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"Next Friday"

Directed by Steve Carr.
Written by Ice Cube. 
Starring Ice Cube and Mike Epps.
Release Year:  2000 
Review Date:  1/20/00 


If I'm not mistaken, this is your fifth Bellview e-mail of the day.  To answer your obvious question, yep, I'm a class A loser.  But, at least I'm not denying it!

Tonight's entry is the sequel to one of my favorite movies, the Ice Cube/Chris Tucker comedy "Friday."  "Next Friday," like its predecessor, has almost no plot--this time around, it's just Ice and he must move out to the suburbs to avoid the possibility of a run-in from Deebo, Ice's nemesis from the first movie, who has just gotten out of jail and is looking to settle the score with Craig (Cube).  This gives the movie the chance to make fun of suburban life in a myriad of different ways, and to have a whole lot of racism from the parts of the white mailman, the black video store owner, and the Latino criminal neighbors.

In fact, while I'm thinking about it now, there is really almost no plot to this movie.  And, there are so few jokes that relate back to the first "Friday" that you definitely don't need to see it to understand what is happening in this movie; this was a big worry for Laura "Habitat" Wilber, but not for Charles "The Roomie" Longer, who is a "Friday" veteran.  Really, the story just barely is following Ice Cube around; like the last movie, his character is the least interesting of all, and because he is left to usually play off the actions of his uncle, his cousin, the Latino neighbors or his cousin's ex-girlfriend's sister (to name just a few), I think that Cube is underused.  This must have been his idea, since he did produce the film, helped out with the screenplay and designed the movie's soundtrack.  It's not like he doesn't have any pull!

But, the movie does, and to hilarious effect.  If you are morally opposed to racism, please skip this film, because it is racist to the hilt with everything you can think of about stereotypically black, white, Latino, and Asians thrown into the movie's 100 minutes.  Of course, as many of you know, I love a good racist joke here and there, and so I found myself laughing when the lead Latino neighbor is mocking Indians at 7-11 in his think Puerto Rican accent, and when the white mailman is making fun of blacks in the suburbs, and when Craig's cousin is dissing fat women ("Fat bitches need love too!").  Hey, what can I say?  I'm not a saint and this movie isn't for the family.  But it possesses 15-20 funny lines that need to be heard to be appreciated.

The other part of the movie that needs to be seen to be appreciated can be summed up like this:  hot Latina women!!!  Wow!  More movies need to have hot Latina women, and the world will suddenly be a better place.  Unfortunately, no hot Latina sex scenes, but the world is not a perfect place.

And, the movie is far from perfect.  Even as I sit here right now writing this review (I saw the movie about an hour ago), it is hard to come up with anything interesting beyond the normal call of duty.  The soundtrack is good, at least from what I've heard in the movie.  And, the ending is really, really weak.  But, Cube & Co. are very good, and hey, that alone should make you want to see the follow-up to one of the bigger surprises of last year.

Rating:  Matinee


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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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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