Directed by Rick Famujiwa.
Written by Rick Famujiwa.
Starring Omar Epps, Taye Diggs and Richard T. Jones.
Release Year: 1999
Review Date: 7/18/99
If you guys out there were looking for the
female version of "Waiting to Exhale", this movie is it. This is
the story of three close friends that spend much of their last three
hours together as all-single men reminiscing about the old junior
high days when they first met. Me, I like male bonding stories, and
this one is pretty funny in the way it looks at talking to girls and
discovering the ways of women from the adolescent point-of-view.
You know, 12 men, one boat--what could be better?
Omar Epps (most recently, "The Mod Squad"),
Taye Diggs ("How Stella Got Her Groove Back"), and Richard T. Jones
star as the three adults that think back to their glory days while
trying to sober Rolen (Diggs) up in time for his wedding. These
three guys are all real cool, and, in the poetic words of Claudia
"Boxers" Hanna, all have real nice asses, which are on full display
late in this film. While all of the leads are very good, they are
not in as many scenes as young Mike, the adolescent Epps character
(played well by Sean Nelson). So, both Claudia and I thought that
the flick could have used a lot more of Slim (Jones), but there's
just not enough time to get him screen time.
On the flip side, I thought that some of the
adolescent scenes, while often very funny, dragged on a bit too
long. And again, I'm not really sure why the director chose to
follow young Mike around more than the other two characters,
especially since this is supposed to be an ensemble piece. But, I
loved the dance scenes with Mike, and Mike's first lay with the
hottest girl in his class was funny, too.
The positives: strong adult lead
characters, the 1986 rap soundtrack (the more Eric B. & Rakim, the
better), good warm laughs at the way the three young characters try
to "score" during their booty bet.
The negatives: running time is a bit too
long; there were a couple of times when Claudia and I were looking
at our watches. Not enough of adult Slim, sappy ending.
Overall, though, a good date movie and a
great family movie, but still cool enough for peeps to go check out
in groups. And, it's so lite that you almost forget you saw it
about three hours later.
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