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Reviews » DVD Video Reviews » Booty Call - The Bootiest Edition
Booty Call - The Bootiest Edition
Columbia/Tri-Star // R // April 13, 2004
List Price: $19.95 [Buy now and save at Amazon]
Review by David Walker | posted April 13, 2004 | E-mail the Author
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What do the movies NOTHING BUT A MAN, CHAMELEON STREET, MELINDA, and KILLER OF SHEEP all have in common? Well, first and foremost, each one of these films is brilliant in its own unique way, and each deals with the African American experience. The more dubious distinction this eclectic mix of film shares is that none of them are available on DVD. That in and of itself is a cinematic tragedy, but when you stop to consider that BOOTY CALL: THE BOOTIEST EDITION has just been released on DVD, the absence of the aforementioned films becomes even more pathetic and shameful.

Now, before I climb up on my soapbox and deride BOOTY CALL, let it be known that I don't hate the film as much as I hate what it represents. Truth be told, I don't even hate the film. On its own, BOOTY CALL is merely an innocuous bit of trash filmmaking, a comedy that is at its most funny when the senses are dulled by either too much booze or multiple hits from the bong. But as an actual entry into the canon of black film, and one deemed worthy of "special edition" DVD status when Michael Roemer's 1964 NOTHING BUT A MAN can't be found, then BOOTY CALL becomes something more insidious. It becomes the sort of racist propaganda that continues to run rampant in the film industry. Sure, the film is no worse than crap like AMERICAN PIE, but the key difference here is that when it comes to films about white people, there is much more to chose from than AMERICAN PIE if audiences don't want their intelligence insulted. But when it comes to black films that take the intellectual high road (or even the middle road for that matter), the pickings get mighty slim.

Set over the course of a single night, BOOTY CALL chronicles the misadventures of two best friends (Jaime Foxx and Tommy Davidson), as they attempt to get laid with their dates (Vivica A. Fox and Tamala Jones). The problem is that neither man has a condom, and with no glove they get no love. Thus begins a whole new adventure, as they embark on a mission to get some rubbers, so they can get some booty. And that, in a nutshell, is pretty much all there is to this silly trash.

Relying on the sort of humor that springs from the notion that the only thing funnier than a fart is smelling a fart, BOOTY CALL caters to the brow that hangs low. The film works best when natural funny men Foxx and Davidson are riffing off of each other, with Foxx delivering rapid-fire verbal barbs – some of which are funny. But for the most part BOOTY CALL relies on sequences that are just plain stupid. The film's "funniest" sequences involve Foxx and Davidson accidentally playing footsie with each other, and a dog probing Foxx's butt, with him thinking it's his date playing with his ass. It's called comedy ladies and gentlemen, and there's plenty of it to be found here.

The Bootiest Edition special features includes an audio commentary by director Jeff Pollack, producer John Morrissey, and writer Takashi Buford. Listening to these three prattle on with self-congratulatory praise for their film, you get the distinct impression these guys think they've made one of the funniest films of all time. As undeserving of your time as BOOTY CALL may be, the audio commentary represents an inexcusable waste of time. The alternate ending starts out funny, with the four main characters buried under a ton of old age make-up, but it soon degenerates into the same dumb dog-playing-with-Foxx's-ass joke that has become the calling card of this flick. Of all the bonus material, only the short documentary, SMOOTH OPERATOR, an examination on the art of the booty call, offers any real amusement. In fact, the short is actually more entertaining the feature film.

Presented in 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen, BOOTY CALL boasts a far crisper, cleaner picture transfer that it actually warrants. This is BOOTY CALL, after all. The fact that the picture isn't washed out pan and scan should be enough for die-hard fans. The 5.1 Dolby Digital sound is also sharp and clean, because, you know, not only does the world need BOOTY CALL with a great picture, but the sound needs to be working as well.

Now, if you'll all excuse me, I'll be watching EYES ON THE PRIZE – which is out of print on VHS and never released on DVD – just so I can remind myself that black people are capable of more than chasing ass.


David Walker is the creator of BadAzz MoFo, a nationally published film critic, and the Writer/Director of Black Santa's Revenge with Ken Foree now on DVD [Buy it now]
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