Jada Pinkett Smith
As a black writer (Wayans) struggles within a television station run mostly by whites, he comes up with a new TV pilot idea which would push the boundaries of acceptable viewing by exaggerating black stereotypes and satirizing America’s racial biases. His show, “Mantan: The New Millenium Minstrel Show” puts two talented black street performers in the spotlight and eventually becomes a huge success, much to the chagrin of the show’s creator.
Regardless of color, blacks and whites are equally slammed for their collective ignorance and stupidity in this film. Lee makes a special point of going after the hip hop culture and the lifestyles they endorse. Look for the imitation Tommy Hilfiger and malt liquor ads which as a social commentary are absolutely hilarious. Wayans and Pinkett deliver decent roles but Tommy Davidson and Savion Glover deserve special mentions for their touching and emotional performances as two men forced to put on black face-paint to entertain entertainment-starved audiences. It was also nice to see hip hop stars Mos Def and The Roots, who despite being musicians, put in some convincing cameos. My biggest beef with the movie was its last 20 minutes or so, which suddenly opted for the Quentin Tarantino school of filmmaking, seeming somewhat out of place and inappropriate. As a whole, Bamboozled is definitely worth a rental and despite its flaws and pacing problems, does a solid job of conveying its message.
Next up is 19 deleted and extended scenes which were cut from the final version of the movie. Most of the selections are kind of short, barely running a minute in time but pretty worthwhile nonetheless. I was pretty stoked to see that within this section were alternate versions and takes of the Timmi Hillnigger and Da Bomb commercials which are definitely worth checking out for comedic value. “Animated Art Gallery” is a quickie 2 and a half minute look at all the promotional posters created for the release of the movie. Set to the soundtrack from the movie, it’s a nice little extra which also presents posters from the Mantan variety show. Music videos for fictional hip hop collective the Mau Mau’s “Blak Iz Blak” and real life crooner Gerald Levert’s “Dream with No Love” as well as the theatrical trailer finish up the extras. While the main menu isn’t animated, it does feature the film's soundtrack in the background.