Saturday, February 18, 2012
Dir: Larry Cohen (Black Caesar/Hell up in Harlem/God Told me To/It's Alive/Original Gangsters)
IMDB rating: 6.7 out of 10
Blaxploitation is one vast and strangely diverse sun genre of films. With the standards being action/drug focussed films like Shaft, Superfly,Hell up in Harlem but for every ten films in the genre filled with smooth talking , jive slinging , struggle of the streets standard films there is one or two that truly stand out and have more of a message then "white man is the devil, keeping the black man down." and actually has a deeper meaning then just that. Bone is one of those films. Blaxploitation legendary director Larry Cohen makes his directorial debut in this odd, dark and funny commentary on race relations and the dark side of things. The film is largely just dialogue but let me tell you that is certainly a strong suit in the case of this film.
Bone starts off with a older white couple living in the nicer area of Beverly Hills in the biggest house on the block. We see used car salesman Bill cleaning his pool while ranting about the work ethics of his hired help as his spoiled wife sits useless poolside. As Bill takes a die he finds a rat in his pool and decides to call the pool service when a large black man named only Bone (Yaphet Kotto) appears seemingly out of nowhere. He secures the rat and kills it before asking if he could perhaps get some work from the couple. When Bill denies his offer for services he demands a tip for the help with the rodent and the conversation gets a bit aggressive. After a long and intimidating exchange of words Bone forces the family into the house in order to get some money. As Bone ransacks the house he finds that not only does Bill not have any money he is in terrible debt which rises the curiosity of his wife Bernadette, whom he has been keeping this secret from.After further investigation Bone finds Bill has a secret bank account and demands that bill empties it and returns the money to him within an hour or he will rape and kill his wife, So Bone stays at the house with the wife as Bill heads out to get the money.
Brilliant visuals, Great mood setting set pieces and sparkling dialogue make Bone a winner.
Overall: 7.5 out of 10
Thursday, February 16, 2012
Dir: Ron O'Neil
IMDB Rating: 4.5 out of 10
Ron O'Neil reprises his role as the Blaxploitation Icon Priest in this self directed sequel to one of the most popular Afro-Centric pieces of cinema history. Sadly however, this one in no way lives up to the legendary status of it's predecessor.
Several years after the events in the first film, Priest has relocated to Rome with his lady friend Georgia to live a somewhat more legitimate lifestyle as Priest has grown tired of his old Hustling ways. However he proves you cannot teach an old dog new tricks as he quickly finds himself in a group of local big rigs for weekly high stakes poker games. Elsewhere in Dubay, West Africa a group of revolutionaries are ambushed while transporting weapons to their headquarters. Dr.Sonko one of the representatives of this revolutionary army is in Rome and contacts Matty, The head of the poker games in hopes to trade some uncut diamonds for cash in order to replace his arms. Matty not wanting to get involved is quick to deny Sonko's requests. After a brief run in with priest, Sonko becomes intrigued with the man and his street savvy ways, as he heads out to get some Intel on the former New York Drug Peddler. After realizing that priest may have just the money for his cause he approaches Priest with the same proposal, However Priest says he is out of the game and is trying to get his head straight and live a square life after his years on the streets. Priest is now too busy hanging with his new found upper echelon friends such as his gambling buddies and Jerome (Robert Guillaume) a novelist Georgia had introduced him to. After Sonko hits a nerve calling Priest the worst kind of slave and convincing him of how exactly the African revolution effects him as well, Priest does some soul searching and heads to Africa.
Priest relays the good news to Sonko but, it appears the old man is a bit of a hustler himself as he let's Priest know his services are not quite done yet as he needs help getting the arms across the borders and through customs. Priest being the smooth talker he is , he manages to get the arms through without a hitch but the problems lay in getting into the country as the military guards all ports. Priest of course has all bases covered as he heads out with the shipment and the first one is filled with nothing but fruit and other food as the military ambushes the shipment to find nothing illegal. Dubay's General does not bite the bait and Priest is taking into custody for questioning when it is found that he is in with Sonko. The General and his men beat Priest pretty bad during interrogation but his lips are sealed. Sonko plans to meet the General and speak of these arms coming in to the country and meanwhile Priest manages to escape his cell with some crafty electrician work.
As priest free's himself we are lead to believe that the shipment went as planned as we see Priest arrive back in Rome to meet Georgia and presumably start the family she so desperatley wants.
Overall: 2.5 out of 10
Saturday, February 11, 2012
Born Pamela Suzette ,May 26th 1949 in Winston Salem North carolina. Grier got her start in film while working as a receptionist for American International Pictures when she was offered a small role as a party goer in the infamous "Beyond the Valley of the Dolls". After being spotted in that film she was given her first big opportunity at a starring role in Eddie Romero's "Black Mama, White Mama" along side co-star Margaret Markov. Following the success of her performance in that film Grier went on to do a few other similar films and became somewhat of the go to girl for american WIP films. Her performances as the tough chick in peril eventually scored her the role of the urban tough chick with films like Coffy and Foxxy Brown where she became the female alternative to the male heavy vigilante exploitation roles like Shaft and the slew of others so popular at the time, From there the rest was history. Until the Blaxploitation boom died down and so did Pam's career, since she had become type cast as the strong woman out for revenge, It seemed there was not much out there for Pam. Until the 90's when the Blaxploitation cinema had somewhat of a resurgence with the release of films like "Return of Superfly" "Action Jackson" and the spoof "I'm gonna get you sucka!" then in 1996 she scored a role in the film "Original Gangstas" alongside several other Blaxploitation legends. Her big score came a year later when avid grindhouse and cult cinema fan Quentin Tarrantino Cast Grier as the lead in "Jackie Brown" after the success of that film Pam's career seemed to take off once again and she further solidified herself as the queen of Black Cinema. Later showing her softer and more serious side in the cable t.v. show "The L-Word". Since then Grier has remained somewhat in the limelight as a legend of american cinema.
Pam Grier helped prove that women can be just as rough and tough on screen as the guys and no one can do it better than her. It is refreshing to see such a lovely lady being portrayed as more than just a piece of ass , although she never shy'd away from showing hers as awesome as it is. Pam also was not the typical bone thin actress that is so popular in Hollywood as she proved that curves are certainly never gonna go out of style and she made it sexy to be proud of your body no matter what. Now she was not obese by any means but when one thinks of the word "Thick" one would have to sight Grier as the status quo in that department. With her full breasts and hips amongst other things, She proved that being womanly is truly more appealing than being a waif, And for that I thank her. I doubt there will ever be another woman to fill her shoes when she finally passes on the torch but here's hoping there are more like Pam too come in the future. Blaxploitation has a Queen and her name is Coffy . Many have tried but none can pull off the femme fatale better than this lovely lady. I dare anyone to try and prove me wrong on that one.
So, you all know what kind of site this is by now folks. So here is some eye candy in the form of Pam Grier......In my opinion one of the sexiest women to ever grace the silver screen. Even to this day she is beautiful and proves that "Black don't crack"