April/May 2003 (v5 i6)
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Bringing Down the House
by Eric Jenkins, Staff Writer
     Well, it's spring, which means it's time for Hollywood to rework the script of Beverly Hills Cop for the 197th time, to crank out yet another black/white culture shock movie. This time around it's called Bringing Down the House, and have no doubts, it's just as big a flaming piece of shit as the one that came out the week before. But oh, this time there's a twist: it's a street smart black WOMAN hooking up with the sheltered affluent white man. Whoopety-friggin-do. Shoot me in the face. Please. This hour and a half assfest stars Queen Latifah and Steve Martin as the wacky interracial duo that, with a little help from Eugene Levy, get into hijinx while teaching us a little bit about understanding. It's like a combination of Sleepless in Seattle, Shawshank Redemption, and a hardcore gay porno: it's got internet romance, a prison break, and an eight-dollar ass reaming sent straight to you by Touchstone, if you are one of the pathetic souls who pays to see this garbage. Now, I don't know about any of you, but I remember a time when each of these people commanded at least a little respect. What happened?

     Remember when Queen Latifah was a rapper, Eugene Levy made good movies, and Steve Martin was funny? I'm not sure what Latifah is the Queen of, but it apparently wasn't rap if she had to start working for the sitcom graveyard that is the WB. My guess is she's not the Queen of Reputable Career Moves either. Then there's her co-star Mr. Martin. In the dictionary you should find a picture of him in hip-hop clothes immediately adjacent to the word "assbag." If I could send a Terminator back in time to fix the future, I'd have him kill Steve Martin right after he filmed The Three Amigos, which I'd wager to say was the pinnacle of his life. Finally, and perhaps the biggest disappointment, is Eugene Levy. The fact that the co-writer of Waiting for Guffman and Best in Show actually agreed to be in this movie makes about as much sense as the Iraqi Information Ministry. Tanks and really shitty scripts aren't things that are easily mistakable.

     I've thought long and hard about why this movie even exists, and I can only come up with one plausible scenario: There must be some sort of clandestine law that requires a periodic dose of Queen Latifah—despite her only marginal acting ability and nearly unknown career history. Sort of like how there must be a show involving Heather Locklear every decade (T.J. Hooker, Melrose Place, Spin City). To fill in all the gaps, the director just said, "Fuck it, we'll let Queen Latifah ad lib."

     It appears there's no end in sight to this poo parade marching out of L.A. and smothering unsuspecting movie markets with the foulest of stenches, unmatched except for maybe by the Lifetime Movie Network. At least if these movies are going to continue being made, someone could make one that's worth a damn. I think they should bring back some of those movies they made in the mid-'90s, where a bunch of evil rich white men try to hunt and kill Ice T, another actor whose past involves rap and a string of shitty movies. If we have to see cross-race teaching movies, I'd like to see one where Eminem goes to Swaziland and teaches hip-hop culture to a Zulu warrior, or a movie where Colon Powell teaches Jeff Foxworthy how to bake a cake; and they'd have to pay us eight bucks to go watch it to make up for all the shit we've been subjected to for the last 20 years. But until that day, we're stuck with Bringing Down the House and scores of other movies you should fear and avoid like prolapsed rectums. I give this movie a score of one flaming shitbag.
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