If you haven't become hypnotized by the upcoming "Battleship" trailer's seemingly endless string of explosions, you may have noticed that there are actors in the movie. In fact, one of the non-CGI stars fighting the alien menace is pop star Rihanna.
"Battleship" can't promote Rihanna too hard, though, considering the dubious history of pop stars on film. Hollywood scored a couple of hits, such as Jennifer Hudson and Marky Mark Wahlberg, but there's been far more misses, including these five legendarily awful misfires.
Aaliyah in "Queen of the Damned"
In August of 2001, R&B star Aaliyah, as well as eight others, tragically died in a plane crash, leaving behind a promising music career and a growing film resume, including a role in "The Matrix" sequels. Unfortunately, she was never able to finish any of those films, nor "Queen of the Damned." Instead of tucking the footage away, however, the studio thought it better to keep her in the film and use her brother to overdub her dialogue. The result was a campy performance in an already campy movie about rock music awakening a vampire queen. Not exactly a respectful tribute.
Kelly Clarkson and Justin Guarini in "From Justin to Kelly"
After ten years of television dominance, "American Idol" has lost some of its mojo, no longer the go-to name in glorified karaoke. Is it possible, however, that the show's producers were trying to destroy the show from its beginning? Yes, if "From Justin to Kelly" is to be believed. The show's contract forced the two pop stars to star in the 2003 romantic flop, which featured horrible musical numbers and even worse chemistry. The movie bombed at the box office, which thankfully caused "American Idol" to remove filmmaking from their contracts and prevent any future cinematic collaborations, like a buddy cop movie starring Ruben Studdard and Clay Aiken.
The Spice Girls in "Spice World"
In the '60s, a quartet of musically talented British lads came to America and became a cultural phenomenon. If you don't know who I'm talking about by this point, you should probably start booking your flight home from Mars. During that time, the Fab Four released "A Hard Day's Night," which is considered one of the best musicals of all time.
About thirty years later, the Spice Girls came to America. As is typical these days, the fad was coined a phenomenon and therefore merited a movie, "Spice World." The movie, written by the same writer as "From Justin to Kelly," tried all of the same tricks and ideas as the Beatles' classic but with none of the personality. At least a pre-"House" Hugh Laurie makes a brief appearance.
Vanilla Ice in "Cool as Ice"
I'm not sure what's more insulting: the fact that Hollywood thought there would be an audience for a movie starring Vanilla Ice or the fact that they ruined "Rebel Without a Cause" in the process. For an intolerable 91 minutes, Ice struts around the screen, acting like the greatest thing to happen to cinema since the projector and dropping philosophical quotes that would be rejected by most fortune cookie writers. His love interest's parents just want him to go away, a sentiment shared by pretty much everyone in the audience. Luckily, by the time "Cool as Ice" came out in the fall of 1991, Ice's popularity had already melted away, resulting in a final box office total of barely $1 million.
Mariah Carey in "Glitter"
In 2001, Mariah Carey had a breakdown of epic proportions, causing her film debut, "Glitter," to be delayed three weeks. For anyone who's seen the romantic musical, it wasn't delayed long enough. The film, a pet project for the one-time queen of pop, is a laughable mess, resulting in six Razzie nominations (only one win, though, thanks to the slightly more awful "Freddy Got Fingered") and a place in history as one of the worst movies ever. The most shocking thing? Eight years later, an almost unrecognizable Carey co-starred in the Oscar-winning "Precious" and was terrific. Perhaps she just needed the right push, preferably one based on the novel by Sapphire.
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