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Bamboozled (Widescreen)

Damon Wayans , Savion Glover , Spike Lee    R (Restricted)   DVD
3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (75 customer reviews)
Price: CDN$ 59.02
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5.0 out of 5 stars Spike Lee's Best June 17 2004
By E. Mesa
This is the movie that got me turned on to Mr Lee. When I rented this movie just a few years ago I watched it 3 times and then watched it with the audio commentary. I found the movie *that* interesting. Also, the movie has a few layers to its plot so each time one watches it, they're sure to pick up on something new.
The characters are also great - I especially love Damon Wayan's boss who is a caucasian married to a black woman and tells Damon "I'm more black than you are" From that point on, you know this movie is going to put a lot of stuff in your face.
The basic premise - Damon's character is tired of the types of shows with black people that show on tv nowadays. It's all very stereotypical (think this summer's "Method and Red" on fox) and he wants to do something creative. His boss wants something along the lines of "homeboys in outer space". Damon's character is so incensed that he decides he'll get fired in order to break his contract.
What could be better for getting him fired than to make the most racist and ignorant show on tv? He decides to make a show called "Bamboozled" which will recreate the blackface shows of the 30s and 40s only it will be black actors putting on blackface. There's only one problem with his plan: the show becomes a hit.
The rest of the movie shows what happens to the rest of the characters in the style of a Shakesperean tragedy. In other words, a few things don't quite go according to plan and everyone suffers. (ie Romeo & Juliet, MacBeth, etc)
Another thing that makes this movie so awesome is the fictitious commercial spot during the show Bamboozled. Spike Lee takes a pot shot at Tommy Hilfigger's alleged marketing directed at blacks with another brand whose name I can't write or my review will be banned. You'll be shocked, but in a revealing sort of way.
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4.0 out of 5 stars The Sadness of Racism and Blackface May 15 2004
_Bamboozled_, quite simply, achieves what it sets out to achieve. As I watched this film, I was made very uncomfortable (in fact, this point cannot be stressed enough). Spike Lee puts everything on the line, constructing a show around a desperate television writer who, in an attempt to lose his job, suggests that the network bring back a minstrel show. Unfortunately, the network and white America are all too ready to enjoy the stereotypes fed to them and the show becomes a huge success. The true shocker of the film is the realization that we are not far removed from the minstrel show (or, arguably, not removed at all). The most powerful sequence in the film for me is the section near the end where Lee has compiled a host of film and television sequences of African Americans "blacking up." This sequence, set to music, evokes emotions of sadness and disgust concerning racism like few films have before.
This film is a great statement and provides a different type of argumentation. If you can't argue with the ideas of racism by promoting positive images, go for the realm of satire and shove the racism in our faces. By doing so, our own ideas and images become absurd and much more-they become sickening. One cannot watch this film with an attentive mind and not feel sickened by the end of it. I can only fault it on a few points. First, the film feels far too long and loses steam in the middle. Fortunately, the ending of the film is quite gripping and brings it back on track. Secondly, I was not particularly impressed with Wayans's performance and would have liked to have seen a stronger actor in the role. Savion Glover, on the other hand, is quite good and his dancing is explosive and dynamic-truly the greatest tap dancer living today.
That being said, _Bamboozled_ is a film that will leave an impact on your imagination and deliver a lesson in U.S. history that will carry you forward into the present.
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5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent satire on white corporate media March 21 2004
Spike Lee's Bamboozled makes for uncomfortable viewing for those who seek to justify negative portrayals of black people in the modern media. Not only condemning those white people who appropriate black culture and seek to 'speak' on behalf of black people, he also confronts the difficult issues of stereotypes that black people themselves find attractive or 'real'. Indeed, the mantra of the wigger Dunwitty (head of the CNS network) is that of many black artists themselves, insisting that he's "Keeping it real" when confronted with accusations of racism in his New Millennium Minstrel Show.
As a teacher of Media and Film, this text is excellent when approaching issues of race, representation, and the media as it illustrates concepts such as institution, control, hegemony and power (particularly of representation!) - the Timmi Hilnigger adverts on the DVD really struck a chord with my students!
Although not a believable conceit, the film has power in the characterizations and how they tackle the difficult issues and themes facing real black actors, black audiences and black people working in the media (and the racism they face!)
Forget Chris Tucker, Eddie Murphy, Queen Latifah and Will Smith, get some Spike into yer veins!
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By Nadia
I can best describe this movie as befitting a genre that starts out funny, but gradually becomes very intense, violent, and disturbing (a la Full Metal Jacket). Pierre Delacroix (Damon Wayans) cracked me up from the very beginning with his [false], overenunciated "Dr. Evil" accent -- I almost expected him to ask for "one MEEELION dollars" when pitching his idea for his new New Millenium Minstrel show. There are, of course, many stereotypes in this movie not limited to the characters on the show, but also including Delacroix as the white-black guy and his boss as the black-white guy who tells Delacroix that he "knows your people better than you do". The main characters of the Minstrel Show, Mantan and Sleep-n-Eat, are brilliant. Mantan is a talented tap-dancer and steals the show with his "educated feets". The jokes are hilarious because the show is so bizarre and parodies ideas that are so outdated for our time. The show is a big hit among blacks and whites alike and initially all seems like good, clean, albeit politically incorrect, humor. That is, until we realize that Delacroix, Mantan, and Sleep-n-Eat have sold out for personal profit and will pay the ultimate price for doing so. The tone of the conclusion of this movie is sad as it plays a montage of racially offensive clips from old movies and cartoons, reminding us of how harmful and hurtful these sorts of stereotypes really are. Although the subject matter is interesting, it is unclear exactly why Spike Lee chose to make a movie about it. Images of offensive toys and antiques are revived throughout scenes in Delacroix's office and the ending credits. Although these sorts of objects, along with the above-mentioned clips from old movies and TV shows, haven't been commonly seen in decades, Lee apparently felt that they still pose a threat to the perception of African-Americans, even in today's society.
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Most recent customer reviews
2.0 out of 5 stars One awesomely terrible performance and a conflicted director = one...
This film is so schizophrenic I spent most of the running time trying to figure out exactly what Spike Lee was trying to achieve, and why it wasn't working. Read more
Published on Jan. 31 2008 by JAllen
4.0 out of 5 stars Some People Just Don't Get It
I have to applaud Spike for making this film. People can argue if he is a racist or not, but on this film he showed how corporate America market their products to black inner city... Read more
Published on May 29 2004 by K. J. Bryant
1.0 out of 5 stars What I really want is O Stars...
In high school, I tried to convince our African American STudies teacher to plan a field trip to see this movie. Read more
Published on May 26 2004 by LoVe2ReAd
1.0 out of 5 stars Desperate
Fifty years from now, movie and social historians might study this film as a time capsule of race psychopathia in the 21st century. Read more
Published on May 10 2004
5.0 out of 5 stars Whoa
I will not elaborate too much. This film had great camera work. I am a fan of hand held filming because its a lost art form. It is a very imortant movie to watch. Read more
Published on Feb. 6 2004 by "ari83"
5.0 out of 5 stars Not Lee's best film, but it's my favorite!
Good golly, Miss Molly, you'd better see this movie! It's powerful, funny, disturbing, and will probably piss you off. Spike Lee's not too subtle here, he's going for the throat. Read more
Published on March 22 2003 by Stanley Runk
5.0 out of 5 stars A Great Movie
In order to truly appreciate Bamboozled, one must understand the general message that Spike Lee was trying to get across. Read more
Published on Dec 20 2002
3.0 out of 5 stars Black Remake of "Network" Doesn't Entirely Work
The brilliant satiric writer, the late Paddy Chyefsky, wrote "Network" which swept up some major Oscars back in the 1970s. Read more
Published on Nov. 7 2002 by carol irvin
5.0 out of 5 stars The Truth Hurts
I grabbed Bamboozled off of the video store shelf after passing it several times. After viewing it I was nearly in tears. Read more
Published on Oct. 13 2002 by Charles M. Lee
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