3 items from 2011
Shout! Factory once again is giving us a double feature DVD, one a blaxploitation film set in New York City and the other a gritty noir-flavored film set in Saigon during the Vietnam War. Both have the connection to the war itself. And I’ll be the first to say that they are both worth your time, forgotten gems that have never seen the light of a DVD release until now.
Ossie Davis directs Gordon’s War, actor and director who made what I consider the finest blaxploitation film around (Cotton Comes To Harlem) and he does wonders with a tried and through plot consisting of a man on a mission of revenge against those who wronged the people of his neighborhood in the mode of good ol’ 70′s vigilante justice. Gordon Hudson (Paul Winfield) comes home from the Vietnam War where he finds out that his wife has died from a heroin overdose. »
- James McCormick
The internet is lousy with lists of ‘The Top 100′ this and ‘The 50 All-time Greatest’ that. And generally speaking, these ranked run-downs don’t offer much in the way of surprises or thought-provoking insights (unless they carry the Entertainment Weekly stamp, of course). But the gallery that the folks over at BlackVoices.com have cooked up for Black History Month is definitely worth checking out.
In their 30 Black Hollywood Game Changers, you’ll find the obvious candidates — Spike Lee (Do the Right Thing), Tyler Perry (the Madea ouevre), and Melvin Van Peebles (Sweet Sweetback’s Baadasssss Song) — rubbing shoulders with less predictable, »
- Chris Nashawaty
Since the earliest days of American cinema there has been a shadowy counterpart to the commercial mainstream: exploitation movies — pictures whose appeal lies in their sensational treatment and leering promotion of often lurid and prurient material. Pre-1960, when mainstream Hollywood worked within severe restrictions on content, exploitation movies offered audiences titillating glimpses of the deliciously taboo, usually under the guise of being some sort of instructional cautionary against the very subject matter being exploited i.e. sex in “hygiene” movies like The Road to Ruin (1934), drugs in anti-drug movies like Tell Your Children (1936, re-released in the 1960s/70s as camp classic Reefer Madness), and gambling in the anti-vice Gambling with Souls (1936).
By the 1950s, as the studios entered their long post-war decline, downscale producers launched a new vein of exploitation moviemaking, churning out low-budget thrillers (mostly sci fi and horror) aimed squarely at the burgeoning youth audience. Again, the movies were cheap, »
- Bill Mesce
3 items from 2011
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