Before I even begin, let me admit that I’m not entirely qualified to answer that question myself because although I’ve seen every movie Spike’s ever made including Joe’s Bed Stuy Barbershop, I’m not as familiar with entirety of Tyler Perry’s filmography.
The five Tyler Perry movies that I have seen, I’ve liked. The first Why Did I Get Married, perhaps the best.
The thing about Tyler Perry movies to me though is that while they’ve all been admittedly good, none have been, to this point at least, spectacular.
None have demonstrated any nuance in either style or form, none have presented anything groundbreaking as far as the art of filmmaking is concerned, and perhaps most importantly, none have ever required from any of their actors or actresses the type of performance that pushed him or her to the boundaries of their abilities.
Spike Lee, on the other hand, is a nut. His style is always nuanced, his technique original and Denzel Washington, John Leguizamo, Clive Owen, Angela Bassett, Mira Sorvino and Rosario Dawson have all been at their best while rocking with him.
This work itself however, has mixed results.
When Spike’s been off, he’s produced clunkers like Miracle at St. Anna and Girl 6.
But when Spike’s on, he’s produced absolute gems like Malcolm X, Summer of Sam, Bamboozled, and Inside Man.
This isn’t to say he’s better than Tyler Perry, though.
To say that, I’d have to presume to know what each filmgoer needed.
On the issue of the current beef between the two men, I take Tyler’s side all the way.
Spike was way out of pocket to compare Tyler to Amos n Andy, not even able to disguise the fact that all he’s doing is hating, mostly because Tyler Perry movies are like dynamite at the box office, while Spike’s films are more like a firecracker.
On the issue of films however, if I had to choose one over the other, I’d choose Spike.
I always want to feel passionate about art one way or another.
I’d rather walk out of a movie feeling that it completely sucked than feeling pleasantly indifferent.
I realize however that not everybody shares this sentiment.
Some people simply want to be entertained.
And at least Tyler’s guaranteed to give them what they paid for.