Baggage Claim

September 27, 2013 by  
Filed under Cody, Reviews

Starring: Paula Patton, Derek Luke, Taye Diggs
Directed by: David E. Talbert (“First Sunday”)
Written by: David E. Talbert (“First Sunday”)

In “Baggage Claim,” Montana (Paula Patton) is a flight attendant who finds herself single 30 days before her younger sister is set to get married. With the help of her friends in the airline business, she finds which of her exes will be on cross country flights and “accidently” bumps into them, trying to reignite a passion so she can have a date to the wedding, and potentially find a husband.

One of the biggest issues with “Baggage Claim” is its message and flaw of its main character through most of the film. Montana is essentially trying to force a marriage, constantly whining about how she doesn’t have a husband. So in return, the audience is treated to a dreadful series of “meet cutes” in which she spends time with people who are completely wrong for her, and the relationships come unglued in “humorous” ways. It’s annoying to watch, especially considering how weak and dependent on others this character is written. Worse so, Patton clearly isn’t ready to anchor a film, giving an over-enthusiastic performance filled with overacting and a useless, and completely inauthentic sounding voiceover.

Nearly every supporting character is a stereotype. There’s the gay friend, the sassy and slutty friend, the overbearing mother. In fact, as the ex-boyfriends are paraded out, the list of characters grows and there isn’t an interesting one in the bunch. The only worthwhile relationship in the entire film is the one between Montana and best friend/neighbor Langston (Taye Diggs). It’s one of the few things the film does decently.

“Baggage Claim” isn’t funny, charming, genuine, or anything you’d hope a movie from the rom com genre would be. Instead, it’s a hokey romantic story about trying to force love when it isn’t there. The script is bad, nearly every joke misses, and, even worse, Patton has easily hit a career low with her terrible performance. Watch out all you other garbage cinema…”Baggage Claim” is going to fly away with your Razzies.

First Sunday

January 7, 2008 by  
Filed under Reviews

Starring: Ice Cube, Tracy Morgan, Katt Williams
Directed by: David E. Talbert (debut)
Written by: David E. Talbert (debut)

Someone save Ice Cube from the embarrassment. While your at it, tell Tracy Morgan he’s as funny as “The Tracy Morgan Show,” which, of course, was cancelled after one dismal season. Oh, also, let Katt Williams know he isn’t Dave Chappelle, just in case he wasn’t aware. With the combination of these three comedic weaklings in the new film “First Sunday,” it’s safe to say we haven’t seen this pathetic of a performance from a trio since last year’s “Aqua Teen Hunger Force” movie. And at least they had a snarky wad of meat on their team.

In “First Sunday,” a film which is obviously trying to ride the coattails of Terry Perry’s over-appreciated Madea comedies, friends Durell (Ice Cube) and LeeJohn (Morgan) need money and need it fast. Both have to pay back a dangerous gang of Jamaicans for losing a shipment of custom wheelchairs they were supposed to sell (huh?). Durell needs even more money because his ex has decided to move with their son to another city because she doesn’t have enough money to keep her hairstyle business open (Tiffany Polland of “I Love New York” and “Flavor of Love” reality fame makes her screen debut in a cameo).

What it all comes down to is that Durell is a deadbeat father, who can’t hold down a job or stay out of trouble long enough to help out with his son. Director/writer David E. Talbert, however, wants us to believe that somewhere in Durell there is heart. Not much evidence of this is show in the film’s 98 minute runtime.

When a judge sentences Durell and LeeJohn to 5,000 hours of community service for their latest fiasco in the streets (although he could have thrown them in jail because of their rap sheet), the duo simply doesn’t have time to get a full time job to pay the debts they owe.

During a community service outing, Durell and LeeJohn decide to chase some skirt into a church and stay for the service. While listening to the word of the Lord, they find out the church is raising money to move out of the ghetto and have already collected thousand of dollars for the relocation.

For whatever reason (probably the idiocy of Talbert), the two believe the money they need is inside the church (churches can’t get bank accounts apparently). They decide, of course, to rob the church but are surprised when they are caught by the Deacon and must take everyone who is having a late-night meeting hostage until they find out where the money is.

Humorless, witless and poorly written (there’s a scene where Durell sends his son off to school and then goes to Sunday mass. School on Sunday?), Talbert starts his career off with a major bomb. It took until at least February of last year to find a film that was worthless from start to finish (“Because I Said So”). This year, the belittling comes a bit early because of “First Sunday.”