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NEW Washington/bassett/hall/freema - Malcolm X (Blu-ray)
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Denzel Washington gives an extraordinary performance, and with heart he shows the metamorphosis of Malcolm X, from hip young kid, to his life of crime days, to when he was a white-hating civil rights leader.
There are many other great performances in the film, and Spike Lee makes Malcolm X his best "joint" ever. You can feel that this is a Spike lee film, because it is a little strange and it swings from one mood to another. Spike lee also stars in the film, but as a minor character.
I thoroughly enjoyed watching Malcolm X, and it ranks as one of the best film of the '90s. If you love Denzel Washington, you haven't seen him perform until you have seen him in Malcolm X.
It tells the story of Malcolm X and shows the enormous changes he went through in his remarkable life. Though the film often fails to take a really intimate look at Malcolm X, Denzel Washington's superlative performance successfully counters this weakness. He keeps us interested in this man, despite the fact, that Lee's film, though it is exquisitely filmed, lacks the courage to explorethe person Malcolm X. The film rather deals with the historical figure of Malcolm and the key events of his life. This makes his picture sometimes seem more dutiful than dramatic. Still, "Malcolm X" is one of the best biopics, not only because of Denzel Washington and the other very good actors. I also liked the cinematography by Ernest Dickerson, the music and the production design which added to the authentic mood of the movie.
If Lee had ended his movie five minutes earlier, I would have given it four stars, but unfortunately, he made the disastrous decision to add a closing coda that one can only call embarrasing. It's nothing else but clumsy propaganda and nowhere near the subtlety that the rest of the film displayed. It even features Nelson Mandela who seems to feel uncomfortable in front of a film camera. Maybe Lee was afraid of the subtlety of his picture and feared that someone couldn't get the message. I know that this is just speculation. Whatever his motives were, he didn't do his film a favour.
A gripping film which is inspirational and confronts all Americans to the reality of racism during those turbulent times. A special visit by none other than Nelson Mandella at the end was surprising and very fitting.
This is a classic drama which you will surely love as much as I did.
The reason is that for the first time in his career Spike Lee took a step back, and he is not the dominant personality in the film; the dominant personality is Malcolm X himself, and Spike let Malcolm's voice be heard throughout the film louder than anything else. This film was more of a statement than Spike's previous films. Its scope is immensely larger than anything he did before - it does, after all, span 200 minutes gracefully. Spike tackles "Malcolm X" head on the very subjects he treated with symbolism and subtlety in this film, and therefore is a natural and important progression for him. In a biopic, the most important factor is for the director to care about the subject and Mr. Lee clearly proves that.
Malcolm X boasts a huge ensemble casts, with wonderful performances by Delroy Lindo, Angela Bassette, Al Freeman Jr. (in a harrowing performance as Muslim extremist Elijah Muhammad) and Spike Lee himself - but the movie is still entirely Malcolm X's, and therefore Denzel Washington's.Read more ›
Most recent customer reviews
Very good movie - decors are awesome. This was not a story I knew much about.Published 19 months ago by Mireille
Même si le film date de quelques années,Malcolm X est à voir c'est une page d'histoire de U.S.A. et le jeu des acteurs est superbe.Published on Sept. 9 2011 by Monique Arbour
Spike Lee struggled mightily to get 'Malcolm X' made, financially and artistically. But when all was said and done, he produced an epic blockbuster and a definite treatment of the... Read morePublished on Dec 16 2007 by Rassool Auckbaraullee
Show business and the film industry is brutally selective, and ethnocentric. It is very important that there are more filmmakers and media artists for marginalized people's... Read morePublished on Oct. 22 2004 by trueAmerican
Movies are never good as the book, but its good to see a visual. One thing I didn't like about the movie is the way they protrayed Elijah Mahammad. Read morePublished on July 10 2004 by K. Warner
But... while this film marks Spike's high point as a director and one of Denzel's highest points as an actor (THIS is what he should've goitten the Oscar for, not Training Day, and... Read morePublished on June 21 2004