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Thursday, August 23, 2007

And Justice For All....

OK, I don't have a lot of time to spare today, so I'll leave you with some samples of my Negro Justice League's (Undercover Black Man, Supernegro and Afronerd) thoughts on Cinema. I will try to post tonight.....

First up, an excerpt from Supernegro, cause I love, love, love, Bill Duke (some spicy wording involved):

"You Can't F--k With Mac from Predator"

A few days ago, I was hanging with my homie Valkor of The Other View, when we began to discuss the uber-violence showcased in classic '80s action pieces such as Robocop. There hardcore films were real men's movies, something that few women will comprehend due to their mascara, baking, and child-rearing getting in the way of the enjoyment of a good splatterfest.

Predator is one of those movies that separates the sacks from the sackless. After an elite team of well-toned commandos (Arnold, Carl Weathers, Bill Duke, Jesse the Body, and cannon fodder) bust-up a Reagan-era Central-American guerrilla squad, who are holding an important hostage, they get gutted, decapitated, de-limbed, and otherwise receive tons of boo boos from an alien with dreads, a cloaking device and a laser cannon. While everyone except Arnold predictably bites it at the hands of the dude from Misfits of Science, it isn't the Austrian bodybuilder-turned-governor that makes this movie: its motherfucking Bill Duke.

Bill Duke, as soon as you look into his eyes, either causes you to instantly glance away from the sheer power of his aura of manliness, or sob uncontrollably upon realizing that you shall never live up to one drop of his testosterone. This reaction's one par with 99% of the male population (the other percent's heads implode instantly). Duke plays Mac, the most borderline psychotic guy that you'd ever want to be paired with should the shit hit the fan or an alien menace comes to our planet to hunt the most dangerous game. How bad assed was he in Predator? This is his level of badassedness: When Mac realizes that Carl Weathers' character (CIA puppet Agent Dillon) is sending the squads whereabouts to the feds he drops one of the most testosterone-filled lined in movie history:

You're ghostin' us, motherfucker. I don't care who you are back in the world, you give away our position one more time, I'll bleed ya, real quiet. Leave ya here. Got that? God damn. Anyone willing to slaughter both ally and foe alike is okay in my book except when, you know, he wants to slaughter me instead. Mac kicked it when he tried to avenge the death of his boy Blaine, but we all know it was his Dukian spirit that enabled Arnold to whip some Predator ass.

So here's to Mac, the best god damned supporting character in action movie history. And a character you just can't fuck with. - Jay Wilson

Next up: Undercover Black Man:

I shouldn’t say “shocking” from my own personal point of view. I don’t catch the vapors whenever somebody says “nigger.” But the N-word prohibitionists out there will find it hard to cope with Scatman Crothers singing a ditty called “Ah’m a Nigger Man.

”The following vidclip (IW: I'll post above) is the opening title sequence of “Coonskin,” a notorious 1975 film by cartoonist Ralph Bakshi. (Mr. Bakshi, a white man, also wrote the lyrics to “Ah’m a Nigger Man.”)

“Coonskin” sparked protests from the Congress of Racial Equality before it was even released. “They were booing at the titles,” Bakshi recalled of an early screening. This, in turn, frightened Paramount Pictures into dropping the movie like it was hot. (The film was re-titled “Street Fight” for home videocassette. It hasn’t yet been released on DVD.)

A re-imagining of the old Brer Rabbit folktales for a blaxploitation audience, “Coonskin” was a gleaming straight razor of a satire... cold, dangerous, skin-slicing.

One of the movie’s biggest fans is Darius James, a gifted satirist his own self. In his book “That’s Blaxploitation!,” James wrote this:

“In ‘Coonskin,’ Bakshi pukes the iconographic bile of a racist culture back in its stupid, bloated face, wipes his chin and smiles Dirty-Harry style. ‘Now deal with it...’ He subverts the context of Hollywood’s entire catalog of racist black iconography....”

Apparently he’s not the only black person who digs it. “Spike Lee is a big fan of ‘Coonskin,’ ” Bakshi told a journalist in 2003. “I get emails from new fans all the time on it; some can’t believe I’m white. ... [R]ap artists like it too.”

As for Scatman’s performance here (IW: above post), I love everything about it... the way he cuts his eyes to the camera a couple of times, the way he subverts certain lyrics, and basically the whole way he embodies a lost era of black music and black style. I think you’ll enjoy this...

OK, as for Afronerd, I spent a good amount of time going through his blog and couldn't find anything film related. He may be a bit too serious for all of the puffery, but that's what keeps the Negro Justice League balanced. Check out his blog anyway :-)


Wanda said...

lol dburt is the nerd of the group. like wilma on scooby doo.

Wanda said...

or velma lol.

see he probably caught that before i did.

Invisible Woman said...

@Wanda: You are funny! And probably right-his name is Afronerd for a reason, haha.

Eugene said...

Bill Duke. "Deep Cover." Man that was good.