Warner Bros via Everett Collection
Going back to the earliest days of both movies and television, producers have been enamored with putting sports celebrities on screen. They're some of the most recognizable people in the country and bring along a built-in audience of fans from their athletic exploits.
Of course, there is one issue that's a little hard to get around… most of the athletes that have been tapped to appear in movies can't act. We're taking a look at the most awesomely bad performances by athletes in movies… from ones that are just laughably amateurish to the truly unwatchable; the work by this group would make Lee Strasberg cry.
Shaquille O'Neal, Kazaam
In interviews, O'Neal can be utterly charming and he frequently looks like he's having a good time. Absolutely none of that translates to the big screen, however. The 7-foot-1 basketball player is a genie who emerges from a boombox and tries to help a kid (Francis Capra) who's got father issues. You'd think that a movie with a genie would be at least fun, but it has way too many dark moments and O'Neal's mugging doesn't help any. The movie was so bad that director Paul Michael Glaser hasn't got behind the camera since.
Charles Barkley, Space Jam
It's easy to point out that Michael Jordan is bad in the 1996 mix of animation and live action since he was the star of the show (along with Bugs Bunny, of course), but really, what did we expect? Jordan acted about as well as he ever did in his commercials and the rest of the NBA players, from Larry Bird to Patrick Ewing are equally awful. Barkley, however, as we've now learned from his work as a studio host for TNT has enough personality that he could’ve done better than the stiff performance that he gave.
Dan Marino, Ace Ventura: Pet Detective
It's always amazing when athletes can't even play themselves convincingly. In Jim Carrey's breakout hit, Marino — along with a dolphin — is the subject of a kidnapping scheme. Marino's a good looking guy, but that's about the best thing that we can say about his abilities as an actor. When you're outdone by a sea mammal, things are pretty bad. Of course, as much as we don't like his acting, we still like him better than the movie's Mrs. Finkle, the character who famously said, "Dan Marino should die of gonorrhea and rot in hell."
O.J. Simpson, Capricorn One
Back before the Juice had his troubles with the law, he had quite the acting career. Most people remember his turn as Leslie Nielsen's partner in the Naked Gun series, but at one point, Simpson was legitimately trying to act. That's what puts his turn in Capricorn on the list. Playing a duped astronaut, along with James Brolin and Sam Waterston, who is unwittingly part of a fake mission to Mars, Simpson is all caged fury at the outrage of it all. At least the movie has some pretty rad late '70s hairdos going for it.
Wilt Chamberlain, Conan the Destroyer
At least there was logic to Chamberlain's casting in the rushed sequel to Conan the Barbarian… if you're looking for someone even more physically imposing than Arnold Schwarzenegger, Wilt certainly fits the bill. The towering Chamberlain plays a guard named Bombaata who is supposed to help Conan on a quest before killing him. Let's just say that doesn't work out too well for The Stilt. Considering his claims of prodigious sexual conquests, we're sure that Chamberlain had fun shooting the movie… and, really, he doesn’t look any more ridiculous than Grace Jones.
Dennis Rodman, Double Team
How many people can say that they were in a movie with Jean-Claude Van Damme and they were the worst actor on set? Rodman, at the height of his fame for his outrageous behavior, made the Muscles from Brussels look like Robert De Niro in comparison. The plot of the movie runs along the lines of most other JCVD flicks, with Rodman playing an arms dealer. The Worm is tasked with saying such classic lines as, "You look like trouble. I like trouble." There are a lot of explosions and Van Damme does his requisite butt-kicking, even taking on a tiger, but Rodman spends the movie seemingly smirking at the thought that someone's paying him to do… well, whatever it was he was doing.
Mike Tyson, The Hangover
Yes, The Hangover is a very funny movie and, yes, the scenes with Tyson are hysterical. Those two facts do not make Iron Mike a good actor. The former heavyweight champion just plays a slightly less scary version of himself and you get the impression that the mixture of awe and fear on Bradley Cooper's face wasn't a stretch with the real Tyson standing in front of him. As comical as it was to watch — due largely to Tyson's public persona — his reaction at the video of Zack Galifianakis peeing in his pool is on the level of a third grade school play. Just, um, maybe don't tell him we said so.
Howie Long, Firestorm
The longtime Los Angeles Raiders defensive lineman did a credible job as one of John Travolta's henchmen in the John Woo actioner Broken Arrow. That's where Long's acting career should've ended. Instead, he signed on to play the lead in a movie about the leader of a team of wild firefighters who has to rescue people trapped in a fire started by an escaped killer played by William Forsythe. The fact that someone actually bought that pitch is irrelevant and it's hard to fault Long for taking the payday, but the preposterousness of the plot is matched only by the football star's terrible line delivery. The best part of the movie is that it's mercifully short, clocking in at just 89 minutes.
Terry Bradshaw, Failure to Launch
Let's forget for a second the stretch of casting Bradshaw and Kathy Bates as Matthew McConaughey's parents. Let's even put aside the fact that the movie's awfulness has more to do with the nonexistent chemistry between McConaughey and Sarah Jessica Parker than anything the four-time Super Bowl winner did. The question that truly needs to be addressed is who the heck thought the idea of having Bradshaw naked in the movie was a good idea? God love him for being down for it, but the image of the former Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback's naked rear-end is one of those things that you can't unsee. Bradshaw got his start in acting doing cameos in his buddy Burt Reynolds' films and luckily, he doesn't go too far out of his way to get parts. Why people feel the need to occasionally give him one is a whole other question.
Actor James Franco laughed off his recent Instagram.com dating scandal this weekend (12-13Apr14) by joining his pal Seth Rogen on U.S. comedy show Saturday Night Live to poke fun at the controversy. The 127 Hours star hit headlines earlier this month (Apr14) for attempting to court Scottish teenager Lucy Clode on the social networking site after meeting her following a performance of his Broadway play.
Screenshots of their online conversation, in which Franco asked for the 17 year old's phone number, quizzed her on whether she had a boyfriend and offered to book a hotel room, was posted on Instagram, forcing the actor to later admit he was "embarrassed" for his "bad judgement". Rogen turned the incident into material for his guest hosting stint on Saturday's (12Apr14) sketch show by referring to the scandal in his opening monologue.
Pretending to read excerpts from his week's diary entries ahead of his SNL gig, he said, "Wednesday, 3pm: they (show writers) read all the sketches out loud; I didn't feel like I did great, so to make myself feel better, I decided to prank James Franco. I posed as a girl on Instagram, told him I was way young. He seemed unfazed; I have a date to meet him at the Ace Hotel."
Franco subsequently appeared onstage and quipped, "I just wanted to say great prank buddy. I've been waiting at the Ace Hotel for three days!" The Oscar nominee wasn't the only surprise guest on Saturday Night Live - Zooey Deschanel also stopped by to offer Rogen her comedy help, while Taylor Swift joked about her songwriting inspirations by joining an exasperated Rogen onstage at the start of the show, saying, "You were getting really upset and whenever a man shows emotion, I appear." Swift was actually on the set of the New York-based show to support her singer/songwriter pal, Ed Sheeran, who served as the night's musical guest.
Joan Jett, Sonic Youth's Kim Gordon and Lorde channelled the spirit of the late Kurt Cobain on Thursday (10Apr14) as they performed with the surviving members of Nirvana at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony. Michael Stipe from R.E.M. paid tribute to the grunge stars as drummer Dave Grohl and bassist Krist Novoselic were joined on the podium at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York by Cobain's mother and sister and his widow, Courtney Love.
The Hole frontwoman proved that any bad blood between her and the existing Nirvana duo was in the past by calling Grohl and Novoselic her "family" and hugging them both, before saying, "I just wish that Kurt was here to hear this and feel this and be this.
"Twenty years ago, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame maybe wasn't (something he'd appreciate), but today he would have appreciated it. He would have appreciated Krist and Dave... his mother and his sister being here..." She went on to dedicate Cobain's posthumous honour to their daughter, Francis Bean Cobain, who missed the ceremony due to illness.
Grohl and Novoselic then welcomed their female collaborators to rock out with them, with Jett taking charge of vocals on Smells Like Teen Spirit, Gordon joining the pair for Aneurysm, and St. Vincent singing Lithium. Royals hitmaker Lorde helped the band close out the Nirvana reunion with All Apologies, which served as the explosive finale of the near six-hour induction ceremony.
Earlier in the night, Bruce Springsteen saluted his longtime backing musicians the E Street Band, and took the time to remember each and every person who had ever been a part of the group, including late saxophonist Clarence Clemons and his sidekick and "consigliere", guitarist Steven Van Zandt. Soul icons Hall & Oates were inducted by The Roots drummer Questlove, but the singers' performance had to be briefly halted midway through a rendition of their 1976 classic She's Gone after experiencing technical problems.
There was no drama from KISS, who were introduced by Tom Morello, as the original line-up of Gene Simmons, Paul Stanley, Ace Frehley and Peter Criss reunited to join the Class of 2014, although they stuck to their vow not to perform after learning that Hall of Fame bosses would not be honouring current bandmates Tommy Thayer and Eric Singer.
Meanwhile, Bonnie Raitt, Emmylou Harris, Sheryl Crow, Carrie Underwood and Stevie Nicks joined forces to honour Linda Ronstadt, who was unable to attend the ceremony due to illness, and Coldplay frontman Chris Martin was on hand to praise former Genesis singer Peter Gabriel as a solo artist. Art Garfunkel celebrated the career of Yusuf Islam, aka Cat Stevens, and British producer Peter Asher helped to induct the Rolling Stones' former manager Andrew Loog Oldham and Beatles svengali Brian Epstein.
"I had a speech here but these aren't prescription (glasses) so I can't read!" Rocker Ace Frehley struggles to make out what he wrote down in his acceptance speech as Kiss is inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame during a gala in New York on Thursday (10Apr14).
Bosses of an alcohol awareness charity have blasted sports icon David Beckham for launching a new brand of whisky. The former soccer ace has teamed up with his manager Simon Fuller and drinks company Diageo to launch a new Scotch whisky named Haig Club.
Beckham will develop the brand and promote responsible drinking for the spirit, but bosses of British charity Alcohol Concern are disappointed with the move, accusing the star of sending mixed messages to children about a healthy lifestyle.
Emily Robinson, chief executive of the charity, says, "It's incredibly disappointing that David Beckham, a global icon who has wide appeal to children, has chosen to use his sports star image to promote spirits.
"Given David Beckham's other roles promoting sport and a healthy lifestyle to children, we believe this will send a confusing message to them about the dangers of alcohol and its impact on a healthy lifestyle and we call on the star to rethink his association with this product."
Guitarist Ace Frehley is confident Thursday's (10Apr14) KISS reunion at the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony will be a harmonious affair, despite the bandmates' public attacks of each other. He'll join founding members Paul Stanley and Gene Simmons and bandmate Peter Criss, alongside the group's current drummer and guitarist and another ex-member, Bruce Kulick, for the honour in New York - and he insists the group's big night won't become a big drama, no matter what they've said about each other in memoirs and interviews.
He tells VH1, "We say good things about each other and we say bad things about each other... but it is what it is. It's rock and roll. I mean, if all we did was pat each other on the back for every book, people would say, 'That's a boring book.'
"They want to hear the dirt. I've got plenty of dirt.
"(But) believe it or not, every time the four of us (Stanley, Frehley, Simmons and Criss) get together, even though it's been a long span of time, we're still brothers in rock and roll. At least that's the way I feel. If it's not going to be that way, I'd be surprised."
Stanley and Simmons have refused to perform at the gala following the band's Hall of Fame induction - because current bandmates Tommy Thayer and Eric Singer won't be inducted alongside them.
Hall of Fame officials insisted only the original line-up should be honoured.
Reunited girl group All Saints are teaming up with 1990s boy bands East 17 and Let Loose for a joint tour. The Never Ever hitmakers reunited last year (13) and have been on the road supporting the Backstreet Boys at shows around the U.K.
Now the singers - Shaznay Lewis, Melanie Blatt and sisters Nicole and Natalie Appleton - have confirmed plans to head out on the road again for a joint tour with a number of other 1990s pop acts.
All Saints will joint East 17 and Let Loose on the Another Time Another Place tour, as well as Atomic Kitten, Big Brovaz and Ace of Base frontwoman Jenny Berggren.
The tour kicks off in Cardiff, Wales on 14 November (14).
Captain America: The Winter Soldier is filled — and I mean jam-packed — with genre-bending, action-heavy, sportily tense and relentlessly sinuous, sky-high-concept and maniacally bonkers stuff. Polygonal mayhem that aims, and impressively so, to top the Marvel lot in ideas, deconstructing every thriller staple from government corruption to talking computers to odd couple agents gone rogue. But oddly enough, the moment in the Cap sequel that I find most arresting several weeks after seeing the film is our peaceful reunion with Steve Rogers, trotting merrily around the Washington Monument as the sun rises on our nation's capital.
The scene is shot from far overhead, a low pulse/high spirits Chris Evans reduced to a shapeless blur as he repeatedly (but politely!) laps fellow jogger and veteran Sam Wilson (Anthony Mackie)... and yet it might be the closest we feel to Cap throughout the movie.
The Winter Soldier has a lot to worry about in the delivery of its content. Managing a plot as ambitious and multifaceted as its own, with themes as grand as the scope of the American mentality — as represented by Steve Rogers, raised in the good old days of gee-golly-jingoism — it doesn't always have the faculties to devote to humanizing its central troupe. Cap isn't left hollow, but his battles with the dark cloud of contemporary skepticism play more like an intriguing Socratic discussion than an emotional arc. Scarlett Johansson's Black Widow, a character who ran circles around her Avengers co-players in flavor, feels a bit shortchanged in that department here (in her closest thing to a starring role yet, no less).
Mackie's Falcon, a regular joe who is roped into the calamity thanks largely to his willingness to chat with a fellow runner — a rare skill, honestly — is less of a problem. He doesn't have much to do, but he does it all well enough. Dynamic though he may be, Mackie keeps things bridled as Cap's ad-hoc sidekick, playing up the along-for-the-ride shtick rather than going full (or even half) superhero. We might want more from him, knowing just how fun he can be, but it's a sating dose. The real hunger is for more in the way of Black Widow, Cap, and — perhaps most of all — the titular villain.
Still, these palpable holes pierce through a film that gets plenty right. As elegantly as Joe Johnston did the Spielberg thing back in 2011, Joe and Anthony Russo take on the ballots of post-innocence. They aren't afraid to get wild and weird, taking The Winter Soldier through valleys that feel unprecedented in superhero cinema. We're grateful for the invention here — for Robert Redford's buttoned-up Tom Clancy villain, for the directors' aggressive tunneling through a wide underworld of subterranean corruption, and especially for one scene in an army bunker that amounts to the most charmingly bats**t crazy reveal in any Marvel movie yet. We might be most grateful, though, for a new take on Nick Fury; here, the franchise gives Samuel L. Jackson his best material by a mile.
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But in the absence of definitive work done in our heroing couple, a pair rich in fibers but relegated to broad strokes and easy quips in this turn, most of it amounts to a fairly good spy thriller, not an ace-in-the-whole neo-superhero masterpiece... which, justly or otherwise, is what we've come to expect and demand from these things.
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Seven of the surviving members of rock group Kiss will reunite at the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame - if only to sit at the same table. Band founders Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley pulled out of a performance at the induction ceremony this month (Apr14) after learning that their current bandmates Tommy Thayer and Eric Singer would not be honoured by Hall of Fame officials, who simply wanted to salute the group's original line-up.
Now Simmons tells Rolling Stone magazine that he and Stanley have invited Singer and Thayer to sit at their table during the ceremony on 10 April (14), along with guitarist Bruce Kulick, who played in Kiss from 1984 to 1996.
Kulick tells the magazine that guitarist Vinnie Vincent will not be joining the Hall of Fame party, insisting the rocker is hard to track down: "He's kind of the Howard Hughes of KISS."
Kulick, Thayer and Singer will join original KISS bandmates Ace Frehley and Peter Criss at the ceremony in New York.
Veteran crooner Julio Iglesias has yet to meet his son Enrique's longtime girlfriend Anna Kournikova. The pop star has been dating the retired tennis ace and model for over a decade but his father has confessed he has never met the beauty.
Iglesias tells Britain's Daily Mirror, "I have to tell the truth, I have never met Anna. Yes, my wife, and my kids and his brothers have, but I have never met her, no, no, never."
But he approves of his son's choice of lover, adding, "Anna is very beautiful. They have good taste, my kids."