Catasauqua Press

Friday, May 24, 2019
CONTRIBUTED Photo courtesy LIONSGATE“A Madea Family Funeral” CONTRIBUTED Photo courtesy LIONSGATE“A Madea Family Funeral”

Review: ‘Madea’

Friday, March 15, 2019 by Paul Willistein in Focus

To paraphrase Williams Shakespeare’s “Julius Caesar,” Act 2, Scene 3, and give it a twist, “I have not come here to bury ‘Medea,’ but to praise him-her.”

“A Madea Family Funeral” is the 11th in the feature film comedy series by actor-writer-director-producer Tyler Perry, who again plays the title role. Perry has said this is his final outing as family matriarch, Madea (introduced in “Diary Of A Mad Black Woman,” 2005).

In the latest, and last, installment, Perry also plays Madea’s brother, Joe; Joe’s son, Brian, and a new character, Joe’s brother, Heathrow, a paraplegic and a Vietnam war veteran.

In “A Madea Family Funeral,” a family reunion trip to Georgia becomes a test for the family when a death results in secrets being unearthed.

The family plot frames the usual Madea shenanigans, visual spoofs and bad puns and jokes -- so bad you might find yourself laughing at them in spite of yourself.

Perry’s dialogue humor is typically silly.

When it’s remarked that several animals must have been killed for a fur that a woman is wearing, the response is that it’s a faux fur. “Yeah, it cost about $4,” is the retort.

Perry’s often raunchy humor is juvenile at best and distasteful at worst. Still, it’s frequently funny.

The quips are so fast and furious that you might have to listen closely to understand them all. Code switching is not a factor for the African-American cast. For caucasian audiences, “A Madea Family Funeral” is a glimpse of a lifestyle one might not be familiar with.

Madea again has her share of Goldwynisms, or non sequitors, and word mixups.

Madea and her sidekicks, Aunt Bam (Cassi Davis) and Hattie (Patrice Lovely), provide the interplay of a femaie Three Stooges. Perry devises ridiculous situations for his characters and then makes them even more ridiculous.

Memorable in supporting roles are Ciera Payton (Sylvia), Kj Smith (Carol), Quin Walters (Renee), Aeriél Miranda (Gia) Jen Harper (Vianne), Courtney Burrell (A.J.), Rome Flynn (Jessie), David Otunga (Wil).

Perry’s multiple roles in the “Madea” series are akin to Eddie Murphy’s multi-role movies (“Norbit,” 2007; “The Nutty Professor,” 1996; “Vampire In Brooklyn,” 1995, and “Coming To America,” 1988). Perry’s acting is impressive.

“A Madea Family Funeral” is filmed in style, camera setups, editing and lighting similar to that of a television show. That’s not surprising since the situations are similar to TV sitcoms (“The Jeffersons,” 1975-85).

Words of wisdom are again dispensed by Madea. As with all good comedy, there’s some truth to it.

“A Madea Family Funeral” is another amusing installment for those who enjoy the ourageous Tyler Perry character. Farewell, Madea. It’s been fun to know you.

“A Madea Family Funeral,” MPAA rated PG-13 (Parents Strongly Cautioned Some material may be inappropriate for children under 13. Parents are urged to be cautious. Some material may be inappropriate for pre-teenagers.) for crude sexual content, language, and drug references throughout; Genre: Comedy; Run time: 1 hr., 49 min.; Distributed by Lionsgate.

Credit Readers Anonymous: “A Madea Family Funeral” end credits include blooper scene out-takes from the movie.

Box Office, March 8-10: “Captain Marvel,” starring Brie Larson as the new Marvel Cinematic Universe superhero, soared to No. 1, opening with $153 million, one week, taming “How To Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World,” dropping one place to No. 2 after two weeks at No. 1, with $14.6 million, $119.6 million, three weeks, as “A Madea Family Funeral” dropped one place, $12 million, $45.8 million, two weeks. 4. “The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part” stayed in place, $3.8 million, $97.1 million, five weeks. 5. “Alta: Battle Angel” dropped two places, $3.2 million, $78.3 million, four weeks. 6. “Green Book,” continued to bask in its Oscar Awards afterglow (best picture; best original screenplay, supporting actor, Mahershala Ali), staying in place, $2.4 million, $80.1 million, 17 weeks. 7. “Isn’t It Romantic” stayed in place, $2.4 million, $44.1 million, four weeks. 8. “Fighting With My Family” dropped three places, $2.1 million, $18.6 million, four weeks. 9. “Greta” dropped one place, $2.1 million, $8.2 million, two weeks. 10. “Apollo 11” rocketed up five places, $1.3 million, $3.7 million, two weeks.

Unreel, March 15:

“Five Feet Apart,” PG-13: Justin Baldoni directs Haley Lu Richardson, Cole Sprouse, Claire Forlani and Moises Arias in the Romantic-Drama. Two teens with life-threatening illnesses fall in love in a hospital.

“The Aftermath,” R: James Kent directs Alexander Skarsgård, Keira Knightley, Jason Clarke and Martin Compston in the Drama. In post-World War II, Hamburg, Germany, a British colonel and his wife deal with the tensions of reconstruction.

Two Popcorn Boxes out of Five Popcorn Boxes