baradetski’s review published on Letterboxd:
Far from the greatest film ever made, but it could very well be my favorite. A tragicomedy about a man stuck between various moral and social dilemmas is the perfect catalyst for a film showcasing the class struggle of black working America. There's something truly special about the way Burnett uses Bressonian precision to subtly weave in politics: notice how while a father and son playfully wrestle Burnett feels the need to remind us that people are looking for work. It's little moments like this, in which comedy is interrupted by reality, that make the film as powerful as it is. It's also worth noting that we only see the American flag on two occasions: first after a failed robbery, and then again at the wedding — this is Burnett's view of America, this is his story, and there isn't anything quite like it.
Of all the films I've seen, this is perhaps the one that makes me want to make films the most. There's something imperfect about the films presentation that for whatever reason heightens it, because despite all of the craftsmanship Burnett puts on display, we're constantly reminded the he's working on a budget. And because of this, the filmmaking process suddenly becomes feasible: Burnett makes me feel like I could make a masterpiece in my own backyard, and for that I am grateful.
This was my first time seeing the 83 minute cut, and I greatly prefer the original 118 minute version. There's something about the shorter cut that feels a lot more stripped down, the original cut paints a much harsher and more honest reality. As Eustache once said, everybody loves a fat baby.