February 11, 2007

Not so 'Crazy in Love', or Not really 'Deja Vu', or just plain ol' 'Replacable'

So I was watching Video Hits today (it's a music video program) and because Beyonce has just announced a tour they decided to devote the last 30 minutes to her. I've always liked Beyonce (much less now than I used to), but I got to thinking.

Remember when "Crazy in Love" first came out and everyone knew it was pretty much the most brilliant moment in pop music that year, and the video was crazy super sexy hot (and it still is). But then the first single from her latest CD was "Deja Vu", which was pretty much the exact opposite of "Crazy in Love". Awful song, bad singing, and the video clip was complete and utter shit. I get chills just thinking about it. Since when was scary convulsions considered dancing? And why is she doing so in ridiculous outfits? Although, she did rebound with "Irreplacable". That song was awesome and the video clip was hilarious (what band in general has over 15 members, let alone a girl band? hilarious)

And then I started thinking about her film career. She was fine in Goldmember because nothing was asked of her, but The Pink Panther? Really? And then she didn't really do much (other than sing real good) in Dreamgirls.

I have a big thing for singers-turned-actors. While I don't particularly care for Barbra Streisand's music, she is a supurb actress and even a pretty great director. Bette Midler is usually a hoot on screen. If Cher hadn't ruined her face and had continued to act I would probably have no qualms with saying she's a favourite of mine (she had several grade A performances up her sleeve by the end of the '80s). And, well, you know people like Liza Minnelli and so on are legends for a reason. And there are single performances bu the likes of Bjork that blow most "professionals" off the screen. I even sort of like Madonna and Jennifer Lopez. The former has Dick Tracy on her resume, which is one of my all time favourites (that wasn't a joke) so that's enough for me, and even Lopez can be respectable enough (plus, The Cell? YOWZA! what a movie. Note to self: Watch that again soon).

But Beyonce doesn't even seem to have the energy of Lopez. She got given a juicy role on a silver platter in the form of Dreamgirls and didn't do anything with it. She's a glamourous gal, but she got eaten alive by Jennifer Hudson, Eddie Murphy and even Anika Noni Rose (that makes two big screen debutants!). I mean, I know the film doesn't really give her the opportunity (too much snip happy editing), but Beyonce can't do "nice". Instead she comes off as vague and placid. She needs to give up this desire to be perceived as nice (there's that word again) and embrace her divarisity (I just made that word up, okay?) She needs to chomp on some scenery and bite the heads off her co-actors. There was fire during "Listen", but as I mentioned, they ruined the scene by intercutting it with Beyonce looking at stuff (wtf?)

And, really, if Beyonce doesn't start making the gays her BFFs then her career won't last long. That's what divas do.



Anonymous said...

You have to be kidding about this role being "juicy". "Dreamgirls"'s screenplay is so focused on Jennifer Hudson that it would be almost impossible for Beyonce to charm you. Tell me what else could she do with that character? Deena is all about being a doll/being herself and I don't think we should blame Beyonce for that. She's done well, it's the script that fails /at least about her character/.

Craig Hickman said...

Diana Ross, a great actress, whose turn in Lady Sings the Blues is the stuff of instant legend. She even got Billie's phrasing right. Erykah Badu in Cider House Rules was a revelation. A natural if ever there was one. Jill Scott has only done sit-coms in the US, but it's clear she has the chops if she were ever given a shot on celluloid. Dorothy Dandridge and Lena Horne were singers turned actresses, and both, but especially Dorothy, were very good.

As for Beyonce. She could have interpreted Deena differently. She could have been an ambitious doll, even with the exact script, but she was a puppet instead.

Kamikaze Camel said...

Anon, I didn't mean juicy in that way, I meant that it was a lead role in a big Hollywood musical about The Supremes. But there wasn't a spark outside of the musical sequences. Shame.

And Craig, I unfortunately have only seen The Wiz from Ross' resume and, well, the less said about that the better. Would love to see Lady Sings the Blues, but it's not available here.

I remember liking Erykah too. Put her down as one of those one-time-only performances. She doesn't seem to have decided to turn it into a career.

I love me some Jill Scott and would love to see her venture more into acting.

Tory Smith said...

I feel some people are just not actors.

I love me some Beyonce to death, but she is not an actress, and she has been throwing down this "I want to be respected as an actress" nonsense down our throats for some time now.

Real actors don't want respect. What they want is a chance. Being an actor myself, I would appreciate it so much if anyone gave me the opportunity to do something like the caliber of Dreamgirls one day.

That material is soooooo good. I mean I would rather do the things of American Beauty or Angles in America.

However I feel Beyonce is a performer. Her best moment in Dreamgirls was her singing ability. And if people watched closely to what she did, she mimicked Diana Ross to a fucking T. But it was in her own way. FLAWLESS in that respects.

Eddie and Anika did it right! Jennifer is SO overrated. Was she good? Yes and no.

She got the job done, but it wasn't as good as it could have been if it was someone with real acting experience. People keep comparing Beyone with Jennifer, and in my opinion, Beyonce is a better actress than Jennifer.

Jennifer had the perfect vehicle to propel her to the status she is now. Her moment in that "song" was amazing. Not gonna lie about that. Then again if you think of editing and that little thing called "movie magic" her work was done for her. Her real treat is her voice.

The thing about Jennifer is that she is incredibly humble. She wasn't asking for all of this, it just came to her and she is taking everything in such a classy way.

If she wins the Oscar (which I'm hoping not for her sake) she should then just do music.

She could be the next generation's Whitney.

But come on? She can't Really act.

I hope Beyonce finds what she really wants. She is such a positive person in my mind. She has many many many flaws, but she's young and handling her career very well.

Tory Smith

Kamikaze Camel said...

I've been quite a vocal supporter of Hudson - whenever she was on screen I couldn't stop looking at her. Beyonce on the other hand...? I loved listening to her and, I've said before, the way she looked like Diana Ross was scaryfreaky. But... yeah. There just wasn't a spark.

She would get respect if she was good enough.

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