09/01/2014  
The Roosevelts: An Intimate History on Blu-ray & DVD Sep 16Cabin Fever: Patient Zero on DVD & Blu-ray Sep 2Last Passenger on Blu-ray & DVD Sep 9Person of Interest: The Complete Third Season on Blu-ray Combo & DVD Sep 2Willow Creek on Blu-ray & DVD Sep 9Dinosaur Train: Buddy's Halloween Adventure on DVD Sep 2

follow us on twitter

dOc on facebook

NE News Editor

The Roosevelts: An Intimate History on Blu-ray & DVD Se...
Cabin Fever: Patient Zero on DVD & Blu-ray Sep 2...
Last Passenger on Blu-ray & DVD Sep 9...
'Rosewater': Gael Garcia Bernal in Jon Stewart's Direct...
Person of Interest: The Complete Third Season on Blu-ra...

JB Joseph Burke

The Answer to American Idol's Problems Is......
CONCRETE BLONDES...
CREAM FAREWELL CONCERT...
JACK REACHER...
MANBORG...

CA Chuck Aliaga

CORRUPTION (BLU-RAY)...
THE ATTACK (BLU-RAY)...
TANK GIRL (BLU-RAY)...
HORROR STORIES...
THE UNINVITED (BLU-RAY)...

RR Rich Rosell

THE GIRL...
THE HORDE...
LIFE IS SWEET (BLU-RAY)...
SHOUT AT THE DEVIL (BLU-RAY/DVD COMBO)...
THE BLUE ANGEL (BLU-RAY)...

MZ Mark Zimmer

BABY PEGGY: THE ELEPHANT IN THE ROOM...
STORAGE WARS: VOLUME THREE...
Take Part in a Film Restoration...
THE 39 STEPS (BLU-RAY)...
DARK SHADOWS: THE BEST OF BARNABAS...

JS Jesse Shanks

2 BROKE GIRLS...
DOWNTON ABBEY SEASONS ONE & TWO LIMITED EDITION...
FLORENCE AND THE SPIRIT OF THE RENAISSANCE...
NAZI COLLABORATORS...
KATT WILLIAMS: KATTPACALYPSE...

RJ Ross Johnson

THE LIFE AND DEATH OF COLONEL BLIMP (BLU-RAY)...
PURPLE NOON (BLU-RAY)...
WEEKEND (BLU-RAY)...
JUAN OF THE DEAD...
THE DEVIL'S NEEDLE AND OTHER TALES OF VICE AND REDEMPTI...

JD Jon Danziger

SUNSET BOULEVARD...
SALO, OR THE 120 DAYS OF SODOM...
TABLOID...
CUL-DE-SAC...
3 WOMEN...

JC Joel Cunningham

YOJIMBO/SANJURO...
SUMMER HOURS (L'heure d'ÈtÈ)...
WIZARD OF OZ...
WINGS OF DESIRE...
HORTON HEARS A WHO!...

DH Dan Heaton

REVANCHE...
LAST DAYS OF DISCO...
NIGHTS AND WEEKENDS...
STARGATE SG-1: CHILDREN OF THE GODS...
STARGATE ATLANTIS: THE COMPLETE FIFTH SEASON...

MS Matt Serafini

THE STEPFATHER...
THE HILLS RUN RED...
MANAGEMENT...
NIGHT OF DEATH...
GNAW...

KC Kevin Clemons

Freddy Got Fingered...

JU Jeff Ulmer

Secure The Second Season of The Border on DVD August 25...
THE WALTONS: THE COMPLETE 9TH SEASON...
Dance Me Outside kicks onto DVD May 6, 2008...

DD Dale Dobson

Film-Fest 4: Sundance 2000 & Hawaii...

RM Robert Mandel

Saving Private Ryan...

Share: email   Print      Technorati.gif   StumbleUpon.gif   MySpace   digg.gif delicious.gif   google.gif   magnolia.gif   facebook.gif
Permalink: Permalink.gif



Buy from Amazon

Buy from Amazon.com

New Line Home Cinema presents
Bamboozled (2000)

"The network does not want to see negroes on television unless they are buffoons."
- Pierre Delacroix (Damon Wayans)

Review By: Dan Heaton   
Published: April 13, 2001

Stars: Damon Wayans, Savion Glover, Jada Pinkett-Smith
Other Stars: Tommy Davidson, Michael Rapaport, Thomas Jefferson Byrd
Director: Spike Lee

Manufacturer: Wamo
MPAA Rating: R for some violence and strong language
Run Time: 02h:15m:41s
Release Date: April 17, 2001
UPC: 794043519727
Genre: black comedy


Style
Grade
Substance
Grade
Image Transfer
Grade
Audio Transfer
Grade
Extras
Grade
B+ B+B+B+ B+

DVD Review

Satiric films walk a fine line between presenting creative insights and becoming offensive and distasteful. This is especially true when the subject concerns racism. Is it possible to satirize the painful elements of the past and still make a convincing point about today's society? Spike Lee stands on a thin tightrope with Bamboozled - a film that ridicules the entertainment industry and its treatment of African-Americans. Amazingly, he succeeds almost completely through excellent performances and an inventive screenplay.

Damon Wayans stars as Pierre Delacroix - an intelligent, frustrated television writer searching for the next hit. In a fit of desperation, he devises a plan to create an extremely racist and offensive show by placing his African-American actors in blackface. Along with his assistant Sloan (Jada Pinkett-Smith), Delacroix recruits homeless performers Manray (Savion Glover) and Womack (Tommy Davidson) to star in his apparently hopeless creation. Set in a watermelon patch, Mantan: The New Millennium Minstrel Show incorporates old jokes from blackface revues of the past in a frightening presentation. Surprisingly, it becomes a major hit, which leads to devastating physical and emotional consequences.

Although it contains a few humorous moments, it is difficult to gather much laughter from this compelling and tumultuous story. Wayans' character speaks with a ridiculous accent that comes from a lack of a true identity, and this problem causes him intense stress. The variety show does contain some humorous material, but it's nearly impossible to look past the disturbing effects of the blackface. Michael Rapaport plays Dunwitty - a white television executive with an amusing belief about his own black identity. His statements are ridiculous, but they contain enough connections to reality to generate some poignant responses from their humor. These contradictions may not make Bamboozled an easy viewing, but they do create an emotional force that keeps it fresh in the mind for a long time. A resounding image is the close-up of Manray performing his heart out behind a dehumanizing mask. With a big smile and sweat bristling down his face, he hides the feelings of ridicule inside his heart.

Spike Lee films usually cover a wide variety of issues within the central story, and this one is no exception. While the primary target is the entertainment industry, it also shows the delusional ideas of characters on the opposite end of the spectrum. The Mau Maus are a group of supposedly liberal-minded young people who generate rap songs about social issues. Unfortunately, they're also missing the point of their own messages. They try to defy society's conventions, but they wear "Tommy Hilnigger" (an obvious spoof on popular clothes) and drink malt liquor called Da Bomb. This group features talented hip-hop artists like Mos Def and Canibus, and they do a nice job playing these unfortunate characters.

Bamboozled features a impressive cast of young African-American actors in sometimes unfamiliar roles. It's interesting to see comedic actors, such as Damon Wayans and Tommy Davidson, given the chance to act in more three-dimensional roles. Their comic backgrounds do play a part in their performances (especially Davidson's), but both actors receive thought-provoking scenes that highlight their talents. Michael Rapaport does a good job inhabiting the clueless and jeer-inducing executive, and Jada Pinkett-Smith gives Sloan a compelling level of humanity. Savion Glover has one of the toughest roles as Mantan, the lead in the ill-fated production. He utilizes his impressive tap skills while injecting his role with emotional weight.

While Lee tackles plenty of intriguing subject matter, he does miss the mark a few times and bring the story to an unfortunate halt. However, in a film of this magnitude, it's extremely difficult not to hit a few obstacles along the way. The climax of the story may seem inevitable, but it still lacked the force of some of the earlier images. This problem could stem from the lengthy running time, which stole some of the steam from the final resolution. Regardless, the film ends with a wonderful sequence of images that brings it to a near-perfect conclusion. With Terrance Blanchard's (Jungle Fever) touching piano score playing in the background, Lee shows the audience the shocking racism of the past that still haunts the entertainment industry today.

Rating for Style: B+
Rating for Substance: B+

 

Image Transfer

 One
Aspect Ratio1.78:1 - Widescreen
Original Aspect Ratioyes
Anamorphicyes


Image Transfer Review: Because Bamboozled was shot almost entirely on digital video, it lacks the sharpness and detail inherent in the best DVD transfers from film prints. This 1.78:1 anamorphic widescreen transfer contains a decent level of grain in its picture, especially in a few outdoor scenes. However, this format does successfully convey the points of the film and provide a nice low-budget feel for the film. The bright colors of the television show's setting and the characters' bright makeup and costumes come across nicely. Within the limitations of the digital format, this is an impressive transfer.

Image Transfer Grade: B+

 

Audio Transfer

 LanguageRemote Access
DS 2.0Englishyes
Dolby Digital
5.1
Englishyes


Audio Transfer Review: This 5.1-channel Dolby Digital transfer fails to rank among the best tracks of the New Line Platinum Series editions. The surround speakers remain fairly quiet, with only a few instances of significant use. This occurs during the rap numbers by the Maus Maus and from the audience during the tapings of the show. This story is mostly driven by dialogue, so the sound capabilities aren't tested too often. However, the track provides clear dialogue and an impressive overall listening experience. When the piano score becomes more prominent during the second half, this transfer allows it to thrive.

This disc also contains an adequate 2.0-channel Dolby Surround audio transfer.

Audio Transfer Grade: B+

 

Disc Extras

Full Motion menu
Scene Access with 26 cues and remote access
Subtitles/Captions in English with remote access
Cast and Crew Filmographies
1 Original Trailer(s)
19 Deleted Scenes
1 Documentaries
1 Feature/Episode commentary by Spike Lee
Packaging: Snapper
Picture Disc
1 Disc
1-Sided disc(s)
Layers: dual

Extra Extras:
  1. Music videos of Blak is Blak by the Mau Maus and Dream With No Love by Gerald Levert
  2. Animated art gallery
  3. DVD-ROM features including link to the web site and "script-to-screen" access
Extras Review: This is another impressive disc from New Line, whose Platinum Series DVDs never disappoint in terms of bonus features. The most prominent is a feature-length commentary from Spike Lee, who always seems to have plenty to say about a variety of issues. Unfortunately, this track is extremely disappointing due to lengthy pauses and too much plot summary. Lee does provide some interesting comments, including his comparison of gangster rap videos to 21st-century minstrel shows. Similar to on Do the Right Thing's track, he impressed me once again with his willingness to respond to criticism of his films from reviewers. It's too bad that Lee backs away and often avoids commenting about the complex ideas in the scenes on screen. He appears distracted and often pauses in the middle of a statement. This is a fairly interesting feature, but it is far below my expectations from this thoughtful director.

The saving graces of this disc are a fascinating documentary and a nice collection of 19 deleted scenes. The Making of Bamboozled runs for 53 minutes and contains numerous insights into the background of the film. Extensive interviews with Spike Lee, Damon Wayans, as well as several film critics and historians add greatly to the understanding of central themes of the story. We also learn about creating the sets, recording the score, and the press coverage after its release. This documentary was much more valuable than Lee's commentary and really enhanced my feelings about Bamboozled and its message. The deleted section includes some new scenes, extended versions, and slightly different variations of "Da Bomb" and "Tommy Hilnigger" commercials. One intriguing sequence has Manray being forced off the stage while performing at The Apollo. It provides another humiliation that would cause him to reconsider the blackface. Other scenes provide more information about Delacroix's relationship with his parents and his lack of control over the show's production. While none of this deleted footage drastically changes the film's overall story, they do provide some moments of interest about the characters.

This disc contains the Blak is Blak video from the Mau Maus - the fictional musical group from the film. It includes talented real-life rappers Mos Def, Cannibus, MC Search (from 3rd Bass), and Charli Baltimore. On its own, the song is a hard-hitting number with impressive verses from each member. It also has Gerald Levert's Dream With No Love - a slow, sad R&B track that showcases his excellent vocal abilities.

The remaining supplemental material includes cast and crew filmographies, an animated art gallery, and the original theatrical trailer. The filmographies are very extensive, and cover television appearances and early small films. This is similar to other New Line discs, and its unfortunate to see them stray from biographies. It would be interesting to learn more about a relatively unknown individual like Savion Glover. The art gallery is creative slide-slow type presentation with piano music playing in the background. It runs for about two-and-a-half minutes, and shows posters and art from the film in an animated form. The trailer comes with a 5.1-channel Dolby Digital transfer and provides a nice overview of the film.

Extras Grade: B+

 

Final Comments

Spike Lee is no stranger to taking risks on film, and he tackles a monster with the use of blackface in Bamboozled. While it functions as a satire, this story frightens because it's not ridiculous and has serious connections with real life. The entertainment industry may feel it is past the days of dehumanizing minstrel shows, but unfortunate elements still exist in television and film today.

 


Back to top

Search 10,000+ titles:

or Advanced Search

DVD REVIEW ARCHIVE


Get FREE Shipping on all orders at TimeLife.com! - 120x90

 



Microsoft Store

Keywords

biography, history, horror, drama, movie, rosewater, maziar bahari, jon stewart director, gael garcia bernal, celebrity, joan rivers, comedian, cardiac arrest, mount sinai hospital, 81 years old, television, full house, revival, john stamos, candace cameron bure, jody sweetin, andrea barber, bob saget, dave coulier, pierce brosnan, the november man, luke bracey, james bond, olga kurylenko, roger donaldson, kids, music, justin timberlake, iceland, 90 minutes, korinn auditorium, shake your body, take back the night, box office, movies, movies. richard attenborough, actor, director, brighton rock, gandhi, oh what a lovely war, jurassic park. in which we serve, comedy, simpsons, marathon, fxx, itchy & scratchy & marge, miley cyrus, dominican republic, banned, moral grounds, wrecking ball, sports, little league baseball, mo'ne davis, taney dragons, las vegas team, 2014 emmy awards, billy crystal, father's day, don mischer, sin city: a dame to kill for, mickey rourke, josh brolin, jessica alba, nicki minaj, anaconda video, drake, twerking, lapdance, teenage mutant ninja turtles, guardians of the galaxy, megan fox, will arnett, whoopi goldberg, beyonce knowles, jay-z, hbo, on the run tour, clip, bang bang (my baby shot me down), sonny bono, 1966

On Kindle!
On Facbook!
digitallyOBSESSED!
digitallyOBSESSED!
Promote Your Page Too

Visit:

Zarabesque.com

earth mosaics

Original Magic Dress.com

Susti Heaven

Become a Reviewer | Search | Review Vault | Reviewers
Readers | Webmasters | Privacy | Contact