DVD Review: “Madea Goes to Jail”
How in the world can we be a black film review site and have NO Tyler Perry movies up for review? Even when other critics refuse to review and, much less WATCH his films, here I am.
I’ve been back in L.A. for about three months and I’ve had several random networking encounters where I tell people I’m a filmmaker and they tell me, as a black female director, that I should “hit up Tyler Perry.” Because it’s a first encounter and I don’t want to sound super bourgeois, I say “Oh …yeah” and then they proceed to tell me how great he is for black film and how great it is that he’s shown Hollywood that he doesn’t need their approval and blahblahblah.
NOW, he’s producing, directing and adapting one of the greatest, most influential pieces of female theatre in history and THAT is just a travesty. My writing partner got her hands on the script and she is absolutely devastated by what he’s done to it. BUT … I digress …
After he completed Madea Goes to Jail, Tyler Perry mentioned that he wished that he could kill Madea off, because he was tired of playing her. He had PLENTY of opportunities in this film to do so, but he didn’t. I don’t think I laughed at any of Madea’s jokes throughout the entire film. It felt like it was written to entertain middle-schoolers and even TECHNICALLY, it was ALL bad. Come on Tyler Perry, as much money as your films made, you can hire editors who know who to handle transitions correctly? You can’t hire a cinematographer that has an EYE for awkward angles? Of course the technical mistakes of a film can be forgiven if the STORY is at least good, but with Tyler Perry … that NEVER happens.
This review is not meant to entirely rag on Mr. Perry. What I will say about him is that the man has a GIFT for putting eye candy in his films. He’s not out yet, but he CLEARLY has great taste. EVERY dreadful film he’s put out has at LEAST had some fine men to look at, i.e. Shemar Moore, Michael Jai White (have you seen his bawwwwwdy?), Adam Rodriguez, Lance Gross, Rick Fox, the list goes on and on.
EXCEPT in this film. Really? Derek Luke? You’ve taken away the ONE thing that makes your films tolerable to watch. Derek Luke is a fine ACTOR, but he too suffers from “dumbed-down, over-acting” syndrome in this film. His sobbing breakdown scene, where the story is supposed to come to a climactic revelation is LAUGHABLE at best. I watched this with my friend who kept rewinding the part repeatedly and crying laughing. Her crying was more warranted than his.
And Keshia Knight Pulliam? Good Lord don’t let me get started on her. I highly doubt this film helped to resurrect her career. Tyler Perry, nobody buys Rudy from “The Cosby Show” as a cracked out prostitute, especially not with that proper accent. Her wardrobe looked like a bad Halloween costume.
All in all, if you couldn’t tell, this movie is a complete waste of time.