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Brooklyn Babylon

This uninventive Homey-O and Jewliet is the sort of lackluster made-for-video production that makes one question, "Why does every obscure rapper on the planet have at least one film credit under his belt?" Tariq Trotter (a.k.a. Black Thought) stars in this decidedly unintellectual tale of the forbidden love between a black rapper and an orthodox Jew (frown-faced Karen Goberman) from different sides of their Brooklyn neighborhood. See, there's all this racial tension, but it only makes the sex better, and then there's a big West Indian parade, a few people get beat up, and then it's over before anything of any note happens or is said or is even contemplated by anyone involved. Neither of the leads are totally uncharismatic — he a poor man's Jeffrey Wright, she a mopey Marisa Tomei — but neither are they very interesting. The movie's only distinction is the particularly awful, Michael Winslow-esque rap narration, which, aside from being so bad (and sporadic) it's funny, also sloppily indulges in sad historical revisionism. Co-starring and co-written by the multi-talented Bonz Malone. Directed by Marc Levin. Artisan's DVD release of Brooklyn Babylon presents the film in anamorphic widescreen (1.85:1), with audio in Dolby 2.0 Surround. Keep-case.
—Gregory P. Dorr

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