Should These Singers Stick to Their Day Jobs?

Mos Def
The good: Mos Def plays a cop named Sgt. Lucas who is keeping an eye on a pedophile named Walter played by Kevin Bacon in 2004′s The Woodsman. I felt compelled to see this movie really only for Mos Def's performance. I had read that he really got into the role and showed off some heavy acting chops. I was not disappointed. In one particularly harrowing scene, Sgt. Lucas explains to Walter how he's had to deal with pedophiles before in other cases. One case in particular still haunts him. He recounts how he and his fellow officers found a seven-year-old who had also been unfortunate enough to land in the hands of a pedophile. Everything from the fluctuations in his voice to the way his body tenses while telling this story makes you feel like he really did live through this. Very impressive for someone whose real trade is rapping.
The bad: After scanning the movies that Mos Def has acted in, only one stands out as the "Why would he have done that?" movie: Next Day Air. For those not familiar, Next Day Air is about two dumb criminals who mistakenly deliver some drugs to the wrong address. This sets off a chain of events that are supposed to entertain us. Luckily for Mos Def, however, he isn't in the film very much at all. His acting, while not bad, doesn't make this film worth watching. It's okay, Mos Def. You're forgiven for being in a sub-par film. I'm going to say that you owed somebody a favor and that's the only reason why you were in it. Yeah... That's the ticket.
Mariah Carey
The good: To play the role of Mrs. Weiss in Precious, the very stylish Mariah Carey wore no makeup, wore a hideous black wig, and sported a faint mustache. It would be completely understandable to watch the film and be totally unaware that Mariah Carey was in it; her transformation works beautifully. Er, beautifully is probably the wrong word. The transformation works well, let's say. But just because somebody glams down for a role doesn't mean that their acting gets any better. In this case, however, Carey pulled off quite the feat. She held her own against the two key players in this drama: Gabourey Sidibe and Mo'Nique (who won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for the role). The scene in which all three ladies sit down and listen to Mo'Nique's character describe the sexual abuse Precious endured while growing up is particularly good. We feel the disgust for this woman who clearly was willing to keep her man at any costs, and that look of disgust is planted squarely on Carey's face. A brilliant job by everyone involved.
The bad: Of course we're going to talk about 2001′s Glitter, but I'm not going to say what everyone already knows. That it's bad. That it's really, really bad. That Mariah Carey had a very public nervous breakdown because the film did so poorly. We all know that. But did you know that the soundtrack to Glitter is Carey's worst-selling album? It was so bad that her record company at the time, Virgin Records/EMI let her go after its release. So, there you have it: your worthless piece of Mariah Carey trivia for the day.
Justin Timberlake
The good: I remember reading somewhere that Justin Timberlake was going to be in a David Fincher film about Facebook and I didn't quite know what to expect. Sure, Fincher knows what he's doing and rarely misses with his flims, but Justin Timberlake? Really? I mean, he's a funny guy and he can obviously sing and dance, but could he act? Of course, Fincher knew better than I did. In The Social Network, Timberlake plays Napster founder Sean Parker who "helps" Mark Zuckerberg take Facebook and turn it into the unstoppable monster it is today. I worried that while watching the film that he would be a distraction and keep me from getting lost in the film. But I quickly forgot that he's a mega-superstar and accepted him as Parker. Timberlake managed to be manipulative, charming, bastardly, and cowardly. Perhaps he learned all of these skills by being a member of the Mickey Mouse Club? Well, wherever he learned how to act like that, he should stick with it.
The bad: It really was tough picking between The Love Guru and Yogi Bear as the worst movie Timberlake has been in thus far. Ultimately I chose The Love Guru seeing as how at least in Yogi Bear you can't see him because he's only voicing the character of Boo Boo. If you didn't scan the credits at the end of the movie, you wouldn't even know it was Timberlake's voice. The Love Guru is a sad attempt at trying to recreate the magic Mike Myers once had with the Austin Powers series. Once again, Myers plays a funny-looking man with a funny-sounding accent. Too bad the movie isn't funny. Timberlake plays a French hockey player who steals the wife of a rival team's wife. Timberlake is awful, but, to be fair, the material he had to work with was awful. It's like being handed a pile of poop and saying, "Sculpt that into something so it doesn't look like a pile of poop." It's also worth mentioning that Timberlake did not receive a Razzie Award (the equivalent of the Academy Award for bad movies) nomination, while Myers (he actually won Worst Actor), Jessica Alba, Ben Kingsley and Verne Troyer all did. So, I guess in a movie as bad as The Love Guru, it's nice to know that Justin Timberlake isn't the worst thing in it.
Mandy Moore
The good... sort of: I'm putting Saved! in the "the good... sort of" category because Mandy Moore wasn't cute and bubbly in this film. She plays a very religious teenager who condemns a fellow classmate and former friend because she becomes pregnant. It's not the best movie in the world and you could definitely find better ways to waste 92 minutes, but if you were forced to sit down and watch an entire film featuring Mandy Moore, you may as well choose this one.
The bad: Everything else. Seriously, A Walk to Remember? License to Wed? Because I Said So? There's no excuse for any of these films. You take them and the crap music she came out with year after year, and you have to wonder how she still continues to get work in both fields. Just recently she hit a couple of highs both professionally and personally. Earlier this year she performed the song "I See the Light" from her animated film Tangled during the Academy Awards. She also married Ryan Adams two years ago. I sincerely hope that eventually she will choose to either suck at singing or acting, and not both.

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