Discussion in 'Movies' started by Robert Crawford, Sep 18, 2003.

  1. Robert Crawford

    Robert Crawford Moderator

    Dec 9, 1998
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    This thread is now the Official Review Thread for "The Fighting Temptations". Please post all HTF member reviews in this thread.

    Any other comments, links to other reviews, or discussion items will be deleted from this thread without warning!

    If you need to discuss those type of issues then I have designated an Official Discussion Thread.

  2. Scott Weinberg

    Scott Weinberg Lead Actor

    Oct 3, 2000
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    The Fighting Temptations ([​IMG] out of 5)

    Think of the worst thing you can possibly imagine. Then add Cuba Gooding Jr. to the mix. Does his presence make "the worst thing you can possibly imagine" better...or worse?

    I'm not sure if it's Cuba Gooding who chooses his own scripts, but my guess is this: he keeps every script he's ever been sent and he spreads them out all over the floor of his house. Whichever script his cat craps on first is the movie he opts to star in next.

    Yeah, yeah, pretty harsh and seemingly brutal, eh? Unfair? Let's look at the evidence...although it's pretty irritating that I have to do this each and every time Cuba shows up with his unique brand of cineplex suckitude.

    Since his Oscar win for 1996's Jerry Maguire, Cuba has subjected the world to a string of cinematic atrocities so profound that it simply boggles the mind of anyone not named (or employed by) Cuba Gooding Jr. Sit through any three of these titles (Chill Factor, Instinct, Men of Honor, Pearl Harbor, Rat Race, Snow Dogs, Boat Trip) and I guarantee you'll start a petition to get Cuba's Oscar revoked immediately. What's most sobering (and horrifying if you're a movie critic) is this: not only does Cuba have an alarming knack for starring in awful movies...but he's consistently the worst thing in each one! When he's not keening and shucking and jiving and behaving altogether spastically, Cuba kicks into full-on "dramatic mode" and the results are unquestionably more amusing.

    Simply put: not a Cuba fan.

    So this new one stars Cuba Gooding and whatever pop star it is who's particularly photogenic these days. For those of you interested in what it's about...take a deep breath:

    Cuba's old Southern auntie drops dead and in her will she leaves him...the stewardship of a church choir. And there's more. Her will also stipulates that Cuba gets a big bagful of money if he can coach the church choir into the state championships.

    Here's an experiment: go ask a loved one if they'd like to go see a movie and then rattle off the above plot synopsis of Cuba Gooding Jr.'s The Fighting Temptations. Count how many open-mouthed gapes you earn.

    That such an expansive piece of cinematic flotsam could come courtesy of director Jonathan (My Cousin Vinny, Clue, Greedy, Trial and Error) Lynn is truly disappointing. By my reckoning, The Fighting Temptations is the only awful movie he's delivered to date. But it's awful on a rather large scale.

    Precisely how many ways can a movie suck on a consistent basis? Comedy bits that were considered old-school back in Truman's era, a stunningly obnoxious lead character who infects every single scene, a collection of supporting caricatures so banal and generic they defy logic, muddled musical sequences that only serve as a respite to the mind-numbing narrative, a host of treacly little 'messages' that aptly illustrate the base and maudlin nature of the hack screenplay, a series of plot contrivances that all but scream their contempt for an audience's intelligence...

    Bah. I give up. Faceless lowest-common-denominator product like The Fighting Temptations exist because they turn a profit. Apparently there's some sort of worldwide plague out there that causes people to crave the exact same schpiel over and over and over. This explains how the glorified TV movie called Double Jeopardy and the stunningly awful race comedy Bringing Down the House each made a depressingly massive amount of money.

    A few years back some clever screenwriter pitched the following concept: "It's Doc Hollywood meets Sister Act...only we sell it to the urban market!" And now the flick finally flops into view. Do yourself a favor and never see it.
  3. Chris

    Chris Lead Actor

    Jul 4, 1997
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    0 / [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]

    Saw for free today. I wish they could pay me for the time I lost.

    This movie is basically Sister Act with Cuba Gooding.. but even though Whoopi is one of my least favorite actors, at least that film manages to have good timing for the bits, and a decent storyline.

    The story behind this film is unfathomable. It makes little sense and doesn't even try to gain any before it ends.

    Scott made the comparison of this film is a hybrid of Sister Act & Doc Hollywood. Let me say that criticism is unfounded. Doc Hollywood is a far better film then this can ever dream of.

    The coaching segments seem to be ripped out of an attempt to create "Hoosiers" amongst a choir(?) and there are moments that occur within the church that will have several people gritting their teeth in agony over how thoughtless and in bad taste the scenes are done. The sad part is, they aren't even done with any comic effect, it just seems almost accidental and adds nothing to the film.

    If you want to say this film is a combination of two other things, here's a better example:

    It's at best a cross between the TV version of "Fame", NBC's "227" and ESPN's broadcasts of Jr. High Cheerleading competitions.

    Cuba has pretty much decided to throw his career away on bad projects and quick money. Que Sera, Cuba.

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