Anthony Mackie, VP of a biotech company, learns the hard way that no good deed goesunpunished. When he blows the whistle on the corporation’s misdeeds, he is the one who windsup losing his job and being investigated. Given his desperate straits, he agrees to impregnate, fora price, his ex-girlfriend and her girlfriend. So begins a new business for our hero: stud-for-hireto well-heeled lesbians. The two tales intertwine, and sex and capitalism/corruption collide whenMackie i…pregnates Monica Belluci, daughter of crime boss John Turturro.
Spike Lee handles the corporate corruption story well, ably abetted by steely villainous turnsby Woody Harrelson and Ellen Barkin. As for the other plot, well, no one ever accused Lee ofbeing a feminist, and they aren’t about to stop now: his parade of superhot lipstick lesbians, notto mention what they require of Mackie, is pure, and rather pathetic, male fantasy, doing theother part of the film no favours. And then there’s the unfortunate fact that a 138 minute runningtime is half again as long as any comedy should run, even one with so many dramatic elements,the case could be made that this is two different genres stapled together.
The score is given a powerful mix here, big, strong and loud. The sound design isn’tcompletely immersive, but there are some very impressive instances of placement (notice howthe sound of a paper shredder lures Mackie in the direction of the appropriate speaker). Theredialogue has a slight bit of harshness to it, but isn’t the end of the world.
For the most part, the image is sharp, though there are a few, less well-lit sequences, wherefeatures become very soft in the middle distance. Colours, contrasts and blacks are very good,and there is no grain to speak of. There is some edge enhancement visible, but it isn’tdistracting.
Spike Lee’s commentary has its share of shout-outs and a few silences, but it is alsoengagingly political and delves into the ideas behind the film, as well as behind-the-scenesaspecdts. The making-of featurette is the usual promotional thing. There are seven deletedscenes, and an equal number of trailers. The menu is basic.
Lee remains a provocative filmmaker, but one begins to wonder if the Woody Allensyndrome hasn’t set in, and we will perpetually look back at the much stronger work of a stillprolific director.
Special Features List
- Director’s Commentary
- Deleted Scenes
- Making-of Featurette