Monday, June 14, 2010

Lost & Found: 30 Years To Life

This is not Tracy Morgan doing standup, this is Tracy Morgan playing a standup in the 2001 film 30 Years To Life. The movie is sort of a revelation because:

1. it appears to be mostly overlooked despite Tracy Morgan now being a big tv and film star. to wit, this 2007 GQ profile/primer on Tracy Morgan covers a lot of ground but doesn't even mention it in passing. total blind spot. maybe Tracy doesn't like it and has put the muzzle on it...

2. it has Tracy Morgan *acting* like himself before he got the 30 Rock break. it's no Will Smith break out, but certainly the most leash I've seen him given in anything.

3. all-in-all it's actually pretty good. Not knocking Eternal Sunshine out my top spot, but as good as any rom-com sitcom-y type movie I've seen. Writer/director Vanessa Middleton sounds a little bitter-and-bruised in this interview, but she might have reason:

In the meantime the last five “black” films released are “All About the Benjamins” (New Line) starring Ice Cube, “State Property” (Lions Gate) starring Jay-Z and Beanie Sigel, “How High” (Universal) starring Method Man and Redman, “The Wash” (Lions Gate) starring Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg, and “Bones” (New Line) starring Snoop Dogg. Each of these companies turned us down.

Unless there's a sleeper in that bunch I'm pretty sure it's much better than all those.

You should watch it (it's available streaming on Netflix), and see if you don't have your eyes opened a little. If you're an anti-sitcom person, like me, you might have to suppress some gagging in the first 15-20 minutes as it sets up and settles in, but the film works through that and the characters open up nicely as it goes on. a nice refreshing breeze of a film...

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