[DVD review]A poor fit for any given ‘Sunday’

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[DVD review]A poor fit for any given ‘Sunday’


The antics of Durell (Ice Cube, left) and LeeJohn (Tracy Morgan) can’t manage to save “First Sunday.” [MovieWeb]

I have a taste for stereotypes in movies, depending on their genre. Besides the obvious necessity for the script to be impeccable, action flicks are best when a sexy middle-aged gentleman is handy with high-tech gadgets; romance is enchanting if the good-looking actor and actress overcome tragedy or adversity; comedy is hilarious if the cast includes a laugh-out-loud funny African-American comedian, as seen in the “Rush Hour” series and “White Chicks.”

Unfortunately, not all movies turn out to be great. Only few get nominated for awards or become box office hits. “First Sunday” will not be one.

I was somewhat disappointed with the script and was utterly annoyed with the fact that the actors couldn’t salvage, but instead worsened, the storyline. Every single gesture and dialogue line was unremarkable.

Durell Washington (Ice Cube) and LeeJohn Jackson (Tracy Morgan) are a pair of petty criminals. They plan to rob a neighborhood church when one realizes that his son could be taken away and another is threatened by a group of thugs.

In the church, they face several moments questioning their morals and conscience. LeeJohn thinks that the eyes of Jesus and Martin Luther King Jr.’s are following all his moves, but the movie leaves the subject hanging, as the “eyes” are never mentioned again.

Then action starts to deviate from story when LeeJohn becomes all fatherly and empathetic to a little kid who was never taught how to tuck his shirt in, like him. Another ridiculous scene is when Tianna (Malinda Williams), a churchgoer too sexily dressed, and Durell spark a romance when he magically fixes the air conditioner that has never functioned properly. But again, this goes nowhere; LeeJohn immediately goes back to being an immature adult and Durell smiles lovingly at his wife in the end.

Throughout the movie, I don’t think I laughed once, not even came close to a smirk. Nothing in the movie was clear, polished or, worst of all, funny.

I wasn’t all that interested in the DVD’s special features but at least this one had a little more meat than the movie. First it had commentary from director David Talbert, several deleted scenes, outtakes, footage of Ice Cube, Morgan and Talbert talking about how awesome the movie would turn out, and interviews of each cast member, which I didn’t bother to watch.

Watching the outtakes was probably the only time I came close to erasing my scowl.

Watch this movie only if you want to see how surprisingly unfunny a movie can be with an entire cast of pretty well-known actors.

By Su-jeong Choi Contributing Writer[sc523@cornell.edu]

*First Sunday Comedy, Crime / English 96 min.
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