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Wednesday, September 17, 2008

The Family That Preys (On Your Wallet) Part 2

OK, I saw "The Family That Preys" last night, and while I agree with Miss Snob on some points (review posted yesterday), I am going to take a different, albeit less detailed approach.

Let's pretend that you are an alien from another planet (or another country), and had never heard of Tyler Perry and his movies. You would:

-Wonder why a movie that you think is about an affair has no real mention of said affair until a whole hour into it.

-Be perplexed on how in this day and age, someone can withdraw a substantial amount of cash in a joint (or maybe not joint, it unclear) account without the primary person's permission.

-Be puzzled about how the supposed secondary storyline, while not very interesting, is somehow stronger than the supposed disjointed, wtf first one (I say it is solely based on the performances of the two veterans in the secondary one, Alfre Woodard and Kathy Bates).

-Need an explanation of why Sanaa Lathan stays married to a man, or even got married to a man she so obviously loathes on every level.

-Side-eye the marriage of a zestmaster in an afro wig, pretending to be married and straight, when it is oh so very clear he ain't (not that there's anything wrong with that).

-Marvel at how Taraji P. Henson's eyebrows seem to be two emoting mini-actresses in their own right.


-Not find anything even remotely attractive about Rockmond Dunbar, and wonder why anyone would (OK that was really just Ms. Invisible, but someone has to be thinking that too!)

-Just say OK, what was that? at the climax, when a man leaves someone he'd been with for four years and had a child with like it was a one night stand, with no explanation.

-Have no inkling still of who Tyler Perry is, and why he keeps making the same movie over and over (so someone told you), but you do know that Sanaa Lathan, Taraji P. Henson, and Robin Givens had the fiercest hair on film record, and wonder where you can buy that amazing flatiron.

That is all.

All in all, I never get worked up about the works of Tyler Perry, but just have a kinda watchful resignation to it. His movies never really do anything for me, but I know they do for others, and I'm OK with that. I also would never, ever pay to see one, and am very glad I didn't have to with this one.

I would compare this movie to a situation when you are really, really hungry, and there is no place familiar to eat, so you pull your car over and give one place a try. The meal is bland and pretty ordinary, but you aren't hungry anymore for the moment, and you can at least say you tried a new place, tho you won't be back. You walk out the door and promptly and completely forget about it, and get hungry two hours later.

Yeah, it's like that.



btw, what happened to jennifer hudson being in this movie like everyone was talking about a few months back?

18 comments:

Awkward Black Girl said...

LOL at the hair comment. Me and my friends were marveling at how GOOD all the women looked. Sanaa's dress at the party?! Fierce as hell. Even though some of her outfits were not work appropriate, she was working the hell out of it.

I just really wish Perry would take a step back from writing and use his money to produce quality black films written by other GOOD screenwriters. Then the world would be a better place.

Urban Thought said...

Many people have commented about the hair and wardrobe in his films. Most say they don't fit with the characters and the position they play in society. Not a clear reflection of the time. I'm sure this needs further explanation but the dude in charge just walked out of his office and is looking over my shoulder.

Your review give me more reason not to see it. I'll stay far far away.

Beckie said...

the fact that Tyler Perry is able command the attention of top performers and others in the movie industry is directly attributable to the fact that arts programs in public schools is drastically undervalued. People don't know ish from shinola. Same principle applies in music. Garbage like this makes me think those who made the movie Idiocracy are geniuses! Everything he has ever done has sucked. Some sucked less than others, but crap is crap no matter how little you step in it. Bleh.

Sergio said...

I've said this before but I've got to say it again. As you know Perry has a small cameo in the big new Star Trek movie coming out in May 2009. Like as if there weren't enough black actors who could have done the "token black guy" part in the movie, but that Hollywood's mentality. "Hey. put that trannie Perry in the film and that'll ensure that EVERY SINGLE BLACK PERSON will see the film because they all LOVE him"

But anyway, when he was on the set did it ever occur to him to think that maybe he ought to try something different? I'm not saying he has to make a $150 million sci-fi film but something... ANYTHING...different. Or was he just so happy that white people in Hollywood took notice of him (which I hear is something he's constantly obssessed about) and put him in a Hollywood film? I'n afraid the latter since his next film in March is Medea Goes to Jail. Oh brother how country can you get?

Anyone who considers themselves a filmmaker knows that one of the first things you must do is to challenge yourself. Expand your vision. All true filkmmakers do that. Spike Lee, Kubrick, Spielberg, Scorsese, even a hack like Ron Howard. Even Hitchock tried his hand at muscials, romantic comedies and period dramas at various times throughout his career. Now that doesn't mean they they succeed but at least they're trying to do something different and push the limits of their talent and vision. But that's not a concern with Perry who makes the same damn crummy film over and over again. I have to assume that he simply doesn't think he's a good filmmaker and afraid to do anything new.

And I have to say that it really ticks me off when I hear people praising him because he make a lot of money and employs people. So what? So do drug dealers. You want to praise them too? And people who like to boast that they like his films are in effect saying that black people are so f_____g stupid that they can't tell when something is bad.

sdg1844 said...

Never seen one of his films and don't intend to. Thanks for the review IW.

Bygbaby said...

OK, Saturday I am still going to see it & I hope for me it will not be an damn, I should have listened moments. Review coming soon.

Bygbaby

DB said...

i just have no interest in seeing it. not feeling Tyler Perry at all. nice review though IW.

Nic said...

@Sergio:"And I have to say that it really ticks me off when I hear people praising him because he make a lot of money and employs people. So what? So do drug dealers. You want to praise them too? "
***********************************
So now, Tyler Perry is in the same league with drug dealers in your mind?

Tyler Perry recognized an untapped, underserved market. He created a product for that market. The market accepted the product and pays for it. Simple economics.

He doesn't need ALL black people to like his movies...just the specific audience he's targeting. And apparently, his target audience finds something appealing about his stories and relates to something in them b/c they keep supplying him with funds to keep going.

Sergio said...

@ nic

As several people have already said, there would not be any problems and arguments against Ms. Perry (that's not a typo) if he was simply good at what he does. If he wants to make his soap opera films to his core audience then go ahead. The problem is that he's totally inept at doing it. I would probably enjoy them myself if he made good, watchable movies. Just read again what Angela Bassett herself said to a friend of mine in my original post. (and that's coming from soneone who worked with some of the best directors in the business: John Sayles, Spike Lee, Rober Zemeckis) Perry fans think that those who critize him want him to make masterpieces. Not's that true at all. We just want him to be GOOD MOVIES like any filmmakers does or tries to do. It's an insult and a disserve to his fans to give them subpar material time and time again. It shows nothing but contempt by him towards the audience. The fact that they so readily accept his crap baffles me to no end

Sergio said...

@ nic

As several people have already said, there would not be any problems and arguments against Ms. Perry (that's not a typo) if he was simply good at what he does. If he wants to make his soap opera films to his core audience then go ahead. The problem is that he's totally inept at doing it. I would probably enjoy them myself if he made good, watchable movies. Just read again what Angela Bassett herself said to a friend of mine in my original post. (and that's coming from soneone who worked with some of the best directors in the business: John Sayles, Spike Lee, Rober Zemeckis) Perry fans think that those who critize him want him to make masterpieces. Not's that true at all. We just want him to be GOOD MOVIES like any filmmakers does or tries to do. It's an insult and a disserve to his fans to give them subpar material time and time again. It shows nothing but contempt by him towards the audience. The fact that they so readily accept his crap baffles me to no end

Exquisitely Black said...

I was a little disturbed by the subject matter, the whole crap on the brotha in favor of the other theme, so decided to stay away from this one. (funny how that theme emerged when Lions Gate entered the picture)

There are some good points made in the comments, when compared to some of our other films, Waiting to Exhale, Do The Right Thing, etc., you really can see the difference in film making.

I love it when someone points out something I hadn't considered before. Thanks for making me think.

Invisible Woman said...

@awkward and urban thought: you know it's a problem when the entire movie what you are paying attention to the most are the hair and clothes. I think Tyler is too vain to back anyone else, which is really sad.

@Beckie: idiocracy is def here in spades, and the TV show "Hole In The Wall" turned a corner where we are never, ever going to look back at.

@sergio: is it safe to say that TP annoys you? lol

@sdg1844: you've never seen even one? wow, that is really amazing. you should at least see what the hub-bub is about :-)

@bygbaby: ooooo! I can't wait!

Invisible Woman said...

@db: thanks :-) don't even want to see it out of curiosity? that's why i did.

@nic: i agree tyler does not have to be the savior. there are plenty of people out there who like dreck like "Hostel", etc and those "Diasater "Movie" like spoofs, and those Japenese/American horror film remakes. There's enough room for everyone, but you won't catch me giving my money or time to anyone I just mentioned.

@esquisitely black: i do think we should challenge him a bit to braoden his scope, at least to fund some other types of film behind the camera. he has the money and the connections to make it happen.

Anonymous said...

I for one am tired of the gay innuendo surrounding Tyler Perry. It's childish and played out. Why is there more pretense for his acting than for anyone else in the movie? The black community's hypocrisy is fine with him making hokey flicks, but if he were to come out of the closet, his people wouldn't even let him near a webcam. In that respect, I second the notion of his audiences supporting drug dealers as entrepeneurs. Why not lower their standards even more?

Invisible Woman said...

@anon: I was being funny, but I for one would have no problem with Tyler being gay. He has broken down many barriers, why not one more? I think that would make him truly great in the halls of film fame that he seems to want so badly, and would garner more respect. We don't know what would happen if a person of his caliber came out, because in Hollywood it really is about the bottome line and barely anything else. I really don't believe his career would be finished.

He might lose some fans, but I think he would also gain many.

Sergio said...

I agree. If Perry decided to come out of the closet what damage would it do to his career? First of all, it wouldn't be a shock to anyone except for those few women who are truly clueless. Luther Vandross was about as flaming as you could get and it never damanged his career one iota.

Second, is Perry considered by women as some really hot guy they want to be with? Yeah, right I thought so. Not hardly. They're simply aren't any (or very few dumb) women out there with fantasy dreams of one day marring him. So what loss would there be if he came out?

Look at George C. Wolfe, the acclaimed N.Y. theater director who has lately moved into directing movies like HBO's Lackawanna Blues and now this Ricahrd Gere/Diane Lane movie Nights in Rodanthe coming out this month. Being an openly gay black director hasn't hurt his career at all. In fact I would argue that being so makes him more willing to explore and try to do different things like other openly gay film directors, like Gus van Sant, Bryan Singer or Joel Schumacher, instead of the same ol' same ol' like Perry does.

Awkward Black Girl said...

I have gotten my wish! Tyler Perry is taking a step back to produce OTHER filmmakers and writers. YES JESUS!!!!!

http://blackfilmacademy.com/2008/09/22/news-tyler-perry-to-produce-other-filmmakers/

Invisible Woman said...

@segio: thanks, homey :-)

@awkward black girl: you are so funny! thanks for that....