A lot of musicians try acting. Only a few step behind the camera.
1. The Prince of Tides, dir. Barbara Streisand (1991) The Prince of Tides is actually the second film directed by music icon Barbara Streisand; she had already directed Yentl in 1983, but I've never seen Yentl. She won some Golden Globes for that one, including the first Best Director award ever given to a female. Since I've seen The Prince of Tides, let's talk about that one. Streisand won her second Golden Globe for Best Director but wasn't even nominated for an Oscar despite the movie being nominated for a bunch of them including Best Picture (that directed itself). How this movie racked up awards nominations and made over $100 million at the box office is a true mystery, because it begins as overwrought and then becomes ludicrous.
3. Falling from Grace, dir. John Mellencamp (1992) This one is fascinating. John Mellencamp (formerly Cougar) had never done any acting prior to Falling from Grace. I'm not sure anyone even knew he had any interest in movies (if you ever saw him co-host Ebert & Roeper, you might still think that; one of the most uncomfortable half hours of television I've ever watched). Suddenly, he's moving from pink houses to directing and starring in a film based largely on his life and written by Larry McMurtry. Though the movie completely shit the bed at the box office (making just over $200,000 on an already low budget of $3 million), it received its share of positive reviews. The great Roger Ebert gave it a four-star rave.
here. You should read it. This is an offbeat, pleasant movie. If David Byrne was going to direct a movie, this is what a David Byrne movie would look like.
6. The Players Club, dir. Ice Cube (1998) After first appearing on screen in 1991's Boyz n the Hood, NWA rapper Ice Cube gradually began working in more and more movies. By the late '90s, he had become a movie star thanks to the breakout success of Friday. New Line, happy with that film's success, gave Cube the keys to the castle and let him direct a $5 million movie about the goings-on at a strip club as seen through the eyes of a dancer (LisaRaye McCoy). This is the kind of niche movie that New Line was once great at making; no other studio at the time was serving black audiences, sci-fi geeks and horror fans like they did. They kept budgets low, took chances on filmmakers and put out a ton of interesting stuff. This one has an impressive cast that includes Jamie Foxx, Charlie Murphy, Tiny Lister, Terrence Howard, Michael Clarke Duncan, Luther Campbell and Faizon Love. It's not a great movie, but it does fondly recall the blaxploitation films of the '70s in the way that it combines so many genres, from broad comedy to melodrama to crime thriller.
7. The Longshots, dir. Fred Durst (2008) Remember when Limp Bizkit frontman Fred Durst directed a family movie about a teenage girl who becomes quarterback of her local football team? Did you know this was his second feature? And in neither of them does anyone wear a backwards cap and rap-whine about date rape. Durst should stick to making movies. They're inoffensive. The same cannot be said of his music.
9. None But the Brave, dir. Frank Sinatra (1965) The sole directorial effort of Ol' Blue Eyes is an anti-war film about American and Japanese soldiers forced to co-exist and eventually kill each other on an island in the Pacific. I've never seen the movie, so I just like to imagine it being directed by Phil Hartman's impression of Sinatra: "Action! Come on! Swing, baby! Sounds like pops and buzzes from here." "Let's go again, Clint Walker! I've got chunks of guys like you in my stool! Don't think the Big Man ain't keeping score, baby! He put you in the penthouse and he can kick you back down to the gutter!"