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"Antwone Fisher"

Directed by Denzel Washington.
Written by Antwone Fisher.
Starring Derek Luke and Denzel Washington.
Release Year:  2002 
Review Date:  1/20/03

For those of you that might be wondering if a Golden Globes roundup might be on the way this week, let me put it to you this way:  as far as I know, the ~100 people that vote on these awards as members of the Foreign Press Association don’t know SHIT about movies, so using these awards as a rough indicator of who will win Oscars is essentially useless.  The idea that the 97 people on the list (available at have watched about 300 domestic movies each (oh, AND watched 130 TV series and dozens of made-for-cable films) to pick out best-of-class nominees is so preposterous to me that I haven’t even watched the broadcast since I was in high school.  Remember, these are working, imagine having an eight-hour day job, then coming home, and watching one theatrical film, three different TV shows, and one cable film...EVERY NIGHT!  If you love movies and watch—or worse, respect—the Golden Globes, please lose my phone number.


Here’s all I will say about “Antwone Fisher”, the new Denzel Washington film that opened a couple of weeks ago: 

  1. Newcomer Derek Luke is amazing in the lead role.

  2. The two lead women in “Antwone Fisher” are beautiful.

  3. I shed many, many man-tears in the final fifteen minutes of this film.  I am almost prepared to say that if you don’t cry during “Antwone Fisher”, you need to ask yourself if you are in touch with your emotions at all.  But, I won’t do that...I will say that of the 30 or so people in my theater, I looked around and found 28 of them to be crying.  Yes, I counted.

Absolutely amazing movie.  End of story.  See it!

Rating:  Opening Weekend


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Bellview Rating System:

"Opening Weekend":  This is the highest rating a movie can receive.  Reserved for movies that exhibit the highest level of acting, plot, character development, setting...or Salma Hayek.  Not necessarily in that order. 

"$X.XX Show":  This price changes each year due to the inflation of movie prices; currently, it is the $9.50 Show.  While not technically perfect, this is a movie that will still entertain you at a very high level.  "Undercover Brother" falls into this category; it's no "Casablanca", but you'll have a great time watching.  The $9.50 Show won't win any Oscars, but you'll be quoting lines from the thing for ages (see "Office Space"). 

"Matinee":  An average movie that merits no more than a $6.50 viewing at your local theater.  Seeing it for less than $9.50 will make you feel a lot better about yourself.  A movie like "Blue Crush" fits this category; you leave the theater saying "That wasn't too, did you see that Lakers game last night?" 

"Rental":  This rating indicates a movie that you see in the previews and say to your friend, "I'll be sure to miss that one."  Mostly forgettable, you couldn't lose too much by going to Hollywood Video and paying $3 to watch it with your sig other, but you would only do that if the video store was out of copies of "Ronin."  If you can, see this movie for free.  This is what your TV Guide would give "one and a half stars." 

"Hard Vice":  This rating is the bottom of the barrel.  A movie that only six other human beings have witnessed, this is the worst movie I have ever seen.  A Shannon Tweed "thriller," it is so bad as to be funny during almost every one of its 84 minutes, and includes the worst ending ever put into a movie.  Marginally worse than "Cabin Boy", "The Avengers" or "Leonard, Part 6", this rating means that you should avoid this movie at all costs, or no costs, EVEN IF YOU CAN SEE IT FOR FREE!  (Warning:  strong profanity will be used in all reviews of "Hard Vice"-rated movies.)

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The "fine print":
All material by Justin Elliot Bell for SMR/Bellview/ except where noted
© 1999-2009 Justin Elliot Bell This site was last updated 01/08/09