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Boiler Room (2000)
Seth has been running a card room from his apartment. He makes a good living and is content. One night he starts a late night game for an old friend and his associate. Greg (Nicky Katt) plunks down a fat roll of money. Seth is intrigued. Greg senses this and he likes Seth's spunk, so he invites him to interview for a position at his stock firm. Seth is a bit cautious, but he is thrilled to be going legit. He wants nothing more than to please his father, a federal judge who hates Seth's home business. His father is worried that his career will end if he is associated with his son. Hoping to mend his relationship with his father, Seth goes for it.
Seth proves to be very good at getting folks to part with their money. Not only is he good at making money, he has also attracted the attention of the receptionist Abby (Nia Long). This causes tension between Seth and Greg because Greg is used to being the shining star and Abby is his ex. Greg is extremely jealous and gives Seth a hard time, but Seth and Abby begin to build a relationship anyway.
Eventually, Seth begins to notice a few things that don't add up and realizes that he is actually scamming people when he thought he was legit. This realization leads to an anti-climatic ending, but it does help his relationship with his dad.
"Boiler Room" was just disgusting.
Forty white guys were running a stock scam on other white guys, and in the process making millions of dollars. What's disgusting? Well they were pigs. They had no respect for black folks - "Nigger Rich" - to be making all kinds of money, but still living from paycheck to paycheck. They had no respect for women - "we do not pitch the bitch" -meaning they don't sell stocks to woman. It's cool and funny to pretend to be black and talk like someone out of the hood. "Shooooot niggah, you be trippin'. Pass the muddah fuggin weed, beatch." I was seriously the only black person watching this movie, and I was beyond upset to hear all the white folks laughing at the mockery. That stuff wasn't funny. It was ridiculous.
The entire soundtrack is rap music, so I guess that's part of rebelling against the system. In fact, in the opening monologue, the main character quotes Biggie Smalls. According to Biggie, it's about making fast money. You can sell crack or you can have a wicked jump shot. Seth Green (Giovanni Ribisi) has opted to sell "white boy crack" - stocks.
There was a redeeming quality or two in this movie. I was touched by Seth's devotion to his father. He was doing all of this to earn his father's love, affection and respect. That much I could relate to.
Why haven't I mentioned Ben Affleck? Well because all he did was pop up now and then to cuss out the new recruits and belittle them. While he said a few amusing things, he was a waste of space.
Once again Nia Long is playing the long-suffering black woman. I'm so tired of her getting stuck as the girlfriend. She is always on the fringe of the story. I was through (y'all hear me?) through when Seth asked her for some chocolate loving. AND unbelievably through, when he called him on it, assuming that because she was black she was taking care of her sick grandma cause her mama was a crack head. You know that stereotype. Anyway Abby reveals that she has to deal with the sexism and racism because she makes 80 thousand a year, which is enough to care for her ailing mother. BAM! Why even try and front him when it's partially true, and why do we always have to put up with a bunch of nonsense because we have a sick parent at home. We all don't have sick parents at home and we all weren't raised by our grandmothers. My mama raised me and she is not locked up in my extra bedroom... sick. I would have been more impressed if she was socking that money away to open her own business.
This movie reminded me of "Fight Club" without all the violence - White male angst and anger. I think part of the message was about getting a piece of the pie by bucking the system. I saw it as a bunch of spoiled rich white guys satisfying their every whim - be it drugs, cars, homes, food or women. And of course the other message was dealing with parental relationships, which anyone can understand
I can see it now. There are going to be critics who claim this is the best film of the year. Whatever. Compared to the crap that's out there now it sure is, but I wouldn't start dusting of a spot on the shelf for the award.
If you disagree with me, fine write to me and tell me. But don't send me no mess. If you can't disagree respectfully, then don't bother. I'm tired of all the rude and nasty mail over "Fight Club" and "Being John Malkovich".
Folks have been getting straight up rabid over these two films and I suspect they will be going nuts over "Boiler Room" . Just because I don't like a film does not make me an idiot. Hell, I didn't say "Jesus is Black" I said I didn't get "Being John Malkovich". People are acting like I shot a pilgrim and spit on the flag. Get over it.
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More 3 Black Chicks... review(s) for this week:|
(movies released on 2/18/00):
Hanging Up | Freedom Song (sneak preview)
The Whole Nine Yards | Whatever Happened To Micheal Ray?
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