FEARED AND REVERED, MALCOM X CRYSTALLIZED THE HOPES AND DREAMS OF BLACKS, DEMANDING HUMAN RIGHTS FOR AFRICAN AMERICANS DURING THE RACIALLY TUMULTUOUS AND DIVISIVE DECADES OF THIS 1950S AND 60S UNTIL HIS 1965 ASSASSINATION... more » IN NEW YORK, AT THE AGE OF THIRTY NINE.« less
Eric V. Moye | New York, by way of Dallas | 12/23/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"One of the most brilliant films ever made. Another reviewer, E. Hazell is correct, if maybe even understated in comparing this film with von Sydow's portrayal of Jesus in "The Greatest Story Ever Told" and B. Kingsley in "Ghandi". Without question, the portrayal by Denzel Washington of Malcolm X belongs with these two classic efforts.The screenplay closely follows Alex Haley's collaboration with Malcolm X on his autobiography, from his early days as a hustler and pimp, to his transformation and his rise to prominence in the Black Muslims and beyond. In so doing, it traces much of the history of the twentieth century African American experienceAs another reviewer so inelegantly (and ungrammatically) put it, Malcolm Little sold drugs and women, robbed and lived in the underworld. However, this recognizes far less than half of this compelling and incredible story. This beginning was important only to underscore how far he ultimately came, and leads the viewer to wonder what would have happened had he not been murdered. Wonderful casting including Angela Bassett as his wife Betty, DelRoy Lindo and particularly Al Freeman Jr. as Elijah Muhammad. It was a rather predictable crime that Spike Lee, Denzel Washington and this film did not dominate the Academy Awards."
M/X on DVD
Andre M. | Mt. Pleasant, SC United States | 03/01/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"While the movie itself is excellent, this is one of those DVDs that makes a great film even greater.
Much has been said about the 1992 film, so I'll concentrate on the extras. First of all, the widescreen is not so wide that it makes you squint to see it. It's at a good porportion. But the edited scenes are really interesting. We see previously unseen footage of Denzel as Malcolm courting Angela Bassett as Betty Shabazz (in a rather touching way). We see Denzel/Malcolm putting an initiate through the rigors in an amusing fashion, we see him studying and feeding his hunger for books while in jail, and we see some interesting scenes of Denzel/Malcolm making anti-racist and pro-brotherhood statements near the end of his life to a young white girl and an Arab he meets in Mecca. A lot of people who miss the point about Malcolm's transformation should see those scenes (which actually appear in the original book).
(Slight complaint, the stuff about the Sphinx's black nose being shot off by Napoleon is a bunch of BS that didn't happen, even Molefi Asante admitted this on 60 minutes a few years ago. So it's just as well that that scene was not included in the original film).
Also, "Baines" was actually John Bembry, aka Bimbi, who encouraged Malcolm to read in prison. It was actually Malcolm's real life brothers who really introduced him to the Nation of Islam teachings. Not a complaint, just a clarification.
There is also an excellent documentary about the making of this film. A real Horatio Alger type story of how Spike beat the odds through dogged determination to raise the money to make the film the way he felt it needed to be made. It was sad to realize that the film was not as popular as hoped among young people upon it's intitial release and the "Malcolmania" of the early 90s turned out to be a fad, but at least this DVD will give people the opportunity to learn from Malcolm's story.
Then there is the uncut 1972 documentary "Malcolm X. The raw, uncut REAL Malcolm talking strong and taking numbers! This is a brilliantly edited collection of chronological clips of Macolm, Elijham Muhammad, the young Louis Farrakhan, and all the other major players into an excellent biography without additional narration. It lets the viewer decide in an excellet fashion.
So see the 1992 movie, then the "making of" documentary, then the deleted scenes, and THEN the 1972 documentary and you'll get the next best thing to reading all there is to know about Malcolm X thought. Enjoy it, I did. College and high school teachers will REALLY want this for their history classes."
A man reformed...
M. Miller | TN | 07/08/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Malcolm, like any young african-american boy in a time of racial hatred, did not have it easy growing up. In fact he did not have it easy when he was in his teens to early twenties. Nor did he have it easy when he was an adult. Yet at least by his adult age he understood this and what his father had been fighting for. So with his Islamic conversion in prison, he set out to change the world as best as he sought, and, thanks to this film and the autobiography it was based on, we can now truly understand this struggle, inner and outer, for justice, liberty, and the pursuit of all to have happiness.
Now, to narrow in on the film and not just the man, Spike Lee really outdid himself this time. With Denzel Washington, traditionally a great actor, playing Malcolm X you knew the movie would at least be spearheaded with strength. But this is more then that, because the elaborateness of it all just conveys to the viewer so much of the times, the thoughts, and the conflicts that surrounded Malcolm and those tumultuous times he lived in.
I'd be lying if I did not say this is excellent, and then highly recommend it; so, I'd like to don this hat of honesty and tell you watch it, a lot of you'd like, but make sure to see it at least once (Oh yeah, and the book's quite excellent too)"
The film Spike Lee was born to direct.
The Groove | Boston, MA | 10/21/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I can't think of another filmmaker besides Spike Lee who's as qualified to direct this 3-hour epic about the slain leader Malcolm X. It was really the film he was born to make. Although it falls a notch below "Do the Right Thing" (still his best film and a qualified classic), it features a dead-on performance by Denzel Washington. Denzel definitely deserved to win an Academy Award, though he lost to Al Pacino. But Oscar or no Oscar, this DVD is worth picking up: the picture and sound are excellent with no print flaws, scratches, lines, or marks whatsoever. My only beef is that the film has no extras except production notes. It's my sincere hope that Warner Brothers will revisit this film and come out with a deluxe 2-DVD edition, for this is too important a film. If you haven't grabbed this, then what are you waiting for?"
lil_ric | Los Angeles, California United States | 12/14/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"In my opinion, "X" is not only Spike Lee's greatest film to date, but also one of the greatest, and most sophisticated films Hollywood has ever seen. This movie was released in the fall of '92 to critical acclaim not only for Lee, but for every other actor (Denzel Washington, Al Freeman, & Delroy Lindo) and actress (Angela Bassett, & Kate Vernon) who stared in it. The film grossed nearly $50 million in its theatrical release, and was nominated for two Academy Awards. Having said that, I must point out that the film is based "loosely" on "The Autobiography Of Malcolm X." I say loosely because Lee took it upon himself to tell the story of Malcolm X from his viewpoint, instead of sticking to the actual events that transpired in the book. However, "X" is still a masterpiece, and although fictional at times, it's still one of the most heartfelt stories I've ever seen captured on film.It's definitely a MUST HAVE!!"