Review: Brick City a tedious political fluff piece
By April MacIntyre Sep 20, 2009, 20:21 GMT
Mad love for US Actor Forest Whitaker. No love for Brick City. EPA/PETER FOLEY
Docu-drama "Brick City" is hailed by actor and Punk'd auteur Ashton Kutcher as "...outstanding. There is the love story going on but then there is all the drama of everything going on. The amazing thing is that you are watching it feels like a fictional tale but it's not and the fact that you live inside of that every single day is outstanding and I really have to tell you, I really admire the things you do."
Full disclosure before I am accused of being a ditto head, tea partier or racist. I'm not.
What I am is a lifelong registered Independent, who neither watches Glenn Beck or anything with Ashton Kutcher. The earnest efforts of the incredibly talented Executive Producer Forest Whitaker, who I love to watch in anything, smacks of pure political manipulation and fluff for a comely Obama doppelgänger named Cory Booker. And, it's way too long.
Sundance Channel will air this series Mon.-Fri. September 21-25, at 10 p.m.
Mayor Cory Booker is handsome, young and single, and he has the energy to deal with one of the most cocked-up American cities on the east coast: Newark, New Jersey.
In an ode to The Wire, with a dash of some MTV Real World efforts, producers weave stories of the Brick City amidst glowing, near Panglossian efforts to revive Newark, N.J., while showing the challenges facing the police and inner-city residents trying to break the murderous cycle of drugs, gangs and crime.
We even have an ode to Romeo and Juliet; a Crip falls in love with a Blood, there's hope for us all!
But wait, the pregnant Blood is cheated on by her Creep Crip (his actual name) and the fairytale ends. Side note: Interesting to see how easy it is to sashay into a government office and become a "non profit" and get federal funds.
Well, lots of Mayors, good ones all over the US, are doing the exact same thing as Booker, but why focus on him?
Whitaker must have crossed paths during the Halcyon days of giddy ObamaNation building and must have noticed the incredible similarities in educational rags-to-riches stories, combined with Booker's catnip camera-ready charisma.
Booker is a total package; he is eloquent, sexy, thinks on his feet and has aspirations of much more politically, down the road.
You can almost see a future Oprah episode: America's most eligible bachelor, who will be Cory's first lady?
Shot over several months in 2008, the series takes you along with Cory as he navigates the populace and wheels and deals, while his minions listen and jot down ideas on their notepads.
Filmmakers Marc Levin and Mark Benjamin share producing credit with actor Forest Whitaker.