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The Original Kings of Comedy (2000)
I just got home from this flick and I loved it. Not so much a movie, but a filmed appearance of the four comedians (Steve Harvey, D. L. Hughley, Cedric the Entertainer, and Bernie Mac) at a show in North Carolina. It has been my experience that "concert-comedy"-type movies can often be boring, certainly not matching the experience of actually seeing a comedian live. This was not the case with "Kings." Granted I was in a crowded theatre, but the expert direction by Spike Lee really pulls you in and makes you a part of the studio audience. Audience reaction shots and multiple-camera angles keep the viewing fresh and "behind the scenes" peeks all offer more than simply being there live would have. As far as laugh volume, this was the funniest movie I've ever seen. It has everything: swearing, raunchy sex jokes, clever comparisons between blacks and whites, pop culture jabs, and even some "insult comedy."
Each comedian does about a half-hour of material, but you'll wish they each got an hour at least. The soundtrack is excellent as well. Well, it's not technically a soundtrack, but the songs played in the stadium at the show were a great mix of old-school love songs and funk.
"The Original Kings of Comedy" is not a movie. It is a concert-comedy piece with elements of a documentary. After a lack-luster summer of gross-out comedy flicks, it was very nice to see genuinely talented and witty word-slingers come together with a consistently pleasing director in certainly the funniest movie of the summer. Maybe ever.
Romeo Must Die (2000)
I expected this movie to be an excuse for Jet Li to jump around and generally beat ass. Usually the plot for these kind of movies is just a formality. I was surprised by the intricate dealings and betrayals, not to mention the very possible notion that murders would result from trying to make money by bringing an NFL team to a city. The X-Ray style shots were very creative, too. Of course, the fight scenes were great and well-made. I enjoyed the "Romeo and Juliet" aspect, too. The final blow delivered to the villain by Li alone makes this worth 8 bucks to see on the big screen. Thumbs up.