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DVD Review: “Madea Goes to Jail”

October 18, 2009

madea_goes_to_jailHow 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.

9 Comments leave one →
  1. Rocky Horror permalink*
    October 18, 2009 2:27 pm

    Yes it was a waste of time. Spot on about Keisha and Luke.

    And after viewing “I Can Do Bad By Myself”, an even bigger waste of time that I never even mentioned to anyone that I saw, I vowed to never write about his films unless he does a complete and thorough 180 degree change.

    Sooo….all of the Tyler Perry duties are so graciously left to you to accept as you choose, dear blog partna, lol!

  2. Kiki permalink
    October 18, 2009 6:53 pm

    “Hold up wait a minute, lemme put some CHURCHIN in it.”

    TNT was showing Family Reunion last night, and like a train accident, I couldn’t help but watch. I was deeply saddened to see Lynn Whitfield in such a movie playing SUCH a character. It was like he took her most characters from Eve’s Bayou and Thin Line and flattened them into a 1-d evil mama.
    WHY do people recommend him to you??? Are we really a minority in disliking his films??? It’s coming to be some kind of secret pact: “You don’t like Tyler Perry either???”

  3. Lenox Ave permalink
    October 19, 2009 9:38 am

    he is dead to me, just like all his films. Deader than a doornail. What kills me girl is that his apologists (cuz that’s what they are), always yammer on about how he is putting Black folk to work.

    Yeah, that’s great AND? If we can’t even think critically about quality and how we are being portrayed, what right do we have to b*tch and complain when someone from another country gets us wrong?

    We play a huge part in our own screwed up portrayals that get beamed around the globe. I’m saying we need a diversity of experience. Tyler can keep doing him, but I want to see more points of view than his.

    I’m not trying to be the Negro Police or Soul Patrol, but damn!

  4. October 20, 2009 9:36 am

    That sobbing scene was bit much! It was really hilarious to be honest with you!

  5. November 17, 2009 11:09 am

    I had to resurrect my memory cells that were wasted on this film to remember the crying scene. I don’t know why any of them ever get on board with this dude. I guess it’s hard out there for the black actor.

    Going back to what you stated earlier in your post, does Tyler Perry help anyone other than actors? He stated he doesn’t look at anyone else’s scripts, so if you’re not looking to be in front of the camera is the message “don’t waste your time trying to get behind it when he is involved.”

  6. February 17, 2010 9:57 am


  7. April 5, 2010 3:54 pm

    you bitch. this was a good movie. this is why black people cant come up in the world … haters like you. it is utterly ridiculous and despicable. you need a hobby. seriously. and on the real, your website sucks. peace.

  8. April 14, 2010 4:25 pm

    Hey this movie is a funny movie and i would tell my friends that this is a really good movie! LOL!~

  9. Marcia permalink
    July 14, 2010 4:42 am

    Wooow, well you sure do know how to bring a brother down. Or is this yopur way of helping him?
    Giving him some advice as to how help make this “black” thing a better thing, even better would be to make this thing an american thing or a universal thing. Poeple all over the globe can relate to his films, shows, whatever.

    I haven’t seen or heard you people coming up with something better! Or is it the jealousy I was just reading? No matter how you look at it, he has and still is more famous and loved than you (sorry, I forgot yours).

    I’d say Tyler and your team, keep up the good work. There’ll always be haters in this world, but we need people who aren’t afraid of them and keep doing what they do. As you said in one of the films: it’s not important what they call you, it’s more important what you answer to.
    and what the heck is wrong with the eye candy?????? You must be crazy if you don’t like looking at them. They making good use of it, you ain’t young and beautiful for ever. Maybe you are better looking?

    Power to all the hard working, risk taking people who have to start somewhere to get somewhere better. If you aren’t willing to help make something better than don’t be surprised when succes won’t come to you either.

    Love from Holland.

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