My Brother's Wedding



IMDb Rating 7.2 10 872

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Henry G. Sanders as Beat-up man

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by lastliberal 7 / 10

Life is all about choices

Milestone released two films by Charles Burnett last fall. His acclaimed Killer of Sheep, and this lesser known film. This film was originally released in 1983, but has been re-cut and re-released. This is the 2007 version that I am reviewing.

The slice of life that we see in this film is interesting, but confined mostly to dialog, with little action. Everett Silas stars as Pierce, an individual who is torn by his loyalty to his no-good friend, and his family. This is put to the test on Saturday as his friend dies on his brother's wedding day.

It is the little things that I found fascinating in this film - the fact that a 16-year-old is constantly flirting with Pierce, who is 30; the stark contrast with Pierce, a working man, and his brother the professional, and the siding of Pierce's mother with wealth; the two people he cares for who can't bathe themselves or take their medicine, and their preoccupation with religion, which also is huge with Pierce's mother. There is a wealth of material to draw upon for reflection, and Burnett has given us a good film.

I can't wait to see the original.

Reviewed by whpratt1 9 / 10

Charles Burnett Film Is Great

It was great to view this film by Charles Burnett, who wrote the story and directed the film and also did the camera work. Burnett was working on a budget and was able to obtain left over color film from MGM who were willing to sell him this film for his picture. This film deals mostly with a great actor, Pierce Mundy, (Everett Silas) who is a hard working son in his mother and fathers dry cleaning business and Pierce is a very kind and giving person who cares for his mother and father and takes good care of his grandparents. Pierce has a brother who has become a lawyer and he intends to marry a very rich pretty young gal and Pierce does not seem to get along with his brother or his future in-laws. The film is very funny and it also has its serious moments where Pierce has to face a decision whether to attend his brothers wedding or go to his best friends funeral. Don't miss this film, it is a great masterpiece by Charles Burnett.

Reviewed by Red-125 6 / 10

I wanted to like this film, but . . .

My Brother's Wedding (1983) was written and directed by Charles Burnett. I wanted and expected to enjoy this film, but I didn't.

There's an interesting backstory to the production. The movie was financed by a German TV corporation, which demanded a product by the agreed-upon deadline. Director Burnett gave them a long, rough cut version, that was widely praised in Germany. What we are seeing now is billed as a 78-minute director's cut, released by Milestone. Sounds interesting. Unfortunately, the resulting movie didn't work for me.

The talented Everett Silas plays Pierce Mundy, a young man who lives and works in South Central Los Angeles. Pierce is a good guy--well liked in the neighborhood, not involved in crime or drugs, and willing to care for his elderly relatives. If anything, he's too nice a guy, because he's loyal to his friend Soldier. Soldier has just been released from prison, and he's looking for trouble. (Or, at least, trouble finds him. Some of the plot involving Soldier appears to have been lost in the editing process.)

Probably for economic reasons, Director Burnett cast non-actors in all the other roles. That's a risky gamble. Some directors can pull amazing performances from amateurs, but Burnett could not. Most of the acting is at the level of a high school's senior class play. The people look right, but when they speak it doesn't sound at all natural. (Yes--that's a paradox. You have to be a trained actor to sound like someone who isn't a trained actor. Paradox or not, there it is.)

I respect the fact that other reviewers enjoyed this film. I was prepared to enjoy it too, but, even at 78 minutes, it dragged on and on for me. There weren't that many African-American directors working on serious films in the 1980's. So, for historical reasons, you may consider this film worth seeking out. However, I didn't enjoy it, and, as much as I would like to, I can't recommend it.

Incidentally, we saw this movie at the excellent Dryden Theatre of Eastman House in Rochester, NY. One of the other reviewers said it's available on DVD, but Dryden showed a Blu-Ray version. In any case, the film will work well on the small screen.

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