Down to Earth
WHAT'S IT ABOUT?
An aspiring black comic (Rock) moonlighting as a bike messenger gets run over by a truck while on the job. As fate may have it, he dies and ends up at the pearly gates of Heaven. He later finds out that "they" made a mistake (meaning to say, he died before his time) and that they're willing to give him another body to make up for it. So he gets reincarnated as a 55-year old white millionaire and later resumes his dream of becoming a stand up comic.
IS IT A GOOD MOVIE?
I've been a longtime fan of Chris Rock ever since his early Saturday Night Live days. The man's one of the most intelligent and dirtiest comics out there but how he ended up agreeing to star in this PG-13 lamefest is beyond me. What we get in this movie is a toned down version of the foul mouthed comedian, call it "Rock Lite" or "Diet Rock". And it's sad because the idea of a young black dude running around in an old white man's body has so much laugh potential and yet the movie just doesn't deliver here. The jokes don't hit their marks and the comedy gets side-tracked by an unbelievably farfetched romantic subplot. In fact, watching Rock play the gushy and schmaltzy Casanova figure was funnier (unintentionally) than most of the scripted humor. The biggest problem with the film was that they didn't show enough shots of the white guy acting like Rock. For the record, I laughed out loud ONCE during the entire picture (when we see the old man singing along to Snoop Doggy Dogg's "Gin and Juice" while in his Rolls Royce). Give us more of the old cracker acting stupid, dammit! The film rates as a disappointment overall, and would definitely have been improved with a spicier script and a R-rating.
The "showcase" extra on the DVD is a 10-minute behind the scenes "Making Of" documentary which scores extremely high on the fluffiness scale. We get brief interviews with Rock, directors Paul and Chris Weitz (of AMERICAN PIE fame) as well as the rest of the cast. They also briefly mention that the film was inspired by HEAVEN CAN WAIT, a movie that starred Warren Beatty with a similar premise. Rounding out the extras is the original theatrical trailer. The DVD's menus, much like the rest of the added supplements, suck the proverbial big one and offer no sound or animation
Considering how tame the movie is and how much it lacked in the laughs department (always a bad sign for a comedy), there really isn't any reason to spend any money on this crappy DVD. The extras, much like the feature presentation, are awful too. Stay away from this one, you'll thank me later.