I am ready to see some “American Gangster,” y’all... even though there’s a black economic boycott happening today (for which I never got the memo).
I’m not expecting cinematic greatness from “American Gangster.” Some good acting and I’ll be satisfied.
And just to show you I’m not all about Denzel, let’s talk about Russell Crowe and his other career – rock-’n’-roll STUD! Yes, I refer to his band, 30 Odd Foot of Grunts.
While I’m at it, let’s talk about some other fantasy-league rockers from the Screen Actors Guild. Click the song titles below to hear their non-singin’ asses.
(Shall we have a vote in the comments section as to which of these four stars you’d rather hear perform a full set?)
1. “Folsom Prison Blues” – Russell Crowe & 30 Odd Foot of Grunts
I killed a song in Texas... just to watch it die...
Yes, Russell Crowe commits murder upon this Johnny Cash classic... in concert. What chaps my hide, though, is his pre-song banter. (Yeah, Russ, you fucking prat... pleeease sing us one more song!)
UPDATE (11/02/07): I may talk shit about his singing, but Russell Crowe is a baaad mutha when a motion-picture camera is aimed in his direction. He rocks “American Gangster.”
Denzel is cool and all... but there’s just not enough truth and humanity for him to dig into with this role as written. Matter of fact, in race-war terms, the white actors out-acted the black actors up and down the line... with the exception of one great piece of acting by Ruby Dee.
Specifically, Armand Assante, Carla Gugino and Josh Brolin lit the joint up.
Cuba Gooding, Jr., played dress-up. Chiwetel Ejiofor was given nothing to do. Joe Morton... put to waste.
I blame white people.
2. “Everybody’s Talking” – Billy Bob Thornton
The song was made famous by Harry Nilsson and the movie “Midnight Cowboy.” I bet you cannot sit through Billy Bob’s version from start to finish.
3. “Jersey Girl” – The Bacon Brothers
Kevin Bacon and his brother Michael render this Tom Waits tune as a duet. Michael takes the first verse, Kevin the second.
How do I know it’s Michael singing first? Because Michael Bacon can sing. Listen to the difference. He sits in the melody like an easy chair, the story just rolling off his tongue. Then Kevin comes in and he’s pushing and forcing and acting like he’s singing a song... instead of just singing the song.
(If you’re gonna vote in the comments sections, I’m talking about Kevin Bacon solo, not with his brother.)
4. “Viva Las Vegas” – Jim Belushi and the Sacred Hearts
Jim Belushi does Elvis.
Painful, yes... but he gets my vote. If I had to watch one of these guys play a full set, it would be Belushi. At least I could squint and make believe it was John.