30th Jul2005

Lawdy, Lawdy! Superfly Had A SEQUEL?!

by Will

“Logan would join a limbo contest if it had a redhead in it.”

It’s back! About 6 months ago, I wrote a scathing article about The African Heritage Movie Theatre, and it’s MC’s, Ruby Dee and Ossie Davis. Well, much has changed in that time. Mr. Davis has gone to that theatre in the sky, and Ms. Dee is MIA. So, the franchise has been renamed. Yes, I give you the Uptown Movie Network. And get this: it’s now hosted by Ms. Shar “F you, Federline!” Jackson. But worry not, because they’re still cranking out those movies that make us Black folks feel so proud! This week’s offering: “Superfly T.N.T”

Yes, as if “Superfly” wasn’t enough, someone came up with the bright idea to give us a sequel. But this ain’t yo daddy’s Blaxploitation movie (actually, it’s from 1973, so it probably is…). Don’t look for the ghettos and the Cadillacs. No, allow me to provide you with the movie’s synopsis:

“Superfly comes out of his Roman retirement to free a tiny African nation from the grip of a cruel dictator.”

Oh, Superfly must be a hero, right? Well, for those of you who don’t know the story of Superfly, as depicted in the first movie, let me break it down for ya. Superfly, known as Youngblood Priest, was a cocaine dealer who simply realized he’d had enough of the life. But he needed one last score to provide him with the cash for his escape. So, I guess he used that cash to get to Rome. Yeah…Rome. I didn’t even think they let Black people in Rome in 1973!

Oh, but it gets better. You ever seen a 6’4” Black dude with a perm, dressed from head to toe in horseback riding gear? Better yet, have you ever seen the same guy chase a mugger down narrow Roman streets?You will if you see this movie. I don’t know if Superfly is the most famboyant pimp or the gayest ass kicker, but it certainly is a sight to see.

The highlight of this movie has GOT to be Roscoe Lee Brown, who has one of the most iconic voices in entertainment history. Screw James Earl Jones. Roscoe’s “Kingpin” from the Fox Spider-Man cartoon stomps all over Mr. “This is CNN”. Anyway, Brown plays the part of an African diplomat. Not that it takes much. In this day and age, all you had to do was show up to work. And he does that nicely.

So, why am I ranting? Well, the whole commercial nature of this franchise was to show movies that, supposedly, had a cultural and classic impact on the Black cinematic experience. I understand that there are only so many times one can watch “The Color Purple” and “The Tuskeegee Airmen”, but it’d be more honorable if someone just came out and said, “OK, we’re all out of movies.” Don’t pass this dreck off and try to make people think it means something. Hell, “Superfly T.N.T” doesn’t even come up immediately on an IMDB search. You’ve got to dig to find that bad boy. I guess that’s supposed to make me think it’s a hidden cinematic treasure. Well, I’m on to your game!

“Superfly” had cultural significance. It is one of the more memorable Blaxploitation movies. Was it a “good” movie? I’ll leave that in the eye of the beholder. But it had cultural significance. These were Black made films, for Black audiences. As deplorable as the subject matter may have been, these tales were real to many people. Can’t say the same about “Soul Plane”. But I digress…

But you can’t tell me that Superfly’s sequel holds the same meaning in time. In the words of Judge Judy, “Don’t piss on my knee and tell me it’s raining!” The fool is in Rome! Who came up with this locale? How did a coke dealer become an African savior? I mean, I’m all about redemption, but DAMN!

Everybody knows that a sequel is simply another trip to the well. Typically, you had success, and now you’re trying to milk the idea dry. The “message” was in your first movie, but the sequel is all fo’ da scrilla. With that in mind, any lesson or message to be conveyed was in the first Superfly. And I guess said message was: “if you’re gonna deal, make sure you rollin’ high, and you get yo’ ass to a safe place for the fallout.” OK, I can live with that. A lot of young folks could do well to know that message. But the only message in the sequel is: “if you take your Black ass to Rome, they gonna find you!”

Thanks, “Uptown Movie Network”. I sure am glad y’all decided to show “Graffiti Bridge” instead of “King” back in January. And I really appreciate the effort, but I think I’ll take care of my cultural education on my own. But holla back when y’all start showing reruns of “Girlfriends”…

25th Jul2005

Danny Elfman: The One Trick Pony

by Will

“Be careful, Peter. After all, you’re not Superman, you know!”

So, Shelly and I just saw “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” (GREAT movie, by the way), and I realized something: Danny Elfman wrote one song about 16 years ago, and he’s been remixing it ever since.

You ever see “Batman”? That was Danny Elfman composing. We all know the song when we hear it. For some of us, the mere sound of it makes us want to suit up and fight crime. But if you listen carefully, before the main “Bat Riff” breaks out, there’s this creepy, lilting melody. That melody, folks, is the one and only song Elfman has ever composed. He is the 3 Doors Down..no, the Creed of movie score composers.

Go watch “Edward Scissorhands”, also known as the beginning of the Burton-Depp marriage. You hear that score? Sound familiar? Yup, you’ve heard it before.

Seen “Spider-Man”? I know I wasn’t the only one watching the opening credits, thinking, “Hey, this sounds familiar…and, this doesn’t even fit the character of Spidey!” It’s like Sony went to Elfman and asked, “What have you got along the lines of a superhero theme?” And he went back to his studio, and dusted off a cassette labeled “Bat Scraps”.

“Charlie and the Chocolate Factory”? Same Elfman “Batman” score.

It’s driving me crazy! You can’t take a song that holds meaning and then just apply it to other properties, all willy-nilly! Right now, I’ve got the image of Batman & Spidey fighting Edward Scissorhands in the middle of a chocolate factory run by skeletons. And I’m not even high!

Maybe it all boils down to budget. If Burton can avoid spending on new music, then that’s more money he can shuttle into Helena Bonham Carter’s heroin addiction. I mean, that shit don’t come cheap. And Burton totally knows how to work a budget. To get a little more insight, let’s look at his upcoming film, “Corpse Bride”.

“Corpse Bride” is billed by some as “the sequel to ‘The Nightmare Before Christmas'”. Same stop animation. Same Burton creepiness. Same Elfman score. But the real humdinger is the voice cast. You see, the vast majority of the cast members are also in “Charlie”. Since it’s only voiceovers, he could’ve recorded that stuff during filming breaks on “Charlie”, and would’ve wound up making the film on a mere shoestring. Critics and audience members alike will love it, and Helena gets more heroin.

I’m on to you, Burton. You and Elfman aren’t fooling me. I know the frickin’ Batman theme when I hear it. Stop using it for all of your movies! You’re crrepy enough as it is, and it’s having an effect on my psychological well-being. You’ve just read what this score-swapping is doing to me, and I can’t fathom Batman fighting an undead bride while Ed Wood films the Martians attacking us. It’s too much! Get off your ass, Elfman, and compose! You wrote the frickin’ “Simpsons” theme for God’s sake! You’ve got more in you. Just slowly step away from the “Batman” theme. We can work this out…

24th Jul2005

Comics Rant: House of M, Gambit, Infinite Crisis, X3, and Blade TV

by Will

“I’m sorry…I know I maybe taste like a cracker.”

Comics Rant

The following will make sense to maybe 2 of my readers. Sorry, but I needed to get this out of my system. But stay tuned, I’m sure I’ll wax philosophic on 90210 or something with a little more of an all-encompassing vibe in the coming days…

MARVEL
-SINISTER IS GAMBIT’S FATHER?!!! Is this in-continuity? Are they gonna keep this development? I mean, it makes sense, but…

-So, you mean to tell me that Hawkeye’s now dead in BOTH universes? I was never a fan of 616 Hawkeye, but Ultimate Hawkeye was kinda noble. Man, Marvel must really hate archers or something…

-So, the Sentry may actually be an amnesiac Thor? That’s an interesting theory…

-Wolverine’s a much cooler Avenger than X-Man. “House of M” only proves this theory. Plus, check out his solo work in “Wolverine”. Last issue, he killed 5,000 people. Yup, you read that correctly.

-Speaking of “House of M”, rumor is that it’s going to knock the number of mutants in the world back down to around 300. In the past few yrs, Marvel went a little apeshit, and EVERYONE was a mutant. Apparently, they want to get back to basics, where mutants were a small group which can be more easily persecuted. Not sure if they’re just gonna depower the muties or kill ’em…

-I hate to say it, but I think Bendis may actually suck now. I mean, he’s writing every book Marvel puts out. They have no regular shipping schedule. And, I’m kinda gettin’ tired of him..

-Finally got around to reading “Marvels”. It was NOT the tour-de-force epic that I’ve been hearing about for the past 10 yrs. Quaint little ditty, but it lacked something…

DC
-“Infinite Crisis” has GOT to restart the DC timeline! Why do I say that? Too many things have happened recently that never should’ve:
1)Luthor knows Superman’s Identity
2)Checkmate knows EVERYONE’s Identities
3)Batman no longer has ANY foes
A) Joker is a broken amnesiac in a traveling circus
B) Two-Face reverted back to Harvey Dent
C) Poison Ivy-Dead
D) Riddler-MIA
E) Bane -reformed
F) R’as Al Ghul – Dead
G)Catwoman – reformed AND knows Bruce is Batman
H)Penguin moved to Bludhaven
I)Scarface -Dead
J)Man-Bat reformed and has a Kid-Bat

4)Did I mention that Jason Todd’s back? For real. Robin II has returned from the dead as The Red Hood II and, with the exception of Hush, is Batman’s only major villain.

MOVIES
-Alan Cumming probably wishes he’d kept his damn mouth shut. He was so excited when he learned that Bryan Singer was no longer directing “X3”. He went on record for several publications, stating how much he disliked working with the man, and how relieved he was that he wouldn’t have to repeat the experience. Well, Fox has decided not to pick up the renewal option in his contract. Which means that neither Mr. Cumming, nor Nightcrawler, will be seen in X-Men 3. Sometimes you’ve gotta wait before you gloat.

-Speaking of X3, the damn teaser poster’s already up in theatres. The movie ain’t even close to being done, and it’s not like they’re going to lack an eager audience. Yet, Marvel still felt it necessary to give you a 24×36 one-sheet of Wolverine’s claws. Thanks, Marvel. ‘Cause you guys make it SO easy for us to forget what Wolverine looks like…

-David Goyer announced he’s developing a “Blade” tv show for Spike. I wonder if Snipes is gonna try to sue…

OK, I think I’m done for now. Just needed to geek out for a minute…

07th Jul2005

Marvel Doesn’t Seem To Care About The Fantastic Four Movie

by Will

“I did punch a baby once…in anger. In my defense, the baby was being kind of a dick.”

What is with Marvel and their promotion of “Fantastic Four”?

This is NOT going to be a good movie, and I feel like Marvel knows this. You know why I say this? Because they simply dusted off their “X-Men” publicity and switched out the pictures.

Every press junket, every promo, every bit of publicity for this movie is just leftovers from “X-Men”. Right down to the premiere which, like “X-Men”, was on Liberty Island in NYC. Now, Liberty Island had meaning to the X-Men premiere, as anyone who’s seen the movie can attest. Is the Statue of Liberty a part of FF? Who knows, but I’m sure as Hell gonna rant about THAT if it turns out it is…

Why are you doing this, Marvel? I know that the Fantastic Four are “Marvel’s First Family” and all, but I don’t see this as a compelling movie. Part of the draw of FF is the family dynamic, which actually takes awhile to form. They just don’t fall in line. Sue and Reed get married, have that bastard, Franklin, and the familial ties begin to show. In the beginning, though, which is what the movie is based upon, they were just four fuck-ups who didn’t have sense enough to steer their shuttle away from the radiation…

02nd Jul2005

This Post Might’ve Been About My Mom…

by Will

“When you live with someone day after day, it’s easy to forget sometimes who they really are, and what they can do.

Then when you see it, when you’re reminded just what they can do…it’s a revelation.

People see me swinging around skyscrapers and they think I’m pretty special. But it’s not me. It’s her. It’s always been her.”

22nd Jun2005

Analysis Of The World’s Richest Fictional Characters

by Will

I thought this was pretty amusing:
http://www.forbes.com/2002/09/13/400fictional.html

It’s the Forbes Fictional Fifteen, or the wealthiest, most powerful fictional characters of pop culture.

Now, so we don’t have to waste any time on this, yes, they’re all a bunch of rich white guys. Deal with it. Society’s a cruel bitch sometimes, even in fiction.

Now that we’ve gotten that out of the way, I thought there were a few surprises.

You’re gonna have to show me how in God’s name Willy Wonka is worth more than Bruce Wayne. Although, I DO find it odd that the more money you have, the more you enjoy the company of young children..(See #’s 1, 2,3,4,6 & 7).

And Uncle Scrooge is worth more than Batman? Where’s the justice? Bruce Wayne IS Batman, while Scrooge PAYS Gizmoduck. I think it’s obvious who’s the real hero!

Actually, this list is from 2002, so a lot has changed. Excuse me, I’m about to “go geek” on ya.
You see, Lex Luthor became President (Yes, of the US) and then kinda went crazy. He disappeared and was presumed dead. During that time, Bruce Wayne swept in with quite the hostile takeover, assuming LexCorp and all of Luthor’s assets. So, you can add Luthor’s $4.7 billion to Wayne’s $6.3 billion, and you’ll see that Bats is actually #3 on the list.

I never really thought of Santa having money. I mean, when you’re magical, do you need money? How much is Gandalf worth?

I always thought Cruella and Burnsy were worth the same, but maybe that’s because of that Simpsons spoof where he assumed the Cruella role…

And the Thurston Howell fortune is questionable, especially depending on timetable. You see, for anyone who’s ever watched “Rescue From Gilligan’s Island”, you’ll know that they finally get off the island after being marooned for 15 yrs. Now, during that time, Howell was presumed dead and lost EVERYTHING. So, he’s got nothing. And to add shits to giggles, the morons commemorate the 1 yr anniversay of their rescue by taking ANOTHER boat ride. Guess what happens? They end up marooned on the same frickin’ island all over again. Man, they just don’t make good-bad TV like that anymore…

So the lesson to be learned here? There isn’t one. But if there’s one take-home message that i can give you, it’s “never underestimate the kindness of strangers.” Especiallly when you’re a moronic lost scout who has social-anxiety issues. C’mon, kid, you’re frickin STARVING! They had ATV’s for God’s sake! When has anything bad come on an ATV? All kids love ATV’s. Yup, there was something seriously wrong with that kid…

19th Jun2005

The Fall Guy. The Answer Is The Fall Guy.

by Will

“We like to call him ‘The Louisville Smuggler’.”

So, for some reason, my Pop Culture powers amped up to the next level. So much, in fact, that I don’t believe most people would be able to understand what’s going through my head.

Case in point, lately, I’ve been thinking a lot about character actors. All those people who “you’d know ’em if you saw ’em”, but you don’t know their names. One of my favorites is Harvey Korman. If you don’t know who he is, just find an old episode of “The Carol Burnett Show” or watch a Mel Brooks movie (hint: he’s Headley Lamarr in “Blazing Saddles”).

Anyway, like I said, my mind is kinda warped right now, and I’m only thinking in riddles and analogies. Let’s see if any of you can figure this out:

“Jeffrey Tambor is to “Three’s Company” as Terry Kiser is to _________

Hint:There are several answers.

It’s OK, kids. You CAN use IMDB for this one….

19th Jun2005

Jump On One Couch, And The Earth Starts Shakin’!

by Will

“At Eastern Motors, where my job is my credit!”

Another CA earthquake? This just proves that God’s finally as sick of Tom Cruise as the rest of us…

14th Jun2005

Ninjas, Pride DC, MJ, and Natalie Holloway

by Will

Gonna steal Shel’s format for today since I like how it’s shaping up for her…

-So, the ice cream truck just drove slowly down my street, with the theme from “The Godfather” coming from its speaker. Correct me if I’m wrong, but that’s a bad thing, right?

-The other week, while in DC, I saw the best/worse ploy for money EVER. This homeless guy held up a sign that read “Ninjas killed my family. Please give me money for Kung Fu lessons.”

-So, Pride DC just ended. Nothing screams “Equal Rights!” like a shirts-optional foam party at Apex. Man, if only MLK had thought of these tactics, Jim Crow wouldn’t have known what hit him…

-One morning a few months ago, this chick got on the bus, wearing a fur coat. Now, let’s break this down. I know my furs, and it was real. So, let’s point out the key parts of the story. A lady got on the BUS wearing a FUR COAT. And I thought to myself, “You’re wearing a car!” I mean, it’s the BUS. Not like you have to go out of your way to impress those people. And I’d rather wear a ratty Members Only jacket and drive a Focus than wear my fur on the Metrobus and get home smelling like nachos and B.O.

-“There is no such thing as a short sleeve dress shirt.” So true, GQ. So true…

-Well-played, MJ. Well-played, indeed. Now, if I even hear of you going near Children’s Tylenol, I will come over to Neverland and beat your ignorant, hard-headed ass. I am gonna beat it, and I won’t stop til I get enough. So, you can call Billie Jean if you want, but that would be bad. Why can’t you just like girls, Michael? Do you remember the time? Do ya? Have you forgotten the way you make them feel? There are many people like you, Jacks. You are not alone. But, lucky for us, most of them are IN JAIL or under surveillance. Now, when I see your old footage, well you give me butterflies. But this crazy-ass Willy Wonka behavior of yours makes me wanna scream! Just stop pressurin’ me!

_According to MSNBC, they’ve been using Viagra to cure kids with lung and respiratory issues. Oh, God bless the U.S.A.! Just like us to have little boys running around with hard-ons, breathing funny. God, it’s a slow news cycle!

-What is the deal with this Aruba chick! Yes, I can understand that her family wants her found, but I can’t remember the last time a search was this intense. I mean, is she carrying nuclear secrets or something?!! She’ll turn up. In recent years, they all have. Back in the 80’s, those kids got killed. But lately, turns out these chicks just go out for ice cream and forget to call home. For three months. Anyway, I hear Deep Throat knows where she is, and he’s got a press conference scheduled with US Weekly in about an hr…

-So, Jenn updated her site template again. More anime. To quote the great Gomer Pyle, “Surprise, surprise!” Don’t get me wrong; it’s a sharp site. It just seems a bit…cliche? Ya know, for a site that tries to break down all the stereotypes, she sure has a funny approach. Anyway, stay tuned for my “fried chicken and tap-dancing” redesign…

Anyway, I’m done. That season finale’s coming. Special guest stars galore. Well, not really. But, when it’s done, NOTHING WILL EVER BE THE SAME AGAIN!!!!

Seacrest, out

30th May2005

My Mommy Doesn’t “Get” Children’s Programming

by Will

So, this conversation took place while Mommy and I were watching Spongebob today (don’t ask…)

Mommy: “What IS Spongebob? I never really understood that. What is the NEED for a Spongebob?”

About an hr later, when the Fantastic Four toy commercial comes on:

Me: “Ooh!!”

Mommy: “What is that?”

Me:” It’s the Thing, from the Fantastic Four!”

Mommy: “He looks terrible!”

Me: “He can’t help it. The radiation did it to him, when he was in space. He doesn’t want to look like that; he HATES how he looks.”

Mommy: “Well, that’s what he gets, then. He had no business messin’ in space anyway. I bet that’s one trip he’ll never forget!”