Part movie, part documentary, all dialectical diatribe, GhettoPhysics is one of the most entertaining movie watching experiences one is likely to have in any context. If this film is nothing else (and it may be nothing else) it's funny and (ironically) fundamentally true. What certainly isn't true is what it purports to be, which is a legitimate course of study that analyzes the historic, international, socio-cultural, economic and psychological relationships between individuals, governments and corporations through the prism of physics and what has been loosely called metaphysics. GhettoPhysics has no more relationship with actual physics than producer William H. Arntz' popular, quasi-science-based documentary, What The #$*! Do We (K)now!?; another movie as correct in its basic supposition as it is wholly wrong in its analogies to real science. Arntz serves as co-director, producer and pontificator for GhettoPhysics, appearing in the "documentary" asides the film uses when not engaged in a quasi-narrative storyline set in the "GhettoPhysics" course of what is apparently a historically black college. Box office prospects are as elusive as the film's metaphysics.
Co-director E. Raymond Brown ostensibly plays himself in the film. He represents both a "character," acting as a GhettoPhysics professor in scenes with actors playing students, and as his actual self, E. Raymond Brown, author of the 2003 book Ghetto Physics: Will The Real Pimps and Hos Please Stand UP! (a real book which he actually wrote). He is not an actual professor so far as one can discern. As characters play scenes in various settings -- a morning radio program, a television talk show and the lecture of "Professor" Brown -- all of the underlying notions of E. Raymond Brown's book are brought to bear. Said notions are as follows: the pimp/ho dynamic is the fundamental relationship of the universe. Everybody on the planet is either a pimp or a ho. This is played out most obviously in the literal pimp/ho dynamic as seen between actual pimps and hos (the documentary portions of the film supply us with many examples), but is nevertheless true of everyone and all relationships, everyday, everywhere. According to the narrative and documentary exposition of the film, the Pope is a Pimp while all Catholics are hos; Mother Theresa (also a pimp) raised $5 billion from her many charitable hos over 60 years of benevolent pimping. Harvard is a pimp; those who long to attend are hos with pimp-aspirations. All corporations are pimps, to which we are all "bottom rung" hos.
Never has a truer notion been expounded upon in any film of any genre in the history of filmmaking -- ever.
Finally, the film extends the notion that we are all in fact both Pimps and Hos, and the sooner we recognized this basic dynamic in all of our relationships and decisions the better we will exploit the ying-yang of our own pimp/ho existence.
Lending legitimacy to these notions are the likes of Dr. Cornel West, Ice-T, Norman Lear, Former U.S. Representative Cynthia McKinney, South African Freedom Fighter and Poet Sonia Barrett, Ishmael Tetteh, Hip-Hop Artist and Activist KRS-One, Economics Author John Perkins, Byron Katie, Gangsta Hip-Hop Artist Too $hort and a number of actual Pimps and Hos, including Fillmore Slim (American Pimp), Candy, Hook da Crook, Loreal, Mac Breed and Lo Da Show.
As for the science -- we think not.
Distributor: Samuel Goldwyn Films
Cast: E. Raymond Brown, William H. Arntz, Sabrina Revelle, Mike Foy, Nina Daniels, Dr. Cornel West, Ice-T, Norman Lear, Cynthia McKinney, John Perkins, Too $hort, Hook da Crook, Mac Breed, Lo Da Show and Fillmore Slim
Director/Screenwriter: William Arntz, E. Raymond Brown
Producers: Scott Altomare, William Arntz and E. Raymond Brown
Rating: R for language including some sexual references.
Running time: 94 min
Release date: October 8 ltd.