IDLEWILD

Malignant Morgue Music

Content -4
Quality
None Light Moderate Heavy
Language        
Violence        
Sex        
Nudity        

Release Date: August 25, 2006

Starring: Andre Benjamin, Big Boi, Paula
Patton, Terrance Howard,
Faizon Love, Malinda Williams,
Cicely Tyson, Macy Gray, Ben
Vereen, Paula Jai Parker,
Bobb’e J. Thompson, Patti
LaBelle, Ving Rhames, Jackie
Long, Oscar Dillon

Genre: Musical Drama

Audience: Adults

Rating: R

Runtime: 90 minutes

Distributor: Universal

Director: Bryan Barber

Executive Producer: Robert Guralnick, Charles
Roven

Producer: William Green, Scott Macaulay,
Robin O’Hara

Writer: Bryan Barber

Address Comments To:

[Tom, Justin and Dr. Baehr have the list, so ignore]

Content:

(PaPaPa, C, B, LLL, VVV, SSS, NN, A, D, M ) Blatant pagan worldview where the main characters strive to make money selling alcohol, sex and music, as well as brief Christian worldview elements where family members plead for main characters to repent and come to church; More than 23 obscenities and 12 profanities, liberal use of the “n-word”, one character in particular was vulgar and abusive in the extreme; brutal beatings and point-blank shootings with blood splattering and man prepares to attempt suicide; two graphic fornication scenes and young boys get under a table to look up women’s dresses; prolonged scenes with topless dancers and additional scene of topless woman; heavy use of alcohol with animated talking whisky flask and scenes of prohibition era alcohol running, including participation by young boys; cigar smoking; and, dishonesty and impersonation.

Summary:

DLEWILD is a music-video style look at immorality in 1920s African American society in a mythical Southern town. It contains brief references to repentance, church attendance and God’s supreme authority, but focuses with close-up lenses on the violence, sex, alcohol and profanity of speakeasy gangsters and their clients.

Review:

IDLEWILD is a music-video style look at immorality in 1920s African American society in a mythical Southern town. It contains brief references to repentance, church attendance and God’s supreme authority, but focuses with close-up lenses on the violence, sex, alcohol and profanity of speakeasy gangsters and their clients. At times the movie tries to be a musical with some visually impressive dance sequences, including a classic one during the end credits, but even there the song and dance celebrates sensuality.

The movie opens with two young boys growing up during the credits. One is the son of the local mortician. The other is a business savvy alcohol runner. Both are musically inclined. As a grown-up Percival (Andre’ Benjamin) works days with his father in the morgue and at night plays the piano at the speakeasy — know as “Church.” His friend Rooster (Big Boi) is the gregarious star performer at “Church.” Rooster has a wife and children that want him out of the nasty business and in a real church. Percival is similarly capable of being the respectful mortician during the day and the wild piano player at night.

Unfortunately for both, the speakeasy is owned by a vulgar dirty gangster being pressured by a cleaner bigger gangster. Both are brutally murdered by third thug named Trumpy played by Terrence Howard. Rooster is left to run the speakeasy but is put under even greater pressure to come up with lots of money fast. Percival falls for Angel (Paula Patton), a singer brought in from Chicago to increase speakeasy attendance.

Rooster’s wife and children leave him. At one point Rooster is running for his life and winds up stuck behind a car stopped in the road. He grabs is gun and goes to investigate only to find a mother and her children have been told by God to park in the middle of this dirt road for seven hours and wait. Rooster gives the mother a handful of money and gets declared an angel sent by God.

IDLEWILD contains brutal beatings, bloody killings, graphic sex, topless dancing and more than enough vulgarity to earn its R-rating. There is no good reason for making a movie laden with such graphic immorality. The bad reason for making such a movie is the same reason speakeasies existed — to try to make money off of people’s sinful nature. The filmmakers appeared to know right from wrong, but chose to wallow in evil behavior like pigs in a mud puddle. The story does not lead one to repentance, even though several references are made to it. The song and dance gets happier at the end but not because of a turn to God.

Sadly, the movie speaks volumes about what remains problematic in African American communities today. Much of the popular African American music of today is referred to as gangster rap and can be vulgar and violent. At the same time African Americans have a strong tradition of Gospel singing. The screening attended by this reviewer was hosted by an African American radio station whose deejay entertained the audience waiting for the premier. She made several references to God and even joked that if the film contained any sex or violence a group of children in the audience should have their eyes and ears covered. One wonders who would bring children to see this movie.

IDLEWILD is an immorality festival put on by people who clearly know better.

In Brief:

IDLEWILD is a music-video style look at immorality in 1920s African American society in a mythical Southern town. It contains brief references to repentance, church attendance and God’s supreme authority, but focuses with close-up lenses on the violence, sex, alcohol and profanity of speakeasy gangsters and their clients. At times the movie tries to be a musical with some visually impressive dance sequences, including a classic one during the end credits, but even there the song and dance celebrates sensuality.

IDLEWILD contains brutal beatings, bloody killings, graphic sex, topless dancing and more than enough vulgarity to earn its R-rating. There is no good reason for making a movie laden with such graphic immorality. The bad reason for making such a movie is the same reason speakeasies existed — to try to make money off of people’s sinful nature.

The filmmakers appeared to know right from wrong, but chose to wallow in evil behavior like pigs in a mud puddle. The story does not lead one to repentance, even though several references are made to it. The song and dance gets happier at the end but not because of a turn to God. IDLEWILD is an immorality festival put on by people who clearly know better.