Pin It
Favorite

DVD Review 

by Joel Smith & r & & r & Idlewild & r & & lt;span class= "dropcap " & I & lt;/span & t's tempting to compare Idlewild to Moulin Rouge. Like its predecessor, Idlewild is a big, glammy musical smorgasbord -- a period piece that revels in the feel and fashion of its place and time (in this case Idlewild, Ga., in somehow-Prohibition-era 1935) but with a thoroughly modern twist. The jazz-meets-hip-hop soundtrack by Outkast (whose Andre Benjamin and Antwan Patton star here) is brilliant. The supporting cast (Terrence Howard, Macy Gray, Ving Rhames) is impressive. The choreography in the dance sequences is stunning.





All of this makes Idlewild, like Moulin Rouge, an absolute pleasure to watch. And that's not even mentioning the occasionally ingenious direction of Bryan Barber, whose only experience to date is filming Outkast's music videos -- which shows. In a good way. In one sequence, in which Benjamin's Percival (a shy but skilled piano player at the local nightclub) tosses and turns in the sheets at night, the camera completely orbits his bed, careening over the headboard, underneath, and back out at his feet. When Percival wakes in the morning, in another scene, the camera is perched about 10 feet above his head, looking down from a wall of ornate and carefully arranged cuckoo clocks, which all burst into action at once. It's a dazzling shot.





But for all these similarities, Idlewild deserves more comparison to, I don't know, Rambo III. Because like nearly any big-budget Hollywood action flick, while it's visually impressive -- even exhilarating -- the rest of it stinks. The clich & eacute;-laden script is unfocused and confusing, following the lives of Percival and Rooster (Patton) from boyhood to their adult lives at Church, an illicit nightclub full of hooch and hoochies. Is the film about Percival's love life? The gangster threatening to shut down the club? Rooster's temptation and salvation? Hard to say. The pacing is so rushed -- and the writing so rambling -- that we never figure out what's going on.





We never really care, though, luckily. There's nothing like a good song-and-dance sequence to wash away those niggling plot questions. And there's no shortage of those here.

  • Pin It

Latest in News

  • OK, Hold Your Nose
  • OK, Hold Your Nose

    Everything you need to know before Election Day
    • Sep 22, 2016
  • Base of Support
  • Base of Support

    Polling local leaders and opinion-makers about presidential politics
    • Sep 22, 2016
  • The Messenger
  • The Messenger

    Local leaders weigh in on how Donald Trump's campaign has impacted racism in America
    • Sep 22, 2016
  • More »

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Today | Tue | Wed | Thu | Fri | Sat | Sun
Lost Egypt: Ancient Secrets, Modern Science

Lost Egypt: Ancient Secrets, Modern Science @ Northwest Museum of Arts & Culture

Tuesdays-Sundays. Continues through Jan. 6

All of today's events | Staff Picks

More by n/a

  • Iron Upgrade
  • Iron Upgrade

    The new one is smart and funny and action-packed, and it’s bigger and better and sleeker. And Downey does it again, this time ramping up Stark’s arrogant wisecracking, telling anyone who’ll listen (mostly women) that, via the creation of his powerful Iron Man suit, he’s brought years of uninterrupted peace to the world.
    • May 12, 2010
  • Seeing Gay
  • Seeing Gay

    A festival showing GLBT from all angles
    • Nov 9, 2009
  • Get Out the Vote
  • Get Out the Vote

    With all the uncertainty in the world these days, hot wings and cold beer are two things we can get behind
    • Nov 9, 2009
  • More »

Most Commented On

  • To Kill the Black Snake

    Historic all-tribes protest at Standing Rock is meant to stop the destruction of the earth for all
    • Sep 8, 2016
  • Murrow's Nightmare

    Debate moderators need to be much more than an onstage prop to make our democracy work
    • Sep 15, 2016
  • More »

Top Tags in
News & Comment

election 2016


trail mix


Briefs


green zone


marijuana


Readers also liked…

  • Worth a Shot
  • Worth a Shot

    As preventable disease breaks out, concern for public health reaches a fever pitch
    • Feb 18, 2015
  • Won't Back Down
  • Won't Back Down

    Opponents of the state's new gun background check law are still fighting against it
    • Feb 18, 2015

© 2016 Inlander
Website powered by Foundation