HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
 
Newest Reviews
Picture Stories
Another Round
Tape, The
Limbo
Supernova
Man Who Sold His Skin, The
Sweetheart
No Man of God
Gaia
Oliver Sacks: His Own Life
Scenes with Beans
Sweat
Quiet Place Part II, A
Nobody
Prisoners of the Ghostland
Duel to the Death
Mandibles
Dona Flor and Her Two Husbands
Yakuza Princess
Djinn, The
New Order
Triggered
Claw
Original Cast Album: Company
Martyrs Lane
Paper Tigers, The
Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It, The
Hall
ParaPod: A Very British Ghost Hunt, The
Collini Case, The
Hitman's Wife's Bodyguard
Snake Girl and the Silver-Haired Witch, The
Superhost
Plan A
When I'm a Moth
Tigers Are Not Afraid
Misha and the Wolves
Yellow Cat
Shorta
Knocking
   
 
Newest Articles
On the Right Track: Best of British Transport Films Vol. 2
The Guns of Nutty Joan: Johnny Guitar on Blu-ray
Intercourse Between Two Worlds: Twin Peaks Fire Walk with Me/The Missing Pieces on Blu-ray
Enjoy the Silents: Early Universal Vol. 1 on Blu-ray
Masterful: The Servant on Blu-ray
70s Sitcom Dads: Bless This House and Father Dear Father on Blu-ray
Going Under: Deep Cover on Blu-ray
Child's Play: Children's Film Foundation Bumper Box Vol. 3 on DVD
Poetry and Motion: Great Noises That Fill the Air on DVD
Too Much to Bear: Prophecy on Blu-ray
Truth Kills: Blow Out on Blu-ray
A Monument to All the Bullshit in the World: 1970s Disaster Movies
Take Care with Peanuts: Interview with Melissa Menta (SVP of Marketing)
Silent is Golden: Futtocks End... and Other Short Stories on Blu-ray
Winner on Losers: West 11 on Blu-ray
Freewheelin' - Bob Dylan: Odds and Ends on Digital
Never Sleep: The Night of the Hunter on Blu-ray
Sherlock vs Ripper: Murder by Decree on Blu-ray
That Ol' Black Magic: Encounter of the Spooky Kind on Blu-ray
She's Evil! She's Brilliant! Basic Instinct on Blu-ray
Hong Kong Dreamin': World of Wong Kar Wai on Blu-ray
Buckle Your Swash: The Devil-Ship Pirates on Blu-ray
Way of the Exploding Fist: One Armed Boxer on Blu-ray
A Lot of Growing Up to Do: Fast Times at Ridgemont High on Blu-ray
Oh My Godard: Masculin Feminin on Blu-ray
   
 
  Bamboozled Feed The Idiot Box
Year: 2000
Director: Spike Lee
Stars: Damon Wayans, Savion Glover, Jada Pinkett-Smith, Tommy Davidson, Michael Rapaport, Thomas Jefferson Boyd, Paul Mooney, Sarah Jones, Gillian Iliana Waters, Susan Batson, Mos Def, M.C. Serch, Gano Grills, Canibus, DJ Scratch, Matthew Modine, Mira Sorvino
Genre: Comedy, DramaBuy from Amazon
Rating:  4 (from 2 votes)
Review: The trouble began when Pierre Delacroix (Damon Wayans), a television executive near the top of his game, was late for a meeting one morning, because nobody had informed his secretary Sloan Hopkins (Jada Pinkett-Smith) about it. He still gets the idea what is up after catching the end of the lecture from his boss, Thomas Dunwitty (Michael Rapaport), and he is angry that their station's ratings are slipping. He calls Pierre into his office and says he wants a brand new African-American show, but when Pierre suggests a sitcom or a drama about the middle classes, he is shot down in flames. I'll show them, he thinks, I'll come up with something so offensive it'll never be comissioned...

Such is the idea behind writer and director Spike Lee's Bamboozled, his uncompromising tackling of racism in the American media which points out that, in his eyes, the problem has never really gone away. And however correct he may have been in that view, the manner in which he put it across suggested that his fury had driven him round the bend because the modern media as portrayed here was a mixture of the outrageous and the hard to believe. We're supposed to accept that a network would broadcast a show that purposefully harkened back to the days of Amos and Andy, but Lee never convinces us.

Pierre's concept is to take a couple of willing street performers, Manray (Savion Glover) and Womack (Tommy Davidson) and place them on primetime television as stars of "Mantan: The New Millennium Minstrel Show", a return to the bad old days of blackface performers and outmoded stereotypes - but, thinks Pierre, he'll get away with it by calling it satire. Dunwitty (Rapaport once again Hollywood's guy to go to to play stupid white men) loves the idea and runs with it, and soon the all-white (except Pierre) and initially reluctant team of writers are coming up with material: absurdly, Pierre fires them up by mentioning O.J. Simpson, a sure way of getting whites in touch with their inner racist, according to this (and let's not mention the evil Jewish executive character if you're challenging stereotypes, Mr Lee).

With everyone aboard the pilot is filmed, but already Pierre is suffering reservations, as the audience do on the night. As if this wasn't hard to swallow as it is, when the pilot airs the show takes the nation by storm and provides the network with the ratings it desires. However, if you weren't laughing before then you certainly won't be feeling too hilarious when you see what the broadcast involves, as apparently America would welcome a show that comes across as positively ancient in its values - and that includes production values. Presumably Lee meant this to be so out of order it was funny, but his anger has drained all his humour.

Never one to let a chance to send up something he despises go by, Lee also has a go at modern African-American culture, with fake ads patronising the consumers and a radical rap group called Mau Mau who are led by Sloan's brother Julius (Mos Def) who can only see violence as a method of getting their own back against those who have offended them. As the creative team behind Mantan falls apart, with much soul searching along the way, Pierre feels a weight of guilt on his shoulders, but his success has corrupted his mind and he cannot walk away. Eventually you're left wondering whose side we in the audience are supposed to be on, with nobody escaping Lee's vitriol, but the fact is that nothing in the film matches the montage of vintage racist footage that closes the film for being disturbing. Shouldn't we at least be relieved Hollywood has moved on from that? Or will it always be looming in the background, as this rambling work proposes? Music by Terence Blanchard.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 4850 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 

Spike Lee  (1957 - )

Talented, prolific American director who has courted more controversy than most with his out-spoken views and influenced an entire generation of black film-makers. Lee made his impressive debut with the acerbic sex comedy She's Gotta Have It in 1986, while many consider his study of New York race relations Do the Right Thing to be one of the best films of the 80s.

Lee's films tend to mix edgy comedy and biting social drama, and range from the superb (Malcolm X, Clockers, Summer of Sam) to the less impressive (Mo Better Blues, Girl 6), but are always blessed with passion and intelligence. Lee has acted in many of his films and has also directed a wide range of music videos, commercials and documentaries. Inside Man saw a largely successful try at the thriller genre, Oldboy was a misguided remake, but he welcomed some of his best reactions of his career to true crime story BlacKkKlansman.

 
Review Comments (2)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star probably has psychic powers?
Laurence Fishburne
Nicolas Cage
Anya Taylor-Joy
Patrick Stewart
Sissy Spacek
Michelle Yeoh
Aubrey Plaza
Tom Cruise
Beatrice Dalle
Michael Ironside
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Darren Jones
Jason Cook
Enoch Sneed
Andrew Pragasam
  Desbris M
  Paul Tuersley
  Chris Garbutt
   

 

Last Updated: