Be Somebody or Be Somebody's Fool!
(1984) Reviewed by James Kichas
Rating: 8 Beans
f all the bizarre culture from the 1980's (from skinny ties to new wave music) there might not be a stranger occurrence than the popularity gained by one Mr. T. With the benefit of hindsight it just doesn't appear that anything like T could have taken place at any other time or in any other place. Seemingly at the height of his peculiar powers in 1984 Mr. T found time to make the educational video "Be somebody or be somebody's fool!" Thankfully for all us would-be fool's he did.
In this haunting film you'll learn several helpful techniques to prevent you from "being the fool." You'll also be exposed to what comprises Mr. T. For example, did you ever wonder why he had a Mohawk? Apparently it symbolizes his connection with his ancestors in Africa who hailed from the Mandeka tribe. And what was up with all those gold chains Mr. T used to wear? Seems that they're symbols of his ancestor’s oppression. Since one of the gold chains is a Star of David one can only assume that Mr. T is very in touch with his Jewish roots.
Basically the structure of this film is organized to move along a series of vignettes, each of which deals with small moments in the human condition which if not handled properly make you more likely to "be the fool." Most of the messages are pretty similar to phrases you probably heard a million times in elementary school. "Don't do drugs!" "Don't fight!" "Don't give in to peer pressure!" Interestingly though Mr. T adds a few of his own bizarre messages into the mix like "Wear clothes with your name on them!" and "Break dance to prevent loneliness and depression!" At least those are the messages I gleaned from this confusion.
If you can find this film RENT it! It packs more unintentional laughs into 60 minutes than most bad movies can manage in 2 hours. My only regret is that my elementary school wasn't hip enough to show us the Mr. T video on days when the teacher didn't feel up to the task of educating our young minds. Rest assured my chances of “being somebody” and avoiding “being somebody’s fool” could have only been improved.