Return to Sender on Blu-ray & DVD Sep 29The Phantom of the Opera with Lon Chaney Blu-ray & DVD Oct 13The Civil War 25th Commemorative Edition DVD & Blu-ray Oct 13Aquarius: The Complete First Season DVD & Blu-ray Sep 15Justified: The Complete Series on Blu-ray & DVD Oct 13The Surface on DVD, VOD, and DIGITAL HD Sep 1Good Kill on Blu-ray & DVD Sep 1

follow us on twitter

dOc on facebook

NE News Editor

What is lupus? Selena Gomez diagnosis prompts questions...
Maksim Chmerkovskiy Will Return to 'Dancing With The St...
'The Good Wife' Cush Jumbo Tackles Comparisons...
'Class': 'Doctor Who' Spinoff Series Coming to BBC Thre...
'The Revenant' Trailer: Leonardo DiCaprio Seeks Revenge...
Will Trevor Noah Live Up To The Hype During Monday's 'D...
Watch Eddie Vedder, Beyonce Duet on Bob Marley's 'Redem...
'CSI' being laid to rest after 15 years ...
Big Brother Season 17 Finale Recap: Super Fan & Trombon...
Dancing With the Stars Recap: Bindi Irwin and Derek Hou...

Microsoft Store

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

Paramount Studios presents
The Fighting Temptations (2003)

Darrin: Your act is terrific.
Lilly: Yours needs a lot of work.

- Cuba Gooding, Jr., Beyoncé Knowles

Review By: David Krauss   
Published: February 10, 2004

Stars: Cuba Gooding, Jr., Beyoncé Knowles, Mike Epps, Latanya Richardson
Other Stars: Melba Moore, Shirley Caesar, The O'Jays, Rue McClanahan
Director: Jonathan Lynn

MPAA Rating: PG-13 for some sexual references
Run Time: 02h:02m:28s
Release Date: February 03, 2004
UPC: 097363378143
Genre: musical comedy

Image Transfer
Audio Transfer
B C-A-A C+

DVD Review

The formula is timeworn, but eternally successful: Take a bunch of downtrodden misfits from various walks of life, whip them into tip-top shape, then turn them loose so they can prove their critics wrong, beat the odds, and bring home a championship. The recipe usually works like a charm, at least it did for those hapless ragamuffins in The Bad News Bears and The Mighty Ducks, as well as that motley crew of has-beens and also-rans in Major League. Yet when the formula is removed from the athletic arena, it often produces spotty results, and The Fighting Temptations is Exhibit A. Strikingly similar to Whoopi Goldberg's Sister Act, Jonathan Lynn's far less amusing film copies the blueprint, but shifts the emphasis from sports to gospel singing. Not exactly the same excitement quotient, but the inspiring music should stoke the spirit much like a clutch home run, right?

If only. Unfortunately, The Fighting Temptations is neither exciting nor inspirational as it tells the predictable, clichéd story of fired advertising executive Darrin Hill (Cuba Gooding, Jr.), who returns to his boyhood Georgia church for the funeral of his beloved Aunt Sally (Ann Nesby). There's little love lost between Darrin and the judgmental congregation that years earlier shunned his mother for pursuing a career in (horrors!) R&B music, so after paying his respects, Darrin intends to return to his whirlwind New York life. Aunt Sally, however, has other plans for her fast-talking, deal-making, credit-compromised nephew. Even from the grave, she hopes to guide Darrin back to the straight and narrow, stipulating in her will that if he wishes to inherit the princely sum of $150,000, he must lead the church choir to glory and triumph at the annual Gospel Explosion competition.

Desperate to become financially solvent, Darrin accepts the challenge, despite his musical inexperience. Managing the egos of the existing choir members is difficult enough, but the group's numbers have drastically dwindled over the years, forcing Darrin to recruit almost anyone to join the ensemble's dubious ranks—and that includes a barbershop quartet of real barbers (played by The O'Jays), and a trio of convicts who attend rehearsals in their prison jumpsuits and shackles. At the same time, Darrin tries to romance his lead singer and former childhood sweetheart, Lilly (Beyoncé Knowles), but she refuses to fall for his stale lines and see-through alibis...at first.

There's nary an original moment in The Fighting Temptations, and the film only comes alive during its rousing (and thankfully frequent) musical numbers. That's not surprising, considering it was produced by MTV, a fact which also explains the movie's total lack of substance. Although Elizabeth Hunter and Saladin K. Patterson sprinkle their screenplay with a few funny lines, the film still plods tediously along, taking way too much time to arrive at its various plot points. Clocking in at just over two hours, The Fighting Temptations is at least a half hour too long, with a heavy dose of unnecessary exposition hampering its first half, and a limp buildup spoiling the listless, foregone climax.

Gooding attacks his role with his usual vim and vigor (even showing off some dazzling breakdance moves), but his one-note portrayal soon wears thin. The beautiful Béyonce brightens up the proceedings considerably, and although her acting talent pales compared to her supreme vocal skill, she nicely holds her own, even though her interest in and attraction to Gooding doesn't ring true. Faith Evans, Melba Moore, The O'Jays, and the fabulous Shirley Caesar help inject some much-needed spirit into the proceedings, but can't salvage the film or grant the audience the deliverance it so dearly craves.

Rating for Style: B
Rating for Substance: C-


Image Transfer

Aspect Ratio2.35:1 - Widescreen
Original Aspect Ratioyes

Image Transfer Review: Thanks to a picture-perfect transfer, The Fighting Temptations looks superb on DVD, with lush colors, accurate fleshtones, and crisp clarity often masking the film's lack of substance. Contrast is especially good, and bright colors, such as the vibrant blue choir robes, resist bleeding. Print defects are completely absent and no edge enhancement could be detected.

Image Transfer Grade: A-


Audio Transfer

 LanguageRemote Access
DS 2.0English, Frenchyes
Dolby Digital

Audio Transfer Review: Like the film itself, the audio perks up immeasurably during the musical numbers, which take full advantage of the DD 5.1 capabilities. The songs benefit from exceptional fidelity that sweeps across all speakers and provides a truly enveloping experience. Bass is warm, but never overpowering, and the wailing high notes are rock solid and really show off the track's terrific range. Dialogue is always clear and comprehendible, but ambient sounds are kept to a minimum during non-musical sequences, leaving the rear speakers conspicuously silent. Levels rise a notch or two during the gospel numbers, but never enough to provoke volume adjustment.

Audio Transfer Grade: A


Disc Extras

Full Motion menu with music
Scene Access with 19 cues and remote access
Subtitles/Captions in English with remote access
1 Original Trailer(s)
4 Other Trailer(s) featuring Against the Ropes, Timeline, The School of Rock, Dickie Roberts: Former Child Star
1 TV Spots/Teasers
Packaging: M-Lock
Picture Disc
1 Disc
1-Sided disc(s)
Layers: single

Extra Extras:
  1. 8 Extended Music Numbers
  2. 7 Extended Scenes
Extras Review: In addition to the original theatrical trailer, the extras include eight extended musical numbers, although one of the selections is a two-take sequence that spotlights Gooding's spirited and demonstrative conducting to one of his choir's toe-tapping gospel tunes. Seven extended scenes (one of which runs almost seven minutes) add nothing to the film and only emphasize its bloated nature. Of special note in this group is an amusing blooper, as well as an extended scene of Gooding performing breathtaking breakdance moves. Unfortunately, both the extended music and dramatic scenes are presented in nonanamorphic widescreen, and the image tends to flaunt a distinct (and annoying) fuzziness.

Extras Grade: C+


Final Comments

It's tough to fight the temptation to fall asleep during this bland, interminable musical comedy, but The Fighting Temptations only grabs our attention when it bursts into song. Fans of fine gospel singing will certainly get an earful, but should probably skip the movie and just buy the soundtrack instead.


Back to top

Search 10,000+ titles:

or Advanced Search


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


Microsoft Store


music, selena gomez, lupus, chemotherapy, estrogen, lupus foundation of america, television, dancing with the stars, maksim chmerkovskiy, carrie ann inaba, bruno tonioli, julianne hough, the good wife, cush jumbo, archie panjabi, julianna margulies, bbc3, class, doctor who, buffy the vampire slayer, hunger games, steven moffat, brian minchin, movie, the revenant, leonardo dicaprio, tom hardy, alejandro g. inarritu, christmas day release, comedy channel, trevor noah, daily show, jon stewart, global citizen festival, pearl jam, byonce, ed sheeran, eddie vedder, cbs, csi, ted danson, elisabeth shue, elisabeth harnois, william petersen, marg helgenberger, big brother, abc, liz, steve, vanessa, julia chen, dr. will, bindi irwin, derek, hough, chaka khan, emmys 2015, laurence fishburne, tracee ellis ross, anthony anderson, will forte, jeffrey tambor, kym johnson, shark tank, robert herjavec, jungle book, cgi, scarlet johansson, bill murray, ben kingsley, idris elba, christopher walken, drama, celebrity apprentice, arnold schwarzenegger, donald trump, nbc, taylor swift, bad blood, emmy award, original interactive program, the late show, stephen colbert, ashley madison, horror, silent, epcot international food & wine festival, walt disney world, the chew, october, celebrity, jimmy fallon, tonight show, dj khaled, all i do is win, country music awards, eric church, little big town, miranda lambert, kenny chesney, sam hunt, maddie & tae, kacey musgraves, chris stapleton, late night, jeb bush, george clooney, war room, straight outta compton, faith-based drama, a walk in the woods, robert redford, september 8, documentary, history, movies, steven spielberg, the bfg, dreamworks, walt disney company, fashion police, melissa rivers, kelly osbourne, giuliana rancic, zendaya

On Facebook!
Promote Your Page Too



Original Magic Dress.com

Susti Heaven

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