Never a director to slouch, Spike Lee packs every mixed metaphor and oversold point he can into this seriously overlong and often foolishly misguided attempt to dissect the role of blacks in entertainment through the ages. Shot in an unappetizing, unrelentingly muddy video format, Lee makes a lot of shrewd observations about the nation's unhealthy obsession with buffoonery, but often shoots himself in the foot (and other places) trying to execute these ideas. Typically a director whose films have a bursting visual vitality, Lee's movie suffers from its documentary-like qualities, which blunt the opportunity for ripe satire and make the events a little too realistic to illustrate the often surrealistic tone of the picture. Its parodies of popular commercials have a stinging sense of humor, but the remainder of the film is cursory and eventually wearying. Obviously a personal project for writer/director Lee, this was one of several films released in 2000 that experiment with new film technology, though many viewers were as put off by the look of the picture as by the content.
by Jason Clark review