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Category:    Home > Reviews > Comedy > Drama > Noah’s Ark – Jumping The Broomstick (2008/Logo DVD) + Tyler Perry: The Marriage Counselor + The Family That Preys (2008/Lionsgate DVDs)

Noah’s Ark – Jumping The Broomstick (2008/Logo DVD) + Tyler Perry: The Marriage Counselor + The Family That Preys (2008/Lionsgate DVDs)


Picture: C     Sound: C+     Extras: C/C-/C     Main Programs: C-/C+/C+



As the Obama Era begins and in whatever that brings, a more diverse idea of African Americans that has always been there and even apparent in the somewhat mainstream media will become more prominent.  This includes Gay Black Males and the return of The Religious Left that Neo-Conservatism did its best to keep down for decades.  It will also make us realize how it is time for both to take the next step forward.  Our examples here are of franchises dealing with each we have covered before.  First, there is the Cable TV series Noah’s Arc, which we actually saw the second season of:





Then there are the tales of Tyler Perry, many of the feature films we have covered, as well as his stage plays where it all started:





Both are back and have new DVD releases to contend with.  Noah’s Ark – Jumping The Broomstick (2008) by its very title equates Gay Male union with literally the oppression of slavery, though nothing seems to be stopping these guys from sleeping together.  The series was never that good and dates quickly for what little about it did work, yet that is how limited Gay Black Males are in the media.  With Obama not for Gay Marriage, the title will have new resonance, but the telefilm follow-up to the first two seasons (with no third season in sight) is not the step forward it should be.  Add the flat script and lack of energy and you get a fans-only release.


Despite his work in the upcoming (and delayed) Star Trek revival, Tyler Perry continues his safe storytelling, effective as it is with a new play and theatrical feature release.  The play (unlike his feature films) once again has Musical elements and once again, heterosexual relationships, as well as family life, are in jeopardy because of a lack of moral center.  Only faith can save the day in The Marriage Counselor and Perry is one of the only people around today who knows how to make this kind of melodrama work.  He also knows how to pick the best actors/singers to pull it off.


With more money, he gets her gets Alfie Woodard, Kathy Bates, Sanaa Lathan, Cole Hauser, Robin Givens and more talented actors for The Family That Preys, a decent film that did not do as well as his usual theatrical box office has done lately, but is as well-rounded as previous releases.  Here, Bates and Woodard are best friends, with Bates having money and Woodard not.  That turns out to make little difference when everything starts getting ugly on both sides, making for melodramatic turning points of the like only Perry would do today.  As with the play, the performances boost things when the material becomes formulaic or predictable.


The play is at 1.33 X 1, while the other two programs are anamorphically enhanced 1.78 X 1 and all are equally soft, though the videotaped play has the best color!  In the other cases, color can be weak and depth is not what it should be.  The two Perry productions have Dolby Digital 5.1 mixes that are laid back and not bad, but not great either, while all have Dolby 2.0 Stereo with limited surround information.  These are in line with all the previous DVD releases in their respective franchises.  That leaves extras, which all have, including cast interviews on Marriage, deleted scenes on the other discs, cast photo shoot, director diaries and wedding video on Noah and four-part making of featurette on Family.


If these franchises continue, we’ll see if they reflect the changes that are about to happen.



-   Nicholas Sheffo


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