Showing posts with label Undercover Brother. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Undercover Brother. Show all posts

Monday, January 27, 2003

January DVD Recaps

I got a bunch of DVDs in January, and I figured rather than review them all fully (which would be difficult, considering I haven't gone through all the special features on all of them) I'd just give you these recaplets, in chronological order of purchase.

XXX

A surprisingly good movie starring Vin Diesel as an underground "action sports" star who is recruited by the CIA to help recover a deadly weapon from terrorists. Aside from the implausible plot, there isn't much to complain about on this DVD. The transfer is high quality, and the sound, while extremely loud in sections, is very crisp. The special features are self serving at times, and the deleted scenes aren't enchancing to the movie, but the features on the Pontiac GTO are very cool, and I almost want one (but I just got a new car, so d'oh). Score: 7.

Barbershop

This is the kind of movie that needs to rely on it's special features to be a good DVD. The movie isn't visually special, nor is the sound rich, so DVD vs. VHS isn't much of an improvement. Howerver, the DVD is worth it for the outtakes alone (as could be expected with a movie with this case). There are also some good deleted scenes, and the commentary isn't bad either. Score: 8.

Signs

A disappointing DVD to say the least. Sure, the inclusion of M. Night Shyamalan's first alien movie was a neat feature, but it wasn't very good, and it was short. Plus, the DVD doesn't really explain anywhere why the director felt the need to show the alien creature, rather than keep it a mystery. The revelation of the alien was one of the movie's most disappointing pieces, and a justification would have been nice. Still, the movie looks good, and the DVD audio transfer makes the suspensful moments stand out. Score: 7.

The Good Girl

This movie didn't have a long theatrical release, so the DVD for me was more about the movie, which was spectacular. The story, centering around a semi-mid-life crisis for Jennifer Aniston's Justine, was well done. The director did a great job of making Aniston seem like an average girl, which is no easy task. And then the DVD producers did an even better job of getting Aniston to sit down and do a revealing scene-specific commentary. Score: 8+.

Undercover Brother

This is a DVD. Forget the movie, which is actually quite funny, and doesn't require any scene skipping like the last two Austin Powers flicks. The special features are very worthwhile. A couple of the deleted scenes are great, while some of the extended scenes are better than the final cut version. The best part is the inclusion of the original web shorts that lead to the creation of the movie. Sure, they're not great and the animation is crude, but it's nice to see the origins of what is likely to be a star of a series of movies. Score: 9.

I also picked up a Twilight Zone collection and CB4, but because those are basically older releases, I'm not going to rehash them here. Just know this: Vol. 2 of the Twilight Zone includes four of the best episodes of the series, and that CB4 barely scratches the surface of how funny Chris Rock would become.

Sunday, June 23, 2002

Undercover Brother review

My score: 7 out of 10.

Now, before you ask if I'm high on something, just wait. No one, not even me, expected "Undercover Brother" to be a good movie. By "good" I mean, of a cinematic quality. "Undercover Brother" is the kind of movie you go to just for a laugh, and if it makes you laugh, it's done its job. So how did "Undercover Brother" make me laugh. Well, that's the part that's coming up.

In "UB" (I'm not typing "Undercover Brother" countless more times during this review), Eddie Griffin plays a 70's-obsessed secret agent, foiling white opression throughout the world. What he doesn't know is that there's a group, known as The B.R.O.T.H.E.R.H.O.O.D., doing the same thing, fighting a battle against "The Man" (yes, the villian in the movie is "The Man"). The B.R.O.T.H.E.R.H.O.O.D. recruits UB to join their cause and fight "The Man," who has unleashed a plot to take down black people via mind control.

The rest of the plot is inconsequential. In essence, the plot only serves to set up the next joke, and does so quite well. Some of the jokes border on offensive, but they don't come off that way, and people of all races are targeted (in fact, some of the funniest gags in the movie center around Chris Kattan's Mr. Feather trying to avoid using "black" slang or dancing along to hip-hop).

Guest spots by Billy Dee Williams and James Brown are hilarious, and Dave Chappelle is outstanding as the high, paranoid "Consipiracy Brother."

Look, let's be honest here. No one's winning any awards for "UB" (well, maybe some MTV movie awards, but those don't count). But it's extremely funny, much like the first Austin Powers movie. And just like those films, "UB" has the opportunity to become a franchise. With a little tweaking of the main characters (the act of "The Chief" (Chi McBride, "Boston Public") wore thin after a while), it could be quite a successful franchise.

And I swear, I'm not high, nor was I when I saw it.