Sunday, January 04, 2009

Films in black

Add ImageA combination of sickness and boredom have driven me to downloading a ton of notable black films I've either never seen or have never watched in their entirety.

Here's a few I've blown through in the past week or so:

First Sunday (2008)
It has been mentioned in reviews that this film should have been funnier than it was. This is true considering the film featured Katt Williams, Ice Cube and Tracey Morgan. At the same time, I get the feeling the script wasn't written as an out-and-out comedy. It seems like it was written in the vein of 'movies black church folk would like to watch', casting decisions aside. In the end, the movie was enjoyable even if predictable and overly sentimental. I won't lie. I shed a couple of tears.

The Bodyguard (1992)
When this film came out I was 14. I couldn't have cared less about watching a love story with Kevin Costner. *ewww* Even now, the idea isn't particularly enthralling. I picked this one out though because it's representitive of progresison in pop film. I've never been much of a Whitney Houston fan--my concerns were elsewhere during the height of her fame--but watching the film really helped me understand her aura. She's very pretty and very alluring. And graceful. (Well, she was anyway, pre-Bobby.)

Waiting to Exhale (1995)
This is another one staring Ms. Houston. Ok, as a black female, I have to hang my head in shame admitting that I've never sat through this movie. Overall, I liked it. I couldn't entirely sympathize with the all the characters 'cause I seriously don't get the "He's married but his wife is awful" line of reasoning for sleeping with married men. Still, I could see why this film was so popular. It covered the situations most single women find themselves in and in the end, everyone's happier and better off. Good stuff.

You Got Served (2004)
I sware, most of this flick is so unmemorable, that I think I have seen the whole thing before. I only remembered the final dance sequences but given the acting and storyline, it's no great wonder. Before this viewing I hadn't realized Meagan Good was in the film though. She's a really cute girl and I think her look is pretty representative of the 'hot black girl' image for the current generation. Very LA style...

The Secret Life of Bees (2008)
So obviously, the copy I saw of this was super bootleg since the dvd isn't out yet. I really wanted to see this film because of the cast: Queen Latifah, Alicia Keys, Jennifer Hudson, lil Dakota Fanning and Sophie Okonedo (Hotel Rwanda). I loved Alicia Keys character June. She was so mean it was hilarious. I was a little wigged out at the whole 'praying to the Mother Mary statue in the living room' thing but why let that ruin enjoyment of a perfectly nice film? The message of love and healing was a nice one.

Moonwalker (1988)
I had seen chunks of this as a kid when they used to play it VH1 every year. Watching it straight thorugh was a bit of a chore since it isn't a traditional narrative film, it's a bunch of short films linked together. Watching it this time around, it occured to me that Michael Jackson is a Picasso or Einstein of music and performance. I don't think anyone will ever replicate the level of influence and ingenuity Michael brought to the world ever again.

I'm gonna blow through a couple more tonight. There's no telling what I have or haven't seen but friends are often ragging on me for fairly prominent omissions. I'll probably stay on this track for a few more days then blow through some Bollywood films during winter vacation next week!


Daddy's Girl said...

Nice selection! I agree about MJ - a very rare talent of genius proportions. He left such a distinctive (and large) imprint on music and entertainment. Shame about... well, everything else.
I didn't like The Bodyguard at all, I remember finding it incredibly boring (except for the songs - Whitney's voice at its peak). Waiting to Exhale was good for the performances (you gotta love Ms Bassett), but my favourite thing about it was the late and great Gregory Hines (perhaps unsurprising since all the other guys were absolutely appalling). I can't wait to see The secret Life of Bees. Yeah, Meagan Good is super-cute, she's got that 'hot girl next door' vibe... she was in my country recently and people were talking about how she's a head-turner, yet somehow also seems accessible and down-to-earth (we call her 'the queen of the re-rock' - I'll leave that to you to figure out).

Anonymous said...

I think you should post a list of black films that you strongly recommend, in various categories.
And leave out Will Smith, and Denzel ones, everyones seen that unless they are not mainstream movies. You would make me a happy man.

SolShine7 said...

When you get a chance check out I'm Through With White Girls. It's a cute indie comedy about love and finding your place in the world.

I'm glad you got around to seeing The Body Guard and The Secret Life of Bees. And LOL on Meagan Good. I forget she was in that movie. She's a good actress she just needs some better roles.

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Saria said...

What? No Barbershop? (then again, maybe you've already seen it).

I haven't visited your blog in ages and have been catching up posts.

I'm still waiting for your review on Omkara! I've noticed you're not too big on Saif...and after his shaggy performance in Race I can't say I'm surprised. But still! Bollywood takes on Shakespeare? Bollywood and the Bard? That has you written all over it.

(I'll also go out on a limb and predict that you'll add "Beedi" - the smash hit - to your favorites list. In the movie, the song is picturized with Bipasha. How can that go wrong?)

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