Entertainment: +2
Acceptability: -4

In business, the financial bottom line is what counts. In network television, that translates to ratings, ratings, ratings. Without a strong Nielsen rating, networks cannot charge what theyd like for advertising, and therefore make more money, thus the emphasis on ratings. In BAMBOOZLED, the latest offering from director Spike Lee, Pierre Delacroix (Damon Wayans) develops shows for one struggling network, yet none of his ideas have actually made it onto the air. But after an ultimatum from his executive boss, Dunwitty (Michael Rapaport), Pierres job is in jeopardy. Assuming hell probably lose his job anyway, Pierre comes up with the most outrageous idea he can think of. He decides to cast what amounts to a throwback of the old time black face minstrel show (white actors wearing dark make-up to present black music and jokes). Even though Pierre does it to make a satirical point about the value of his earlier work, the executives love the idea and the racially charged show becomes a hit. Starting off well with a biting commentary on the state of network television today, BAMBOOZLED eventually loses steam, and weakens its big ending.

Spike Lee films are often embedded with racial themes, as he records his perspective on racial issues of the day. Concerned with the conduct of network television toward predominantly black shows as well as the faults of black executives in the industry, Lee crafts this satirical look at networks by using a television show so offensive and over the top that his point will be made humorously. That aspect of the film works fairly well, as Lee gets his point across about the lack of quality shows because of the lack of black writers and producers. And the characters themselves struggle with their ethnic roots in the industry. However, the characters also speak a significant amount of sexual dialogue, including comments about male genitals and unconventional sex acts. Also included is incessant foul language, with 80 f-words and 60 s-words. Although it carries an important message, frequent obscenities and sexually explicit language leave BAMBOOZLED in a moral darkness.

Preview Reviewer: John Adair
Distributor: New Line Cinema, 888 7th Ave., 20th Floor, NY, NY 10106

Crude Language: Many (29) times - Mild 13, moderate 16
Obscene Language: Many (145) times - F-word 80, s-word 60, other 5
Profanity: Many (13) times - Regular 9 (GD); Exclamatory 4 (OMG)
Violence: Several times Moderate (people shot, man slapped, man dragged from building)
Sexual Intercourse: None
Nudity: None; Near Nudity - Once (women in bikinis)
Homosexual Conduct: Once (man makes joke about homosexual sex act)
Sexually Suggestive Action/Dialog: Many times (people ask one another about their sexual activity, comments regarding unconventional sex, people discuss nude man, references to male genitals, woman denies having sex on first date, people discuss womans breasts, discussion about whether woman uses unconventional sex to get ahead in business)
Drug Abuse: Several times (alcohol, smoking)
Other: N-word used in variety of ways over 75 times; satire used as an agent for change; movie theme focus on TV neglect to air ethnically equal television shows/ hiring of ethnic minorities in TV industry
Running Time: 140 minutes
Intended Audience: Adults

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