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Mo' Better Blues

1990

R CC

Talented trumpeter Bleek Gilliam (Washington) is obsessed by his music and indecisiveness about his girlfriends Indigo (Joie Lee) and Clarke (Cynda Williams).

Starring:
Denzel Washington, Spike Lee
Runtime:
2 hours, 9 minutes

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Product Details

Genres Drama, Romance, Music
Director Spike Lee
Starring Denzel Washington, Spike Lee
Supporting actors Wesley Snipes, Giancarlo Esposito, Robin Harris, Joie Lee, Bill Nunn, John Turturro, Dick Anthony Williams, Cynda Williams, Nicholas Turturro, Jeff 'Tain' Watts, Samuel L. Jackson, Leonard L. Thomas, Charlie Murphy, Steve White, Rubén Blades, Abbey Lincoln, Linda Hawkins, Raye Dowell
Studio Universal Studios
MPAA rating R (Restricted)
Captions and subtitles English Details
Purchase rights Stream instantly Details
Format Amazon Video (streaming online video)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: VHS Tape
You don't have to be a musician who has found himself grappling with the same fundamental spiritual issues as the main character (and similiar romantic dilemma) to enjoy this movie. MO BETER BLUES is one of my favorite feel good/life lesson movies because of the sheer nobility that underlies and underscores every nuance of character, plot, situation, and every note of the music. Denzel Washington as a self-absorbed, brilliant trumpeter and band leader, discovering the fragility of his life and the unrealized strength of his heart; Wesley Snipes as his ambitious, equally brilliant- and equally alpha male- saxophonist who, though on the surface a seemingly ungrateful rival ready to break and emerge with his own band, loves him more than he loves himself; Turturro as the fundamentally disinetersted producer, an archtype of the music business; two women- one who loves the music more than him, the other him more than the music; a score by Spike's father, musician and composer Bill Lee; performances by terrance Blanchard and Branford Marsalis... deft screenwriting by Spike- in one of the few movies he's made where his presence as a character doesn't take away from the ensemble product... what's not to like in this beautiful film? If you are not a jazz fan, trust me, you will become one after seeing this. A feel good movie that does not let you down; MO BETTER is, "Mo' better".
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Format: VHS Tape
This is a masterpeice. Bleek Gilliam is a talented musician and the leader of the Bleek Gilliam quartet, a famed jazz band in New York. Bleek has a problem. He has three loves in his life. He is forced to choose between his two worshipful lovers - Indigo and Clarke, and his true baby - his music. Further complicating his life are his lifelong freind and mooch - Giant, and his bandmate, Shadow. Giant is in and out of trouble, and Shadow longs to move out of Bleeks shadow to form his own band.
This is a visually stimulating film. Spike Lee's uses of colors and lighting creates a mood that is essentially Jazz. The ambiente atmosphere of the film is highlighted by outstanding music composed by Branford Marsalis.
Mo-Better blues is an urban tale that will strike at the heart of all. Those who are new to Spike Lee's brand of photography are in for a treat. Also be sure to check out other Lee classics Do the Right Thing, Jungle Fever, Crooklyn, and He Got Game.
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Format: VHS Tape
Like that means anything to you, but it is. Mo' better blues is about a brilliant musician battling his inner and outer demons. It's also a love story of sorts. Denzel Washington once again gives and effortless performance as Bleek Gilliam the talented and tourchred musician. Fine support work comes from Wesley Snipes, Newcomer Cynda Williams and Joi Lee. Once again veteren Cinematographey Ernest Dickerson shines his brillian photography.The score by Terence Blanchard is also excellent. Like I said this is my favorite Spike Lee movie. This may not be spikes best work (do the right thing) but this is the first film where spike seeems most comfortable behind the camera. MO better has a real 'im a porfessional'look to it. This movie really has the feel of a jazz movie, with it's bright colors and even better soundtrack makes this movie a pleasure to watch.
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By A Customer on August 1, 2003
Format: DVD
This is one of the most visually beautiful film with African-American actors I've ever seen (another that comes to mind is Devil in a Blue Dress, also starring Denzel Washington). The opening credits are a masterful combination of music and shadows.
Overall, an enjoyable contemporary story of young, single African-Americans filmed in Brooklyn and Manhattan, a rarity for its time. They're making more of this type of film today . . . but the actors are getting younger and younger!
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Format: Amazon Video Verified Purchase
EXCELLENT FILM DEALING WITH MUSIC AND CULTURAL CONFLICTS. THE FILMS ACTORS AND ACTRESS DEVELOP THEIR PARTS IN A SENSITIVE AS WELL AS SERIOUS AND COMEDIC EXCELLENCE. SPIKE LEE'S DIRECTION AND DEVELOPMENT OF PLOT AND CHARACTERS IS ONE OF SENSITIVITY AND BRINGS AN AMERICANA THEME TO ALL ASPECTS OF THE FILM.
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Format: Amazon Video Verified Purchase
I would give this movie 5 stars for the music alone and seeing Jeff Tain Watts play the drums and actually act in the movie was amazing. Terrance Blanchard, and BrandFord Marsalis were on fyah!
That said, I would give it 2.5 stars for how the roles the women were reduced to in this movie. Bleek was a playa, a dog, and the women knew it, yet they put up with that anyway. Nothing Mo betta about that. Women with low self esteem allowing a man to dog them out and in the end, one woman ends up saving Bleek. The message sent to women is that she must put up or shut up. That she can't walk away from a man who is mistreating her. I wish one of those women, would have told Bleekk where to go. But No.. they continued to pander to his philandering ways. So 2.5 stars for that story line. 3.5 stars for the interaction between the musicians, and as for Giant's character? Ugh, that little gnat played by Spike Lee, Ugh, I wish I had a fly swatter to swat him out of the movie like the leech sucking gnat he was.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Though this work impresses me as a low budget production, the story comes through loud and clear. The music can be pretty good - its the reason I got this DVD. You won't believe the way Denzel Washington sings the title cut - it's great!
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