blaxploitation film

The unquestioned Black classics in cinema:

Boyz N Da Hood
Menace II Society
Poetic Justice
Friday
Do The Right Thing
Love & Basketball
How High
How Stella Got Her Groove Back
Coming To America
The Wiz
Dolemite
Players Club
Don’t Be A Menace To South Central While Drinking Your Juice In the Hood
Juice
Set It Off
Cooley High
Lean On Me
What’s Love Got To Do With It
Class Act
Lady Sings The Blues
Soul Food
Roots
Waiting To Exhale

The underrated but actually better than all the previously mentioned Black classics in cinema:

X
Fresh
Love Jones
Crooklyn
School Daze
Squeeze
Brown Sugar
South Central
Why Did I Get Married
Eve’s Bayou
The Inkwell
Boomerang
Higher Learning
Jason’s Lyric
The Wood
The Five Heartbeats
Above The Rim
House Party 3
Dead Presidents
Sugar Hill
In Too Deep
Sunset Park
Akeelah & The Bee
New Jersey Drive
He Got Game
Thin Line Between Love And Hate
American Gangster
Amistad
Django Unchained

The hilariously overrated Black classics in cinema:

Belly
Best Man
EVERY OTHER TYLER PERRY MOVIE
ATL
You Got Stomped On The Drumline
Vampire In Brooklyn
Baps
Bad Boys
Tales From the Hood
Pootie Tang
The Barbershop
Hollywood Shuffle
Precious
Get Rich Or Die Tryin
Hustle & Flow
Notorious
Idlewild
Life
Training Day

Feel free to categorize and add any I missed…


…and I’m blocking anybody that mentions Big Mama’s House and/or Soul Plane

Black Cinema 1970-1999

This is a list I compiled based on movies I’ve either already watched or plan on watching in the near future. Please feel free to add any suggestions, recommendations, or requests for anything you’d like to see more of on this blog.

  1. Shaft (1971) 
  2. Sweet Sweetback’s Baadasssss Song (1971) 
  3. Super Fly (1972)
  4. Lady Sings the Blues (1972) 
  5. Black Gunn (1972)
  6. Trick Baby (1972)
  7. Trouble Man (1972)
  8. The Legend of Nigger Charley (1972)
  9. Across 110th Street (1972)
  10. Cool Breeze (1972)
  11. Black Mama White Mama (1972)
  12. The Mack (1973) 
  13. Sweet Jesus, Preacherman (1973)
  14. Ganja & Hess (1973)
  15. Detroit 9000 (1973)
  16. That Man Bolt (1973)
  17. Hell Up in Harlem (1973)
  18. Coffy (1973) 
  19. Black Caesar (1973) 
  20. The Spook Who Sat by the Door (1973)
  21. Five on the Black Hand Side (1973) 
  22. Black Belt Jones (1974) 
  23. Boss Nigger (1974)
  24. TNT Jackson (1974) 
  25. Three the Hard Way (1974)
  26. Truck Turner (1974)
  27. Black Samson (1974)
  28. Willie Dynamite (1974)
  29. Cleopatra Jones (1974) 
  30. Foxy Brown (1974) 
  31. Claudine (1974) 
  32. Uptown Saturday Night (1974) 
  33. Cornbread, Earl and Me (1975) 
  34. Coonskin (1975)
  35. Sheba, Baby (1975)
  36. Dolemite (1975)
  37. Friday Foster (1975)
  38. Cooley High (1975) 
  39. Bucktown (1975)
  40. The Black Gestapo (1975)
  41. Mahogany (1975) 
  42. Sparkle (1976) 
  43. Black Shampoo (1976)
  44. Black Heat (1976)
  45. The Human Tornado (1976)
  46. Car Wash (1976) 
  47. Dr. Black, Mr. Hyde (1976)
  48. Petey Wheatstraw (1977)
  49. The Wiz (1978) 
  50. A Hero Ain’t Nothing But A Sandwich (1978) 
  51. Disco Godfather (1980)
  52. The Marva Collins Story (1981) 
  53. Wild Style (1983) 
  54. Breakin’ (1984) 
  55. Breakin’ 2: Electric Boogaloo (1984) 
  56. Beat Street (1984) 
  57. A Soldier’s Story (1984) 
  58. Purple Rain (1984) 
  59. Krush Groove (1985) 
  60. The Color Purple (1985) 
  61. Hollywood Shuffle (1987) 
  62. Raw (1987) 
  63. School Daze (1988) 
  64. Coming to America (1988) 
  65. I’m Gonna Git You Sucka (1988) 
  66. Lean On Me (1989)
  67. Polly (1989) 
  68. Glory (1989) 
  69. Do the Right Thing (1989) 
  70. Harlem Nights (1989) 
  71. Women of Brewster Place (1989) 
  72. Mo’ Better Blues (1989) 
  73. House Party (1990) 
  74. The Five Heartbeats (1991) 
  75. Jungle Fever (1991) 
  76. Strictly Business (1991) 
  77. Boyz n the Hood (1991) 
  78. New Jack City (1991) 
  79. White Men Can’t Jump (1992) 
  80. The Jacksons: An American Dream (1992) 
  81. Bebe’s Kids (1992) 
  82. Boomerang (1992) 
  83. Malcolm X (1992) 
  84. Juice (1992) 
  85. Class Act (1992) 
  86. Mo Money (1992) 
  87. What’s Love Got to Do With It (1993) 
  88. Strapped (1993) 
  89. CB4 (1993) 
  90. Sister Act II (1993) 
  91. Posse (1993) 
  92. Poetic Justice (1993) 
  93. Menace II Society (1993) 
  94. Jason’s Lyric (1994) 
  95. A Low Down Dirty Shame (1994) 
  96. Blankman (1994) 
  97. Crooklyn (1994) 
  98. Tales From the Hood (1995) 
  99. Dead Presidents (1995) 
  100. Bad Boys (1995) 
  101. Panther (1995) 
  102. Friday (1995) 
  103. Waiting to Exhale (1995) 
  104. Higher Learning (1995) 
  105. Set It Off (1996) 
  106. Preacher’s Wife (1996) 
  107. Hoodlum (1997) 
  108. Rhyme & Reason (1997)
  109. Hav Plenty (1998) 
  110. The Temptations (1998) 
  111. Why Do Fools Fall In Love (1998) 
  112. Eve’s Bayou (1997) 
  113. Love Jones (1997) 
  114. Soul Food (1997) 
  115. Belly (1998) 
  116. How Stella Got Her Groove Back (1998) 
  117. The Best Man (1999) 
  118. The Wood (1999) 
  119. Introducing Dorothy Dandridge (1999)
Mutsuki, Gratuity, and Violence

Mutsuki’s behavior is shocking to say the least. There’s been a lot of speculation made of exactly why his character made the turn it did from introduction to this point. I’m going to attempt to give my own personal interpretation, on putting together an arc for Mutsuki, and what point Ishida intends thematically by bringing out Mutsuki’s violent side the way he did. Note, this meta is almost entirely about violence, so besides spare mentions of torso the sexual aspect of Mutsuki’s character are not going to be explored. I’ll do that in a later post.

 Read more under the cut:

Keep reading

Iron Fist

Short Summary: It was pretty subpar and not as good as it could have been.

Long Summary: So this is interesting. First I am going to address the meta…because I have to.

The Meta

I like Danny Rand. I like Danny Rand as a character. I like Danny Rand as a hero.It goes without saying, Iron Fist came around in the wrong time period and that hurt the perception of Iron Fist.  One of the prevailing themes of Iron Fist aka Danny Rand is that he struggles with two different worlds: corporate New York and Shaolin Monastery. And for the character to work and that these themes to come across effectively, he has to be white. Now watching a white guy be hailed as the greatest kung fu master is like reading the top five rapper list with Eminem, Iggy Azalea and Macklemore ahead Biggie, Tupac, and Nas. It is fucking infuriating to see this character’s uniqueness relies on Eastern Mysticism and Martial Arts. What also hurt Danny Rand is that he is a rich white billionaire, a flavor that is long played out with the likes of Oliver Queen, Bruce Wayne, Tony Stark, and the guy who is the ATOM. It also hurts that rich white billionaire men are like…not really in style as being touted as a good guy.

But as a fan of Iron Fist and many Street level heroes, Danny Rand is like my own personal guilty pleasure because it reads like an Urban Fantasy Kung Fu story. Iron Fist was essentially born out the era where kung fu movies and blaxploitation films were huge, an era I like to call the diamond age because “gold” does not quite describe it. Kung fu was so huge that there were movies about Kung Fu sex. Could you picture that? IT’S INSPIRING!

However, I know it frustrating to witness this blonde haired blue eyed white guy spout Eastern philosophical sayings while being patronizing about his kung fu, as I imagine an Asian person would be.It also hurts that the narrative of Iron Fist makes him more right because…after all, he was raised in a monastery since he was a child. Although the series does it best to ensure that he is not Mighty Whitey(Danny Rand is constantly criticized as being the worst Iron Fist, his peer Davos says that “(Danny) stole the Iron Fist”, and generally his Eastern Asian philosophy puts people off), I am still in not in the “make Iron Fist Asian camp” because it does away other Asian characters who are still around and not being used…like Shang Chi. You know…the guy who also does Kung Fu, better than Danny, and is pretty much Marvel’s Bruce Lee. What I find odd about the Asian Representation Camp of Marvel is that I rarely see them bring up Shang-Chi when they reference Danny Rand in spite of Shang Chi being older than Danny Rand and, prior to the recent refocusing of Luke Cage, just as popular.

Danny Rand is white. It is part of his character. Making him Asian kind of ruins the point, and that kind of sucks. Sure, Iron Fist is a title, but for the time being, Danny Rand is the Iron Fist until he passes it to Pei. Does Iron Fist being white effect the quality of this series? Abso-fucking-lutely. It is fucking cringeworthy to see Finn Jones talk like an english dubbed kung fu action flick, but…it is not bad acting on his part because that is what Danny Rand talks like.

Also, they seem to be aware of this which is why Colleen Wing was the saving grace of this show. More on her later.

Okay I addressed the meta.

The plot structure and pacing

This show takes forever to get to the plot. The first four episodes of this series is very slow development as if it tries to expand what should have taken 2 episodes, tops, to do in four. I swear it is like they had Brian Michael Bendis write this. The first arc for this series is: is Danny Rand the real Danny Rand? which would be okay if we did not already know that he was indeed Danny Rand and the characters involved did not just drag it out. It took five episodes to finally reveal who exactly is the nemesis and what is going on. This was a choir to watch outside of Colleen Wing, who is by far a more interesting character than Danny Rand. After this slow start, the series picked up.

What hurt this series the most was this very slow introduction. It is any wonder where critics panned the series because things that weren’t explained in the first 6 episodes such as how the Iron Fist works and who exactly is the villain and what is what were not appropriately explained until much later.

You watch this show for Colleen Wing

Colleen Wing is the saving grace. Her action scenes have story and struggle to them, and while she is not the most athletic and fanciful, I like how the implemented Japanese culture and differentiated it from Danny’s Kung Fu. When Danny started using her Katana like a Wushu blade, Colleen called it out and said not to disgrace her Katana with that style and then proceeded to show her Japanese Kendo style. I came into this show hoping they did Colleen Wing justice and they did. She doesn’t have crazy spin attacks and seems to be the most grounded in style. She is Tatsu Yamsura done right.

Now Marvel, I want a Colleen Wing comic book yesterday.

SPOILER

And her being part of the Hand came out of left field. I know in the comics, it is mentioned that her mother was part of a Hand affiliated group called the Nail, a bunch of female assassins who raided the Japanese country and cityside. It is also worth pointing out that the arc that she worked with the Hand, functioned a lot like how Iron Fist presented the Hand(it was ran by Daredevil so… long story). I was legitimately surprised by that.

SPOILER Over

Inconsistencies in the plot

A lot of people have pointed this out, but Claire Temple being in the show hurts the logical story telling. For example, the majority of this show takes place in Manhattan, right? So while it makes sense that Claire would not call Luke Cage because he is in prison in Atlanta, and Jessica Jones, she has no experience in the Hand and quite frankly would not bother getting off her drunk ass to help out and travel from Queens, Matt Murdock is literally just South of her and Danny. I would not be surprised if this did not take place within his hearing range. He has the most motivation to fight the Hand and Claire knows him the most out of anyone. Just call him to help. 

There is also weird things about Danny such as him being able to drive in spite of living in a monastery where the best way to travel was a donkey and a cart.

The choreography and the cinematic choreography was pretty poor

I am not a cinematographer. Nor am I an expert on choreography. But there are some questionable camera work being done in this series pertaining to the fight scenes. Let me give a great example of choreography and camera work.

This is the Raid 2. You see how close the camera is to the action? It is not up in there to the point that it is shakey cam, nor is to far away. You see everything even when the camera pans out considerable distance. Also like to point out how the 2 actors are always visible and you can make out the emotion and intensity on their faces. This scene told a story without you knowing exactly the context was.

Iron Fist is utterly devoid of any of this outside of Colleen Wing. For one, there are these camera angles that are so confounding to me. Like when Danny is fighting the Drunken Kung Fu guy, the camera some times pans out way too far to the point that they aren’t even the center or focus of the shot. And they kept doing this during Danny’s fights in general, only getting close to the action during the finisher and exchanges. There is also the issue of the choreography not measuring up to the content that the series should have catered to. Iron Fist should have been on par with Ip-Man or Kung-fu Assassins for choreographical inspiration. Instead, it’s this poor man’s Raid style that you see in Arrow. It works for Daredevil, but it falls apart for a series like Iron Fist.

Iron Fist is supposed to be this Kung Fu Urban Fantasy. And it’s a shame that Into The Badlands instantly recognized this and has no shame of producing this type of action while Iron Fist shies away from this.

It also hurts that Finn Jones does not seem to want to learn how to perform these maneuvers or at least become athletic enough to do them.

Final Score: Come on, Marvel. 

I also like to point out that there are Asian characters who are not getting any shine like Silk. Like Jennifer Takeda. Like Shang-Chi. Instead of making a character who is the living embodiment of “Weeb” Asian, use characters whose entire existence centers around the Asian experience.