Archive for June, 2010

Things to Check Out

June 30, 2010

In case some of you haven’t been paying attention, there’s some stuff I want to point out to you. First of all, I’m still doing my regular Tuesday guest spots on the Cort and Fatboy Show. You can listen to podcasts of the show by going to C&F website, or you can listen live on Tuesday mornings by going to www.pdx.fm. Also, I am now co-hosting Missing Reel, a new web series from producer Kurt Loyd that focuses on grindhouse cinema. Missing Reel will debut in July 2010. And finally, make sure you check out the website of comic book artist Peter “Rusty” Beach. Longtime fans of BadAzz MoFo know Rusty’s work as the artist on the original Black Santa’s Revenge, as well as his work on the Legend of Stagolee, which appeared in the SOLID! comic anthology (both available in the BAMF Store).

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UNDISPUTED III: REDEMPTION

June 28, 2010

Because someone demanded—although I’m not sure who it was—the Undisputed franchise is back with its most recent entry, Undisputed III: Redemption. Keep in mind that neither Wesley Snipes nor Ving Rhames, the stars of the original Undisputed, nor Michael Jai White, star of Undisputed II: Last Man Standing are anywhere to be seen in this one. Instead, we get Scot Adkins, the bad guy Undisputed II, who is now something of a good guy—at least as good a guy as you can get in a movie about convicted killers fighting in an illegal prison tournament. Hey, it ain’t Jamaa Fanaka’s Penitentiary series, which the earlier Undisputed films borrowed heavily from, but Undisputed III: Redemption certainly has lobotomy-ified charm.

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Thinking About Fathers on Father's Day

June 20, 2010

Is it possible to miss someone you don’t remember meeting? That’s what I think on days like today—Father’s Day. I think about my father, who I have no memories of, and wonder if it’s possible to miss him. I try not to spend too much time thinking about what my life might have been like if he lived, but some days I can’t keep my mind from wandering. What sort of man would I have grown into, had he been there, with a steady hand and words of wisdom? Would my life be better?
Like I said, I try not to spend too much time thinking about these things. Chasing after the shadows that you never grew up under hurts too much to do it on a regular basis. But on days like this it just kind of gnaws at your soul, eating away at your already hollow insides that have felt inexplicably empty for as long as you can remember. There is a hole in all of us that we spend our lives trying to fill with booze and dope and religion and sex and anything that distracts us from the things that makes us feel incomplete. And when you don’t have a dad around, that hole gets pretty big. And you feel at times like you’re drowning inside of yourself, only you don’t really know who you are, because you don’t know your father, and he is one half of what made you. And without him, you wonder how you can possibly ever be complete. And then you’re thankful that Father’s Day only comes once a year, because feeling this way too often is more than you can take, and it makes you want to hate a man that you don’t remember meeting, which makes you wonder if you can miss a man that don’t remember meeting, and on and on it goes.
For some people, Father’s Day is a celebration. For others it is a painful reminder of emptiness and feeling incomplete. And maybe for people like that, Father’s Day needs to be a day of forgiveness. For how can we hate our fathers without in some way hating ourselves?

15 Years and Still Going

June 15, 2010

Last month marked the 15th anniversary of BadAzz MoFo. To be perfectly honest, it came and went without me even noticing, but someone said something to me earlier today that got me to thinking that perhaps I should do something to mark the occasion.  After all, I’ve stuck with BAMF longer than any job or woman. In the next few weeks I will be making an announcement about something special to commemorate 15 years of this weird journey I’ve been on.

Happy Loving Day

June 12, 2010

Today is Loving Day, an unofficial holiday that marks the 43rd anniversary of the landmark Supreme Court decision in the case of Loving vs. Virginia, effectively clearing the way for interracial marriages in all fifty states. When the court ruled on the case, sixteen states still had laws on the books prohibiting anti-miscegenation laws that made it illegal for people from different races to marry, have sex or cohabitate. Between the years of 1913 and 1948, thirty states recognized these laws, effectively banning interracial relationships and making them punishable by prison. All of this came to an end with the marriage of Richard and Mildred Loving. (more…)

The Adventures of David Walker, Crimefighter

June 4, 2010

I’m on my way to a meeting earlier today, when I stumble across one of those odd moments in life. Driving around the Pearl District in Northwest Portland, looking for a place to park, I notice a fairly clean-cut looking guy in this thirties, who is clearly drunk, stoned, crazy or some combination of those three, stumbling down the street. The first thing I notice is that he doesn’t look like the typical vagrant or wino, but the fact that he can’t walk in a straight line, he’s carrying an open bottle of beer, and he’s mumbling to himself all clue me in that there’s something not quite right about this guy. But then again, this is Portland, and even though it’s only 10:45 in the morning, things like this aren’t that odd. In fact, it was in this exact same block, years ago, that I saw two homeless people copulating, and came up with the idea of pornos starring the homeless (an idea truly ahead of its time, that I really should have followed through on). But that’s a story for another time. (more…)

The Truth About Casting – In Black and White

June 2, 2010

You’ll have to forgive me. Sometimes I forget exactly how racist and stupid people can be. Don’t get me wrong, because I’ve never lost sight of how racist people can be, or how stupid for that matter, but sometimes I do slip up, and forget how racist and stupid they can be at the same time. But as I foolishly trolled the Internets, reading the reaction of some people to the desire of black actor Donald Glover to be granted an audition to play Spider-Man, I was reminded of the depths to which some people sink—wallowing in a bottomless pool of festering racism and putrid stupidity that all but screams to be put out of its misery with a blunt blow to the back of the head. This seemingly endless stream of pure dumb-assishness is not that different from people’s reactions to the rumors of Will Smith being considered for the role of Captain America. Between both of these “news stories,” I read comments and posts that made me shake my head in disbelief while mumbling to myself, “Some peckerwoods sho am ig’nant.” There were people who claimed that casting a black actor to play white characters like Spider-Man or Captain America would be like casting Steve Martin to play Nelson Mandela, or some other white actor to play Martin Luther King. (more…)

Can a black guy play Spider-Man?

June 2, 2010

Last week the Internets starting buzzing when actor/comedian Donald Glover (right) began an online campaign to get an audition to play Spider-Man in the upcoming series reboot.  I started to write a lengthy essay about this topic, got sidetracked, and in the meantime and in-between time, Drew McSweeny at HITFIX came pretty close to saying what was on my mind. You can read McSweeny’s thoughts by clicking HERE, and please know that I agree with almost everything he says. The one thing I disagree with him about is his assertion that films with black actors don’t play well in foreign markets. The truth of the matter is that some films with black actors don’t play well in foreign markets, which is often the result of release patterns that can’t allow films with black actors to do well. The other truth, which may simply be an exception to the quasi-rule, is that Will Smith backs a dump-truck up to foreign boxoffices to haul away all the cash his films make. Smith is easily one of the biggest stars in the global film market, making as much if not more overseas as he does domestically.  And while he’s not on par with Will Smith, your jaw would hit the floor if you saw some of Eddie Murphy’s foreign earnings (Meet Dave earned only $11 million domestic, but $38 million foreign, The Haunted Mansion made $75 million domestic and $105 million foreign). By comparison, Ice Cube’s films do such bad business overseas that one is left wondering if his movies even play in foreign markets (the one exception being XXX: State of the Union, which earned $26 million domestic, and $44 million foreign).  My point being that the notion that movies with black actors don’t do well overseas has plagued Hollywood for decades, and it needs to addressed. So too does the ridiculous racism that runs rampant among comic book fans that are morally opposed to the notion of a black actor playing Spider-Man. And again, I encourage you to read McSweeny’s thoughts on that topic.