I missed the premiere weekends for both "Get Rich or Die Trying" and "Walk The Line." I managed to catch "Walk the Line" on Thanksgiving (it's dope, go see it; J-Cash was the original gangsta rapper) and I imagine I'll watch "Get Rich..." somewhere down the road (probably on UPN or something).
So that left one other music-movie to check out for the holidays: "In The Mix," the Usher Raymond vehicle that came out last weekend. In the movie, Usher plays a DJ who must protect a beautiful Mafia princess from her father's enemies. Being the bad-ass that he is, he takes on the Mob and falls in love in a movie that can only be described as a cross between "Donnie Brasco" and "Friday" - if both of those movies sucked.
Here are a few things I observed after watching "In The Mix":
- It's really hard to write notes in a dark theatre. I kept losing my space and writing over my own words.
- I was one of about five people in the theatre (along with a bi-racial couple and some employees). I was shocked that other people actually paid to watch the movie.
- During the previews, they teased a new movie from Tyler Perry, of "Diary of a Mad Black Woman" fame. He does the whole cross-dressing thing (again) and looks like the Momma Klump from "The Nutty Professor" franchise. Eddie Murphy must be pissed.
- In the movie, Usher plays a DJ named Darryl, but we only see him in action twice. He keeps Nelly and Frank Sinatra in his record crates (no joke). Usher may be the all-time worst DJ in a movie, period.
- The great Chazz Palmentari plays a New Jersey mob boss named Frank Pecculli. I remember when he played Sonny in Bronx Tale. Now he's playing second fiddle to Usher in a cheesy ghetto/mob flick. I really miss Sonny.
- Frank Pecculli's capos are named Fish, Jackie and Fat Tony (like The Simpsons character!). Maybe the filmmakers thought Vito, Joey and Vinnie sounded too trite.
- Within the first half-hour, you know that Jackie was the one who tried to kill Frank. The real fun is in trying to figure out how long it will take before Usher does a dance routine.
- According to the movie, Mafia hit men and homeboys share the same taste in designer shoes, proving once and for all that we're really not that different from one another.
- Cute little black girls say the darndest things! The girl in this movie asks Usher's girlfriend if they "did the nasty." When she said it, my heart wanted to melt.
- Usher's love interest is the daughter of a New Jersey mob boss; curiosly enough, she looks almost identical to Meadow Soprano, the daughter of another New Jersey Mob Boss, Tony Soprano.
- Another curiosity: When mob bosses meet to discuss a beef, they do so in back alleys or underneath the Jersey Bridge. Oh, and rap music plays in the background (because that's gangsta).
- Usher gets shot! This is not a surprise if you've seen the movie previews, but he looked really convincing as he lay on the floor bleeding. I almost wanted to be there to console him.
- It's an urban film, so there's bound to be a white boy hip-hop poser. This guy does the whole mook schtick to a tee, and is easily the best hip-hop poser since B-Rad in "Malibu's Most Wanted."
- Multiculturalism 101: According to Usher's best friend, everyone knows that when a brother gets shot and lives, you celebrate at the strip club.
- When Usher snarls at mafia hit men, he looks like he's trying to suck a booger back into his nose.
- One of the perks of being a mafia bodyguard: A room next to the pool, and easy access to late night canoodling with the boss' daughter.
- About an hour and a half into the movie, we finally get the first of two dance routines from Usher. Apparently, this was a contractual obligation.
- Usher doesn't have a Ms. Right, just a lot of Ms. Right Nows.
- Multiculturalism 102: Never play poker with a Sicillian. You will lose your dog and your glock.
- After Usher and the mafia princess finally do the nasty, we learn at an awkward moment that she likes her coffee black (just like her..., oh, never mind).
- I don't want to completely spoil the ending, but as you may have guessed, it involves a disco ball.
- Just when you thought the writers had completely exhausted every urban/mafia cliche in the book, they end it with a phat joke, as in "Hey Fat Tony, you're phat, but with a p-h." It's 2005 folks. Do we have to go there?