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Monday, April 26, 2010

Old School Flicks 101

Hey all. I think I'm finally over my twitter obsession and can get back to blogging. Well, that's not entirely accurate. I know I said I wanted to start blogging regularly as a tribute to David Mills, but the biggest truth is that I've been uninspired. Yes.

There hasn't been a Black film this year that I've been excited about or in anticipation to see. I think I want to see them, then when they actually come out, I'm like "meh", and go about my business. Cases in point, "The Book Of Eli", with its overdone to death premise, "American Violet", "Death At A Funeral" (fine-ass James Marsden nonwithstanding), and don't even get me started on "Why Did I Get Married Too" or "Law Abiding Citizen". The one film that I was really looking forward to--"Brooklyn's Finest" was a major disappointment of epic proportions. I just watched "New Jack City" for about the 20th time yesterday, and it was still more gripping and compelling than Brooklyn's Finest.

And what is to look forward to? "Just Wright" with King Latifah and Common in a "romantic" relationship? Gimme a freaking break! To be fair, YT cinema hasn't been all that fantastic either--just saw a screener of "Chloe" with Liam Neeson and Julianne Moore, which was like an extremely watered down "Fatal Attraction" seen through fogged up glasses.

To be honest, the only Black films that have excited me lately are actually all from the archives. I know that some follow this blog to check on the latest happenings, but around here I kinda just write about what I'm feeling at the time. What I've been feeling are some fantastic films from the 70's, which I think are a must see for everyone, Black or non. And some not so fantastic ones that I think some should just flat out view to see the sheer nerve of some producers and directors in the 70's.

Each day I will talk about one of these films; "The Spook Who Sat By The Door", "Chameleon Street", "Mandingo", "The Legend Of Nigger Charlie" and the amazing and freaking fantastic "Ganja And Hess", a jewel of a film by a country mile.

So tune in once a day, every day, for the rest of the week and I will have some films on here that you can learn about, or if you've already seen them, discuss with me (I love, love, love your comments). A huge thanks to those who have stuck with me, and to my new followers who have come on board though I've been seriously M.I.A. See you tomorrow!


Issa Rae said...

I was going to write about how there are NO black films that I'm looking forward to this year as well. But of course you said it better. I have an entire list of movies I'm looking forward to seeing in 2010, but there are NO black films on it.

It's crazy how much Black Film SUCKS these days. Why the F is it SO hard to put out a quality black movie? We have QUALITY writer, directors AND actors ... so WHAT is the problem?

My co-worker and I were just talking about Mandingo a couple of days ago. This movie was pretty gross, but the BOOK?! UGH. Have you read it? Absolutely horrifying.

msladydeborah said...

Gee IW,

Seeing the box cover of Mandingo brings back in the day memories big time.

When this film first came out I went with my mom and a group of her soros. They sponsored this film as a fund raiser for one of their community projects. I watched it that night and I've never really wanted to see it again. It was alright but not my cup of tea as far as movies go.

I've found myself going to the library lately and pulling out some of the forgien made Black films. I'm getting ready to watch a film titled Otomo. It sounds pretty interesting. But that remains to be seen.

This year's crop of films for us isn't looking too interesting so far. I have a list and when I looked at it-there aren't any must see Black films on it yet. I'm hoping that someone will realize that we like good drama and decent comedy.

SDG said...

I'm checked out big time when it comes to movies. Not been too inspired myself. You need to stop w/the "King" Latifah cracks IW. That's just wrong and I have a lot of love for the Queen.

Nicole said...

No you did not write "King" Latifah!!!!

A friend of mine dragged me to "Why did I get married too"...will someone please put an end to this madness!

Tafari said...

When you're back, you're back! King Latifah was my laugh for the day!

As for myself, the last good black movie I've seen since the fall of 2009 was Precious. Since then nothing good has been released. Thought about seeing the Funeral movie but decided to see Kick Ass instead and it was fucking AWESOME. So happy I followed my guts on that one!

Outside of Kick Ass, the only movie that I've seen since Precious and Avatar that I like/loved was Shutter Island. Evrything else has been a total mess making me want my money back still.

What's a movie buff to do???

Invisible Woman said...

@issa rae: i don't understand it either, but kinda i do. i chalk it up to the same tired ol' reason it was when i worked at the studios: racism, and plain old fashioned stereotypes and low expectations from studio execs.

tho you know i'm not in love with tyler perry's films, many, many more Blacks with the means available should follow his model (with different types of films of course) i really believe that is the true deliverance.

i didn't read mandingo, but i read "drum" when i was a kid, which was the sequel...horrible! but exciting to a little girl who made note of the sex

@mslady: i so LOVE it when you comment with your thoughts and memories...i really, really do. thank you for taking time out of what i'm sure is a busy day for you to do so...keep them coming :-)

Invisible Woman said...

@sdg: yes, you have love for the queen, but i. do. not.

i have had several encounters with her over the years, and find her public and personal persona like night and day. but good for her for getting over....the public is comfortable with the overweight "from the hood" made good persona.

i find her bullish, phoney, rough around the edges, and most importantly, not very nice.

calling her "king" has nothing to to with her suspected lesbianism, as i am bi. it is a name that has been regularly used on the blogs for years--i did not make it up, but i find it entirely apropos. but that's just my humble opinion :-)

@nicole: madness indeed. i can't even add any more to that.

@tafari: kick ass was kick ass, yes? (cliche phrase, i know). used your comment in today's post....

Sergio said...

To defend IW I've seen Just Wright and it's a lame, totally predictable, tepid, boring film. And aside from the fact that you've seen it 1000 times before and can predict everything that's going to happen long before it does, it's TOO nice. King (yes I said KING) Latifah and Common play too of the most blandest, nicest, dullest people on the planet in the film. They're not human, but mannequins. I suspect that Latifah's character in the original script was sassier, tougher and rougher around the edges. You know, a REAL person. But I suspect she's had the script rewirrten to elimnate any roughness, least people think that she's too...ahem...manly.

Common is the nicest, safest, NBA player in history. I mean c'mon a NICE considerate NBA player?? Here's an idea...what if the film had made him an arrogrant, loud mouth, annoying person (with maybe a baby momma somewhere) to hide the fact that he's an insecure. lonely person afraid his glory years as a player has passed him by. You know a REAL person. And of course keep in mind that he eventually dumps Paula Patton over for the King in the film too. Yeah sure, that's real belivable But I understand this is a fantasy not real life. (Then again didn't he date Serena Williams for a while? Maybe's he's got a thing for mannish chicks)

The film is so lame that it resorts to the old worn out trick of a character (the King in this case) driving an old beat up car that NOBODY in real life would drive just to show that she's "quirky". I still think that film should have been the King and Paula Patton are involved in a relationship and Common comes along, they have a "three way express", he "converts" Patton and they leave off happily ecer after. Now THAT's would have been a movie.

BUT Mandingo. THAT MY MOVIE! Love it, love it, LOOOOVE IT! One of the still fondest movie going experiences was the first time I saw the film when it came out and there was this brother in the seat behind was doing this HYSTERICAL running commentary during the film and when it got tho the big sex scene with Ken Norton and Susan Goeroge (which lasta all of 30 seconds) he had me damn near on the floor rolling. The film is available though Legend Film label in restored widescreen and anamorphic too which you can buy on Amazon or other online video stores. Unforunately there's no commentary or extras, but the film has never looked this good since it was first relased. You know I've got a copy

Anonymous said...

Leave Queen Latifah alone you bitch. You are lying because I met her twice and she was as nice as they come. You probably tried to hit on her and got denied. Just tell the truth. stupid gay cow.


Invisible Woman said...

First of all, let me begin by saying (even tho this should not even need to be said) that this is MY blog and I can say whatever I want. However I want. You are free to visit the many millions of other blogs out there.

Second, I don't welcome anyone who is abusive (or in your case ridiculous) to myself and others. If you have a sense of self-hatred, then direct your negativity in a different home.

Finally, I have been around Latifah since she was wearing "kufis" and performing in high school gyms. Her personal persona has never changed since that time. I'm sure you "meeting" her was surely in a fan situation, Why wouldn't she put on her "fan" aka "fake" persona?

Btw, I've never had to hit on anyone in my life. And even if I did, Latifah would be on the bottom of the list of thousands. Best to you :-)

marissa said...

Sergio you would not understand you are not a woman and you have been hating on this movie way before you even watched it! it’s obvious that this film is aimed at people with the y-chromosome.

How often do we get to see black love on screen? How often do we get to see blacks on screen without disgusting stereotypes? How often does an overweight black woman get a leading role? Rarely ever! This was written by the man behind BROWN SUGAR and produced by the woman who was involved in SOMETHING NEW! Those were GOOD black romance comedies. I am going to disregard your opinion and assume that I will enjoy this just as much as I did their earlier work.

I am also thrilled to see that Queen Latifah at fourty years old and at her size is still landing quality work. It’s amazing to look back and see how far she’s come along since her rapping and living color days. I will always support an A-list sista who didn’t sell out (cough Halle Berry) out or drastically change herself to comply with Hollywood’s impossible standards to make it. She stayed true to herself, stayed focused and made it happen. And she never forgot about us when she started coming up. I will be there opening night!

Invisible Woman said...

before serigio comes back and roasts you, he said in the very beginning of his comment that he SAW the movie; he is the film reviewer for ebony/jet, and is paid for HIS opinion on movies.

also, latifah was on "living single" and not "in living color"...if you want to go around telling people how they need to get down with your opinion, at least get your facts straight, yes?

Sergio said...


Now now temper temper. No need for that.

If you read my comments then you'll the problem I have with the film is not because it's a "chick flick" but because it's a PREDICTABLE chick flick with one dimensional characters. Evidently just because it's black love story seems to be enough for you. I didn't say it has to be a masterpiece or something that forever changes the rules of cinema, but it would it have hurt the film to give it something unique and original in terms of plot or characterization? But since you're obviously the undemanding type, I'm sure Just Wright should please you just fine.

Get Togetha said...

I wonder why Brooklyn's Finest flopped so bad. I really liked it. The only thing that wasn't believable was the fact the the ninjas around the way had no clue that Cheadle was PoPo....otherwise I love the way it was shot (cinematography wise) and it was good to see Wesley working his acting chops again.

But I guess thas just me...

madame zenobia said...

I recently viewed "Spook..." but the dvd messed up halfway through so I'll have to order it again. And "Mandingo" I addition to the film I own the paperback, along with the other paperbacks in the saga created and 'kept alive' by Kyle Onstott/Lance Horner/Ashley Carter.

Glad you are back. I will make it a point to stop in again. I quit Twitter about a month or so ago. I'm going to order these recs you've mentioned: "Ganja and Hess", "Nigger Charlie", etc. I've been delving into classic film lately; Leone, Hitchock, Ford and some Coppola. I might just dust off the old VHS and watch "Mandingo" again as well :)

Take care!

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