ALL THINGS FALL APART – The Skinny (On) 50 Cent in this new trailer

There have existed vanity projects before, but somehow Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson continues to emerge as the rapper with the greatest number of said projects among his generation of MCs. Now Jackson’s back with an inspirational movie called BRIAN’S SONG about cancer and football co-written by him and directed by Mario Van Peebles (NEW JACK CITY, BAADASSSSS! – that’s an actual title that I wanted an excuse to write. So sue me.), which was picked up by Image International in September 2011. Now an official theatrical trailer has been released on Yahoo!, which you can see below, and the film will receive a theatrical release on February 14 (it played on BET last year).

In the film, Jackson plays a football player who must recover from cancer and a poor choice of wig (dreadlocks, Fiddy? Really?) by becoming Tom Hanks’ character in CAST AWAY. Jackson is impressively emaciated throughout the trailer and apparently lost more than 50 pounds for the role a la Hanks, so I’m assuming there’s a volleyball with dreadlocks somewhere in this movie. Ray Liotta (GOODFELLAS, HANNIBAL) is also in it as Harrison Ford in EXTRAORDINARY MEASURES as a doctor that diagnoses Fiddy’s cancer and provides gruff medical expertise.


What’s interesting is how the film seems to play against Jackson’s “seen-it-all” image, showing his weakness and emphasizing a sort of wide-eyed naivety that has not existed in his career before this. Most of Jackson’s movies are vanity projects that exist solely to complement his image of hardened gangsta life and even harder abs among his depleting fanbase (to be fair, I’ve not had the chance to enjoy what was surely a transcendent experience with his video game BLOOD IN THE SAND). Let’s not forget that he’s been able to make a movie based on his first album with acclaimed filmmaker Jim Sheridan (MY LEFT FOOT, BROTHERS), and then served as a classy drug dealer for classy GOSSIP GIRL types in Joel Schumacher’s TWELVE. Now he’s taking the Johnny Depp (THE LIBERTINE) and Christian Bale (THE MACHINIST) route of getting really skinny to emphasize physical pain, and soon we’ll see if his impressive weight loss is matched by a worthy performance.

Here’s the thing: I like 50 Cent’s swagger and combination of thug background with apathetic vulnerability, and Mario Van Peebles can make some insightful movies if he’s not giving in to bombast and swagger. What I really hope this film delivers is an examination of how a person that is so incredibly strong must deal with a true ego check of having something that they can’t defeat through physical strength alone, particularly among aggressively masculinized families that need to rely on that strength for income and status. If it does do that, then Jackson will have pulled off a coup for his career, but this trailer doesn’t show me that this movie will attempt that at all.

If it’s anything, it’s your general sports fluff film with a focus on seeing an athlete’s fall from grace. I can only hope that there will be a moment where Barnes runs up stairs while being yelled at by his trainer and a narrator tells us how he gets his life back. What’s that, Internet? That already exists? You foxy minx…


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The Author

Kyle Moody

Kyle Moody

Kyle Moody is a PhD candidate in the School of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of Iowa. His research and writing interests are digital media, online communities, popular culture, video games, and broadcasting/podcasting, and how online culture is responsible for expanding and shrinking communities. His blog Moodicarus explores these issues further, but with pictures and colors!
His entertainment loves include music from the Nineties, teen movies, karaoke and bicycling. He lives in Iowa City with his plants, LPs and video game collection, and hails from Georgetown, Kentucky. It’s not recommended that you make fun of his Kentucky Wildcats unless you want to get shown up on the court. Visit his blog -