Release Date: February 2nd, 2007 (AMC Empire 25) by Codeblack Entertainment.
The Cast: Ever Carradine, David Clennon, Rae Dawn Chong, Melissa De Sousa, Hill Harper, Alec Newman, Zoe Saldana, Lesley Ann Warren, Billy Dee Williams, Gabrielle Union.
Directed by Jordan Walker-Pearlman.
BASIC PREMISE: Helms (Williams) struggles to keep his family together after the death of his estranged sister, Carmel (Union).
ENTERTAINMENT VALUE: Constellation begins promisingly as Carmel (Union) engages in an interracial relationship with a young white soldier, Bear (Bess), who abandons her when he enters the war in the 1950ís. Too bad the plot doesnít stick to that time period because when it quickly shifts to the present 50 years later, thatís when it loses its momentum and becomes contrived, convoluted and awkward. For some reason which becomes somewhat clear later, Helms, a painter, holds a grudge against his sister, Carmel, even during her funeral service. His two daughters, Lucy (De Sousa) and Rosa (Saldana), trick him into attending the service which forces him to confront his past as well as his ex-wife (Warren). Writer/director Jordan Walker-Pearlman includes too much melodrama involving a variety of relationship issues and dysfunction ranging from Helms and his ex-wife to Rosa and her ex-boyfriend (Harper) who wants to get back together with her. In a particularly contrived scene, the older version of Bear (Clennon) shows up to the funeral service to morn the loss of his childhood sweetheart, Carmel. The stilted, unfocused screenplay jumps around too much between scenes and fails to make any of the characters true-to-life. Moreover, Carmel unnecessarily narrates some of the film. On a positive note, the use of high-definition digital cinematography gives a bright and crisp look to much of the film. All of the performances are mediocre at best, except Billy Dee Williams who brings some much needed gravitas to the role of Helms. Stay tuned a little after the end credits role for an additional scene that shows what Helms paints.
SPIRITUAL VALUE: Unfortunately, none.
INSULT TO YOUR INTELLIGENCE: Contrived, stilted and unfocused.
NUMBER OF TIMES I CHECKED MY WATCH: 9
IN A NUTSHELL: Billy Dee Williamsí strong performance doesnít compensate for a contrived, convoluted and stilted script with an unfocused plot.
RECOMMENDED WAY TO WATCH: TV
The "C" Menu