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  • The Tenants (Sous-titres français)
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The Tenants (Sous-titres français)

List Price: CDN$ 14.95
Price: CDN$ 9.83
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Amazon.com: 7 reviews
9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
A Microscopic Examination of Urban Life and the Writer's Mind April 8 2006
By Grady Harp - Published on Amazon.com
Format: DVD
THE TENANTS began as a 1971 short novel by the now deceased Bernard Malamud - writer/philosopher - examining the conflicts between Jews and African Americans in the incendiary atmosphere of Brooklyn at the time the book was written. As a novel the story was gut wrenchingly real: as transcribed into a screenplay by novices David Diamond and Danny Green (who also directs) it is more of a cerebral dissertation that gradually erupts into action in the final moments.

Harry Lesser (Dylan McDermott) is a Jewish novelist with one book under his belt but currently attempting to finish his 'newest' book ten years into the writing. Convinced that he must complete the novel in the same environment where it was started: he is the sole tenant in a condemned Brooklyn tenement owned by Levinspiel (Seymour Cassel) who constantly tries to 'buy out' Harry's lease so that the filthy dilapidated building can be demolished. Into this atmosphere enters another Black militant quasi-anti-Semitic writer Willie Spearmint (Snoop Dogg) whom Harry befriends, hides, and offers help to the nascent novelist's attempt to write about the death of all white people. Harry's attempts to help Willie lead to conflict, not the least of which is Harry's meeting Willie's girlfriend, the white Jewish Irene Bell (Rose Byrne) at a less than friendly gathering of Willie's militant black brothers and sisters. Willie and Irene are on the skids and Harry gradually falls in love with Irene and they plan to leave New York as soon as Harry finishes his novel. When Willie hears of the assignation and is further critiqued by Harry, Willie explodes and begins the downward descent of not only a delicate friendship but also a competition between writers. The ending 'reveals the slippery nature of the human condition, and the human capacity for violence and undoing'.

The actors do their best with a script that is a bit awkward but despite scripted lines that border on preaching they create believable characters. The cinematography enhances the story, keeping the mood dank and dense and primarily confined to the condemned building. The musical score appropriately makes use of the solo jazz trumpet and blues piano to underline the tension and isolation of each of these groundless characters. Though it takes some patience to make it through the cerebral ramblings, the film in the end is worth watching. At least it attempts to recreate Malamud's bizarre look at life in the big city. Grady Harp, April 06
6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
Clash Of The Tenants... March 13 2006
By Michael Bolts - Published on Amazon.com
Format: DVD
Dylan McDermott (The Practice, Where Sleeping Dogs Lie) plays Harry Lesser a novelist who is the only person living in an abandoned tenant building. His last novel flopped big time but people say his first one was a classic. So, he's in his apartment, writing a new novel which he thinks will boost his career back up and become a big success. The landlord Levenspiel, played by Seymour Cassel (Royal Tenenbaums, The Crew) is letting him complete his novel, then he is out so they can demolish the tenant buildins to the ground. While doing his novel, Lesser comes upon another man in the building typing his own novel as well.....Willie Spearmint, played by Snoop Dogg (Starsky & Hutch, Bones). Willie goes to Lesser for inspiration on his novel usually which ends up with the 2 of them clashing at one each other. Willie has a white woman for a girlfriend named Irene, played by Rose Byrne (Troy, Wicker Park). Lesser becomes romantically involved with Irene and Lesser plans to complete his novel and leave with Irene. This only complicates more when Lesser tells Willie about the 2 of them. Then it gets crazier with the 2 of ruining each others lives. McDermott & Snoop are OK, so's the movie and most of the time the situations are predictable and I knew what was going to happen which leaves you bored but it's still pretty interesting and watchable. Snooooop!
What the hell is going on???? July 26 2010
By lookout - Published on Amazon.com
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I would not recommend this movie to anyone. It went from one dead end to another. If you are into seeing people get dogged out then this is the movie for you. Snoop's character really got on my nerves. I almost wanted to turn it off. But I watched to end. What the ????
1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
A slum of a movie June 19 2007
By J. A. Eyon - Published on Amazon.com
Format: DVD
There are a couple dismal possible explanations for the talented Rose Byrne's presence in this piece of filth: (1) This was the best of the offers she was getting from American producers at the time. (2) This was her own choice over better offers.

So she found herself in a supporting role in a film where a Jewish-American writer (Dynlan) cowers before a raging black writer (the robotic Snoop Dogg) for an hour and a half before the way-too-predictable ending. You won't get any background into the characters. After all, they're principally symbols. Seemingly, insight derives from the situation: two writers meet in a decaying tenament, discussing (if that's what it can be called) their thoughts (if that's what they can be called) which provokes a lot of racial friction. Then there's this white chick (I think at one point she says she's Jewish) who comes between.

If you are in anyway sane and rational, and you can live without seeing absolutely everything Rose Byrne did, then avoid this like a rat-infested tenement.

This film makes Rose's TWO HANDS seem palatable in comparison -- altho, Rose is much prettier here.
6 of 10 people found the following review helpful
Angry Black Man May 20 2006
By Pamela S. Noud - Published on Amazon.com
Format: DVD
If you like watching the archetypal Angry Black Man (hostile & volatile), then this movie is for you. What a loathsome character Willie Spearmint is... juxtaposed against the sensitive, thoughtful, generous Lesser. Willie has a colossal chip on his shoulder, evident fr. the 2 characters' 1st meeting, when Lesser walks in from behind on Willie typing away, and Willie greets L with only unabashed indignation. Willie exudes this indignation and hatefulness every other scene. On more than one occasion, he asks Lesser for advice on his novel, then goes off on Lesser like a madman in reaction to L's conscientious & painstaking reply. Willie is an ingrate and a USER. VERY unpleasant to watch.