FIRST SUNDAY - Blu-Ray Movie
Ice Cube continues his winning streak as a likeable everyman in family movies with First Sunday, an initially silly, disposable comedy that picks up emotional power and authenticity by the second act. Cube plays neer-do-well Durell, an out-of-work Baltimore dad who needs over $17,000 to keep his ex from taking their son with her to Atlanta for good. Desperate to raise the cash but hamstrung by his self-defeating attitude and the criminal antics of his goofy sidekick, LeeJohn (Tracy Morgan), Durell gives in to temptation and decides he and LeeJohn should rob a church. The crime goes badly when it turns out a number of parishioners are in the building at the time, and a hostage situation develops. Events take a twist when the would-be thieves become the beneficiaries of Christian charity and forgiveness from the men and women theyve kidnapped, and a bigger criminal is revealed in the congregations mix. A terrific supporting cast including Michael Beach, Chi McBride, Keith David, Malinda Williams, Loretta Devine, and Katt Williams bring strong humor and dignity to the films latter half, compensating for some unpleasant missteps (a pointless scene at a massage parlor) earlier in the story. Writer-director David E. Talbert is especially sharp during a spirited, gospel performance scene, which simply crackles on screen. --Tom Keogh
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