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Five Famous Actors Who Were in Bands

Aaron Phillips



30 seconds to mars image
Universal Music

These people may be famous actors, but they also have a love for playing music in bands. Whether that music is good or bad is subjective of course, but here are five famous actors who were in bands.

1. Johnny Depp

He may be most famous for Edward Scissorhands and as Captain Jack Sparrow in the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise. What might be lesser known is the fact he had a brief stint as the bassist in alternative rock band P. Formed in 1993, they only released one album in late 1995.

The band was fronted by Butthole Surfers singer Gibby Haynes. It also had contributions from Sex Pistols guitarist Steve Jones and Flea from the Red Hot Chilli Peppers.

The album is one weird mishmash of genres. There’s alt-rock; funk-rock; psychedelic rock and punk rock all rolled into one. It makes for an interesting listen, but not a very coherent one. It’s not surprising that the project was short-lived.

There’s no doubting the musical ability on show, but quality songwriters they are now. Stick to acting, Johnny.

2. Kevin Bacon

Another huge film star, Kevin Bacon has appeared in hundreds of movies; many of them being blockbusters. Footloose and JFK to name a couple. Not to mention Tremors, which is a cult classic. What you may not know is that he is in a band with his film composer brother, Michael.

They haven’t been very imaginative when it came to coming up with the band name as they chose, the Bacon Brothers. But what about the music? It isn’t half bad.

Since their foundation as a band in 1995, they have released ten albums to date. That’s quite an accomplishment. They’ve also played some pretty big shows, including one at Sony Hall in New York back in 2019. Musically, it’s a moulding of folk-rock and country, but it actually works really well. You’ll be surprised at how well Kevin Bacon can sing.

Another string to their bow is the amount of charity work they do through their gigs. That is definitely to be applauded. I would recommend checking out any of their ten albums.

3. Jared Leto

Probably most famous for starting his acting career in the TV teen-drama My so-called Life, Jared Leto is an actor with a host of films under his belt.

He’s starred in American Psycho, Urban Legend, Suicide Squad, Panic Room and Fight Club. If you’re a fan of rock music, you’re probably aware of the band he set up with his brother, Thirty Seconds to Mars.

Although they started making music in 1998, it was only in 2002 when they released their debut album. They achieved huge success with their 2005 release A Beautiful Lie though, which received various awards. One of the singles from the album, The Kill, even managed to break American records for staying in the national chart for fifty weeks.

The music is uplifting anthems that are sure to make you put your fist in the air. Although rare, Jared has shown you can be both a hugely talented actor and musician all in one.

4. Keanu Reeves

Not only is Keanu a fantastic actor, he’s also been in some beloved films. Bill and Ted; The Matrix and John Wick.

But was all the fame, good looks and dazzling film repertoire enough to carry a band? Dogstar was formed in the early 90s.

The story goes that Keanu Reeves met future Dogstar drummer Robert Mailhouse in a supermarket. They formed a friendship over their favourite hockey team. As much as that’s a sweet story to tell the grandkids, the music they created was, well, about as exciting as a Christmas jumper from your gran.

It’s rock music for sure. Think Pearl Jam meets Soundgarden, but without the great songs. Keanu was on bass guitar and backing vocal duties. There’s no doubt he can play and sing, but as far as quality songwriting is concerned, they are sadly lacking.

The band did release two albums and even opened for David Bowie. One of their most notorious performances was at Glastonbury festival in the UK in 1999. They were far higher up the bill than their status demanded, which had already led to resentment.

The lack of quality songs combined with Reeves’ lack of crowd interaction led to him being pelted by fruit for most of the set. Unsurprisingly, the split a couple of years later. Dogstar are the prime example of why Hollywood A-listers shouldn’t start a band.

5. Steven Seagal

The last of our actors to have been in bands is Steven Seagal. There is much to be said about the movies that feature Steven Seagal. Most of it is not that positive. Although, Under Siege was a cracking action film. It was pretty much all downhill after that as most of his films since the late 90s have been straight-to-DVD.

In addition to his questionable acting skills, he’s actually a pretty good singer and guitarist. He’s also released two albums. His debut was 2005’s Songs from the Crystal Cave. With a title like that you would expect some power metal, but it’s actually country-rock with a touch reggae. I know, odd. His follow-up was the equally-awfully titled Mojo Priest.

Both albums were critically panned and commercially unsuccessful, but he did do a couple of tours in support of the albums. What is amazing though, is that one of the collaborators on the album was Stevie Wonder. Wow. So, someone somewhere must have liked it. As with his movies, Seagal takes himself a bit too seriously on the albums.

Unfortunately, the music just isn’t good enough for that level of seriousness. Stick to beating up the bad guys on screen, Mr Seagal, and stay away from the music studio.

That’s five famous actors who were also in bands. Did we miss any? Let us know in the comments below.

Read about soundtracks better than their movies HERE.

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Movie News

9 Movie Remakes That Should Never Have Been Made

Aaron Phillips



Total Recall 2012 image
Columbia Pictures

Let’s have a look at nine movie releases remakes that definitely shouldn’t have never been made to seen the light of day.

It seems that in recent years, Hollywood have run out of original movie ideas. There has been remake after remake of films that were initially successful. As it often the case, film execs decide to cash in and remake these films for a new audience.

Now, sometimes this works. Oceans Eleven; The Jungle Book and Woman in Black are some examples that come to mind.

But sometimes it can go spectacularly wrong. This can be due to poor box office sales or being critically panned by the critics. Or it could just be the fact that the writing is utterly diabolical.

9. The Omen (2006)

If you’re going to have a pop at remaking a horror classic, then you have to bring something new to the table. The David Seltzer-penned 1976 original is a horror classic. Brooding and sinister, it doesn’t rely on shock scares. Instead, it uses atmosphere; some fantastic actors; a great script and an Oscar-winning musical score. This remake from 2006 didn’t live up to its predecessor’s brilliance. In fact, there’s no good reason why it was made. The plot follows almost the exact same story as the original film. A large majority of the scenes are practically identical, which seems pointless. You can’t blame the cast as there was some fine actors involved – Mia Farrow, Pete Postlethwaite and Michael Gambon to name a few. But their acting skills were not enough to make this movie good.

It adds nothing new to the original story; it’s just the same film with a different cast. It did make a healthy profit at the box office ($120 million), but the critic reviews were not good for the reasons I’ve mentioned. Fan-reviewed websites also have pretty poor reviews for it, so don’t just take my word for it.

8. Robin Hood (2018)

There have been a few Robin Hood movies over the years. Some are better than others, but this remake from 2018 is truly terrible. There are many factors involved and the two lead men are fine actors, but just not in this movie. Taron Egerton and Jamie Foxx have a great filmography, but their ham acting is just cringeworthy here. Blame should also go to the script, which is cheesier than a large cheese pudding. There is plenty of action sequences, but the costumes and dialogue are all anachronistic. This all adds to the clunkiness of the whole debacle. It was also a box office bomb and universally panned by critics. If you want a good Robin Hood movie that doesn’t take itself too seriously, watch Robin Hood: Men in Tights from 1993.

7. Get Carter (2000)

The 1971 original is often hailed as one of the greatest movies of all time. A lot of that had to do with the charismatic Michael Caine as the lead character. A gritty Londoner out for revenge after the murder of his brother. In 2000 the movie was remade, but this time it’s set in Seattle with Sylvester Stallone as the lead character. The premise is still the same as the original film, but Sly Stallone kicking butts in Seattle just doesn’t have the same impact. Yes, there are some cool fight scenes and Sly does a good job on the acting front. But it doesn’t have the coolness or panache of the original. It just another Sly fronted action-thriller with little substance. Critics and audiences agreed, and it was universally panned. It also lost $40 million at the international box office.

Psycho (1998)

I’m going to open with the same point I made earlier in this article. If you are going to remake a classic movie, then be innovative and do something new. Alfred Hitchcock’s 1960 original is a masterpiece of creepy psychological filmmaking. Unfortunately, this 1998 remake failed to improve on any of that. Vince Vaughn played the Norman Bates character with Anne Heche playing Marion Crane. They do a fair job in portraying these iconic characters but bring nothing new to them. I guess seeing the film in colour helps bring a modern feel to it; especially as fake blood was used as opposed to chocolate sauce in the original. But interesting facts aside, it’s pretty much a shot-for-shot remake of the original.

Even the director Gus Van Sant admitted later it was an experiment to see if a shot-for-shot movie would work. It didn’t, as was proved by the critical and financial failure of the film. Then it barely made back half of its $60 million dollar budget. It was also given several Golden Raspberry awards for worst director and worst remake. This proves that you don’t mess around with Alfred Hitchcock.

5. Robocop (2014)

I remember walking into the cinema to watch this full of excitement. I left the cinema two hours later full of popcorn, but also full of disappointment. The original 1987 film is a cult classic. It’s mix of action; violence and satire made it one of the best movies of the decade. This remake from 2014 failed to hit any of those spots. Yes, it had some small elements of political satire and philosophical touches from the original, but little else. People with weak stomachs will applaud the lack of gore, but without it, the film seems too melodramatic. The updated effects make this remake look better, but the substance and excitement just aren’t there. Critics were overwhelming negative of the film too. There is also another reboot in the works. Why?!

4. The Fog (2005)

Enveloping fog has always been a good premise from a horror film. John Carpenter also thought so and made a creepy such film in 1980. The plot revolves around a mysterious fog that brings dead sailors to haunt and terrorize a Californian town. Sometimes the passage of time can allow for the special effects to improve, and it does here. But the gaps between the various grisly deaths are just dull. The characters are wooden, and you don’t end up caring when they meet their untimely demise. John Carpenter did produce this remake so it’s surprising there isn’t more depth to it. It did make a small profit at the box office but was universally panned by movie critics. If you do have to watch it just don’t engage your brain.

3. Total Recall (2012)

Another movie that tried to reboot an iconic sci-fi action film. 1990’s original was set on Mars and featured Arnold Schwarzenegger in the lead role. At the time, it was one of the most expensive movies ever made. This remake from 2012 had Colin Farrell in the lead role, supported by the brilliant Kate Beckinsale. This is another film that’s enjoyable to watch, just don’t try thinking whilst watching. There are plenty of spectacular action sequences that fizz, pop and bang, but don’t expect substance. It lacks any depth to the plot and misses the mark on the dry humour and character development that the original had. Pretty much all the movie critics agreed as well.

2. Bangkok Dangerous (2008)

Ah, Nicolas Cage. His movies in recent years have been a bit, well, hit and miss. And that’s being generous. It’s a shame as he is genuinely a great actor. But in recent years he’s picked terrible films to be in, and often dials in a performance. This remake from the Pang brothers Thai original from 1999 has none of the unique hallmarks of the original. For example, Nic Cage’s character is no longer deaf and mute like he was in the original. This seems odd as the brothers also directed this remake. A meandering plot; wooden performances and clunky cinematography make this a flop. It also received poor reviews and barely broke even at the box office.

1. Death Wish (2018)

The Charles Bronson 1974 original was a violent but successful vigilante movie. It also hit a chord with Americans at a time of increasing urban violence. It spawned several sequels, but this 2018 remake had Bruce Willis dishing out the justice. The original film had a point to make about taking the law into your own hands and did it with a visceral bang. The film was shocking at the time with its violence and rape scene, but it was relevant to explain how the lead character changed through the film. This remake doesn’t explore any of this.

It’s a brainless revenge movie that doesn’t have the same impact as the original and Bruce Willis dials in a lacklustre performance. It doesn’t add anything to the original film, and you’re left feeling empty after watching it. The whole thing seems pointless and morally bankrupt. In fact, it makes the 1974 original seem almost philosophical. It also received criticism for being released a few weeks after the Douglas High School shooting in Florida and for glorifying guns. It also barely made a profit at the box office and overwhelmingly received negative reviews.

And that’s our list of nine movie remakes that should never have been given the green light. Did we miss any? do you agree with us? Let us know in the comments below.

Read about what went wrong with the remake of A Nightmare on Elm Street HERE.

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