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Thursday, December 27, 2007

New York Times Review: Honeydripper

Well, it looks like the New York Times panned Honeydripper, a movie about the birth of Rock And Roll in Mississippi. Of course the movie is fiction it is not based on anything that really happened in Mississippi, but what was probably happening all over the south during late 40s and early 50s. It is also a movie about Jim Crow, which hopefully will open some eyes to people who think the south was some idyllic wonderland, and it certainly wasn't at least not for African Americans. If you want to read the review Click HERE.

As I have said before, never pay attention to a bad review, if you like the music, actors, or just the time period go see the movie!!!!! Don't let some lazy reporter, sitting in an cushy office in the New York Times make your decision for you! Check it out for yourself!!!


Anonymous said...

Where were you sitting when you reviewed the New York Times review?

Blues Historian said...

I assume that you either agree with the Times, or disagree with my critique of the Times.

Here is what the Times wrote

While operating on a mythic level “Honeydripper” also wants to create the same kind of top-to-bottom social microcosm found in many of Mr. Sayles’s films. But this time his attempt to have his characters be simultaneously symbolic and real works at cross purposes. He is so uncomfortable writing dialogue in an old-time Southern argot that the conversations in “Honeydripper” rarely settle into the easy, colorfully idiomatic flow that has always been a hallmark of Southern speech.

Hard as they try to break through the stiffness, the film’s fine actors only fitfully succeed in camouflaging the machinery behind their characters. Two of the most familiar are a fluttery, white Southern matron, Amanda (Mary Steenburgen), who unwittingly condescends to her black maid, and an overweight black mama, Nadine (Davenia McFadden), with a dirty mind. Amanda comes straight from Tennessee Williams and Nadine from Bessie Smith.

Other one-note characters include a dignified, terminally weary blues singer, Bertha Mae (Mabel John), her devoted long-time consort Slick (Vondie Curtis Hall), Tyrone’s partner Delilah (Lisa Gay Hamilton), whose frustrations are driving her to explore Pentecostalism, and Tyrone’s best friend Maceo (Charles S. Dutton). Finally there is Tyrone’s angelic stepdaughter, China Doll (Yaya DaCosta), who becomes the inspiration for Sonny’s ultimate rock ’n’ roll blast.

“Honeydripper” is agreeable, well-intentioned and very, very slow. Sadly, it illustrates the difference between an archetype and a stereotype. When the first falls flat, it turns into the other and becomes a cliché.

That is not a good review, and that is what I said. I haven't seen the film, but if you have read the blog I always point out that if you like something go and see it regardless of WHAT A REPORTER OR I MAY SAY!