I saw this film on cable tv, I had heard the soundtrack and was familiar
with the title, plus I was nervously looking forward to see my favorite
group (the Wu of course) taking stabs at acting. No. This one won't make
it. This film had plenty of memorable scenes (mostly for bad reasons) but
completely failed to come together. (*I did think it was cool when Method
Man gave his story about getting locked up in Memphis because it really
happened, at the Mtv SMF a few years ago and I had friends who saw it go
down but anyways...) What started off as a story about suburban white kids
and their fascination with black culture turned into the life of Rich
Bowers. His character is unconvincing, going from selfish and foul actions
to "I'm righteous now, lets make rap videos" seemingly overnight. I was
surprised at all of the well known names in a movie of this class ("hey,
thats the guy thats in Fight Club," or "haven't I seen this kid before?" or
"hey, there's Tweeder," or "Wow Ben Stiler is in this?" or "what the f-Mike
Tyson?!"). What is worth seeing is Mike Tyson acting like himself (what's
with him trying to come off as being deep and why would anyone come to him
for wisdom- "...so what I decipher from your vanacular") And someone tell
me how everyone ends up at this party? The hip mother of one of the young
white girls and her school teacher mingling with boxers and rappers? I
can't say anything else but to watch it for yourself to see how
missing-the-point it is, just don't pay money to see it, you'll be mad..
This film is a gift to moviegoers.
After having seen 29 films at this year's Toronto International Film
Festival, and reflecting, James Toback's "Black and White" was one of the
truly pleasant surprises. Toback has a relatively cool track record, he
an oscar for his "Bugsy" screenplay, and directed Robert Downey Jr. in
Girls and a Guy" and "The Pick-up Artist".
As Toback introduced the film, he made reference to Downey Jr. (who also
co-stars in this film) as being unable to attend the premiere screening
"because some sick and twisted Judge gets his jollies out of locking him
every time he gets high." The audience broke into a fit of laughter and
"Black and White" is an ensemble piece that covers many bases of our
where black and white cultures collide. The music industry, sports
drugs, delinquency, and sex. It's a look at interracial youth culture
an attitude, where no one should trust their friends, or their
From its opening scene, an interracial three-way in a park with a heavy
backbeat, "Black and White" is erotic, dangerous, funny and never
predictable. In addition to another wildly offbeat characterization by
Downey; the cast includes standout work by Ben Stiller in a swaggeringly
dark comic turn, a gorgeous and deceptive Claudia Shiffer (who continues
shine in small, risky roles), and Mike Tyson playfully playing... himself.
Now that's brilliant! Tyson may actually be contributing here to what I
think is could be the funniest single scene of 1999.
This is a film where it would criminal to spoil the fun by saying any
The audience at the festival was ecstatic. Don't let "Black and White"
vanish. Toback has made a real movie here. It's smart, angry fun..