Movie Reviews: Antwone Fisher




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     Fox Searchlight (2 hr.)
     An angry sailor on the verge of being kicked out of the Navy, gets help from a psychiatrist that turns his life around.
     Derek Luke, Denzel Washington, Joy Bryant, Salli Richardson, Stephen Snedden
Bottom Line:


Film critics are a contemptuous and cynical group of people who don’t easily cry at the drop of a film clip. However, after the press screening of "Antwone Fisher," I walked out of the theater with two other teary-eyed critics. Maybe it’s because "Antwone Fisher" is a welcome break from a holiday season laden with geek pictures.

Don’t get me wrong, I live geek films — James Bond, "The Lord of The Rings" and "Star Trek." However, every now and then I need a well-crafted drama to keep my reviewing chops in perspective and test my mettle.

Enter "Antwone Fisher," the true story of a Navy seamen whose only form of expression was using his fists. But after his last altercation with a shipmate, Fisher (Derek Luke) is ordered to seek anger management counseling from base psychiatrist Jerome Davenport (Denzel Washington). Davenport discovers Fisher’s uncontrolled anger stems from his abusive childhood, and the fact Fisher needs to find his family and his mother who abandoned him.

Washington won’t win another academy-award for his standard and solid performance, but he should receive a nomination for his directing prowess and keeping the traffic flowing. Washington should also be credited with getting believable performances from new comers Luke - and Joy Bryant who shines as Fisher’s unwavering girlfriend. Veteran actress Novella Nelson also gives a chilling preformance as Fisher’s foster mother who beats him like a bass drum and turns a blind eye to his sexual abuse.

If "Antwone Fisher" has any flaws, it’s the film’s pace and parallel subplot of Davenport’s failing marriage which is summed up as almost an after thought by picture’s end. But that flaw doesn’t hurt the film’s emotional payoff.

Warning! Bring plenty of Kleenex.

"Antwone Fisher" is a tear jerking, life-affirming movie — a triumph for first time director Denzel Washington.


"Antwone Fisher"
comes to home video and DVD May 20, 2003.
Pre-order today and save $7.
The DVD features commentary from
Denzel Washington and producer Todd Black.

The DVD also offers three featurettes:
Making of Antwone Fisher
Hollywood and The Navy
Meeting Antwone Fisher

The DVD is available in both widescreen and pan & scan.
Regularly priced at $27.98, pre-order now for $20.99.



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