28 December 2005

All About the Benjamins

This gangsta flick stars former N.W.A./Westside Connection rapper Ice Cube as cop named Bucum and Mike Epps as a criminal named Reggie. They try to foil two diamond thieves so that Reggie can get his lotto ticket back and be rich. Reggie has problems of his own; he got accused of trying to shoot Bucum, but eventually they settle with each other and try to catch the tehieves.

I had been tracking this movie since i was 11, but my parents woulnd't let me watch it since it was rated R---btw, R for "strong violence, pervasive language and brief sexuality." (Courstesy Yahoo Movies) But on Tuesday evening, i tuned into UPN to watch it, and taped it and watched it on Wednesday and today. It didn't seem that rated R to me, but I'll get to that later. Overall the film wasn't that great. Sure, the story is catchy and with the action scenes, but it's juts another one of those gangsta films with the typical generic formula of typical crime movie. I'd give this film a C, I'm sure that there are other films like "Boyz n the Hood" or "Juice" that are much better than this overrated garbage! Sure, you may argue it's good because of Ice Cube, but that's no good excuse.

Now, why did i say the film didn't seem R? Because UPN censored it. Hmm, the MPAA rated the film R for "strong violence, pervasive language and brief sexuality." Strong violence? Yeah, it seems that UPN let the gun fights and wounds through, as there are other show on TV right now like "CSI" or "Law and Order" which get away with this sometimes worse. Pervasive Language? Well, sort of. They let words like "d-mn", "h-ll" go through, but censor out every single use of "a--", "f--k", "s--t", and "n----r" from the original verison. I think it was all the swearing that got the film the R rating. They replace "f--k" with "freak" (such as in "I don't wanna hear yo freakin...") or "s--t" with "spit", "sti" (sometimes you see Bucum saying "bull spit" or "bull sti"). "N----r" is replaced by "trigger" or some other ryming word. Sometimes, the cussing is censored so you see the character's mouth moving even though he/she isn't even saying anything; that seems to be a problem when censoring out "motherf--ker"...sometimes they make the character saying "mother" and let his/her mouth move mutely, sometimes they mute the word out entirely while the characters mouth still moves. (and the funny thing is that the close captions reveal an alternative cuss like "clucker" or "trucker" when the character doesn't say it in the audio) I bet that some violent scenes and sexuality were cut out too. The language censorship is particularly silly, especially since most viewers know what the character was really supposed to say (especially with "bulls--t"...dang FCC!) and the censorship makes it only more obvious what words are missing.

In short, "All About the Benjamins" wasn't as good as i thought it to be. Try and watch some other gang-related movie instead. In the meantime, I'll try and watch "Hustle and FLow" and see if that is any better than this piece of dog poop. Meanwhile, I have no interest in seeing "Deliver Us From Eva" on the wb this friday night, given that this film is just plain mediocre.

No comments: