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Tuesday, September 18, 2007

The Black Hollywood Trinity....

This came from one of my favorite fellow blogger's homes, Funky Fly Fresh, whose comments are titled "Cop, Gangster, Outsider":

Jamie. Denzel. Fresh Pri… er, Will. When’s the last time you remember three black actors at point in three major Hollywood movies coming out in the same season? Could be we need to save this moment in a time capsule or something. ‘Course, as my #1 homie in the world Invisible Woman tracks, the sistahs still struggle to be repped fairly on the screen. And while I haven’t seen any preview screenings of these films, when I look at the roles that the current Black Hollywood Trinity are playing, I gotta wonder how far we’ve really come.

The Kingdom (out Sept 28): I like that Michael Mann is producing this project, I think he’s one of the most underrated filmmakers in the country (I even dug the much maligned Miami Vice movie). He’s always done right with black characters in my mind, and he obviously had a hand in casting Foxx for this flick. And I believe Mann’s influence means that the story will at least try to bring some kind of critical thinking about US intervention in the middle east to the folks that will be going to see explosions and ‘evil arabs’. The problem is, I don’t find Foxx all that interesting as an actor. He can mimic Ray Charles real good, but I thought he was just kinda boring in Vice and Jarhead. And I wonder what he’s doing taking all these military/cop roles lately… he seems to be copying Wesley Snipes’ unfortunate career arc.

American Gangster (out Nov 2): Aw yeah, homie, our very own black Scarface! Chocolate Godfather! Just what we need. I wanna like this movie. I can’t wait to see Denzel and Crowe chew up the screen together. I’m never one to say that a film about a black drug-dealer/gangster is automatically going to be bad. I just don’t think that this is the story. Sure, Frank Lucas played the system, ingeniously smuggling drugs into Harlem in the coffins of soldiers killed in Vietnam. And he got away with it for long enough to make millions, probably because the authorities could not believe that a country black boy could ever work it like he did. But anyone who knows a little about the real Lucas (POSSIBLE SPOILERS AHEAD!!) knows he got caught (not very dramatically). And he served less than nine years of his sentence, which means he must have rolled (not very gangster). And he now lives the quiet life, a happy old man who still keeps in touch with one of the prosecutors that put him away (not very Scarface). I’m more afraid of the possible wasted talent on this project than the negative stereotypes.

I am Legend (out Dec 14): There are a lot of nasty posts on imdb’s forums with outraged armchair racists raging about a black man playing the lead character Robert Neville in this latest version of Richard Matheson’s 1954 novella. It sucks that I gotta agree with these assholes, although for very different reasons.Reason one: I can’t stand Will Smith (sorry ladies). The only thing I’ve seen where it felt like he was actually acting was Ali, and I give all the credit to Mann’s direction. And don’t even ask me what I think of his rapping skills.Reason Two: I’ve read the book, and if they stick to the original ending (POSSIBLE SPOILERS AHEAD!!), there’s gonna be a lynching a’coming at the end, although it’ll be vampire/zombies doing it instead of rednecks. Even if they do change the ending to Smith saving the day with some snappy catch-phrase (he can reuse some of the ones from Independence Day, I’m sure no one will notice), Neville is still becomes a misguided rebel/terrorist trying to take down society from the outside. Suddenly casting a black man in the role doesn’t seem so progressive.Of course, they’ll probably add in some hot girl character immune to the zombie-virus that Neville will have to rescue, they defeat the zombies, and ride off to do the nasty in order to save the human race (insert catch-phrase here). If this is the case, it probably ain’t a movie I’ll wanna see regardless of the color of the lead actor.

From IW: I am looking forward to seeing two out of three of these...guess which ones?


Amias said...

IV, Seems like these fellow are more into the money -- than making quality black movies. I am rather bored with them. I would like to see our black women come out and do a bit more "real" down to earth movies, instead of copying the white women by taking their clothes off. There are serious issues in our community that needs to be put in the limelight so we can come out of the closet.

janice said...

You can get a preview of Washington and crowe in 1995's Virtuosity.

straight from the peanut gallery said...

I would love to see our sisters acting in a Real movies too I agree.and as far as these 3 movies dag sista girl is it that bad? youre right though more quality films shit Im still a little warm abouh Denzel winning an oscar for playing that part in training day.All the good movies he played b4 then,no oscar.

Invisible Woman said...

@Arnias and Straight: I know! We might finally get something interesting with Paula Patton's movie where she plays a pimp...I know, stereotyped criminal, but at least it's different. @janice: I reeeaaaaly hope Amercan Gangster is nothing like Vituosity!

Amias said...

Got to remember, Straight ... Denzel and Halle won for stupid movies because of the 911 deal. Make one wonder about the whole issues of why and what for .. "monster ball" and "training day" be for real!

Sorry IW, my eyes are old and sometimes I hit the "V" key instead of the "W", but "V" stands for victory, and you are victorious in your reviews! All right, just covering my butt!

Invisible Woman said...

it's ok amias; glad you're here and i appreciate your comments, typos and all!

Keli said...

I'm looking forward to seeing American Gangster.