Movie Reviews

bellview--i love movies

Home | Movie Reviews | Video Roundups | Essays | Game Reviews | Subscribe | Mailbag | About | Search

Movie Awards
2004 Roundup
2005 Roundup
2006 Roundup
2007 Roundup
2008 Roundup
2009 Roundup


"The Cookout"

Directed by Lance Rivera.
Written by Laurie B. Turner, Ramsey Gbelawoe and Jeffrey B. Holmes.
Starring Quran Pender, Meagan Good, Ja Rule and Queen Latifah.

Release Year:  2004
Review Date:  9/7/04


Oh, even now, of all the money I have blown on movies over the past six years, I'm still a little upset that I blew six bucks on the worst film of 2004 thus far, "The Cookout."

I think the residual anger is mostly due to a script so stereotyped, it makes "Soul Plane" look like "Memento" in terms of its supposed creativity.  "The Cookout" is just what it says it is--a movie about what black families supposedly do every time they have a weekend, a grill, some other black folks and some meat to throw on the fire...and, when you add to this the fact that the main character is the NBA's number-one draft pick, you get to have even more hackneyed sequences like the streetball scene, the chitlins bit, the gold-digger, the fuckin'...

Ugh.  I'm fucking pissed!  What a fucking piece-of-shit movie "The Cookout" is, and it's a piece of shit in so many ways, I know that I can't even come close to knocking them all out.  FUCK!  The script is so bitch, SO, the characters suck, the acting is bad, nothing is funny, nothing is interesting, and even watching some of these actors embarrass themselves doesn't come off as fun.

I almost began to cry when I watched Farrah Fawcett--FUCKING FARRAH FAWCETT IS IN THIS FUCKING DOGSHIT--play the part of the white suburban wife of the local token, played by former actor Danny Glover.  It's really that sad; she looks awful, she looks misplaced in this movie, she looks like her career is at the end of the line.  And seriously, does Danny Glover have to hand in his SAG card after this bullshit?  Danny Glover, where art thou?  Is that really Danny Glover talking about a woman's nipples in "The Cookout"??  I kept thinking that Glover was going to turn the corner, pull out a gun and scream

"RIGGS!  Are you crazy?"

but, that moment never comes.  Add Tim Meadows, Ja Rule and Eve doing their best to end their very-limited acting careers, and you have a big pile of poo that somehow goes from worse to worst for 90 consecutive minutes.  Here's how bad "The Cookout" is--the soundtrack is bad.  That's right, in this mostly-black owned-and-operated production, the fucking music is not a strong suit, featuring some disco songs mixed with its old-school R&B tunes.

Oh, yes, "The Cookout" have earned your way to Hard Vice.  EARNED IT.  Please, common man, I beg of you--EVEN IF YOU CAN SEE IT FOR FREE, skip "The Cookout" and move on with your life!

Rating:  Hard Vice


Comments?  Drop me a line at


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.)

Home | Movie Reviews | Video Roundups | Essays | Game Reviews | Subscribe | Mailbag | About | Search

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