Claire Cooper dreams strange things from time to time. One night, she dreams about a little girl being taken away by a stranger, right in her neighbourhood. When her own daughter Rebecca is... See full summary »
Robert Downey Jr.,
A mentally unstable Vietnam war veteran works as a night-time taxi driver in New York City where the perceived decadence and sleaze feeds his urge for violent action, attempting to save a preadolescent prostitute in the process.
Robert De Niro,
Set in New York City, Black and White features several losely related stories centering on a pair of documentary filmmakers, Sam and her husband Terry, in following a group of caucasian teens, Raven, Charlie, Will, Marty, Wren and others who try to fit in with Harlem's black hip-hop crowd who include gangster rapper Rich Bower and his music partner Cigar in landing a recording gig, as well as college basketball player Dean who is conflicted on taking a fall on a game for shady gambler Mark Clear who has hidden agenda for Dean and Rich. Written by
I always find the idea of improvised (or semi-improvised) film making an interesting one, even if the results themselves are disappointing, and very rarely work (exceptions being some of the movies of Christopher Guest and Abel Ferrara). It's a risky idea because it's a true test of an actors talent. Some succeed and some fall flat on their faces. 'Black and White' is a perfect example of this, for every interesting moment involving say Ben Stiller, or yes, Mike Tyson, there's way too many dull and rambling scenes that go nowhere (come on down Brooke Shields and Bijou Phillips). What makes this movie even more frustrating is James Toback is obviously aiming for a BIG STATEMENT regarding race relations in contemporary America, yet the movie is so superficial and confused it ultimately says nothing much. Toback is a maddingly uneven film maker, but he is responsible for one of my all time favourite movies, the sadly underrated 'Fingers', so I usually give him the benefit of the doubt. Unfortunately 'Black and White' is a missed opportunity and has very little to recommend it. I suppose Toback deserves some credit for at least attempting to do something other than mainstream Hollywood dreck, but ultimately a crappy movie is still a crappy movie, no matter how good the intentions.
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