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3.9 out of 5 stars 152 customer reviews

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(Apr 17, 2001)
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Editorial Reviews

Spike Lee directs this sizzling satire on race and racism within the modern media world. Starring Damon Wayons (Major Payne TV's In Living Color) and Jada Pinkett-Smith (Set It Off Scream 2 The Nutty Professor)Running Time: 136 min.System Requirements:Starring: Damon Wayans Jada Pinkett-Smith Michael Rapaport Tommy Davidson and Savion Glover. Directed By: Spike Lee. Running Time: 136 Min. Color. This film is presented in "Widescreen" format. Copyright 2000 Warner Home Video.Format: DVD MOVIE Genre: COMEDY Rating: R UPC: 794043519727

Special Features

  • Feature-length commentary with director Spike Lee
  • Deleted Scenes
  • Music videos
  • Original documentary on the making of Bamboozled
  • Animated gallery of artwork created for the film

Product Details

  • Actors: Damon Wayans, Savion Glover, Jada Pinkett Smith, Michael Rapaport, Tommy Davidson
  • Directors: Spike Lee
  • Writers: Spike Lee
  • Producers: Spike Lee, Jon Kilik, Kisha Imani Cameron
  • Format: Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, Letterboxed, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround), English (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • Region: Region 1 encoding (US and Canada only)
    Some Region 1 DVDs may contain Regional Coding Enhancement (RCE). Some, but not all, of our international customers have had problems playing these enhanced discs on what are called "region-free" DVD players. For more information on RCE, click .
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
  • Studio: New Line Cinema
  • DVD Release Date: April 17, 2001
  • Run Time: 135 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (152 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00005A1TJ
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #13,641 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Bamboozled" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Nicholas Carroll on May 3, 2005
Format: DVD
I finally saw this film recently after reading an editorial that mentioned this film in regards to how the racial stereotypes perpetuated in Minstrel shows continue this day in any rap video you see. This film is a much needed eye opener, a satire with a deeper message. The use of satire is often necessary to bring to people's attention the underlying truth that most cannot accept at face value. This film perfectly draws out on our society's racism and race relations.

A few years ago, I remember coming across an advertisement for a Minstrel show that my church congregation put on in the 1950s. Considering that there are few African American members of my church to begin with, it was a complete shock to me who these nice elderly people could do such a thing. With "Bamboozled", Spike concludes the film with an excellent montage of images from movies, TV shows, cartoons that all featured the worst stereotypes of African Americans as bug-eyed, big lipped, ants-in-pants, cannibalistic animals, who sang and dance, shucked and jived, all kinds of terrible traits. These images were taken from Shirley Temple movies and films with Bing Crosby, Mickey Rooney, and Judy Garland. It was an eye opener. Even Warner Brothers cartoons of my recent youth (1970s) contained racist images in the guise of Bugs Bunny in some of his antics.

I've been meaning to watch all of Spike Lee's films someday, as I like the statements he tries to make in his films. He has amassed an interesting body of work, though some were more successful than others. For me, "Malcolm X" and "Do The Right Thing" are his best works, and this one would be third, ahead of "Jungle Fever".
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Format: DVD
I have recently decided to finally expose myself to the work of Spike Lee, putting his entire body of work at the top of my DVD rental list, and Bamboozled was the first one to arrive. I must say that I can not wait for the rest of them to come in. The only negative aspect of this film is something that several others have pointed out...the voice of Damon Wayans' character. Through the film it did begin to grate on me as I heard it, seeming too forced and unreal. However, Wayans did a solid job of portraying a man who, having made a horrible mistake of judgement, slips into denial and ends up rationalizing the error to himself until he believes he actually did the right thing. The supporting cast was also very strong, Savion Glover is a very talented tap dancer, and Tommy Davidson shows that he is more than just a comedic actor. Michael Rappaport pulled off what was a very dangerous role, as it is so easy to play the role of a white man trying to be black and turn it into a cliche of ignorance. Instead, he was very believable and very tasteless and rude, a flawless performance.

As for Spike Lee? I thoroughly enjoyed his direction. The graininess and edginess of the quality of the cinematography is a beautiful character of his work. It has a distinct style that can be identified as his work immediately. He wrote a very powerful story, showing several sides of the struggle of the black man trying to be successful in this day and age. Sometimes, it seems that the only way to succeed is to sell out in one way or another. In the end, the deaths are metaphorical, symbolizing the cultural death of those who sell out, that they are eventually ostracized from both the white and the black sides of society.
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Format: DVD
Spike Lee's Bamboozled has a powerful premise: a Harvard-educated African-American television executive named Pierre Delacroix (Damon Wayans), frustrated at his inability to get serious projects about African-Americans placed on television, pitches the ridiculous concept of a revived minstrel show to his white bosses. Thing is, his idea backfires because the bosses LOVE the idea. So does the audience. It becomes clear that Delacroix has underestimated the latent racism and bad taste of the American public.
If this satirical premise sounds familiar, it's because it builds on one of the best comedies of all time: The Producers, Mel Brooks' first big hit. Remember that film? The producers tried to make a flop by staging a ridiculously grotesque musical called Springtime for Hitler, but the audience loved it. But whereas The Producers was fairly light-hearted all the way through, the last third of so of Bamboozled turns way too heavy and ultimately pummels the viewer with a point that's already been made, again and again. Spike Lee seems to think his film deserves a kidnapping and mass murder to make its point, which I think is a huge mistake.
Not to say Bamboozled had to be just funny all the way through. Good satire hurts even while you're laughing. And there are some truly inspired, thought-provoking moments in this movie. Watching the African-American actors struggle with their consciences while donning the blackface; seeing how white individuals struggle to relate to black people, without full awareness of either their own inherent racism or the social structures that reinforce it: these things are great, and Spike Lee portrays them better than anyone else could.
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