Friday, August 25, 2006

Outkast blast, it's a gas!

When it comes to Idlewild, there is good news, and then there is great news, because the last big blast of the summer -- or, if you prefer, the first great movie of the fall -- also happens to be one of the very best movies of the year. Andre Benjamin and Antwan A. Patton -- better known as Andre 3000 and Big Boi, and better still known as Outkast -- have joined forces with filmmaker Bryan Barber, the visionary director of Outkast's best videos, to create a visually stunning, emotionally thrilling and kinetically exhilarating musical that nominally is set during the Prohibition Era in small-town Georgia, but substitutes and/or intermingles throbbing hip-hop melodies with the more period-appropriate sounds of jazz, swing, soul and blues. Indeed, the wall-to-wall musical score references just about every post-WWI musical influence imaginable, and the excitingly sensual dance sequences -- often photographed in the "bullet time" style of martial-arts epics and Matrix-style sci-fi thrillers -- suggest a mashed-up amalgam of '20 speakeasies, '40s dancehalls and contemporary dusk-to-dawn raves. Barber isn't afraid to go for over-the-top emotion -- call it hip-hopera, and you won't be far off the mark -- and his boldly free-form storytelling style incorporates everything from CGI visuals to the stutter-stop editing of Jean-Luc Godard. As the Outkast guys might exclaim: "Hey, ya!"


Reel Fanatic said...

Thanks for the good word on "Idlewild" .. The three new songs I've managed to hear from the soundtrack all sound great, and OutKast can do no wrong by me, so I'll definitely be seeing this one .. however, I must confess, I'm gonna go see "Beerfest" first .. I'm just a sucker for silly comedies

ThinMe said...

What I liked best about this frsh, inventive film is that it unafraid to create and exist in it's own world. And what a world!

My 19-year-old son and I both liked it and the audience was pretty diverse so I see wide appeal for this one. One thing that did surprise me a little about the audience was the preponderance of couples -- apparently Idlewild is being perceived as more of a date movie that I had expected.