Mo' Better Blues (Blu-ray)
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Blu-ray Disc Features:
- Rated: R
- Run Time: 2 hours, 10 minutes
- Video: Color
- Encoding: Region 1 (USA & Canada)
- Released: February 4, 2020
- Originally Released: 1990
- Label: KL Studio Classics
- Note: Audio Commentary by Film Critic Kameron Austin Collins
- Theatrical Trailer
- Aspect Ratio: Widescreen - 1.85
- Subtitles - English
Performers, Cast and Crew:
|Starring||Denzel Washington & Spike Lee|
|Performer:||Wesley Snipes, Giancarlo Esposito, Robin Harris, Joie Lee, Bill Nunn, Cynda Williams, John Turturro, Dick Anthony Williams, Nicholas Turturro, Samuel L. Jackson, Charlie Murphy, Abbey Lincoln & Rubén Blades|
|Directed by||Spike Lee|
|Edited by||Sam Pollard|
|Screenwriting by||Spike Lee|
|Composition by||Bill Lee|
|Produced by||Spike Lee|
|Director of Photography:||Ernest Dickerson|
Despite stylish camerawork and sturdy acting, this lengthy indulgence succeeds neither as jazz movie nor as cautionary tale. Full Review
Rating: B+ -- It's a burning, feeling film of impulses, bringing out the best in the filmmaker, who used to create miniature moviegoing events with his releases, before He Got Game came along and smothered his good taste. Full Review
Rating: 4/5 -- It's tight, suspenseful, funny and packed with great music. Full Review
...Seductive, engaging....[Lee is] terrific at ambience, at a real feeling for backstage talk...
Los Angeles Times
Rating: 3.5/4 -- Full of wonderful music, grand visuals, and melodramatic plot twists, the movie is laced with very funny moments, as well as interesting insights into the world of jazz and the plight of the dedicated musician. Full Review
For the only time in his remarkable career, Spike Lee has failed to tell it like it is.
Rating: 3/5 -- Spike Lee's film is filled with promising ideas and moments of technical virtuosity.
Spike Lee ventures into the world of jazz music with this stylish romantic drama. Forced by his mother to study the trumpet, Bleek Gilliam (Denzel Washington) has grown up to become the leader of a successful jazz quintet. Managed by his inept friend, Giant (Lee), Bleek clashes with fellow band member Shadow Henderson (Wesley Snipes). Making matters worse is Bleek's romantic situation: trying to balance two different women at the same time--schoolteacher Indigo Downes (Joie Lee) and aspiring singer Clarke Bentancourt (Cynda Williams). In a hysterical moment, the line is blurred when, while making love, Bleek calls each woman by the other's name. As he struggles to keep the quintet alive and flourishing, he must decide once and for all what it is he really wants: Indigo, Clarke, or his trumpet. The son of jazz musician Bill Lee, who contributes music to the film, Lee has written a script that crackles with witty behind-the-scenes banter that feels natural and fresh. Ernest R. Dickerson's camera moves at an even brisker pace than in other Lee films, which compliments the bouncy soundtrack, making MO' BETTER BLUES an entertaining ride.
Top jazz trumpet player Bleek Gilliam is obsessed by his music but indecisive about his two girlfriends. When his manager and childhood friend gets into trouble because of compulsive gambling, Bleek comes to his aid only to discover that his world is more fragile than he ever imagined. MO' BETTER BLUES is directed by Spike Lee and stars Lee; his sister, Joie; Denzel Washington; Cynda Williams; and Welsey Snipes.
Buddies | Romance | Suspense | Thriller | Love Triangle | Theatrical Release | Jazz | Love Triangles | Jazz Musicians
- Theatrical release: August 3, 1990.
- Filmed at the Empire Sound Stages in Long Island City, and in Brooklyn and New York, New York. Filming began September 25, 1989, and completed December 1, 1989.
- Estimated budget: $10-12 million.
- The film screened at the 1990 Venice Film Festival in competition and the Goodwill Film Festival.
- MO' BETTER BLUES was the last screen appearance for the late comedic actor Robin Harris, who also appeared in HOUSE PARTY and in Lee's DO THE RIGHT THING.