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Head of State (Full Screen Edition)
Head of State
Full Screen Edition
Actors: Chris Rock, Bernie Mac, Lynn Whitfield, Dylan Baker, Nick Searcy
Director: Chris Rock
Genres: Comedy, African American Cinema
PG-13     2003     1hr 35min

WHEN A PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE IS NEEDED JUST A FEW WEEKS BEFORE THE ELECTION, WASHINGTON PICKS MAYS GRAHAM, A POWERLESS POLITICIAN THEY PLAN TO USE AS THEIR PUPPET, CERTAIN HE WILL LOSE. BUT MAYS WON'T GO OUT LIKE THAT! IF...  more »
     
     

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Movie Details

Actors: Chris Rock, Bernie Mac, Lynn Whitfield, Dylan Baker, Nick Searcy
Director: Chris Rock
Creators: Chris Rock, Donald E. Thorin, Ali LeRoi, Ezra Swerdlow, Michael Rotenberg
Genres: Comedy, African American Cinema
Sub-Genres: Comedy, African American Cinema
Studio: Dreamworks Video
Format: DVD - Color,Full Screen - Closed-captioned,Dubbed,Subtitled
DVD Release Date: 08/12/2003
Original Release Date: 03/28/2003
Theatrical Release Date: 03/28/2003
Release Year: 2003
Run Time: 1hr 35min
Screens: Color,Full Screen
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 28
Members Wishing: 0
MPAA Rating: PG-13 (Parental Guidance Suggested)
Languages: English, French
Subtitles: English, French, Spanish
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Movie Reviews

Brilliant political satire
David Reese | Boston | 12/12/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)

"At the outset, let me say what I am: I am white, 61 years old, a physician, and I live in a gated community. It would be easy for people like me to dismiss "Head of State" as just another crass commercial rip-off by Hollywood. It's not that at all.

The premise underlying "Head of State" is that Americans are currently represented by a government totally out of touch with the lives of ordinary citizens. That's why this film can be so hilarious, why it strikes such a responsive chord.

"Head of State" is more than just another comedy, more than just a parody of our political process. It is brilliant political satire, studded with remarkable insights into the political process. Yes, I laughed all the way through the film. But if Mays Gilliam ever comes to real life in America, I won't be laughing at him. I'll be voting for him. And so will the country."
Chris Rocks the Votes. in this clever, Intelligent underrate
SHAWN JAMES | Bronx, NY | 12/13/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Chris Rock does an excellent job writing directing and co-producing Head of State. It's a hilarious comedy with a lot of heart and a lot of soul. Well-written, intelligent and extremely clever, Rock's comedy stays true to its African-American roots while making commentary about the sad state of the current political process in America. Perhaps in his own way Rock is trying to send a message to politicians to express real ideas, speak from the heart.
In Head Of State Chris Rock plays a struggling Washington D.C. Alderman who gets no respect. Constituents don't appreciate the aspiring politician, and his girlfriend (Robin Givens) dumps him leaving him with unpaid bills and a repossessed car. The next day his boss (Keith David) fires him. He thinks things are turning around when the Democratic Party recruits him to run for President. The jokes on him; the Democratic party knows it can't win against the popular two-term Republican vice president in 2004, so they decide to trot out Rock's character as a filler candidate until the 2008 election. They don't believe a black candidate has a chance, but the alderman believes in himself.
The campaign is dull until a pep talk from his brother (Bernie Mac) at a Chicago campaign stop. Soon Chris changes campaign tactics and decides to be real. The more he's true to his Black self the more his poll numbers start to go up. This is when the movie really takes off. When Rock's Alderman starts saying what he feels instead of what he's rehearsed, the campaign starts to come to life. All of a sudden this underdog has a chance. All of a suddent the woman who dumped him wants him back, but the candidate has his eyes on a hardworking gas station worker (Tamala Jones)
As the alderman's polls numbers start to go up, the incumbent candidate starts to worry about the underdog, Rock's campaign manager's worry about controlling him. But he still believes in himself. He hits a snag after a school shooting, but with the help of his brother decides to challenge the incumbent to a debate. Things come to a head when the two candidates debate. Rock's character is full of energy and new ideas, and he eventually goes on to embarrass the uninspired jargon-spouting incumbent. In the end he wins the presidency becoming the head of State, and gets the girl who works at the gas station.
I really enjoyed this movie; I feel guilty about missing this one in theatres because this movie made me laugh and smile so much in two hours. I got give Chris Rock props for creating a film with a positive message and writing black characters in this movie that are intelligent and hardworking. In this "Gangsta" era it's rare to see a movie focusing on regular working class black folks. More props to Chris for making a movie with quality production values. A lot of black filmmakers don't take time to focus on crucial details like cinematography, casting and editing. Paying attention to those often ignored film elements transforms Head of State from a good screenplay into a great movie.
Besides Rock's hilarious and intelligent portrayal of the presidential candidate underdog, there are some great performances here from the supporting cast. Rock writes well-developed characters for all his cast, not just himself. Bernie Mac steals the few scenes he's in and has great chemistry with Rock; they feel like brothers. Robin Givens is hilarious as the gold-digging ex in her pitiful attempts to win back her man. Givens has the best performance of her career; I never thought she could be so funny. Lynn Whitfield literally disappears from the screen and becomes the campaign manger. She must have channeled Condelezza Rice for this performance. This woman is extremely underrated; she needs to be the lead in more films! (Cough*Halle Berry's upcoming Nefertiri* Cough) Tamala Jones is sweet as the love interest.
Head of State is a Shawn James five star essential video. Pick this one up along with Eddie Murphy's The Distinguished Gentleman, CB4, and The Great White Hype for your black cinema night. While you're at it, pick up Diary of A Mad Black Woman and How U Like Me Now.
"
A great movie...nothin' more nothin' less
Mrs. Eileen J. Hacker | 07/17/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)

"head of state is a great movie,the only reason i didn't give it 5 stars was because i always think that's pushing it.

i picked this dvd up,because i couldn't see anything else and this had 2 great comedians(chris rock and bernie mac) it turned out to be a great choise

head of state is about mays gilliam,a normal man,who gets the oppertunity to run for president. the thing he doesn't know is that he is set up to lose.this makes it a great comedy with many LOL(Laugh Out Loud) moments

this film has some of the GREATEST comedy speeches of all time and fantastic one liners

a fantastic movie!"
Sadly, this wasn't funny
connorpeters | Seattle, WA | 07/22/2003
(1 out of 5 stars)

"Chris Rock is funny. Bernie Mac is funny. Both comedic geniuses are funny together. The problem? This movie wasn't funny. Perposterous plot, stereotypes lambasted trhoughout, and worst of all - poor comedic timing. I knew the punchlines way before they were delivered. This is why it was in the theaters for less than 3 weeks... it bombed. It was hyped up well, so it took in a lot of money during the opening week - but word of mouth quickly killed this bomb."