Patrice J. Jackson | San Antonio, TX United States | 10/11/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"In the career of every great comedian (and Richard is the greatest), there is, and always will be one movie that serves as their stand out film. "Which Way Is Up" is that for Richard Pryor; just as "Coming To America" is for Eddie Murphy.Richard Pryor had the gift to play multiple characters, and make them all different. Just the look of the old man (Leroy's father), with the fluffy looking hair and eyebrows, he will make you fall out laughing- and this is before you hear him say anything. The "Reverend Lennox Thomas" is another character that will make you think of people like the infamous "Reverend Ike". But it's the sermons that will have you on the floor laughing! Leroy...well...Leroy is a lost man, and everyone around him knows it- all except him!This is a movie for all those who need a damn good laugh, or need a reminder of why people like Eddie Murphy and Chris Tucker do what they do. Richard is the greatest of all time- this movie proves that!"
Fine art? No... Funny? Hell yes!
David Wayne | Santee, CA United States | 04/26/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This movie has been dismissed by reviewers for its crudity. Well, "Which Way Is Up?" wasn't meant to appeal to the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. It was, unashamedly, made to appeal to the Black audience (there was no such thing as African-American in those days), and its total aim was to make that audience laugh! And it succeeded, spectacularly!! I was familiar with Richard Pryor from his toned-down appearances on The Flip Wilson Show, but this was a comedian who would do or say anything for a laugh. During his prime, no one was funnier than Richard Pryor, and he became a big star, so it wasn't just Black people who recognized his genius. This movie was his first opportunity to showcase his comedic vision in a starring role (acutally three of them). There are so many memorable scenes, and I don't want to give any of them away, so I won't. What I will say is that if you want to laugh, and you have any knowledge at all about Black culture thru the late seventies, and you haven't seen this movie, you've missed a treasure. The first time I watched it, I nearly split my side laughing. I'm talking about laughing so hard, I was crying; laughing so hard, my stomach hurt; laughing so hard, I hyperventilated; laughing so hard -- Well, you remember that phrase from "Who Framed Roger Rabbit?" about, "It's a gasser!"? Yeah, laughing THAT hard. For my money, Richard Pryor may have become more famous after "Which Way Is Up?", but he was never funnier than this!"
todd rich | hickory, nc United States | 02/08/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"" Which Way Is Up " , has been , and still is one of the funniest movies , that I've seen. From the beginning to the end , it's just down right hilarious. I'm smiling right now , just thinking about certain scenes. The script isn't original , by any means...but Richard Pryor's comedic talents take this film to unprecedented heights of humor. During a period of 1970's film making , when stereotypical images of Blacks , were the norm , this film is highly likely to offend people who are desiring political correctness.However , if you're able to except this film , for what it is .....you'll soon find yourself laughing at every ludricrous scene. I think the genuine qualities, of this film , are that it doesn't try to be something it isn't. It also doesn't attmept to be over-the-top, ridiculous. It simply tells the story of Leroy Jones's ( a young man , who leads a life of stagnant impoverishment), relocation to the big city. Motivated by the prospects of new romance , more money , and the threat of being killed for unknowingly starting a worker's strike ( in his hometown)...Leroy moves.Early and dedicated perfomances by Leonette Mckee ( Sparkle , Jungle Fever , Malcom X , ect ) , Marilyn Coleman ( Menace 2 Society , Looking for Mr. Goodbar, ect. ), and Margaret Avery ( Color Purple ), give this film an inescapable sence of truth. Honestly , if it weren't for the cast's ability to play their characters with an honest sense of seriousness , this film wouldn't be so funny. But that's the key to " Which Way Is Up". And that's why it's still hilarious, today. I highly recommend it and it will remain one of the funniest movies that I've ever seen.The dvd doesn't offer anything , but the ability to skip and choose scenes . However , this film, captures Richard Pryor ( playing three different charactors ) during his comedic prime , and that's well worth the money you'll spend."
Donna M. Glover | Oakland, CA United States | 03/30/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Word to the wise. Don't listen to critics. If it's not in subtitles, they don't like it. This movie showcases Richard Pryor's comic talents. Pryor hasin the past, given praise to Bill Cosby who first showed the world multiple-character comedy and took it a step further. Eddie Murphy recognized that he was influenced by Pryor. This movie is great! Slapstick, in your face humor. I think why critics hated this movie is the underlying truth about the mistreatment of minorities in this country."
Maybe I was wrong
Eric V. Moye | New York, by way of Dallas | 02/29/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"to call Blazing Saddles the funniest movie of all time. W.W.I.U. certainly holds it own in the hilarity category. Richard Pryor's funniest work for the simple reason that it gave him three vehicles for his expressive talents: an inept worker, promoted beyond his talents, the man's own father, a randy talk-it-the-way-I see it kind of guy and a philandering preacher with a platinum healing glove. These three characters interact with predictably insane results.It is not the scatological and regularly profane Pryor that many people came to know, or the tragic cocaine-addicted Pryor of the late '70's. Also, he is not as cutting in political and social commentary he is later in his career (particularly in his standup). But this is vintage Pryor. Many of the lines of this movie are not just laugh-out-loud funny when heard while viewing the movie, but also when those lines said to any other movie cognoscenti. Great to finally find this on DVD. A must have."