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Thursday, October 30, 2008

This N' That....

Okay folks; please tell me you saw "Blackula" and "Scream Blackula Scream" last weekend on TV One. If not, for shame! :-)

I have a laundry list of things going on in Black Cinema--some of it good, some of it pure f*ckery.

First up this one:

Director John Singleton is no longer attached to direct the feature film adaptation of the 80s TV series “The A-Team,” according to Variety.

The filmmaker reportedly balked at Fox’s attempt to delay the long-gestating project for another year to allow more time for script development. The project had already been delayed multiple times due to script issues.

The Web site claims Fox is really pushing back the film to make room for an “Alvin and the Chipmunks” sequel. In either case, “The A-Team” release date has been moved from June 12, 2009 to June 11, 2010.

From IW: An A-Team remake with an underdeveloped script? Say it aint so! You know your movie is beyond tired when they push it back in favor of "Alvin & The Chipmunks 2". This is about the 99th project I've read about John Singleton starting and not finishing. 'What the problem is?' as Madea would say.

In other completely unnecessary remake news is this (thanks sergio!):

Having most recently played a dirty cop in "Lakeview Terrace," Jackson is set to star as a bad guy again in Columbia Pictures' remake of Berry Gordy's 1985 cult classic "The Last Dragon."

Jackson will play Sho'nuff, the Shogun of Harlem, a role played in the original by the late Julius Carry, whose spiel included asking ego-driven questions like "Am I the baddest mofo lowdown around this town?" Each time his gang of thugs answered, "Sho 'nuff!"

From IW: This one is co-produced by my fourth husband The RZA, which upon this news, may become one of my ex-husbands. At the very least, they should get Taimak to play Leroy Green again-he looks just as good as he did in 1985, for reals.

Speaking of Sergio and Samuel Jackson, here is Sergio's take on the upcoming movie "Soul Men" after viewing a preview screener:

'I saw Soul Men this morning at a screening and I'm sorry to say that it's shame that Bernie Mac is not around anymore because he'll never have another opportunity to make make up for the dreadful mess this film is.

It's an abysmal, unfunny, extremely tasteless movie that will stun you speechless when you see how bad it is. It's without question one of the worse films Ive seen this year, somewhere in the top three. There wasn't a single laugh or chuckle from the people in the theater when I saw it. Just stunned silence.

There's NO comic timing or pacing and dialogue, in which literally every other word is the F word, it's clumsy, awkward and just plain painful to hear. (Remember the really awful F word heavy dialogue in Eddie Murphy's Harlem Nights? Well this is just as bad or even worse) Bernie Mac is simply just plain not funny at all throughout the entire the film. I understand that he was ill while making the film and that could explain why he's somehow "off his game" in this film. Samuel L. Jackson literally just screams (as he usually does) his way through this film, yet another crappy film in his long list of crappy films that he's made in his career. And wait till you see the final big supposedly comic highlight towards the end involving Bernie, Jackson and John Legend. You (and the audience) will be astounded by how awful and tasteless it is.

Every cliche you've ever seen before about two old partners who can't stand each other but get back together (like The Sunshine Boys) are used but even more wretchedly than before. And of course there's the obligatory super nerdy white guy who wants to be cool to make black audiences feel superior to a white man because he "ain't got no rhythm".

And there's also this pathetic far-from-comic over stereotyped character of this would-be rapper/drug dealer in the film who appears in a couple of scenes who is SO painful to watch that I wanted to walk out every time he appeared in screen.

(One good thing in the entire film, maybe, for guys of my generation is a brief cameo appearance early in the film by the legendary adult film actress of the 70's and 80's Vanessa Del Rio but of course she wasted too)

What even bothers me more is while watching it is that once again I felt that black cinema is in very sorry state of affairs. Medicine for Melancholy excluded, if this is what we're getting then there just shouldn't be any more black films, period. I would be happy and content just watching comic book superhero movie.

Next time I see a film with the credits: "Directed by Malcolm D. Lee" I'm heading for the hills.'

From IW: Ummm...dang. I'll reserve judgement until I see it (won't be paying tho). I'm seeing it cause of Isaac Hayes and the association with Malcolm Lee, whose career is starting to look a little dicey, at the very least.

Speaking of dicey moves, there is an online petition to get rid of The Cheadle in "Ironman" and bring back Baby Wipes Howard. Yes, really. If you want to see it, or heaven forbid sign it, you can click HERE.

In non-Black Hollywood news, I am really sad to see that Joaquin Phoenix has decided to quit acting for good. I saw "We Own The Night" last night, and really enjoyed it. It was a great cops and criminals action/suspense thriller, in which he co-starred with Robert Duvall and Mark Wahlberg. With so few real actors around, and folks like Robert Duvall and DiNiro getting older, it is sad to see someone like Joaquin leave, while Marky Mark keeps making movie after movie. I've always found that dude so wooden, and he looks and acts exactly the same way in every single film he's in. *sigh*

In other news, Elijah Kelley seems to be venturing from his brand new career in acting to writing/directing already. After getting rave reviews in "Hairspray" and landing a role in one of the supposed 3 biographical films of Sammy Davis, Jr. (what happened to those anyway?) he debuts with a project called "Who Killed Bishop Brown". It is described thusly:

'A scandalous romp filled with church politics, sexual tension and the untimely death of Bishop Brown. Kelley capitalizes on a style of filmmaking that has become very popular in the black community - a combination of drama, comedy, music, and morality.

Okay, here is the deal. Tyler Perry is to aspiring young black filmmakers what Quentin Tarrantino was to young white filmmakers a decade and a half ago. You can see Perry's influence throughout "Who Killed Bishop Brown." The dialogue, filmmaking and even casting choices mimic Perry’s production style.

“Who Killed Bishop Brown” is full of self-righteous dialogue, preachy messages and clumsy blocking. But it also features realistic characters and an ability to connect with the audience in a way put them in, in this film with Christian overtones.'

From IW: I'm sure Sergio will be thrilled to read this. Above is the trailer for the way, I got the info about the film from a site I discovered called "I Love Black Movies" which is filled Black Cinema movie reviews from folks that pretty much dedicate their lives to Black film and it's offshoots. It is definitely worth taking a gander, imho.

Another interesting blog worth wondering over to is IWBCAL commenter Camille Acey's "Adventures in Wheelville". In it she chronicles her life and times of being a former Brooklyn chick and now currently a one year resident of Radovljica, Slovenija (?!). Loves it.

Please check out my homie schlomie pop culture writer Michael G. Gonzales' co- project, "The Southernist". On it he describes his experiences with such elegant and intricate delicacies as chitlins and grits, haha!

Speaking of Mike G., he wrote this great comment on my post about Fred Williamson making Black Caesar:

[black caesar] is one of my favorite flicks; and the soundtrack is killer. i interviewed fred once and he told me james brown was mad, because he wanted to play the lead.

reminds me of when i read that originally, mgm wanted to cast sammy davis to play, picture that.

From IW: James Brown as Black Caesar and Sammy Davis Junior as Shaft? I think God was directly involved in bypassing those two calamities, for sure.

And finally a huge big up to Reelblack's Michael Dennis winning CNN's IReport Film Festival. He says:

'I would like to personally thank everyone who viewed and voted for our film, which follows my grandmother's trek to vote for Barack Obama in the 2008 Pennsylvania Primary. It's been an amazing run. Since debuting at Fancypants Cinema and on Reelblack TV, we've been invited to screen in festivals in New York, LA and Charlotte, NC. The film will also screen the week of October 28 on BET-J's BLACK STORIES (along with Philly filmmaker Bianca White's short). All the comments are appreciated but there's so much more work to do. I chose the title The 13th Amendment to remind folks that there wasn't always a time when all Americans had the right of freedom. One of our greatest privileges is the Right To Vote. Please do it on November 4.'

From IW: Right on. If you'd like to see the short, you can view it HERE.


SolShine7 said...

I'm a big fan of The Last Dragon and I already have my post written (for tomorrow) when I read about the remake. I'm totally stoked!

I found that site I Love Black Movies a while back and I agree, it's pretty cool!

Great post, lots of goodies.

Vivrant Thang said...

I came over just to see what you thought about the prospect of a Last Dragon remake. I don't think it needs to be done. Leave it as a campy cult classic that we all knew and loved. Someone on Twitter said let's just pray that they don't cast Beyawnce in Vanity's role.

I just can't take Sergio's review! Say it ain't so! I really hope I disagree or I'll be heartbroken that was Bernie's last stand. I didn't mind all the f bombs and other good cussin in Harlem Nights (one of my fave comedies) so hopefully I'll disagree.

sdg1844 said...

Sergio was blistering! I'm sorry to hear about Joaquin. He is talented and intense. I'm just not feeling excited by film anymore. It's depressing.

Sergio said...

re; Who Killed Brother Brown?

WTF? I mean C'MON PEOPLE! This is the best that we can do? Why does everything have to be so trite, simpleminded and...well...GHETTO? No sophistication. No class. No intelligence. Just some low brow ish. And is it just me or is that Bishop brown character made up to look like T.J. Jakes?

And sorry for the typos in my Soul Men piece. I got an e-mail from Elvis Mitchell today who has also seen it and feels the same way I do about it

Tafari said...

Mad as hell because I missed Blackula. I got rid of my "premium cable" so TV One is outta here.

"I saw Soul Men this morning at a screening and I'm sorry to say that it's shame that Bernie Mac is not around anymore because he'll never have another opportunity to make make up for the dreadful mess this film is." Damn, that's cold. LOL!!!

Iron Man was OK, I am not getting all the damn uproar. Super perm was just a sidekick with a handful of lines. Personally Don is above the role. I'm surprised he took it. But I know a brotha has bills.


Kay C, The Quiet Storm said...

When will they realize that not every cartoon/tv show/comic strip from the 80s needs to be introduced to a future generation through film. A remake of the A Team will be just as bad as the Miami Vice remake.

Dissapointed to hear the reviews about Soul Men. I was hoping it would be a success. Shame to go out on a low note like that.

The first movie of The Last Dragon was bad enough, we really don't need a bad update. It makes sense why it is constantly on tv now when it was rarely shown before.

Can Hollywood have a new idea? It seems they are really content on remakes and updates.

madame z said...

Just going to comment on Joaquin. Damn. He's...the man is good. I love him. I've loved him since his stint on "Parenthood", remember? He was the younger brother who bonded with Keanu's character? Anyway...sad to hear it. He will be missed. :)

Regina said...

LOL! I caught Blakula! I missed the scream though.
John Singleton needs to sit down somewhere.
NOOOOOOOOOOOO, why would anyone redo "The Last Dragon" jeez it is a classic (I hate it because my oldest son played it to death, but it is a classic)! And to cast the self proclaimed super negro Jackson, I feel like vomiting...

I knew from the jump that Soul Men was going to be garbage (Hellooooo Samuel Jackson, need I say more)...

And lastly I finally gave in and saw Ironman (even despit the fact that TH was in it), it was OK, but I was total psyched about the sequel because I LOVE me some DC!! But the quickest way to make me mad is to pull DC and put in that whiny a$$ loser TH... I'm just saying...

DB said...

my only comment is about the A-Team. is "develop the script" a Hollywood tag for re-write that shiggidy? i can pick , 2000 names out the phone book and call everyone of them and tell them that the A-Team joint was pushed back a year and I bet you all of them wouldn't give a damn.

whats been up IW?

boris said...

i just wanna say i love ur site IW

i been lurkin for a while n this is my first post

anyways........everyone knows that when hollywood remakes anythng its gonna be awful. i shudder to imagine the mr. t coonery for masah that would make me cringe in the cinema

Qadree said...

I don't see why films like Who Killed Brother Brown get criticized for being what they are. It reminds me of when people criticize the food at McDonald's. I mean it's McDonald's, what do you expect? People will keep eating it and McDonald will keep making it.

These films represent a small part of black cinema that are getting a lot of attention. I really don't have strong feelings about them. A lot of people express admiration for exploitation era films, but strictly from an artistic standpoint most of those films were pathetic. They don't call it exploitation for nothing, you certainly can't call them sophisticated.

Armond White gave Ballast a bad review, but I have to say that I think it's one of the best films I've seen this year. It's directed by a white guy, but that didn't mean anything to me when I saw the film, though that was a large part of why Armond White panned it. Artistically I think it's the most accomplished film featuring a black cast that I've seen in a while.

A Good Day to be Black and Sexy was good and I'd recommend it to anyone. I've seen some decent films this year, there will always be idiotic films no matter what demographic you look at, but Hollywood specializes in simple entertainment so I really don't get too bent out of shape over it. It's to be expected.

clnmike said...

Didnt have to catch "Blackula" and "Scream Blackula Scream" I own both on VHS.

I hope they push that A-team back another year.

I Liked the Last Dragon, but a remake is not what I want to see.

That online petition sounds like something Terrance's agent cooked up.

"Tyler Perry is to aspiring young black filmmakers what Quentin Tarrantino was to young white filmmakers a decade and a half ago."

God help black movies, than.

Professor Tracey said...

So after watching The Last Dragon remake, all the kiddies will shuffle they feetaz down to Daddy Greenz Pizza? Lawd!

michael a. gonzales said...

thank you for the love blog diva...

8thlight said...

Neither Cheadle or Howard are right to play War Machine/Rhodey. They needed a tough guy and neither of them fit the bill. As much as I love Cheadle he isn't right for the role.