Saturday, May 3, 2008

First Sunday DVD

DVD Review by Kam Williams

Headline: DVD Features Cube and Katt in Demeaning Minstrel Show

When a movie resuscitates this many offensive African-American stereotypes, you half expect somebody to be passing out watermelons and barbecuing ribs right in the lobby of the theater. I had problems with virtually every aspect of First Sunday, starting with its basic premise. The plot revolves around a couple of petty thieves, Durell (Ice Cube) and LeeJohn (Tracy Morgan), who hatch a plan to rob a house of worship after overhearing that its congregation had had finally collected enough money to break ground on a new church.
It’s bad enough that these creepy heathens wouldn’t hesitate to steal from the Lord, but what’s worse are their reasons for needing the money. Durell is $17,342 behind in child support to his ex, Omunique (Regina Hall). Meanwhile, LeeJohn is on the run from Rastafarians because of a deal in contraband gone horribly wrong.
First Sunday is a crass minstrel show laced with demeaning dialogue. Most offensive among the characters is Rickey (Katt Williams), the First Hope Community Church’s flamboyant choir director. This ignoramus blurts out inane non-sequiturs and malapropisms, such as confusing “affecting” with “infecting.” While being held hostage, he behaves cowardly (“This isn’t even my church. I just saw this on MySpace.”), he feints, and generally behaves like a buffoon (“I’m gonna need therapy!”).
The self-hating antics of co-stars Tracy Morgan and Ice Cube aren’t any better as the bumbling burglars. Only if you like to laugh at the sight of a black man in a dress, at lines about nappy hair (“Your hair looks like an S.O.S. pad!’) and at African-Americans pretending to be mildly retarded, are you apt to find this flick hilarious.
A cringe-inducing, cinematic tribute to the Golden Age of Minstrelsy!

Poor (0 stars)
Rated PG-13 for profanity, sexual humor and drug references.
Running time: 94 minutes
Studio: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
DVD Extras: Deleted scenes with optional director’s commentary, outtakes reel, gag reel, director’s wrap speech, director’s commentary, and cast and crew featurette.

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