As reported in The Star, The Twittersphere (or is it Twitterverse?) was recently abuzz when rapper-turned-actor (the second one is debatable) 50 Cent posted pictures of himself looking decidedly skeletal. He starved himself down to 160 pounds for a role as a football player afflicted by cancer.
He says he drew inspiration for the weight loss from acting greats like Robert De Niro, Christian Bale, and Tom Hanks, who have all lost weight for movie roles at various times. Let’s be clear here: 50 Cent is no Robert De Niro. He’s not Ice-T, he’s not Ice-Cube. He’s not even “Marky Mark” Wahlberg. As rappers-turned-actors go, he’s pretty low on the totem pole. See, usually when an actor loses weight for a role, they’re a good actor, and the weight loss improves their performance. Usually when a rapper turns to acting, their natural charisma and emotion helps them succeed.
Variety critic Brian Lowry’s review of The Pacific – a miniseries about World War II – was posted well before the series premiered; however, since half the episodes in the 10-part series have now aired, one can start to analyze his viewpoint.
Lowry’s reaction is mostly lukewarm to negative. His biggest complaint about The Pacific is it’s lack of cohesion. As he puts it, this disconnectedness, “makes the hours play more like loosely assembled snapshots of the war without a compelling hook to pull the audience along.”
His point is well taken. Though The Pacific really only has a handful of main characters, their personalities are slow to develop. For example, John Basilone is essentially a blank slate after the first episode – none of his character traits or defining characteristics are revealed. The second episode sees him perform a heroic action, but it comes out of the blue. We know what he did makes him a hero, but we don’t know anything else about him. His character is a cardboard cutout.