Saturday, February 25

Madea's Family Reunion: All finger-lickin' good

Tyler Perry's Madea movie reviewYou've gotta love Tyler Perry, whose Madea franchise just keeps blossoming as remarkably as a rose through cracked concrete. His Madea's Family Reunion, which opened yesterday, does not disappoint. Perry dialed up the casting and writing several notches in this one, and the soulful soundtrack is a must-have for my money, with lush cuts by Rachelle Farrell, Chaka Khan, Bill Withers, Al Green and others who can really sang.

Family Reunion strikes an awsome balance of comedic Madea moments versus, this time, a scandalously thought-provoking story line. Well, it's really the same story line, but there are dark, new underpinnings notably presented by Lynn Whitfield's character. (If you loved her Fatal Attraction persona in Thin Line Between Love and Hate, do not miss her in Family Reunion.) Lynn Whitfield works it wonderfully in Madea's Family Reunion. I felt a little like Dr. Lechter watching Lynn in this movie. Each time she appeared anew on screen, I'd mutter, "Love your suit." (Should've checked the fashion credits. Lynn's apparel was stunning.)

The film delivered on the dramatic tension that made Showtime's Soul Food series so compelling. (It didn't hurt that delicious looking Boris Kodjoe from the series is in Madea.) Boris Kodjoe, I'll always remember you and 'Terry' getting busy on Soul Food.  Yeow! And the two fresh-faced central characters who played sisters delivered rich performances.

Blair Underwood takes it to the bank as well. He keeps playing these psycho man roles, and I just love it. Blair Underwood plays the best nut ever. I can never recall the titles of these indie movies he shines in -- the one where he plays the devil and that other one where he plays the crazed hubby -- but he's got his own Denzel in Training Day repetoire going on in a way that hopefully will win him an Oscar some day.

A well-deserved shout-out also goes to Jenifer Lewis, whom many best remember for playing Tina Turner's mother in What's Love Got to Do With It. Did you know that Jenifer Lewis once was a Harlette in Bette Midler's troupe? Ms. Lewis, with whom I proudly share St. Louis roots, drops hot moments with a bit of a Strange' flair.

Last but not least, I was pleasantly surprised to see the faces of two legendary women in Madea's Family Reunion. I won't say their names so that you might enjoy the surprise, too. But their strong presence pretty much makes this film a treasure for the time capsule.

Bottom line on Madea's Family Reunion? Divas, divas everywhere and not a moment to think. Why? Because you'll be too busy laughing at Tyler Perry and his trifecta of zany characters. This time, surrounded by some of the best African American dramatists around.

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Clicks to Miles Davis catalog, but explore as you like


Blogger obifromsouthlondon said...

yours is the third blog I've been on reading a review of this movie. sounds really good.

probably take a year b4 this flick gets to the UK. ah the joy of waiting ...

1:10 PM  
Blogger Viqi French said...

hey obi,

i guess accessing videos in London is not the way it can be in the States. here, people can often just hit a bar in the 'hood and buy a bootleg copy for $5.00. not that most people do this, but there is a vibrant black market here in this regard. :-)

7:00 AM  
Anonymous blktxgold said...

I saw this movie on the first day and loved it. Tyler's movies keep getting better. Who would have thought those plays would have led to such much success.

6:48 AM  
Blogger Viqi French said...

yup, tyler is doing it!

4:57 AM  
Blogger Hassan said...

Okay, you convinced me.

I'll try it.

5:49 AM  
Blogger Viqi French said...

hey Hassan,

trust, you can't go wrong taking in this movie. let us know what you think once you get your laugh on.

4:37 AM  
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