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Passing Strange (2010)

Rebecca Jones , Colman Domingo , Spike Lee  |  Unrated |  DVD
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (38 customer reviews)

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Passing Strange + Passing Strange: The Complete Book and Lyrics Of The Broadway Musical
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Product Details

  • Actors: Rebecca Jones, Colman Domingo, Eisa Davis, Chad Goodridge, Stew
  • Directors: Spike Lee
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: Unrated
  • Studio: MPI HOME VIDEO
  • DVD Release Date: January 12, 2010
  • Run Time: 135 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (38 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B002T4GY50
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #27,131 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Special Features


Editorial Reviews

Passing Strange The Movie tells the semi-autobiographical story of a young black man who leaves behind his middle-class, church-ruled upbringing in mid-1970s Los Angeles to travel to Europe in search of his artistic and personal identity, or what he calls the real. Picaresque misadventures with sex, drugs, politics, and art await him in far-out Amsterdam and hyper-militant Berlin. His eyes are opened ever wider, even revealing what he left behind. An absolutely superb cast, ably supported by sparing (but pitch-perfect) costumes, design, and stagecraft, bring to life the emotionally charged story with its astounding original music, narrated and overseen by Stew himself. Lee s multicamera coverage of the event (including backstage scenes) involves the audience in not only the text but the electricity of the ensemble s onstage adventure. Passing Strange The Movie is a tour-de-force of creative collaboration and inspiration.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
27 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent adaptation December 27, 2009
I also saw the show on Broadway in 2008 and absolutely loved it. I was excited to hear that Spike Lee had filmed the last performance on Broadway and that it was planned for a DVD release. However, I was skeptical - the show was so high energy and engaging; I didn't know if it would translate to the small screen.

I saw the film at SXSW 2009 and thought that Lee did an excellent job at capturing the energy and emotion of the show. There were times when I was dancing in my seat - the same points where I was dancing in my seat at the Belasco. You may not have heard of this show, but I encourage you to get the DVD and see for yourself - it's really good. It'll be well-worth the cost of the DVD.
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20 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent capture of the Broadway show December 20, 2009
I saw this film at the 2009 Sundance Film Festival on a big screen. Spike Lee artfully captures the final night's performance of this Broadway show. Excellent camera angles and lighting make Stew's outstanding score and the energetic performances of the actors and singers all that much more enjoyable. Well worth seeing!
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Yeah, it's awesome. Definitely. July 19, 2010
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
I saw this on PBS one night while flipping through the channels. Landed in the middle of the story and had NO IDEA what I was watching. "Is this a poetry show? Wait, is it spoken word with music? Then there are these German accents. And then, Oh, wait there's a story and singing and hilarity!" I was drawn in and further in and I have to say it was the most fantastic accidental viewing experience I've ever had flipping through channels.

The story is compelling and asks a lot of questions about what's "real" or important in life. It's a journey that anyone who's done any soul seeking will be able to relate too. I'm really glad this was captured on film. As too often happens with theater, the performance entirely evaporates into the ether at the curtain call - and if you weren't physically there (in NY in the short span of time the show played), then you're S.O.L. Thanks Stew and Spike Lee for documenting this and sharing it with the masses.
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19 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Spike Lee is a genius December 9, 2009
Saw the show off and then on Broadway, and was ready to be disappointed by yet another stage-to-screen taping. I could not have been more wrong. Spike Lee's talent is so evident in every angle of this film, bringing you as close as humanly possible to the experience of seeing it live.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Next best thing to a front row seat. February 12, 2010
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
I purchased this DVD after stumbling upon the play on PBS's Great Performances. I switched channels during an NFL playoff time-out, and was so riveted I could not return to the game. At the end of the show PBS mentioned it was available on DVD, and within 10 minutes I had it ordered. What's funny is that I didn't realize I had missed the play's first half until purchasing the DVD - so to me that was a bonus.

Spike Lee's camera work perfectly captured the stage play, and I've been repeatedly impressed during subsequent viewings. I've been recommending it all of my friends, and through this review am recommending it to strangers as one of those rare movies you buy rather than rent.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars must see May 12, 2010
By Nikki
This play is about "passing" for something you're not.

A black male who grows up middle class, preppy, with a single mother in South Central,LA (the hood- black american slum). He is into rock music and talks proper, but has no white friends. Despite being in the church choir he spokes weed with the rest of the members. He goes to Amsterdam in search of himself wooing women into thinking he is this black american gangster (passing) when really he is a nerd that is frequently passed up by black girls back home in search of their tupac shakur types and jocks. His mother who forces him to go to church yet avoids going herself calls asking when he will return home.

But, to him home is not where you grow up or where your parents live, but where you are most at peace. This play is so deep and so beyond race and culture. Anyone who loves the arts or is currently going through growing pains I strongly suggest to see this play. As well as anyone who struggles with overthinking or social anxiety. This play is about stereotypes and trying to find yourself and place in the world. Something we all as humans can relate to. Spike lee did it big with this one. I love that it raises questions about stereotypes without the militant/aggressive tone spike lee tends to have in his movies. Yet, the passion is still there without offending even the most faint at heart. I saw it live in nyc and had premium seats. It was so exciting being in the front row and stew even included me in one of the skits where he had to engaged the audience. I froze for a sec, lol.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Nothing short of a miracle February 12, 2010
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
This play (and this DVD was made directly from the Broadway play) is simply the finest work I have ever seen. Each actor brings her or his own special talents and the sum is far greater than the parts. Stew is brilliant and poignant and real, with the courage to bleed. This is his story and its intelligence, importance, humor, anger, love and redemption will draw you in and not let you go. The dancing and the singing are unlike any other you will see-this show rocks and there is just no way that you can stop yourself from rocking with it.

You will never forget Passing Strange-I thank Stew, his band (Heidi sings like an angel) and the phenomenal cast (they are all amazing, but Daniel Breaker is a force of his own and I am not sure that it is fair that one person should be allowed to have that much talent) for what each has given me and continues to give every time I watch the DVD.

You owe it to yourself to own Passing Strange. Rock on!
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Bought item because I had seen it on tv (movie channel) and wanted to have a copy for myself.
Published 2 months ago by Gma
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Musical
I was introduced to this by my wife, who had the benefit of seeing this production live some years ago, before we had met. I am a big fan of classic musicals (e.g. Read more
Published 4 months ago by J
5.0 out of 5 stars Rockin' Tunes!
A very different rock musical. Totally watchable and great music. I don't think I'm the target audience (58 years old) but my kid turned me on to it, and I really really love it!
Published 4 months ago by Karl Matz
5.0 out of 5 stars Great play
I like the message that the play provided and the actors and actresses were excellent. The musicians were most excellent.
Published 4 months ago by debora stevens bonner
5.0 out of 5 stars Loved it!
Saw it live on Broadway. The movie is great and brings back so many memories. Spike Lee did an excellent job in filming the play.
Published 4 months ago by FCH
5.0 out of 5 stars Phenomenal
Truly one of the best theatrical works presented on film. The music - which I had NO expectations of even bearing, let alone being blown away by - defies any categorization other... Read more
Published 13 months ago by E. Bennett
5.0 out of 5 stars If your optimistic about life, see it!
I was flipping the channels after school one late night and seen it on PBS right around the middle and was instantly into it. Read more
Published 14 months ago by Cool4Mel-Richmond,Va
5.0 out of 5 stars Passing Strange
Having seen this on PBS and having borrowed it from the Library a few times, I thought it was very good and for a so called used item from this seller, it looked practically brand... Read more
Published 15 months ago by Joey10036
5.0 out of 5 stars Nothing Strange
What a great way to document the end of an amazing show! There isn't anything I hated about it. Loved the angles (on how you didn't see another camera in the shot), lighting,... Read more
Published 19 months ago by Andre D. Thomas
5.0 out of 5 stars Fanstastic Show
I love this show, It is so well done and a great performance. A must see! Highly recommend this one
Published 21 months ago by Nick
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Topic From this Discussion
Blu Ray Version?
Just saw it on PBS tonight, I sat riveted. And yes, it definately looks like it was shot in high-def, so Blu-ray would really be the way to see this excellent play full of fantastic music... Sorry I don't know when!
Jan 13, 2010 by J. C. House |  See all 2 posts
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