Reviewed by

Christopher Armstead

Past performance is not an indication of future earnings. That’s one of those lines that you hear from those investment companies to let you know that you could very well take a bath if you invest your hard earned loot with their company. I had to use that philosophy while cuing up this movie ‘What Up’? Why you may ask? Since I watch and review WAY too many low budget cheap ass movies and since I also have a pretty decent memory, I retain a lot of worthless information. For instance, as the opening credits rolled for this thing I noticed that K.C. Amos was one of producers of this thing, and being as how the last movie I saw of Mr. Amos was ‘The Watermelon Heist’ which he directed, possibly the most offensive movie I’ve EVER seen and easily amongst the worst I’ve seen, I was somewhat concerned. A few seconds later the name Daniel Zirilli also popped up as a producer which gave me pause because Mr. Zirilli was the man behind the camera for ‘The Champagne Gang’, again a really, really bad movie and one, that, along with ‘The Watermelon Heist’, spent some significant time in ‘The Garbage Corner’ on our little website. But I reminded myself that past performance in no indication of future earnings, and this movie is directed by one Dale Stelly, a dude who has made a number of movies, none of which I’ve seen. Well folks, after having a chance to see ‘What Up?’, I can only ask where are Daniel Zirilli or K.C. Amos when you really need them.

Tyrone (Kadeem Hardison) and Jerome (Godfrey) are a couple of shiftless janitors working for one Mister Dookey (Ernest Harden Jr.) who farts a lot. I’m seriously not making this up. I think the pair are attempting to be screenwriters or something and are getting their pitch ready for maverick film director Spike Leroy but all that changes when Jerome stumbles across 100,000 dollars in mob money. So how did the loot get lost in the first place? A mobster (Emilio Rosa) is on the run from the cops after a drug deal goes bad and despite the fact he got away from the cops undetected, he still figured it was a good idea to ‘hide’ a suitcase full of money under some loose tile atop

an abandoned building. So this mobster’s boss is mighty pissed off that his money is missing, while our wise cracking janitors have taken this hundred grand and blown it in a matter of minutes. This pisses off the head gangster even more who gives our heroes 48 hours to somehow, someway retrieve his money. The question will be, aside from resisting the urge to hit eject before the film completes, can Jerome and Tyrone get the money to the mobster before their 48 hours is up?

The Garbage Corner is a very special place. There has been many a bad movie that do not qualify to go there because it’s simply not unique enough in its crappiness. ‘Voodoo Lagoon’ has been lounging in the Garbage Corner for a couple of months now but it is nigh time that it got replaced. It is not necessary that a film be worse than ‘Voodoo Lagoon’ to be in the Garbage Corner, a movie just has to be Garbage Corner worthy, and ‘What Up?’ not only meets this stringent criteria but surpasses it on many occasions. It seems as if there were no real script for this movie as Mr. Hardison and Mr. Godfrey were left to do most of their lines through improvisation. To this end it felt as if the director simply sat his camera on a tripod and left the room because these scenes went on like forever. Every once in a while these two dudes, who I know for a fact are both pretty funny guys, would say something mildly amusing, but for the most part they looked as if they were waiting for somebody to just say ‘cut!’ Seriously, how many jokes can a dude squeeze out about a man named Dookey? I believe the answer to that is one, at best, but the attempts felt infinite.

Now I could go on and on about how poor the story was or how bad some of the acting was or how the ‘Mr. Dookey’ jokes stopped being funny after thirty seconds, or why come this movie had a severe shortage of cuties in it and how very little of this contained any actual humor, but all of that really isn’t the issue with ‘What Up?’. As bad as ‘The Watermelon Heist’ and ‘The Champagne Gang’ might have been, at least the production values were relatively high. I will freely admit that I don’t know a hell of a lot about making movies, but I’m thinking if you’ve got two dark brothers in your film, it may behoove you to SHINE A LIGHT ON THEM. There were scenes where you could only see the outline of Kadeem’s or Godfrey’s face and their moving teeth. The outside scenes were worse because remember, just because you shoot a scene in the daylight doesn’t mean that your subject is lit. If the sun is on top or behind these rather dark brothers, again I’m stuck looking at silhouettes and moving teeth. Perhaps a reflector placed under a subject would have helped illuminate these dark brothers? Next time just hit me up and I’ll let you use mine. Cost me thirty bucks. Plus the sun has this nasty habit of moving such in one scene that I guess was shot around 10:00 AM since our heroes were lit okay, but the over the shoulder shots in the same scene must have been shot at 7:00 PM since I’m only seeing moving teeth and eye whites again. It’s a damn good thing I already know what those two brothers look like. Of course the scene jumped back from decent to teeth only. I don’t think I’ve seen a movie as technically inept as this one was… like ever. Maybe some of those early York Entertainment joints were worse, but for the love of all that’s holy I thought those days were long gone.

I hate to be so hard on this thing because Lord knows I love my people but this doesn’t make any sense to me. The credited cinematographer, Kevin L. Smith, has made enough movies, a few of which I’ve seen, and this wasn’t a issue with those flicks so I don’t what the hell happened with this movie. Step aside ‘Voodoo Lagoon’, we have new resident and I hope I won’t have to remove it any time soon.

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