Aunt Bam’s Place (2011/Lionsgate DVD)/A Fool
& His Money (2012/Image DVD)/Good
Deeds (2012/Tyler Perry/Lionsgate Blu-ray)
Picture: C/C/B- Sound: C+/C+/B- Extras: C-/D/C- Main Programs: C-/D/C+
new era of African American film and TV production result now that the Tyler
Perry era is in decline? Spike Lee had
to self-fund his latest film, a revising of sorts to his classic Do The Right Thing (1989), while Tyler
Perry is starting to see his box office slip and imitators are trying (and mostly
failing) to be his successor. We’ll see
what happens, but here are some recent releases in the Perry Cycle including
two by Perry himself.
Aunt Bam’s Place (2011) is his latest stage
offering that is so imitated that you cannot tell the rip-offs and copies from
the original, including in comparing Perry’s own work. The same old combination of comedy, amusing
characters and an inevitable calling to a God of the Christina Left, as young
people need all the help they can get.
The twist here is the idea that a new character can be created to be the
next Medea, but another over-accessorized lead may be too much for most and
only serious fans will find this working for them as it preaches to its already
established choir. Extras include Cast
Intros, From Cast To Cassi (Cassi Davis plays the title character) and a Behind
The Scenes clip.
A Fool & His Money (2012) is almost the same play,
but worse as a semi-religious family (some have found God, others have not, or
there would be no formula script) win a million dollars in a radio contest,
only for things to not work as well as they should. The imitators like this series from David E.
Talbert sometimes seem more forced as compared to the Perry originals, but
anyone is a fan could not tell me if they could win a million bucks how
Talbert’s works differ from Perry’s outside of the cast. Three featurettes are the only extras.
needs to expand more, but does not want to loose his audience, putting him in a
corner that was more apparent than ever with the lack of commercial theatrical
success with Good Deeds (2012) where
he plays a businessman who might be too insensitive to the needs of his
employees and others. We could almost
call this “Mr. Deeds Dodges Hell”
with its beyond-obvious Christian message, but it takes itself a bit more
seriously and having name actors like Thandie Newton, Jamie Kennedy, Rebecca
Romijn, Phylicia Rashad and Gabrielle Union is a more of the direction he needs
to go into. It also rings truer than the
highly problematic For Colored Girls
(reviewed elsewhere on this site). Two
featurettes and Digital Copy for PC and PC portable devices are the only extras
anamorphically enhanced 1.78 X 1 image on both DVDs have some good color range,
but both are on the soft side and have too much motion blur for their own
good. The 1080p 2.35 X 1 digital High
Definition image transfer on Deeds
has minor softness and issue problems, save a few bad shots and easily
outperforms both. The lossy Dolby
Digital 5.1 mixes on the DVDs are better than their accompanying images, but
are really stretching out what is simple stereo, while the DTS-HD MA (Master
Audio) 5.1 lossless mix on Deeds is
the best sound we have ever heard on a Perry release in any format, only held
back by the fact that it is sop dialogue based.
Otherwise, it is well mixed and well recorded.
- Nicholas Sheffo