Lance Crouther

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Good Hair Review


OK
Chris Rock hosts this exploration into hair issues in the African-American community, talking to celebrities, experts and hairdressers. What's surprising is that this is such a big issue, although the film isn't much more than entertaining fluff.

The question is who decides what hair is good hair? Most of the black magazines show women with long, straight, silky locks, but this isn't the reality for the readers. Or at least not an easily achievable reality, as it involves lots of product, weaves and wigs. A series of award-winning stylists tackle black hairdos for a living, and the issue of black women's hair has a rather huge impact on their men.

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Down To Earth Review


Terrible
There are times when a remake feels more like a ripoff. The Chris Rock comedy Down to Earth is a perfect example. Based on... no, xeroxed from 1978's Heaven Can Wait, it's a string of dull fish-out-of-water scenes held together by someone else's script.

The "someone else", in this case, are Elaine May and Warren Beatty, screenwriters of that earlier romantic comedy, which itself was a remake of 1941's Here Comes Mr. Jordan. But Beatty and May crafted a fresh story with a modern update and some sex appeal, while paying homage to the old version. Down to Earth is just a much weaker version of the same movie.

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Pootie Tang Review


Unbearable
After a hard, busy day, I'm sitting in the movie theater waiting for the projectionist to start Pootie Tang. I become relaxed, comfortable, with a notepad in one hand and a pencil in the other. The lights dim. The movie starts. But the image is out of focus, then it goes black. The house lights shine brightly. The theater is experiencing technical difficulties. This is a warning from God: "Run for your life while you still have the chance," screams a little voice in my head. Then the lights dim once again, and the movie restarts. I regret not dashing for the door.

I cannot remember any other movie without subtitles that creates a language for its characters, but never teaches it to the audience. The main character in Pootie Tang utters phrases like "I'm gonna sine your pitty on the runny kine" and "Sipi-tai!" But what does that mean? Not that it matters -- you won't even try to follow this hopeless, incoherent story. Instead I wondered about the cologne on the man next to me, if that lovely cashier was wearing a wig, and what I needed at the store later that night. Anything to clear my mind from the painful occurrences transpiring on screen.

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