Tuesday, January 5, 2010
When I saw this trailer for "Black Dynamite" (screening midnight at Landmark's Ken Cinema on January 9) I thought I was watching a Blaxploitation film from the 70s but it's actually a dead-on spoof of the genre. Plus it's the return of the midnight movies at the Ken. Woo-hoo!
After watching this trailer I was inspired to take out my old Pam Grier and Richard Roundtree movies and revel in Blaxploitation Cinema. Blaxploitation films operated on low budgets and delivered films that catered to an African American audience with black stars and often urban settings. They provided a view of America that mainstream films often avoided and they were damn fun as well. So "Black Dynamite" inspired me to throw a Pam Grier Double-D Double Feature party because I think her films from the 70s ("Coffy," "Foxy Brown," "Friday Foster") are underappreciated. In those films she kicked some major butt and was -- for the times and in some ways even by today's standards -- damn liberated and self-sufficient. And Grier is still going strong with films like "Jackie Brown" and TV appearances on "The L Word" and soon reportedly on "Smallville."
But back to "Black Dynamite." Michael Jai White is Black Dynamite a brother willing to fight the man and romance the ladies with gusto and style. Written and directed by Scott Sanders, "Black Dynamite" looks like a lost treasure from the 1970s. It's fast, funny, and packed with action. Plus it has Aresenio Hall as Tasty Freeze and a cameo by Jimmy Walker, Jr. If only Pam Grier made an appearance! "Black Dynamite" follows in the tradition of "Undercover Brother" (2002) And "I’m Gonna Git You Sucka" (1988) but it's less jokey and more spot on in terms of capturing the look and feel of real 70s Blaxploitation films.
I urge you to join me this Saturday at midnight at the Ken and then go and rent some Pam Grier movies or "Shaft" or "Cleopatra Jones" or "Cotton Comes to Harlem" or... well there are so many. And you can enjoy some "Black Dynamite" talkin' jive on the film's site.
You can also Black Dynamite Yoself.