April 19, 2001, 5:18 a.m. CST
it was pretty good, but i agree, the narrative weaknesses just weight it down without and make it hard to swallow...good review
April 19, 2001, 6:40 a.m. CST
...what was the underlying subtext when Beetlejuice used the same line? Does it betray the undead's natural desire to entertain? Makes you think.
April 19, 2001, 7:39 a.m. CST
There has been a great deal of discussion about blacks in film/television (esp with the release of the book PrimeTime Blues), but HBO's Dancing in September seems to have flown right under the radar - and that is one of the best commentaries on blacks in TV that I've seen. Did anyone else see this?
April 19, 2001, 9:06 a.m. CST
by darth kubrick
When I think of Spike Lee I think of Kevin Smith. Great indepentdent creators with a lot to say, but trouble in the execution. Smith's films are wordy and often visually clumsy. Lee's films are often beautifully shot but fuzzy on the ideas. For example (I just watched the DVD, too) during the writer's meeting all the young white writers are talking about their experiecnes with black people. They begin to mention sit-coms like 'The Jeffersons' and 'Good Times'. They embarrassingly immitate George Jefferson and J.J. Walker and as each show is mentioned, a quick scene from each appears on screen. The combination of Sherman Hemsley's black caricature intercut with a white person doing an awful, stereotypical impression of the actor seems pretty damning. But at that moment on the commentary track Lee says something like: "Now, I'm not saying anything against 'The Jeffersonss' or 'Good Times'. Come on! You can't indict hundreds of years of slavery and abuse and then excuse the modern sit-com equivilant of the minstral show in the form of shows like those. Spike clearly wants to have it both ways. Say what he wants but not piss off every black person he knows. I would have also liked to see what the film would have been like without all the disconnected imagery like the photos on the wall, the cuts to the sit-coms, to the stills from the 68 Olympics and to his own 'Malcolm X'. A story like this has to stand on its own, or perhaps it needs to be told another way. This is a flawed piece overall with much to say, but with a miscast conclusion.
April 19, 2001, 9:23 a.m. CST
by Evil E
If anyone watched the Cosby Mysteries that ran on A&E a couple years ago, he was Cosby's apprentice, kind of his right hand man. And though I'm sure the character wasn't a huge stretch for him, he definitely has a natural screen presence, and I think if he was given a bigger part, he could handle it. Kinda like how Will Smith made the switch, except I don't think Mos is as comedically inclined. Also if you haven't already, check out his music ("Black on both Sides" and "Blackstar" w.Talib Kweli, both modern day classics), I think he's prolly the best MC out there right now.
April 19, 2001, 1:43 p.m. CST
I'd argue that any parody that gets a majority of bad reviews saying "confused" or "flawed" or "wants to have it both ways" absolutely suceeds as a parody. The point of parodying something is to show the complexity of it, not the straightforwardness, and if nothing else Bamboozled does this. I'd take issue with your claim that the black characters are all victims, Moriarity: Man-Tan, for one, clearly realizes what he's becoming and stays with it nevertheless. Sure, the system screwed him, but his partner walks out, and if nothing else this shows that there are choices. Delacroix was never forced into making this atrocity; the ending clearly shows his own acceptance of responsibility for it. You have to take responsibility for your ideas, no matter how good your intentions were. I also think there's a good deal of parody of the black community going on here, regardless of what Lee says on the commentary track; if not, what's the Rev. Al Sharpton doing there? What does it say that the Roots dress up like porch monkeys? As for the ending, I think what it slips into--a sort of soap opera--is HIGHLY ironic and not meant to be taken seriously at all. "This is what you want to see, right?" Lee refuses to give us the easy ending, to "leave us laughing." The final few moments are absolutely astounding: the montage, and Dela's absolutely mind-twisting chorus of laughter as he lays on the floor, dying. Lee makes us uncomfortable and refuses to give us the easy way out. When it's good, comedy is NEVER about release.
April 19, 2001, 3:05 p.m. CST
That business of saying "It's showtime!" goes at least as far back as Bob Fosse's ALL THAT JAZZ (Roy Scheider says it into the bathroom mirror every morning), and it probably didn't even originate there.
April 19, 2001, 9:56 p.m. CST
No idea how it relates to this Talkback, but folks should follow it anyway!
April 21, 2001, 4:49 p.m. CST
I apologize if I come off uninformed, but isn't saying "this is a damn unbiased and forward thinking review for a white guy" racist? Say that sentence again, but replace it with "black guy". Sounds a lot worse, huh? Now, perhaps you are just saying this as your own little satiricial quip, but I've heard this type of thing before from black individuals. I get confused sometimes when minorities say racist things such as that that aren't criticized, as if minorities have some sort of right to be racist. I thought we were searching for equality. I just don't get it anymore.
April 22, 2001, 11:14 a.m. CST
Was one of the funnies things I've ever put down on film. I went to see this opening night, and I swear, every single person in the theater was almost in tears laughing, even this grandmother in the row behind us. The malt liquor commercial was also hillarious.