Movie Mom

Movie Mom


G

posted by rkumar
C+
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
Profanity:Some very strong and crude language, including the n-word
Nudity/Sex:Explicit sexual references and situations, including adultery
Alcohol/Drugs:Drinking
Violence/Scariness:Gun violence, some fighting
Diversity Issues:A theme of the movie
Movie Release Date:2002

Audacious, ambitious, and provocative but uneven and ultimately unsatisfying, this long-delayed film adapts F. Scott Fitzgerald’s classic novel of class, love, and power, The Great Gatsby, to the present. Instead of Jay Gatsby, the gangster who can’t forget the girl he lost, we have Summer G, the gangsta, the head of a successful hip-hop recording label.

Richard T. Jones is commanding as Summer G, whose college romance with Skye (Chenoa Maxwell) ended when she married Chip Hightower (Blair Underwood), heir to a publishing dynasty. He has taken a house in the Hamptons not far from where the Hightowers have a home.

When Skye’s cousin Tre (Andre Royo) comes to interview Summer G, Chip asks him to cover for him so that he can see his girlfriend without Skye’s finding out. Tre refuses, until Chip reminds him that the magazine Tre works for is owned by Chip’s father.

Summer G then puts the same kind of pressure on Tre. He will not cooperate with the interview unless Tre helps him see Skye. Again, Tre refuses at first, then reluctantly agrees.

Summer G’s recording artists are staying with him. One who has not had a hit for a while becomes increasingly dependent on his girlfriend, who goes away for what she says will be just a few days and then stops returning his calls. Another becomes bitter and manipulative when she believes Summer G is not giving her the chance she deserves.

The Fitzgerald novel has plenty of material for an update that raises some contemporary issues of race and class and culture, but this film falters and misses the point and butchers the metaphors, turning a brilliant story into a soapy love triangle.

Jones has a commanding presence and Underwood does what he can with a cardboard cad of a character. But Royo is weak and Maxwell is hopelessly bad and the uneven, bumpy narrative and long delay between completion and release support the rumor that the movie has been recut following unssuccessful test screenings. Fitzgerald famously placed a green light on the dock in this novel. This review is intended to place a red light on any plan to see this film.

Parents should know that this movie has extremely strong language (including the n-word), drinking, smoking, drug references, sexual references and situations, and violence, including guns, with characters injured and killed.

Families who see this movie should talk about why Skye decided to stay with Chip instead of Summer G and how the movie differs from the original book.

Families who enjoy this film will also enjoy the earlier film versions of “The Great Gatsby,” especially the with Robert Redford and Mia Farrow and a television miniseries.



Previous Posts

Interviews: "Art and Craft's" Sam Cullman and Jennifer Grausman
The documentary "Art and Craft" is the extraordinary story of two men.  One is Mark Landis, an artist who created counterfeit paintings and then disguised himself as various philanthropist perso

posted 8:00:06am Oct. 23, 2014 | read full post »

Is This the End of Television?
Last week both cable giant HBO and broadcast giant CBS made announcements that signal the end of television as we know it.  Both responded to the clear message of the market and said that they would make their content available in the form and via the delivery system consumers prefer -- the interne

posted 3:24:08pm Oct. 22, 2014 | read full post »

Dylan Baker on Directing for the First Time in the Fact-Based High School Football Movie "23 Blast"
Dylan Baker is probably best remembered for playing some of the most horrific villains imaginable ("The Good Wife," "Happiness").  But his extensive career has included wild comedies ("Planes, Trai

posted 8:00:11am Oct. 22, 2014 | read full post »

Best Movies About Writers
Flavorwire has put together a great list of the 50 best movies about writers. It's always tricky to make a writer interesting on film. On one hand, you have the advantage of a character who is likely to be witty and eloquent. Movies are written by writers, so they have some insight and appreciatio

posted 3:37:07pm Oct. 21, 2014 | read full post »

Great News About Now You See Me 2
You didn't think Arthur Tressler was going to let them get away with it, did you? I am very happy that one of the most entertaining films of 2013, Now You See Me is getting a sequel and the stars, including Mark Ruffalo, Jesse Eisenberg, Dave Franco, Michael Caine, and Woody Harrelson, are back, alo

posted 8:00:59am Oct. 21, 2014 | read full post »




Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.