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Wednesday, August 13, 2008

The Black Cinema World Of BET vs.TV One

Okay, I see that BET is trying to compete a bit with TV One on the Black Movie thing. For the most part, BET isn't really stepping to the plate like they should, mainly showing "Soul Plane" ad nauseum. Take last night, for example: TV One was showing "Shaft", "Shaft's Big Score!", and "Shaft Goes To Africa". BET was showing "New Jack City". While I know that New Jack City is on many a favorite list, in my mind, there is no contest; TV One is bout it, bout it.

Let's briefly summarize what has been shown on BET Movies as of late (bear in mind I don't pay much attention to their line-up):

Gang Of Roses: Lil'Kim. Stacey Dash, Monica Calhoun (ugh) and others I kinda forgot as former prostitutes in the wild, wild West that become outlaws on the lam. Who knew that there were weaves, Baby Phat clothing, and MAC makeup in the Old West? Complete and total ridiculosity in every way from the script to the costuming to the acting.


The Wash: Featuring the super amazing acting skills of Snoop Dogg and Doctor Dre as 2 buddies working at a car wash. I frequently say that this is the worst Black movie I've ever seen, and I doubt that will ever change to my grave.

Leprechaun: Back To Tha Hood: About a leprechaun running around the ghetto trying to get his gold back. Need I say more?


State Property 2: Was there even a need to make State Property One?

Waist Deep: Super, duper low budget, but I'll give them a pass on this one (the only one), because I love looking at Tyrese and Meagan Good.


Three Can Play That Game: Kudos for at least trying to stay semi-current. As for the film itself....*sigh*

Nora's Hair Salon 2: I wrote about the dude who "wrote" and "directed" this movie before, Jean Claude LaMarre, a singular force involved with some of the worst films in Black Cinema history (he was also a part of "Gang Of Roses" and "Don't Touch Me If You Ain't Prayed! Part 2"). LMAO at his introduction in the beginning saying that he feels a responsibility toward our community for telling real stories about "us". Whatev! If you thought the first Nora's Hair Salon was bad, it was "The Dark Knight" compared to part two.


TV One on the other hand...classic and wonderful all day long.

Car Wash: Richard Pryor, Bill Duke, The Pointer Sisters, Ivan Dixon, George Carlin, Antonio Fargas, and the music of Rose Royce all in one film? Yes, the storyline was trite, but it is a true beloved classic., and everything "The Wash" wishes it was.

Dirty Laundry: The one misstep from them, maybe. Tho the core storyline was well intentioned, I place it on that long list of formula films that I am beginning to loathe....family comes together for a gathering, usually at a cookout or big dinner--macaroni and cheese, greens, fried chicken, etc. is served---revelations are made, secrets are revealed, drama ensues, and it is wrapped up with "family is family, no matter what". Can somebody please, please PLEASE give Jenifer Lewis a new M.O.? I can recite her lines as the sassy/mean/nosey/hypocritical neighbor/relative almost before she says them herself.


When We Kings: TV One wins for this one alone, in my eyes. It has been on my top 5 list since the first time I saw it. I am always very interested in how Blacks have lived in other decades; their clothes, their music, their challenges. Though this film is technically about Muhammad Ali and the infamous "Rumble In The Jungle" fight, it is all the things I look for and more.

It is about race relations in the United States, as well as the beginnings of American Blacks being able to start reaching out to our African brothers for really the first time. It had performances by The Spinners, James Brown, Miriam Makeba (all who performed for the related festivities of the fight) and is a perfect snapshot of how very political and influential Ali was at his pinnacle, though that becomes almost secondary in this film.

I will go more in depth about this film at another time-it deserves it's own post; until then, enjoy the Black Cinema TV One is supplying to the masses.

16 comments:

Beckie said...

I could easily guess your answer to this, but I'd prefer to read/laugh with your reply...why the "ugh" @ Monica Calhoun? Do you think she stepped up her game in Trois 3? Is that redundant?

Thembi said...

IW I really do admire you. Like Seriously. As I went from one BET movie to the next I started to run out of air to sigh with. How do you even do it??
ps- I cosign on monica calhoun.

MsMarvalus said...

I so agree with you...it seems like I can always catch something "watch worthy" on TV One...I don't even bother with BET...

Monica Calhoun...eh...

The Maven said...

TV One trumps Bubba, Ed and Ted on so many levels. They're only getting love from me lately because they have A Different World on rotation. Otherwise, TV One is like the fresh air you suck down when you get off a long, funky, noisy flight.

sdg1844 said...

IW I saw that "Gang Of Roses" sh*t and laughed my ass off! Absolutely ri-damn-diculous. "When We Were Kings" is just beautiful. I could watch it every day and never get tired.

Loved me some "Car Wash" and the original "Shaft."

clnmike said...

Whew, Gang of Roses at least never made it to the theater but damn that was such a bad idea executed even worse.

TVOne has this definitely on lock.

I didnt think Dirty Laundry was that bad though, it was a topic that does not get attention and the acting was pretty good for a low budget movie like this.

aulelia said...

lol, no "the wash" is jokes!!
dr.dre cannot act though at all. but he can produce!

Wonder Man said...

we truly need new movies

A New Man said...

BET turned into Blackface Theater after the Viacom acquisition. My brain hurts even if I see the letters on my DirecTV menus.

Brigitte said...

I know it's wrong but I want to see "Gang of Roses." It looks so terrible that I don't think I can stay away.

Don said...

Good post. I agree, BET isn't in TV One's league @ the moment. I sit and wonder why BET still plays movies like the one featuring Da Brat and Monica Calhoun when those kinds of movies were not even box office smashes.

The movie When We Were Kings had to been one of the best documentaries that I've ever witness. Very insightful, detailed and overall riveting journalism.

I need to start making my way back to your blog ASAP. I see that I am missing out.

mahoganydymond said...

I rarely go to BET anymore period. I know on Saturday I sat in front of the tube watching TV. You know they had Car Wash on then. I think that BET lost their touch after they got rid of Video Soul...

Urban Thought said...

You didn't miss a beat on this one. TV One is run by intellectuals who know what the community needs to see.

HO's in the Wild West? I'm glad I missed this one.

Invisible Woman said...

hi beckie: I think that's one reason she annoys me--all the flicks she's in are d-list and below. The real reason I guess are her non-exsistent acting skills coupled with her look; really frail and crack-level ashy--she always looks sick and massively dehydrated to me, from hair to feet. I know I'm being mean, but today I don't care, haha!

@thembs: love your new look, hon :-) There is absolutely no way on God's green earth I could watch those films one after the other. I have seen pretty much all of them over the course of time, including all of Monica Calhoun's j-list garbage!

@Ms. M" BET gets almost zero love from my cable box

@ themaven: welcome! I noticed that is the reason why most bloggers fool with BET--for A Different World and nothing else.

@sdg1844: Gang Of Roses should be shown on Comedy Nite at the club. When We Were Kings should be required viewing for every Black in America.

Invisible Woman said...

@aulelia: hey girl :-) It should be said that he can produce "music", cause he was one of the producers on The Wash!

@wonderman: you'll get no argument here, that's for sure

@a new man: hey there...Cali love! :-) BET doesn't even register when I'm looking at the guide; it is somewhere below the home shopping channels and infomercials...

@brigitte: hey there...believe it or not, I do recommend seeing it--it is hot garbage at it's finest, and good for some laughs. You may appreciate the urban cowgirl ensembles they put together too.

@don: bout time you brought yo'self
over here! haha :-) I agree--BET has to know we are a whole range of things...if you show "The Wash" then show something substantial to balance it out....sheesh.

Invisible Woman said...

@clnmike: sorry, skipped right over your comment :-( You are right about GOR, and Dirty Laundry too-everyone I know that saw it really enjoyed it (except for me, I guess)

@mahogany: I agree--BET lost their touch years ago, and seem to be in no hurry to get it back

@Urbanthought: "Ho's in the Wild West?" LMAO!