NEW Honeydripper (DVD)
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It's 1950 in the deep South and Danny Glover's Tyrone is barely making it and his Honeydripper lounge featuring aging blues players can't compete with the popular Jukejoint next door. To make matters worse the Honeydripper is about to close down unless Tyrone can come up with some serious money.
Most of the story revolves around the conflicts and relationships Tyrone has with his wife ( a powerful performance by Lisa Gay Hamilton), his partner (an excellent Charles Dutton), his daughter (a nice debut by model Ya Ya DeCosta), a young musician stranger (effectively played by young bluesman Gary Clark Jr.) and the white sheriff (a tailor made role for Stacey Keach). My favorite character is played by veteran bluesman Keb' Mo', a sort of bluesy greek chorus muse who appears at pivotal times only to Glover and Clark.
Sayles always takes his time developing his characters and the world in which they live, and though it may seem slow at first this lets you begin to care about what will happen to them. A big plus is the terrific music, and except for Glover, it is all played by the actors themselves and surprisingly it was all done live while filming.
Yes the movie, like a play, takes it's time to develop, but the payoff was one of the most uplifting times I've had at the movies in a long while.
I read that Sayles has decided to stop making movies and just write. I'm sure it must be getting harder to get these kinds of movies made and harder still to get them released, unfortunately no one makes movies like John Sayles.
Danny Glover does a great job in portraying the down-on-his-luck club owner, who needs to free himself of debt and his own demons stemming from an incident in his past. Keb Mo also does a great job in playing the guitar-playing character who embodies these demons.
Great music from Keb Mo and the other artists who supply the music. The piano playing during the end credits is some of the best blues piano playing you will ever hear! Fantastic! Great movie! HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.