Mo' Better Blues

Director: Spike Lee
Year Released: 1990
Rating: 1.5

Jazz musician Denzel Washington juggles two women, tries to keep his band mates happy (Wesley Snipes' character wants to steal the show), tries to keep his eye on his Fredo-like gambling act friend (played by Lee himself) and argues with management for mo' better money (and doesn't get it). For so much supposedly happening to one character, the picture as a whole is rather muted and uninvolving - particularly odd considering the charisma Washington brings to the screen. Lee doesn't have much to say about the life of an artist torn between his craft and commerce, and his political venom is absent. The edge is missing on this one - lucky for us he'd get it back in later films.