March 25, 2020  (Web Review)

Mo’ Better Blues

Kino Lorber, 130 min., R, Blu-ray: $29.99

Reviewer rating: 3.0/4

Jazz trumpet player Bleek Gilliam (Denzel Washington) has a problem: he can’t decide between his music and his women, and this indecisiveness lands him in hot water, both with his fellow musicians, and the two ladies in his life–the simple Indigo (Joie Lee) and would-be-singer Clark (Cynda Williams). Compounding his problems is his childhood friend turned band manager Giant (Spike Lee), who has a fondness for gambling, and cannot seem to lucratively renegotiate the ever more popular Bleek Quintet’s contract. Although not top-drawer Spike Lee, Mo’ Better Blues (1990) is grand entertainment with some thought-provoking insights into the world of music and it’s mo’ better than a lot of early ’90s films by Lee’s contemporaries. Presented with a solid transfer, this Blu-ray release includes an audio commentary by Vanity Fair film critic K. Austin Collins. Recommended. (R. Pitman)