Tyler Perry: The Plays Box Set – DVD Review


Available at Amazon.com

Director:

Tyler Perry (All 7 Seven Plays)

Starring:

I Can Do Bad All By Myself

Tyga Graham ………. Bobby
Kisha Grandy ………. Vianne
David Mann ………. Leroy Brown
Tamela J. Mann ………. Cora
Elaine O’Neal ………. Keisha
Tyler Perry ………. Mable “Madea” Simmons
Carl Pertile ………. Anthony
Donna Stewart ………. Maylee

Diary of a Mad Black Woman

Tyler Perry ………. Madea / Daddy charles
Curtis Blake ………. Charles
Marva King ………. Helen
Ty London ………. Willie
Tamela J. Mann ………. Cora
Regina McCrary ………. Mildred
Cordell Moore ………. Orlando
Tunja Robinson ………. Brenda

Madea’s Family Reunion

Tyler Perry ………. Mable “Madea” Simmons
Isaac Caree ………. Reverend Lewis
Sonya Evans ………. Lisa
D’Atra Hicks ………. Jackie
Garry Jenkins ………. A.J.
Pebbles Johnson ………. Vickie
David Mann ………. Leroy Brown
Tamela J. Mann ………. Cora
Regina McCrary ………. Mrs. Mattie
Terrell Philips ………. Kevin
Mike Storm ………. Ronnie
James Tittle IV ………. Jackie’s ex boyfriend
Zakiya Williams ………. Tina

Madea’s Class Reunion

Tyler Perry ………. Madea / Dr. Willy Leroy Jones
Terrell Carter ………. Cory Jeffery
Chantell D. Christopher ………. Ann
Chandra Currelley-Young ………. Emma
D’Wayne Gardner ………. Horace
Anselmo Gordon ………. Clarence Massey
David Mann ………. Leroy Brown
Tamela J. Mann ………. Cora
Ahmad Jamal McGhee ………. DJ & Waiter
Jamal McGhee ………. DJ & Waiter
Judy Peterson ………. Diana Massey
Cheryl Pepsii Riley ………. Stephanie
Pamela Taylor ………. Trina Jeffrey

Why Did I Get Married?

Cheryl Pepsii Riley ………. Sheila
LaVan Davis ………. Poppy
Donna Stewart ………. Diana
Cordell Moore ………. Mike
Greg Stewart ………. Terry
Tony Grant ………. Troy
Demetria McKinney ………. Trina
Beverly Faulks ………. Janice
Tony Grant ………. Troy

Meet The Browns

Trina Braxton ………. Tracy Stevens
Terrell Carter ………. Will
Nicci Gilbert ………. Aunt Vera
Euclid Gray ………. Reverend Oliver
David Mann ………. Leroy Brown
Tamela J. Mann ………. Cora Brown
Kendrick Mays ………. L.B.
Demetria McKinney ………. Kim
Terrell Philips ………. Gerald
Tamika Scott ………. Millet Jenay Baptiste-Brown
Joyce D. Williams ………. Sarah

Madea Goes To Jail

Tyler Perry ………. Madea
Cheryl Pepsii Riley ………. Wanda
Cassi Davis ………. Ella
LaVan Davis ………. Leo
Chantell D. Christopher ………. Vanessa
Christian Keyes ………. Sonny
Ryan Gentles ………. Nate
Brian Hurst ………. Jeremy
Anndretta Lyle ………. Toni
Crystal Collins ………. Chico
Ron Andrews ………. Pete

The Box Set

By now you probably have heard of Tyler Perry, the director of such films as Diary of a Mad Black Woman, Madea’s Family Reunion, Daddy’s Little Girls, and Why Did I Get Married?. Tyler Perry has also recently made a name for himself in the television and book worlds. But before all of that, Tyler Perry got his start in Atlanta, Georgia, writing, directing, and starring in a series of hit plays in the late 1990s and early 2000s. For the first time ever, the entire collection of Tyler Perry’s hit plays are presented together here in a box set.

In the first of these plays, I Can Do Bad All By Myself, Madea (Tyler Perry) is sick and her family comes to see her, however it’s the rest of the family that needs help. Her granddaughter Maylee (Donna Stewart) has dumped her daughter, Keisha (Elaine O’Neal), off on her sister, Vianne (Kisha Grandy), who has been living with Madea for the past 6 months since her divorce. Chaos erupts when Maylee shows up engaged to Vianne’s ex, Anthony (Carl Pertile), who is out to make Vianne as miserable as possible. Vianne meanwhile starts to get interested in Bobby (Tyga Graham), who works for Madea and who’s served time, who during the past 6 months has insisted that he’s no good. Elsewhere, Madea and her daughter, Cora (Tamela J. Mann), try to convince Maylee that Keisha needs a mother to stick around with her, but that doesn’t tie in with Anthony’s plans. Madea’s stuck with all her family’s problems and a few of her own, such as Leroy Brown (David Mann) coming over repeatedly and getting the whole household in an uproar, and the police chasing her. Through it all, they prove that no amount of money, nor material items nor empty relationship can offer near what God, family, and love can.

In Diary of a Mad Black Woman, Helen (Marva King) has everything a woman wants including a nice house and a rich husband. That all changes when her husband, Charles (Curtis Blake), throws her out of the house after admitting to an affair. A distraught Helen turns to her mother, Cora (Tamela J. Mann), and grandmother Madea who take her in and turn her back to God. Helen learns for the first time in her life to stand up on her own two feet and is ready to remove herself from her relationship with Charles and move on with a new guy she met named Orlando (Cordell Moore). But when her husband is almost killed by a vengeful client, Helen wonders if she has the heart to forgive him despite everything.

In Madea’s Family Reunion, Madea has just buried her sister. She then has to get ready for her granddaughter, Lisa (Sonya Evans), coming to get married at her house. In between all of that, there is a family reunion with Madea’s crazy neighbor, Leroy Brown (David Mann), and his dysfunctional family that Madea must endure. Good thing Madea has a sharp tongue that only speaks the truth, and if all else fails there is always the handgun in her purse.

In Madea’s Class Reunion, the year is 2003 and Booker T. Washington’s Class of 1953 is having their 50th reunion at the Pandora Hotel. Madea and Leroy Brown (David Mann) are old classmates and we quickly learn that their class has no class. Madea’s daughter, Cora (Tamela J. Mann), works at the Pandora Hotel, and has to deal with Madea and her crazy classmates for the entire night.

In Why Did I Get Married?, Poppy (LaVan Davis) holds a weeklong couples retreat every year that has become a ritual of sorts to help work out marital problems and ask the question “Why did I get married?”. Two couples, Sheila (Cheryl Pepsii Riley) and Mike (Cordell Moore), and Diana (Donna Stewart) and Terry (Greg Stewart) come every year. This time up, though, Sheila invites her single friend, Trina (Demetria McKinney), which only causes problems. Soon the mood shifts when one couple’s infidelity comes to light. Secrets are revealed and each couple begins to question their own relationship. Over the course of the week, the couples battle with issues of commitment, betrayal and forgiveness and examine their lives as individuals and as committed couples.

In Meet The Browns, Pop Brown has just died after living to be 107 years old. He only left his family with $400 to have a funeral for him. L.B. (Kendrick Mays), the eldest son, and his wife, Sarah (Joyce D. Williams) were Pop Brown’s only caretakers for 11 years. Their daughter, Millet Jenay Baptiste-Brown (Tamika Scott), arrives to take matter into her own hands including paying for the rest of the funeral. The rest of the Brown family comes for the funeral including crazy Leroy Brown (David Mann) and his long-lost daughter with Madea, Cora (Tamela J. Mann), who is just meeting the rest of the Brown family for the first time.

In Madea Goes To Jail, Madea returns in another hilarious story in which she gets sent to jail for apparently stealing some gas. Meanwhile, Madea’s niece by marriage, Vanessa (Chantel Christopher), is having issues with her parole officer husband, and Madea’s nephew, Sonny (Christian Keyes). Inside of jail, Madea meets some new friends Katie (Judy Peterson) and Chico (Crystal Collins). Katie has a young daughter named Toni (Anndretta Lyle), who needs an attitude adjustment. But regardless of the circumstances, Madea is still able to give her trademark advice and wisdom to her new friends and family as they learn the importance of letting go, moving on, and forgiveness.

All seven of these plays have some trademarks that Tyler Perry tends to have in all of his plays. You can expect characters to break out into soulful songs at any time during the play. You can expect there to be a positive message of some kind with the ultimate message being that “God is always there for you”. There will also be one character that is there for comic relief. In the majority of the plays, that character is Madea, played by Tyler Perry. However, Madea is nowhere to be found in Why Did I Get Married and Meet The Browns. That doesn’t mean we don’t have any comic relief in these two plays, though. They are just played by different characters like Poppy in Why Did I Get Married? and Leroy Brown in Meet the Browns.

So while the story changes a little bit in each play, you will find many similarities in all of these plays. That can be a good thing or a bad thing, depending on how you look at it. If you like one, you will probably like them all. Although, I will say that Madea no doubt carries the films and proof of that really is evident when she is not in two of the plays. The biggest negatives for all these plays are the same as well. Some of the drama is over-the-top and some of the comedy is not universally funny.

Tyler Perry’s work is definitely not for everyone. He definitely writes his plays with a specific audience in mind. However, at times his plays can teach everyone a lesson not matter what race or gender they might be. But it’s really all or nothing here. If you enjoy one, you will more than likely enjoy them all. So this DVD collection of plays really makes sense. If you are a fan of Tyler Perry and want to know how his whole career got started, this is the DVD set for you.

The Video:

The video for all seven play are given in 1.33:1 fullscreen color. There is no fancy video here. Just some standard cameras capturing the plays on video. There has been no upgrade from the original release of these plays on DVD.

The Audio:

The audio included for all seven plays is available in English Dolby Digital 2.0 sound. Again, nothing fancy here. Just standard audio and not an upgrade from previous releases of these plays on DVD either.

The Extras:

I Can Do Bad All By Myself

Selected Scene Audio Commentary
Tyler Perry provides audio commentary on four select scenes from this play. He explains more about the scene and basically comments more about the play in general. This is better than having no commentary at all, but this is really short.

“Behind-the-Scenes” Featurette
This featurette runs for 38 minutes and it’s basically a lot of bonus footage dealing with this play. We see all the troubles they had performing this play at one venue, and various other “behind-the-scenes” stuff with Tyler Perry and the rest of the cast.

Diary of a Mad Black Woman

Selected Scene Audio Commentary
Tyler Perry provides audio commentary on eight select scenes from this play. More of the same. He explains more about the play through his commentary on each of these scenes.

“Behind the Scenes” Featurette
This featurette runs 8 minutes and it basically provides more background information on this play as we hear from Tyler Perry and the rest of the cast.

Madea Quiz
This is a 15 question quiz about Madea that you can try for yourself. There are three answers to each question and you have to pick the right one. Pretty straight-forward, but it is probably best to watch all of the plays first before attempting to answer these questions.

Madea’s Family Reunion

Selected Scene Audio Commentary
Tyler Perry provides audio commentary on five select scenes from this play. Just some more information on this play through Tyler’s eyes.

“About Tyler Perry” Featurette
This featurette runs 10 minutes and it’s basically Tyler Perry telling us more about himself, where he came from, why he writes plays, etc. There is also some “behind-the-scenes” stuff on this play thrown in for good measure.

Madea’s Class Reunion

Selected Scene Audio Commentary
Tyler Perry provides audio commentary on eight select scenes from this play. The only extra for this play where you learn more about it, so it provides a little bit more information than the others.

Bloopers
This is 19 minutes of nothing but bloopers from this play. It’s a little long, but all of this stuff is funny.

Deleted Scenes
There are 12 scenes that didn’t make the final cut of the play. All of them are pretty funny, so check them out for sure.

Why Did I Get Married?

“Behind the Scenes” Featurette
This featurette runs for 31 minutes and it’s what you would expect. It provides background information on this play as we talk to Tyler Perry and the rest of the cast and crew.

Chandra Currelley “Love Songs”
Tyler Perry introduces Chandra Currelley, who sings songs from her album “Love Songs”. This lasts for about 7 minutes and the music fits in with the play here.

Meet The Browns

Selected Scene Audio Commentary
Tyler Perry provides audio commentary on four select scenes from this play. More of the same. He explains more about the play through his commentary on each of these scenes.

“Behind-the-Scenes” Featurette
This featurette runs 24 minutes and it’s more bonus footage for this play. We see bits and pieces from Tyler Perry and the rest of the cast and crew as they create and perform this play.

Madea Goes To Jail

“Behind the Scenes with Tyler and the Cast” Featurette
This featurette runs 30 minutes and we talk to Tyler Perry and the cast about this play. Pretty much what you would expect.

“The Magic of Madea/Madea Goes To Jail” Featurette
This featurette runs 22 minutes and it’s really the first one to tell us how Tyler Perry becomes the character of Madea. From the makeup, to the outfit, to the voice, it’s all explained here. We also get more information on how this play works.

Bloopers
This runs for 20 minutes and it’s nothing but bloopers and mistakes from the cast while performing this play.

THE INSIDE PULSE

If you happen to have all of these plays on DVD already, there is not much need to get this box set. There are no new special features added from the individual releases of these plays. But if you want the COMPLETE set of plays that made Tyler Perry famous, you have to buy this. This set is also a great way to get an introduction to Tyler Perry, if you haven’t seen any of his plays. However, you can probably just rent of these plays to get a taste of his work.

The DVD Lounge’s Ratings for Tyler Perry: The Plays Box Set
CATEGORY
RATING
(OUT OF 10)
THE PLAYS

6
THE VIDEO

7
THE AUDIO

7
THE EXTRAS

9
REPLAY VALUE

6
OVERALL
7
(NOT AN AVERAGE)

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