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Bamboozled (Widescreen)

Damon Wayans , Savion Glover , Spike Lee    R (Restricted)   DVD
3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (73 customer reviews)
Price: CDN$ 59.98
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Most helpful customer reviews
By JAllen
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. It wasn't until I saw the interview with Damon Wayans in the Making-of featurette on the DVD that it became clear what had happened. Wayans explained that the week before shooting began he had run into a guy who spoke the way his character in Bamboozled ultimately wound up speaking, and said to himself, "I've got to do this character." Which would have been okay on In Living Colour, where it would have been unfunny for the duration of exactly one sketch, and then we'd never have been subjected to that particular impression again. Unfortunately, in this film he foisted a completely unrelated persona onto a character that it is obvious from the dialogue was meant to be played utterly straight, utterly middle class, not with a stupid, phony accent. Time was, television was where the white middle class went to see itself reflected, and Wayans character, as written, appears to have become a TV writer because he's trying to give the black middle class a reflection of itself in mass media. These days, if you aren't represented on television, you have to wonder if you really exist, and he wants the black middle class to be able to say, there, you see, we're real: we're on television. It sounds like a small thing, but when the closest your culture has ever come to that is the Cosby Show and (god help us) the Fresh Prince of Bel Air, you're dealing with a culture that can't see itself in the mirror. Read more ›
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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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Most recent customer reviews
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 An excellent satire on white corporate media
Spike Lee's Bamboozled makes for uncomfortable viewing for those who seek to justify negative portrayals of black people in the modern media. Read more
Published on March 21 2004 by disgruntled
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"
4.0 out of 5 stars Wickedly Humorous, Thought-Provoking, and Disturbing
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). Read more
Published on May 8 2003 by Nadia
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
5.0 out of 5 stars This Spike flick is the money
Yo,,,it's money, check it out....Mos Def is funny G
Published on Oct. 10 2002 by Peter Panagakos
1.0 out of 5 stars PLEASE stop this man before he makes another movie!
I have no idea how Spike Lee got where he is. This film has everything - BAD directing. BAD writing. BAD editing. Read more
Published on Oct. 10 2002 by Joe Smith
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