Directed by Bryan Barber.
Written by Bryan Barber.
Starring Antwan Patton, André Benjamin, Paula Patton and Terrence
Release Year: 2006
Review Date: 8/28/06
I was pretty fired up to catch the OutKast
movie/musical "Idlewild" from the moment I first saw the trailer,
back in May. I really ought to stop getting excited for these
kinds of flicks, though, because the setting was ripe for
disappointment and let down, I was.
The OutKast guys star as lifelong friends
Rooster (Antwan "Big Boi" Patton) and Percy (André Benjamin, aka
André 3000), and when we're caught up to the present day, it's 193X
and Percy is the piano man at Church, a nightclub in Idlewild,
Georgia, where Rooster is the top performer and part-owner.
The contrast in personalities--Rooster's the flamboyant, cheating
husband, never passing up a hooch deal or a big cigar; Percy's the
shy one, the picky paramour, the man with "big dreams"--gives us
more chances to mix styles between a little hip-hop here and a
little R&B there. Add in a bunch of random characters, from
the boys' godfather (Ving Rhames) to a low-life hustler (Terrence
Howard) to The Dame, a woman named Angel (Paula Patton) who has
talent both on and off the stage, and you've got the makings of a
Except, it's not. For OutKast fans
(myself included), there is disappointment in a film that features
about a half-dozen musical numbers featuring songs from the
Grammy-winning double album "Speakerboxxx/The Love Below", which is
now three years old...what ever happened to "Music Inspired By the
Film XXXXX"??? As such, "Idlewild" feels like a three-year-old
music video, with songs that you already know, and that would be
cool IF it was 2003! But, alas, it is not...and, you end up
wishing for something a bit fresher. It also doesn't help that
Patton is not the best actor; Benjamin is a bit better but I don't
expect either to be up for any major end-of-season awards, if you
know what I mean.
The supporting cast is great; Howard soaks
up his bad guy role with flourish, and bit parts from Patti LaBelle,
Cicely Tyson, and Ben Vereen range from not bad to occasionally
powerful (even Macy Gray recovers from that awful part she had in
give us some laughs in "Idlewild"). There is one dance number
early in the film (set to Patton's song "Church") that is pretty
sweet, right down to some of the sickest swing dancing I've ever
seen; again, because it shows up early, you get to thinking there
will be more of those, but they never arrive. The two or three
songs that I hadn't heard before won't make me run out and buy the
movie soundtrack, especially since they'll be included with some
songs that I already own.
Hmm. "Idlewild" was disappointing, but
strangely, I would go see another OutKast movie if these guys decide
to do it all again. Maybe next time they'll come up with a
script first and THEN make some songs, not the other way around!
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
"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 bad...man, 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
"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