fact that Alec Baldwin has never actually been a cast member on SNL, unlike all of the other aforementioned actors. Still, he has hosted the show on a record 17 separate occasions—far more than any other person.

While critical acclaim is all well and good, the fact that many people point to Baldwin’s Trump parodies as one of the major reasons behind the show’s recent ratings boost shows just how successful he has been in the role. In fact, since he began portraying Trump in late 2016, the show has seen a huge spike in its ratings, up to the point that it has been averaging its biggest audience of any time in the past 22 years.

From Strength to Strength: Baldwin’s Recent Film Successes

Following up on his portrayal of Donald Trump, Alec Baldwin has also experienced several recent film successes that have helped make him an even more sought-after name in Hollywood. One such success was with the film Paris Can Wait, which also stars Diane Lane and Nicolas Cage and was written and directed by Eleanor Coppola. Although the film has yet to make its worldwide debut, the critical acclaim it received after debuting at the 2016 Toronto Film Festival seems to be a fairly good indicator of how well it will be received once it finally does debut to a wider audience.

It seems that 2017 is also set to be a good year for Baldwin as he is set to star in at least four films. The first of the four was the animated comedy The Boss Baby, which raked in more than $229 million in only its first two weeks, while the films Blind, Downsizing and Drunk Parents are all set to premiere later in the year and will be followed up in 2018 by at least two more Baldwin films—Arctic Justice: Thunder Squad and an as-of-yet untitled Mission Impossible 8 film.

All of these factors point to the fact that Alec Baldwin’s career is really at a high point right now, which is somewhat surprising considering the numerous failures and setbacks he has experienced throughout his time in Hollywood. From his critically panned role in 2003’s awful The Cat in the Hat—which saw him nominated for the not-so-prestigious Golden Raspberry Award for the Worst Supporting Actor—Alec Baldwin has most definitely turned his career around in a huge way and is now easily one of the most talked about names in Hollywood.



What Draws You to Go See a Movie?

Ever since the inception of motion pictures, people have been enthralled with movies. It’s understandable. A movie provides a couple of hours where the viewer can just sit back and escape into it. That said, a lot of people have different tastes when it comes to what makes a good and engaging movie.

For some people, realism is one of the best traits to be found in a movie. Movies like ‘American Sniper’, the true story of war hero Chris Kyle evidences this. Then there are people on the other end of the spectrum, and they want pure fantasy, and the huge success of movies like ‘The Avengers’ and the ‘Lord of the Rings’ franchise is proof of this. Some people prefer there to be a meaningful message in the movie like in ‘Waiting for Superman’.

Then there are those that just want mindless entertainment and humor in their movies, like ‘Ted’. Each style of film making can make a particular movie unique and good in their own way. As a people, we’ve always been enthralled with storytelling, regardless of the medium, and movies provide a great platform to showcase different stories in a compelling way.

Everyone has different tastes. I myself prefer fantasy and a lack of realism. I’ve always had the mindset that if I wanted true crime or war, I’d watch the news. For me, it’s more compelling to watch Thor try and fight the Hulk in Avengers than anything I can find in real life. I like to find escapism in mine movies, and I can’t when they’re showing the horrors of the real world. Of course, not everyone thinks that way, but that’s not important. What is important, is that life can be hard, stressful, and enough to drive some people crazy. In those moments of craziness, it’s important to find parts of life where you can find that escapism.

Regardless of your personal tastes, a great movie can be a great way to leave the turmoil of the real world behind you.



Rise of Superheroes in Mainstream American Culture

Superheroes

Superheroes, since Superman debuted in the 40’s, have always held a special place in pop culture. Though they’ve always had their place, they’ve never had the mainstream popularity that they do now, largely due to the Marvel Cinematic Universe. They’ve almost always been popular in movies, with pre-MCU movies like ‘Superman’, ‘Batman’, ‘Batman Begins’, ‘Spider-Man’, and ‘The X-Men’ were largely successful. The MCU’s model has certainly contributed to the mainstream popularity, but that’s in part because they’re great movies that really stuck to the source material. That leads me to believe that it isn’t necessarily the movies that people love, the movies simply made great characters accessible to people in a medium that without it, they wouldn’t have come across. We don’t just love the movies, we love the heroes.

Superheroes are the new mythological heroes. Ancient civilizations had characters like Hercules and Theseus. The Medieval Europeans had King Arthur and Thor. Today, we have characters like Superman, Spider-Man, and coincidentally, Thor (Thank you, Marvel). We’ve always had that fascination with larger than life heroes. They move and inspire us. Superheroes serve to inspire us to find our greatness within. A character like Spider-Man, a meek and quiet teenager as Peter Parker, but secretly a powerful hero once he puts on his costume, resonates with us because Peter can be seen as an everyman, but is secretly truly special. We all want to feel like we have that in us.

We may not be from an alien planet, like Superman, or been bitten by an irradiated spider like Peter Parker, but we want to know that we are capable of greatness. We also want to feel like there may be someone out there looking after us. They’re symbols of hope. Superman was created by two Jewish men during the rise of Nazi Germany. It was also not lost that superheroes regained popularity in the wake of the September 11th terrorist attacks. Superheroes can be that reminder that maybe all hope isn’t lost because after all, in the comics and the movies, no matter how bad things get, you know that Superman will show up right when you need him.



Why Are Some Movie Stars Not Meant To Be In Comedy Roles?

When it comes to boosting a celebrity career, many famous people will take movie roles that result in the opposite effect happening. Movie genres like comedies have understood and defined formulas that have been etched into audience psyches throughout cinematic history. Great comedies require unique, or fantastic situations, witty and well-timed comedic line delivery, and moments of physical schtick.
Celebrities crossing into comedic roles rarely match audience expectations. There are several examples of this. One would be Tom Cruise in Tropic Thunder. He played a braggadocios businessman working with a ragtag group of hired military mercenaries. Each of the supporting cast members were masterful in their comedic roles, but Mr. Cruise failed to add any comedic value. The role was funny, but that was due to the over-the-top prosthetic costume, and moments when it wasn’t evident that Mr. Cruise was the actor. He added star power, but zero comic depth.
Another marginal performance in this strain is Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson in Central Intelligence. Though the movie was written in a classic style, The Rock’s physical presence detracted from the slapstick goal of the movie. His stature was paramount to the core of the story, but his comedic presence was forced and overblown.
Similarly, actors who are known as comedians take great risks when they perform in dramas and non-comedy films. Comedians break into the limelight through a signature brand of goofiness that becomes endearing to audiences. In short, comedians cannot easily “escape themselves” when they take serious roles. They might be able to explore the entire spectrum of comedic acting, but these skills rarely venture completely out of the tension created by comedic timing.
A perfect example of this crossover tragedy is Seth Rogan in Take This Waltz. Though Rogan is well-placed in a self-loathing role, his performance overall equates to a Jar-Jar Binx-style, comedic relief counterweight in an otherwise successful romance movie. Every time he laughs, audiences begin to think the movie is a Knocked-Up sequel.
Steve Carell is another phenomenal comedian who should stray from dramatic roles. Dry wit, cartoonish exclamations, and nerdy overtones are his gifts. Long periods of seriousness elude him. Such is his role in Foxcatcher. He was a perfect choice to pull-off the look of a disturbed, philanthropic gazillionaire, but through the entire movie he had twitchy comedian facial and speech patterns that felt as though they were about to launch into a world class spoof. Again, Carell can never completely escape his position in the acting universe as a top tier goofball, a’ la 40 Year Old Virgin.
A third example is Adam Sandler in Punch Drunk Love. This indie film required a dopey common man actor who could represent the harsh realities of an unfulfilled life. Sandler’s blank-faced stares and thin-lipped expressions were perfect for this role. When it came time for him to “do something” however, speech and actions were limited to silent confrontations and menial tasks like picking a phone receiver up, or staring at a wall. It was a beautifully-conceived movie in which almost any awkward comedian could have participated.
Some comedians however, successfully cross into non-comedy movies. This usually happens because of acting maturity, or the comedian hails from a vintage style of humor. Jim Carrey is one of these enigmas. Though he is a master of physical comedy, his emotional range allows him to take serious roles. The Number 23 is a perfect example of his versatility. This dramatic thriller uses an unusual psychological and pathological theme that requires the talents of a mature comedian who has a deep understanding of the negatives in human nature. Carrey is also debonaire-looking enough to portray a troubled average Joe.
Robin Williams had several successful non-comedy roles. These include roles in movies like What Dreams May Come, and Insomnia. Again, the transformation into a fully dramatic environment is achieved through the use of dark emotional content tip-toeing on the edge of terror. Williams was also a veteran of past generational comedic techniques, and was famous for using serious elements in his brand of comedy. Williams was a legendary anomaly in the comedic world, and his successes as a dramatic actor are true rarities.
There are far more tragedies than successes created in the cinema world when comedians accept roles as dramatic actors. They broke into the world of fame with innate signature personality traits, and those traits permeate every facet of their beings. They are nearly impossible to hide within dramatic acting structures, and audiences can always sense it.


Top 7 Most Successful Rappers Turned Movie Stars of All-Time

They started out as music sensations of the 80s, 90s and 2000’s. As they got bigger in the world of Hip-Hop and R&B, they shifted their talents to the big screen. Check out this post as we break it down for ya, the top 7 most successful rappers turned movie stars of all-time:

Rapper Turned Hollywood Star #7: LL Cool J

He was born James Todd Smith in 1968. LL Cool J was one of the most successful rappers in the late 80’s and 90’s. This was after featuring in very successful battle rap contests and mainstream music. The fact that he sold multiplatinum albums and singles justifies his inclusion in this illustrious list. While conferring the BET Lifetime “I Am Hip Hop” Award to LL, rapper Busta Rhymes regarded him as the true representation of hip-hop culture.

For example, his album Radio shipped over 1.5 million copies, Bigger and Deffer raked in 3 million copies, Walking with a Panther sold over 1 million copies, Mama Said Knock You Out was certified double platinum, and Mr. Smith managed an impressive 2 million copies.

LL is also a good actor having featured in mainstream blockbuster movies. Halloween H20Deep Blue Sea, which grossed over $250 million and won him a BEA Award; Deliver Us from EvaMindhunters; S.W.A.T.; and NCIS: Los Angeles, which won him five NAACP Image Awards, are some of his most successful movies and series.

He has over 30 IMDB acting credits to his name. His films have sold over $500 million at the box office. In a career that spans over 30 years, LL Cool J or Ladies Love Cool James has won 2 Grammy Awards, 10 NAACP Image Awards in both music and acting, and raked in 23 others nominations.

Rapper Turned Hollywood Star #6: Mos Def

Both as an artist and as an actor, Mos Def or Most Definitely symbolizes the modern entertainment culture. According to About.com and The Source, he is one of the most phenomenal lyricists of all time.

He was born in 1973 and started his career early as a child actor and featured in the popular film God Bless the child. Following his early success in acting, Mos followed his passion of becoming a very successful actor.

He later featured in successful movies like The Woodsman, which won him a Black Reel Award for the best independent movie actor; The Italian Job; Something the Lord Made, which was nominated for Primetime Emmy, NAACP Image and Golden Globe Awards; Brown Sugar; Boondocks; Cadillac Records, among other movies.

Apart from being a phenomenal underground favorite in the hip-hop and Afrocentric world, he produced mainstream albums. Black on Both Sides and The New Danger were certified gold.

For over 30 years, Mos Def, who officially changed his name to Yasiin Bey in 2011, has been in acting and music circles. He is also a passionate activist with a focus on police brutality, racism, and discrimination in the justice system.

Rapper Turned Hollywood Star #5: Common

Rapper, songwriter and actor Common was born in 1972. Originally, he wanted Common Sense as his stage name, but a legal dispute forced him to shorten the name. This, however, did not shorten the man. He is both a successful musician and a prolific actor.

His most popular musical works include “Love of My Life,” “South Side” featuring Kanye West, and “Glory” featuring John Legend. His notable albums include Water for Chocolate, Finding Forever, and Be, which were all certified Gold by RIAA. He has also performed quite well in music sales outside the US. He is a proud winner of 3 Grammy Awards, 1 Oscar Award and 14 other wins and 33 other nominations.

On the acting front, he featured in at least two mainstream films every year from 2007 to date. They include Wanted, which grossed over $340 million; Happy Feet Two, which grossed over $150 million;Selma, which grossed over $65 million; Smoking Aces, which grossed over $57 million; and Brown Sugar, which grossed over $27 million on box office. He starred in television series Hell on Wheels from 2011-2014.

His movies have grossed over $2 billion worldwide on box office, further cementing his place in this list.

Rapper Turned Hollywood Star #4: Ice-T

This legendary actor was born in 1958. Definitely, the oldest in this list, but certainly not frail. He started acting and rapping in the early 80’s. He has been in the business for at least 35 years from writing songs to producing movie series.

His music albums Home Invasion, Murder for Hire, and Body Count have a gold certification. His musical genius was best illustrated in his song “Back on the Block.” The song won a Grammy Award for the best rap performance.

In the acting front, though most of the films are concentrated in the 90’s, he has 87 IMDB acting credits to his name. He also features in one of the longest standing TV series Law & Order: Special Victims Unit that has aired on NBC since 2000.

Ice-T has played the role of the lead detective in the series in other mini-series based on the character ‘Odafin Tutuola’. Ice has also produced several successful films and TV series including Ice & Coco and Crossed the Line.

He also featured in several video games including the Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas as ‘Madd Dogg’. Oh, and who can forget the recent Lemonade Not Ice T: It’s Not Surprising – GEICO television commercial.

Rapper Turned Hollywood Star: 3: Ludacris

Born Chris Bridges in 1977, Ludacris is one of the most successful rappers turned Hollywood star. From multiplatinum album and singles to box office’s blockbuster movies, Chris has done it all to eke his name in the history books.

He started his career early as a DJ and later MC. After recording his first album, Luda unlocked his musical talent to become the first Southside rapper to gain mainstream success. His albums Back for the First Time and Word of Mouf were certified triple platinum.

Luda released two back-to-back albums Chicken-n-Beer and The Red Light District, which sold over 4 million copies. On this musical front, he won over ten awards including three Grammy Awards and nine BET Awards.

On the acting arena, Chris films gross over $3.8 billion in the box office. Notable films include Universal Studios’ Fast and Furious franchise, which happens to have a massive global following. It is the first movie to gross over $1 billion outside the US. Furious 7 raked in over $1.5 billion worldwide and currently sits sixth in the box office all time worldwide highest grossing films. It also helps that Ludacris is one of the leading actors in the movie.

He also featured in successful films; No Strings Attached, which grossed over $150 million; Crash, which grossed over $90 million; and New Year’s Eve, which grossed over $140 million. Ludacris won the Screen Actors Guild Award for his outstanding performance in the movie Crash.

Rapper Turned Hollywood Star #2: Ice Cube

If there is a person who typifies his character in both music and film, then it is Ice Cube. Born 1969 in Los Angeles, he announced his musical talent with N.W.A. as a gangsta rapper. It was a time when gangsta rap was the most lucrative hip-hop sub-genre.

He gained significant success with NWA, but his breakthrough success came when he went solo. His extended play “Kill at Will” was certified platinum, The Predator was certified double platinum, Lethal Injection, and War & Peace Vol. 1 (The War Disc) were certified platinum. On this musical front, Ice Cube has 7 awards and 24 nominations in various other categories.

On Acting and producing, he starred in Sony’s 21 and 22 Jump Street, which grossed over $140 million each; Barbershop franchise; Three Kings; Ride Along; Anaconda; and xXx: The Return of Xander Cage, which grossed over $340 million.

He produced popular biopic film Straight Outa Compton, movies, Are We There Yet?, and The Rebels, among others. His box office gross over $2.2 billion as an actor and over $1 billion as a producer and director. He has 42 acting credits and 28 producer credits. He featured in 10 movies that grossed over $100 million.

His expansive career, as a pioneer gangsta rapper and a prolific actor, put him second on this list just ahead of Luda.

Rapper Turned Hollywood Star #1: Will Smith

The undisputed king in this list is Will Smith. Born 1968, he is affable, friendly, professional, and dedicated. No wonder he is this successful as an actor, rapper, producer and writer. His career started with music with a particular focus on mainstream rap.

Big Willie Style (1997) is his most successful act yet in the musical front. The album sold 9 million copies, which was an impressive haul to achieve in the late 1990s. His second album, Willennium (1999), shipped out 2 million copies. He had other albums notably Born to Reign (2002) and Lost and Found (2005). Some of his popular songs include “Men in Black,” “Summertime,” and “Getting Jiggy With It,” which get millions of airplay every year around the globe.

He has four Grammy Awards, six American Music Awards, four Teen Choice Awards, 11 Nickelodeon Kids’ Choice Awards (USA), and four NAACP Image Awards among others to his belt.

If you thought this is all, you better look at his impressive acting career. Will Smith starred in very successful films including: MIB franchise,  ConcussionThe Pursuit of Happiness, Bad Boys I and IIHitch, I am legendSuicide Squad, among others.

He has also featured in successful TV comedy series notably The Prince of Bell Air. Impressively, 19 of his movies at the box office have surpassed the $100-million-mark, 10 surpassed $300-million-mark, and six surpassed the $500-million-mark. His box office movies gross over $7.6 billion.

He has shown significant success in personal life too with two of his kids doing very well in acting and music. He has also accumulated a personal fortune of over $250 million making him one of the most successful actors of all time.

There you have it. These rappers have changed the game – both in the Hip-Hop and R&B world, and in Hollywood.