Xpress, the Coolest Section of the St. Petersburg Times, is the home for features, news and views of interest to young readers. Most of the work in Xpress, which appears on Mondays in Floridian, is produced by the Times' X-Team. The team of journalists ages 9-17 from around the Tampa Bay area is selected every year at the end of the school year to serve during the following school term. The current team of 12 was chosen out of 150 applicants. Watch for X-Team application forms in Xpress during the month of May.

Read the reviews by Xpress Film Critic Billy Norris

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Movie Review

Give in to these Temptations

Published September 22, 2003

Cuba Gooding, Jr. and Beyonce Knowles
[Paramount Pictures/MTV Films]
Cuba Gooding, Jr. as Darrin Hill and Beyonce Knowles as Lilly.
Billy Norris
Read the reviews by Xpress Film Critic Billy Norris

The Fighting Temptations

Rating: PG-13

Summary: Darrin Hill (Cuba Gooding Jr.) is a New York advertising executive who has made it through life by telling lies (faking his college degree, resume, etc.), despite a spiritual upbringing by his mother and his Aunt Sally. He has dug himself a big financial hole, and when he is notified of Sally's death, he goes back to his deeply Southern-rooted hometown in Georgia for the funeral and the reading of the will. Because he is the only surviving relative, the will stipulates that he is to be left $150,000 but under one condition. He must restructure the church choir and win the annual regional Gospel Explosion competition. Badly in need of the cash, he sets out to recruit the right combination of people to form an award-winning choir, including a reluctant but extraordinarily talented singer named Lilly (Beyonce Knowles). Darrin has his work cut out for him before his group of misfits gets the job done.

My View: This movie is reminiscent of The Blues Brothers. When Darrin is desperately searching for choir members, he begins to pull talent from all kinds of places, even prison. It results in a crack crew of singers that exudes joyous energy and gives spirited musical performances. The core of this film is its spectacular soundtrack. Beyonce's sizzling, sultry voice is the main highlight, but a multitalented entourage that includes gospel artist Shirley Caesar backs her up. Gooding, though always fun to watch, is just an accessory. The life and force of the music transcend the plot and make the movie a toe-tapping, fun experience.

Recommendations: See it for the uplifting sounds, which will put a smile on your face.

Grade: B

- Billy Norris, 15, is in 10th grade at Seminole High School and is a former member of the Times' X-Team.

[Last modified September 19, 2003, 13:32:16]

Here's the rest of today's Xpress

  • Getting to know the X-Team
  • As lovable as his subject

  • IT!
  • Only strong people can say they're sorry

  • Movie Review
  • 'Secondhand Lions' is first-rate
  • Give in to these Temptations
  • Back to Top

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