Archive for August, 2008

dvd review: INSIDE THE CIRCLE

August 31, 2008

Before it was even known as hip-hop, the street culture that emerged from the streets of the Bronx was primarily represented to the outside world in the form of graffiti and b-boying. This was back in the late 1970s and early 1980s, when most of the world didn’t even know what rapping or scratching was. With the emergence of rap as the preeminent representative of hip-hop, the two earliest introductions to the culture, graffiti and b-boying (more popularly known as breakdancing), soon faded from the spotlight. But that doesn’t mean either went away, especially breaking, which has continued to thrive and grown into something far more pure than rap, which has been corrupted by corporations that turned the culture of hip-hop into a global commodity. (more…)

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Bride of the GOP

August 29, 2008

Senator John McCain has named Alaska Governor Sarah Palin as his vice presidential running mate in his bid to be President of the United States. There is part of me that wants to commend McCain and the GOP for their forward thinking in placing the 44 year-old former Miss Alaska on the ticket; but it is the same part of me that is curious about snuff films and thinks about going vegan. In other words, it is the part of me that I seldom pay attention to. (more…)

dvd review: BROTHERHOOD OF THE WOLF – DIRECTOR'S CUT

August 27, 2008

French critic-turned-filmmaker Christophe Gans’ 2001 film Brotherhood of the Wolf was a cinematic wet dream for fanboys—a moving picture pastiche of genre films with a childlike love for all things cool. In much the same way Sergio Leone’s A Fistful of Dollars and Ang Lee’s Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon captured both directors love for the genre films they grew up watching, Brotherhood of the Wolf is Gans’ loving tribute to the spaghetti westerns, kung fu flicks and horror movies that inspired him in his youth. (more…)

New article on MSN

August 26, 2008

Check out my latest article on MSN, it is about black actors who have played the President of the United States.

film review: TRAITOR

August 26, 2008

WARNING: This review contains spoilers—spoilers that are in the trailer, so they really should not be considered spoilers.
For years, Don Cheadle was one of the best actors in Hollywood who was unfortunately seldom given an opportunity to really shine. He was great in his recurring role on the television series Picket Fences, and he actually stole Denzel Washington’s thunder in Devil in a Blue Dress, but more often than not he wasn’t properly used, even in films directed by Steven Soderbergh, who began casting Cheadle regularly with Out of Sight. Cheadle finally broke out of his supporting character actor status and received the accolades he deserved with Hotel Rwanda and Talk to Me, both of which proved that he could carry a film as the leading man. His latest star turn, the political thriller Traitor, while being a solid film to showcase his talent, appears to be a serious push to establish Cheadle as a name brand actor. (more…)

dvd review: THE SHIELD – THE COMPLETE SIXTH SEASON

August 25, 2008

WARNING: This review contains spoilers that related to all six seasons of The Shield.
Fans of the FX series The Shield know a little bit about frustration. Both Season 5 and 6 were shorter than previous seasons, with eleven and ten episodes, respectively, and the wait between seasons has been unbearably long. The final season (Number 7) starts on FX next month, with the emotionally volatile Season 6 arriving on DVD this week. (more…)

The Robinson-Obama Connection

August 25, 2008

Jesse Jackson, Jr. today compared Senator Barack Obama to Jackie Robinson, the first African American player in Major League Baseball. Here is a link to the Politico story. And here is the link to a similar story that I wrote back in March.

film review: DEATH RACE

August 20, 2008

The original Death Race 2000, produced by B-movie mogul Roger Corman and directed by Paul Bartel, was a brilliant bit of subversive schlock entertainment. An action-packed mix of pitch-black satire and dystopian science fiction, the film was set in the future, during a deadly cross-country race where drivers earn points for killing pedestrians. David Carradine starred as Frankenstein, the most popular driver in Death Race, and a covert agent in the rebellion determined to topple the totalitarian government. And though the film was a low-budget bit of exploitation cinema, thanks to its wicked sense of humor and scathing look at the media and society’s obsession with violence, it amounted to something more, eventually earning its place as a genuine cult classic. The same, however, cannot be said for Death Race, a re-imagining of the original film that assaults both intelligence and the senses with equal disregard, and seems destined to be nothing more than forgettable and bad. (more…)

dvd review: PHANTASM IV: OBLIVION

August 19, 2008

Director Don Cocarelli’s 1979 film Phantasm easily ranks as one of the better horror movies of the last thirty years. Coscarelli returned to the world of Phantasm with a sequel in 1988. While not as good as the original, Phantasm II was still an effective horror film, and helped to turn what could have been a one-of-a-kind movie into a franchise. Phantasm III: Lord of the Dead, released in 1994, was an equally solid entry in the series with a “to-be-continued” ending that hinted at something great just around the corner. With Phantasm III it was apparent that either Coscarelli was a genius that had been planning an elaborate epic for many years, or he was simply making it all up as he went along. Sadly, by the time Phantasm IV: Oblivion was released in 1998; it was obvious that Coscarelli was in fact just making it up as he went along. (more…)

dvd review: HALF BAKED, HOW HIGH, CB4 and TRIPPIN'

August 18, 2008

Chances are pretty good that if you are a fan of any of the films offered in the Quadruple Feature Comedy Pack—and those films would be Half Baked, How High, Trippin’ and CB4—you probably already own them on DVD. And while four films for a cost of approximately $20 may seem like a bargain, don’t be so quick to spend your money. Sure, you get four films for about $5 each, but only Half Baked is remotely close to being worth owning, and this version doesn’t have any of the bonus features loaded on the solo version. (more…)