Saturday, February 6, 2016
BLUE STREAK (1999)
Directed By: Les Mayfield
Written By: Michael Berry, John Blumenthal & Stephen Carpenter
Cinematography By: David Eggby
Editor: Michael Tronick
Cast: Martin Lawrence, Luke Wilson, William Forsythe, Peter Greene, Olek Krupa, Nicole Ari Parker, Dave Chappelle, John Hawkes, Tamala Jones, Richard C. Sarafin, Julio Oscar Mechoso, Jason Kravits, Octavia Spencer
Miles Logan is a jewel thief. Things go awry while he's stealing a huge diamond in downtown L.A.: a thief, Deacon, tries a double-cross, the police arrive, and Miles is arrested, but not before he hides the jewel in an air duct of a building under construction. Two years later, he's out of prison and he heads for the site: it's L.A.'s new police headquarters! Posing as a reassigned cop, Miles gets into the building, but before he can recover the swag, he's partnered with a naive detective and sent out to investigate burglaries. With Deacon on his trail, he must recover the diamond, keep the cops fooled, and do a few good deeds as a detective who can think like a criminal.
Before BIG MOMMA'S HOUSE and seeming I he typecast after that to a degree. Martin Lawrence was a hot popular comic, who had a pretty successful film career. This film while not his best was one of the films that was successful.
I will admit to skipping it in theaters to me the only noteworthy aspect of the film was the Jay-Z song on the soundtrack. It was an exclusive single at the time. The whole dressing up as a bad toothed pizza delivery guy in the trailer reeked of bad situation comedy and had no interest.
Then once it came out on DVD I was working at a video store and had a co-worker who loved to put on African-American cinema all the time which wouldn't have been so bad if he had the sense to choose good movies of African American cinema and not the seemingly same 5 films, this was one in rotation. The other I remember being what's the worst that could happen which I have seen more times he. Necessary probably even more then the people who made it. Black knight. In fact the only good film he ever python was Malcolm x. This film was one of the least films he put on and finally one day just to keep it outbid the store I rented it so that I could watch it completely with. Interruptions and have a few days of peace.
What followed was a typical popcorn blockbuster that really offered up no real surprises and to tell the truth you don't really expect any the film is pretty cut and dry. It's funny and entertaining and to will forget it pretty soon after watching it. It's no classic but a good time waster. It keeps the formula of mistaken identity and fish out of water combining them.
The film stocks with the comedy. It flirts with a romantic story line though is quickly abandoned for more of a buddy comedy.
One of the few things that fascinates me about this film ad it's type is that the stars of the film are supposed to handle all the comedy and everyone else around is kind of the straight men, but usually the supporting characters are so over the top in the personeas hey seem cartoon-ish or comedic themselves. Throwing the film off a bit. Luckily the wackiness ensues when Dave chappelle shows up in a supporting role.
Martin Lawrence is funny and for all his Foul mouthed at times humor. His most graceful aspect is his physical comedy. Even when telling jokes the energy, the faces and his movements all are in-synch to sell his humor ad make you marvel at his talent. I mean he has funny jokes too, but his true talent is in all the other skills he brings to the table.
The film Was supposed to be a hard R rating until they found the film and material worked better as a pg- 13 film. Leaving it open to more all ages access for the audience. As most of the humor seems more inclined for a younger audience. So the plot, Dialogue and characters had to all be rewritten Screenwriter, John August was the last minute Script Doctor for the script
The film introduces Nicole Ari Parker's character as a strong rival for his character. Though she adds to the story. It almost seemed like a set-up for a kind of love interest. Though the film never seems to quote go there. As his character doesn't have that much time for that. Nor would the ending make any sense if he still has her as baggage.
This is the first Martin Lawrence showcase where he is the entertainment the real Lead. Even though he is partnered up with Luke Wilson. It seems more like Wilson is a co-star and not another name above the title who Martin Lawrence is the co-star or buddy of. Instead here Lawrence gets to be the one who the camera never leaves and who the story is based around instead of being just he comic relief or the supporting character that he had been relegated to in films such as HOUSE PARTY, HOUSE PARTY 2, BAD BOYS, NOTHING TO LOSE.
He was kind of my first introduction to really following stand-up comedy and comedians. I remember him from HOUSE PARTY then hosting DEF COMEDY JAM. I got his albums and when his career blew up I followed him. I remember classic comedians before him line Eddie Murphy, Rodney Dangerfield, Billy Crystal, George Carlin, Redd Foxx, Richard Pryor, Sam Kinison, Andrew Dice Clay but he was he first I could relate to a point and groin watching him and other comedians on DEF COMEDY JAM, I started to pay attention to stand-up even broadening my admiration for more comics. They were rebellious (especially after NBC banned Lawrence for his routine on Saturday night live) Comics have been like rock stars to me ever since i mean examine it. they have a talent that looks easy, but once you actually try it realize how hard is to master if you ever really do. Your style and skill is constantly in transition. You spend most of your time on the road in front of crowds. Though there are many in your field somehow your voice and brand manages to stand out and be noticed and admired. You have die hard fans and groupies. Everyone tries to do it, but only the strong survive as you pretty much are open and. Are your soul and ate at the mercy of the crowd.
According to Dave Chappelle, a scene was written during filming in which his character was to wear a dress while disguised as a prostitute. Chappelle adamantly refused. The writers complained to the producers who then tried to convince Chappelle to do the scene but he still refused. According to Chappelle, he felt that it was part of a disturbing trend in which African-American men wear dresses in films.
There were plans to do a sequel which never materialized.
It's a worthy rental