The Wood's the Hood
The Wood
Review by Ross Anthony

Less than brilliantly recorded in audio and visuals, this film's spirit and charm overwhelmingly eclipse technical pops and sputters. Often lower quality production is coupled with lower quality performance. This is absolutely not the case with "The Wood."

It's a buddy film. The story begins in the midst of wedding day hysteria. The best men, eyes to camera, begin the history of their high school days with the groom (who's cold feet have prevented him from making it to the church on time). That history is portrayed in intermittent flashbacks, while Roland (the groom) tries to make a final decision about following through with his bride-to-be.

Mike: You wanna marry her or not?
Ro: I guess so.
Slim: You guess so?! Ain't nobody askin' you to get no donuts!

A second set of three actors are used to play the buddies as teens. Both sets are excellent and fluid. The two portraying Slim deserve especially high praise for their powerfully funny and spontaneous reactions to the rich characters (and situations) that surround them.

Like "American Pie," this film is not afraid to broach the topic of teenage sex. Controversial as that may be, condoms were again advocated and it is rated R after all. Though both pictures can be enjoyed by teens and adults alike, "American Pie" favors the teens while "The Wood" favors adults.

Aside from a muddy audio track, some sticky edits and a few lighting problems; the only other negatives were a few commercial plugs that interrupted the realism of the tale.

With an excellent script, fantastic performances by everyone (hence great direction) and juicy chemistry between the buddies, "The Wood" proves entertaining and funny. During my viewing, the theater erupted with laughter.

Starring Elayn Taylor, Omar Epps, Richard T. Jones, Taye Diggs.
Direction and Screenplay by Rick Famuyima.
Produced by Albert Berger, Ron Yerxa, David Gale at MTV/Paramount/Bona Fide.
Rated R.


Copyright © 1999 Ross Anthony, currently based in Los Angeles, has scripted and shot documentaries, music videos, and shorts in 35 countries across North America, Europe, Africa and Asia. For more reviews visit:

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Last Modified: Saturday, 16-Sep-2006 07:50:10 PDT