I belong to My Coke Rewards by Coca Cola. It's nifty little online program that uses those codes tucked away under the bottle caps and wrappings of Coca Cola products. You enter the code, it's worth points, you accumulate points, you get stuff. I like stuff, especially [seemingly] free stuff.


I use my points to get AMC Theatre movie passes which works out well because there re AMC Theatres all over the place. Over the course of the several years I've been collecting, I have amassed at least 50 movie passes - both gold and silver. Gold is the best because it's good for any film while silver is good only for films that have been in theaters for at least two weeks. I'm down to my last few AMC Gold Passes and My Coke Rewards no longer offers them.


I used one of those gold passes on Tyler Perry's latest, "Good Deeds" because there was no press or public screening of it. As you can guess that's never a good sign because it generally means that the studio/producer don't have confidence that word of mouth will be good. Bad word of mouth and bad reviews may doom it. That's an interesting theory that sometimes means nothing. [Note - "Transformers" and "Twilight" films received bad reviews and have gone on to make billions regardless!]

But Tyler Perry is, if nothing else, a shred businessman who understands his market. That is why he was listed by Forbes Magazine as the highest paid entertainer in the country. So he's not going to allow anything to interfere with is movie goldmine. Especially bad reviews or word-of-mouth warning people to stay away!


But enough of that, my readers already know why I said all that. It's not good when I spend half of the review explaining the business of movie making and my affiliation with a soft drink rewards program. I'm dragging out the inevitable.


"Good Deeds" is about a very successful black businessman named Wesley Deeds. He has an Ivy League education and is the heir apparent of the families huge software corporation. He's already running the company, but is under the thumb of his over-powering mother Wilimena (Phylicia Rashad) who makes sure he stays the course and is doing the family right by locking on to his prepped fiance Natalie (Gabrielle Union).


Thandi Newton plays Lindsey Wakefield, a janitor in his building who is extremely proud but up-against-it with homelessness and the department of children services on her back to take her daughter Ariel (Jordenn Thompson) away. You guessed it, Wesley finds out and puts her up in one of the company condos - gratis.

Meanwhile, Natalie isn digging in her claws getting ready for the big wedding, his mother is pressuring him to continue to make good and his hard partying, no-good brother Walter (Brain White) wants to quash everything because he is the bad son.


Somewhere along the way, there is a good triumphs evil theme although deep down inside we are hoping that for once the bad guy would crush the do-gooder. But that would go against Perry's wholesome church-laden philosophy. It would also take away the close-ups of him trying to emote some sort of profound babble.


To Perry's credit, he did subdue his character - this is totally different from his drag queen Madea character. But in a sense you almost hope that some sort of stupidity would come out if only to lighten this somber film.


We really want to see more of Rashad's venomous mother routine and White's no-goodnik role. It would even have been nice to see Thandie and Gabrielle get into a lingerie cat-fight... but that would detract from the close-ups of Perry chewing the scenery.


So we don't get more of the same from Perry, we get more of Perry and Perry's lack of real cinematographic skills. You think he would have learned something from Lee Daniels while he was on the sidelines watching. But no he didn't.


"Good Deeds" isn't as awful as some of Tyler Perry's other offerings. The message is far too smarmy and gives us too much Perry and not enough of the talent that can actually act. Maybe see on Redbox! I'm just saying.   -- GEOFF BURTON