Sunday, July 24, 2011

Amazing Grace (1974)/Good Fences

For those who are too young to remember the great Moms Mabley ("That man was so ugly, it hurt my feelings."), this film debut is not her best vehicle but it would be her last before passing on the following year. However, this brand of humor is rare in AA/Black cinema and I'd recommend it for anyone who looking for more something a little more cerebral or just tired of the 'Yo Mama' jokes.

The late Moses Gunn plays a pawn in a political race with Rosalind Cash as his wife and Ms. Mabley and Slappy White play their snoopy neighbors. Butterfly McQueen and Steppin Fechit makes appearances as well.


Black to the Present (Somewhat)

Last weekend,  TV One presented Good Fences, an original Showtime movie from 2003 starring Whoopi Goldberg and Danny Glover.  This time, instead of fighting spouses (like in The Color Purple), they reunite in the 1970s as part of middle-class family that gets an address upgrade due to a high-profile case handled by sellout lawyer Tom Spader (Glover).  Once settled in Greenwich, CT they never quite fit in as the lone black family in the neighborhood but the stereotypes here are both funny and sad.  In the TV trailer, you get the impression that it's MOniques movie but her appearances are not only in the last half of the movie but seldom.  I must say it was one of the few roles she's done where I don't despise the character.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Black to the Present - Summer 2011

N-Secure -This movie, which was released nationwide late last year is about a man who gives new meaning to the expression "anal retentive" and I won't give too much more away except to say that the casting was very interesting, including a serious blast from the past who makes a quickie appearance.
If you like serious suspense without needing to call in someone under 15 to interpret the slang, then this is an excellent way to spend a quiet Saturday night. I had the pleasure of meeting the director, David M. Matthews via a social networking site recently and hope to hear more from him in the near future.


On the flipside of my Redbox adventures is The Hustle.  Despite having an all-star cast (Charlie Murphy, David Alan Grier and at least ten other people that were once on the WB/CW/the first two Friday movies), this wasn't the worst thing but an interesting rumor is that this was made in 2008 but just now in DVD release.  At least there were no bad jokes about the deceased ...*coughs*The Salon/Anna Nicole*coughs...but then again, I may have nodded off.

Here goes the plot.  The brothers that "work" as exterminators come into some gangster money, which they need because they eventually lose their jobs.  However, by a strange turn of events, they land the ultimate hustle -- becoming preachers to a congregation that is misguided to say the least.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Those Were the Days

Back when I was growing up between the Century Drive-In and Imperial theater in Inglewood, I didn't realize how much I may have missed out on. I wasn't born until late '68 and I just barely remember the neighborhood kids taking me to see the Melting Man and I cried so much that my mom had to pick me up.

*Sighs* Thanks Mom!

Anyway, back to blaxploitation business.  OK, I watched The Hit Man again and though dude is almost old enough to be my grandfather, I wouldn't mind going out on a date with Bernie Casey.  We both like art and since I just put this link on my FB wall, gotta keep it clean. LOL

Also, I found out who the mystery actors were that appeared in both Hit Man and Cool Breeze.  His name is Sam Laws and finding his pic online is hard because there are about three public figures with this name - and they're White.  Anyway, he's no longer with us as well as Bhetty Waldron/Fast Fanny from the bowling alley on Sanford and Son but I got a clip of her in action w/Fred.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Thomasine and Bushrod/TNT Jackson

Summary:  A Bonnie & Clyde meets the early 20th century Western + post-slavery.  Has some comedic parts but viewer should have some patience.  Chase scene is worth the wait if you like action.
The first time I saw T&B on cable, I turned the channel after about 20 minutes.  For one, I've never been into Westerns and some of dialogue/scenes seemed to drag a little.  Though I was fortunate enough to meet the late Vonetta McGee a couple of times in the 80s, I never gave this movie another thought until recently.

This movie may not have had the cult status of Blacula or The Mack but I can respect what they were trying to do - diversify. If you don't change, then you can't grow and that applies to all aspects of life.  Anyway, I would watch this over those tired EBT/TVOne/GMC plays for a dull-ass Sunday afternoon.  Why?  There is a lot we take for granted.


TNT Jackson sounds like one of those blaxploitation films my mother warned me about.    The sound was so bad that I couldn't even hear the dialogue well enough to know what the plot was.  Bad acting, worse martial arts choreography and my copy looked like someone rubbed Vaseline on the lens.  Some people on AMZ said that they got cartoons as part of their movie, mine abruptly cut off when Jeanne Bell killed Stan Shaw, so buy with caution.  I've dealt with Import CDs for a couple of years now and I wish I could return this one to them.  I've never been much for demanding a refund when it comes to movies and being I paid less than $5 (including shipping), they need to give this one away.

TNT Jackson reminded me of this scene from the very underrated basic cable satirical comedy Jackie's Back where Jenifer Lewis and Dolemite (RIP) parody some 70s blaxploitation movies.