Daily News header

First Sunday Movie Review

By Prairie Miller

Moving on through the days of the week from the assorted nuts of his collection of screen Fridays, Ice Cube stars in First Sunday as Durell, a stressed out estranged dad who can't get a legit, even bottom rung job due to a felony rap sheet, and so has to resort to getting creative to concoct a cash-generating crime caper. And well he does in First Sunday, with Tracy Morgan as his kooky sidekick LeeJohn running accidental interference at every turn, as they scheme to take down a local Baltimore church and empty the collection box proceeds.

Writer/Director David E. Talbert manages to sweeten several serious messages here about the ordeals of ghetto life, with plenty of rowdy comic antics that make the more preachy Sunday sermon stuff go down easy. With its heart in the right place even as plot twists detour into some playful sinner territory, this inner city morality tale smooths over the rough edges, repetitious meanderings and a few dull spells to make room for substantial soul searching and tough love bad guy redemption.


When Durell and LeeJohn get collared for a wheelchair heist, don't ask, they're stuck with community service duty sweeping up the streets. But Durell needs serious cash right away, because his ex-girlfriend is about to move down to Atlanta with his son if he doesn't come up with child support. An initial idea to go see money lender Mordecai at a downtown massage parlor gets them into an exceedingly touchy situation, no pun intended. So Durell drags the faithful and gullible LeeJohn into a plan to rob a neighborhood church, by posing as new parishioners and infiltrating the vault.

But the plot of this lame duo gets foiled when they sneak into the church at night and the congregation is still there. Not to mention that the coffers have apparently been already pre-robbed, so to speak, and the guilty party is surely among the suspect flock. To make matters worse, the air conditioning has broken down and the sweltering surroundings are "hotter than Satan's toenails." So everybody is held hostage until Durell can figure out what to do with them. This includes Rickey (Katt Williams), the weirdly attired choir director who communicates primarily in wacko punchlines and musical sign language.

Though First Sunday doesn't hold together too well as a solid story, but more as a mix of devilishly inspired skits, there's pointed satire here about felons coming in more upscale snazzy three piece suits too. And Katt Williams, who serves as a kind of backdrop wild Greek chorus commentator rather than the star attraction he turns out to be, needs to be seen and heard more in his movies already, Amen.

Screen Gems
Rated PG-13
2 1/2 stars

  Please leave a comment here     If it does not display within 10 seconds, please refresh the page

Related Movie Reviews News

Gugu Mbatha-Raw, the emerging star compares her Belle role to her new role in Beyond the Lights, where she plays Noni, a pop star who falls for her hunky, supportive bodyguard.
Directed by Pat O'Connor (Sweet November), the screen version is an intriguing romance drama which takes a sharp turn about midway through when Tommo and Charlie enlist in the army and ship off to serve their country in Flanders' fields.
Before the month of October ends, here are the must-see movies to give viewers thrills and chills on the Halloween weekends.
Kam Williams interviews Haley Joel Osment, who played Cole, in The Sixth Sense, as the boy with the iconic line, I see dead people. Now in Sex Ed.
Seemingly a satire in some ways, of Keaton's ambivalent transformation into Tim Burton's Batman a quarter of a century ago, Birdman appears to be Keaton's venture into unprecedented extreme acting.
For movie fanatics and couch potatoes, are you ready to relax and indulge in a stress-free weekend? Well, here are top 10 DVD releases for the week!

 

NewsBlaze Writers Of The Month



Popular Stories This Month

newsletter logo

NewsBlaze
Copyright © 2004-2014 NewsBlaze Pty. Ltd.
Use of this website is subject to our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy  | DMCA Notice               Press Room   |    Visit NewsBlaze Mobile Site