Head of State

Head of State

3.2 5

Cast: Bernie Mac, Dylan Baker, Nick Searcy


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Chris Rock's directorial debut, Head of State, has a number of supplements, but while no one would expect a special edition, what is offered here is quite weak. Granted, there is a scene-specific commentary, but Rock's observations aren't always that interesting, and he's not nearly as funny as would be expected. A 12-minute PR piece about the making of the…  See more details below


Chris Rock's directorial debut, Head of State, has a number of supplements, but while no one would expect a special edition, what is offered here is quite weak. Granted, there is a scene-specific commentary, but Rock's observations aren't always that interesting, and he's not nearly as funny as would be expected. A 12-minute PR piece about the making of the film does have some good interviews with the cast, but it doesn't amount to much, and the standard photo gallery has become so superfluous that it no longer holds any interest. Finally, along with the typical production notes, cast and crew biographies, and home-video trailers for Walk the Talk and Biker Boyz, are three deleted scenes that certainly wouldn't have added to the film. While the disc sounds like a waste of time, things do get better. The 1.85:1 anamorphic image is first-rate. As expected, there is also a full-frame version, available separately. Colors tend to be somewhat over-saturated at times, but are never too much of a distraction. Director of photography Donald Thorin (Purple Rain, Scent of a Woman, Shaft) has done a wonderful job here, and the transfer on this DVD really highlights his work. While the soundtrack can't really live up to the image, it's far better than expected. As with a smaller, low-budget comedy, the audio is primarily centered up front, but the occasional use of the surrounds adds to the overall effect. Far from a great DVD, it does have enough going for it for a recommendation.

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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Ed Hulse
Head of State, Chris Rock's first writer-director-star vehicle, is a coarsely funny and openly cynical satire of the American electoral system. Rock plays Mays Gilliam, an obscure and ineffectual Washington, D.C., alderman whose spontaneous act of bravery makes him a perfect "sacrificial lamb" candidate for his party. Party boss Bill Arnot (James Rebhorn) and campaign manager Martin Geller (Dylan Baker) realize Mays can't possibly win but promote him anyway in hopes of scoring points for "diversity." But the candidate -- who also has no delusions about his chances -- uses his truncated campaign to speak his mind rather than mouth the typical banal platitudes, and the public finds his candor refreshing. Rock, who co-wrote the script, hasn't gone to much trouble to make Head of State original: Eddie Murphy's The Distinguished Gentleman covered the same ground a few years ago, and even Warren Beatty's Bulworth made many of the same points. But this film doesn't need dazzlingly innovative scripting when it boasts such impressive comedic talents as Rock and Bernie Mac, who is hilarious as Mays's bail-bondsman brother, Mitch, pressed into service as a running mate. Rock's movie lampoons our political system with perfect pitch, exposing its blatant opportunism and shameless pandering, and it gleefully sticks its thumb in the eyes of our sacred cows. Predictability aside, it's an uproariously funny comedy that provides a refreshing tonic to news from the campaign trail.
Rock and Bernie Mac ... provide a furious combination of stylistically different but equally effective jabs at the status quo.

Product Details

Release Date:
Original Release:
Dreamworks Video
Region Code:
[Wide Screen]
[Dolby Digital]

Special Features

Closed Caption; Chris Rock's commentary; Picture gallery; "Road to the White House - The Making of Head of State"; Deleted scenes

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Chris Rock Mays Gilliam
Bernie Mac Mitch Gilliam
Dylan Baker Martin Geller
Nick Searcy Brian Lewis
Lynn Whitfield Debra Lassiter
Robin Givens Kim
Tamala Jones Lisa Clark
James Rebhorn Senator Bill Arnot
Keith David Bernard Cooper
Tracy Morgan Meat Man
Stephanie March Nikki
Robert Stanton Adviser
Jude Ciccolella Mr. Earl
Nate Dogg Himself
Ron Harris Himself
Tony Head Brad Harper
Brian James B.G. James
Jeff Jarrett Himself
Ron Killings Himself
Brad Marshall Demolition Man
Chandra Wilson Jaime
Charles Able Charlie
Patsy Grady Abrams 1st Fundraiser Wife
Michael Ahl Klansman
Scott Armstrong Referee
Sade Baderinwa Transit Reporter
John Badila General Olson James
James R. Bergdahl Hip Hop Dancer
Thomas Bevans Hip Hop Dancer
Jeremy Borash Wrestling Announcer
Sloane Brown Roadside Reporter
Reg E. Cathey Officer Waters
Alan Chadsey Falling Man
Victoria Chapman Singing Lady
Terry Chasteen Hip Hop Dancer
Raymond Clark Mays Decoy
Lee E. Cox Players Ball Pimp
David de Boy Police Chief
Madeline DeVan Singing Lady
John F. Degen Voter on Street
Nancy Ding Voter on Street
Ned Eisenberg Mike Blake
Bruce Elliott National Anchor
Funkmaster Flex Inaugural Ball Announcer
Helaine Fonda Hip Hop Dancer
Mojo Gentry Porter
Deborah S. Smith Singing Lady
Marilyn Getas National Anchor
Jennifer Gilbert Local Anchor
Gabrielle Goyette Woman
Billöah Greene Musician
Kate Guyton Foot Lady
John Hall Hip Hop Dancer
Robin L. Hall Hip Hop Dancer
Donna Hamilton Regional Anchor
Tony Harris Local Anchor
Ann Haynsworth Hip Hop Dancer
Mike Hodge 2nd Fundraiser Issue Man
Lois Kelso Hunt Lewis' Mother
Irving Jacobs 1st Fundraiser Party Goer
Beau James Senator
Elizabeth Johnson Nate's Girl
Gustave Johnson Chester Allen
Wes Johnson Teamster #2
Mario Joyner Lotto Man
Linda Kenyon Screaming Woman
Heather Alicia Simms Tish
Ali LeRoi Crazy Hostile Dreadlock Voter
Marcel Marceau Bob Perilla's Big Hillbilly Bluegrass Band
Ashton Marks Bob Perilla's Big Hillbilly Bluegrass Band
Angie Mattson Nate's Girl
Steven Maurice Shorty G
Brenna McDonough School Reporter
Doris E. McMillon Talk Show Host
Pat Moran 1st Fundraiser Issue Woman
Gwendolyn Mulamba 2nd Fundraiser Issue Woman
Michael Munford Bob Perilla's Big Hillbilly Bluegrass Band
Donald Neal Senator
Novella Nelson Moderator
Lucy Newman Williams Train Station Reporter
Robert J. Norman Hip Hop Dancer
Tad Ohta Asian Man
Jamil Shaw Kid
Patrice O'Neal Warren
Akira Otsuka Bob Perilla's Big Hillbilly Bluegrass Band
James G. Pasierb Voter on Street
Kirk Penberthy Gaines
Annika Pergament Cable Anchorwoman
Bob Perilla Bob Perilla's Big Hillbilly Bluegrass Band
Clarke Peters Fundraiser Demo-Tape Man
Peter Puglisi California Screamer
Caitlin Ray Little Girl
Gammy L. Singer Miss Pearl
Kevin Reese Anchor
H. Reneé Voter on Street
Douglas Roberts Senator
Cornell D. Thomas Muhammad Muhammad Muhammad
Cory Rosemeier Helicopter Pilot
Ed Wheeler Mr. Hawkins
Leanne Saunders Old Woman Transit Rider
David Savoy Hip Hop Dancer
Stan Stovall Anchor
Sharon Savoy Hip Hop Dancer
Camille J. Thomas Super Whore Drill Instructor
Jim Scopeletis Pork Man
Jimmy Tingle Talk Show Host
Ivan Scott Talk Show Host
Norman Seltzer 1st Fundraiser Husband
Brad Strange French Man
Barbara Suto Hip Hop Dancer
Delaney Williams Teamster #1
Kevin Witt Secret Service Agent
Mark Zeisler 1st Fundraiser Issue Guy

Technical Credits
Chris Rock Director,Producer,Screenwriter
Kim Taylor Coleman Casting
H.H. Cooper Asst. Director
Steven Jordan Production Designer
Jay Klein Set Decoration/Design
Raymond Kluga Art Director
Ali LeRoi Producer,Screenwriter
Marcus Miller Score Composer
Whit Norris Sound/Sound Designer
John Pritchett Sound/Sound Designer
Michael Rotenberg Producer
Stephen A. Rotter Editor
Amanda Sanders Costumes/Costume Designer
Ezra Swerdlow Executive Producer
Victoria Thomas Casting
Donald Thorin Cinematographer

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Scene Index

Side #1 --
1. Meet Alderman Mays Gilliam [5:44]
2. Girlfriend Trouble [3:26]
3. A New Candidate [5:39]
4. Is This a Joke? [3:24]
5. Campaign Headquarters [1:55]
6. Electric Slide [6:37]
7. Campaign Stomping [2:01]
8. A Speech From the Heart [7:15]
9. The New MG2K4 Campaign [4:27]
10. Sharon Stone's Cousin Gets Mad [3:49]
11. Gilliam Fights Back [4:36]
12. Tour the Town [2:34]
13. We Need to Debate [2:23]
14. The Camera Is Always On [5:26]
15. My Running Mate [4:13]
16. Chasing the Vice President [4:03]
17. Debate Time [9:21]
18. Election Day [6:11]
19. The Results [4:12]
20. End Credits [7:43]


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Head of State 3.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 5 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The movie was OK. A few good one liners but, overall a dud. Not even worth renting.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This movie (Head of State) and Maid in Manhattan are neck and neck as the WORST movies made to date!!! What a disaster.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is one of those movies that wasn't attempting to win Oscars but it's funny, cute, and just plain "feel good". Sit back and enjoy it!
Guest More than 1 year ago
If you love Chris Rock then you will love this movie! It is hillarious, and takes a cynnical look at the political process.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago