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Original Gangstas (1996)

 -  Action | Crime | Drama  -  10 May 1996 (USA)
5.7
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Ratings: 5.7/10 from 992 users  
Reviews: 19 user | 16 critic

Marvin Bookman is a small shop owner in Gary, Indiana, USA. After he sees a drive-by shooting of Laurie Thompson's son by a local gang, he gives up the license number of the car to the ... See full summary »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
John Bookman
...
Jake Trevor
...
Laurie Thompson
...
Reverend Dorsey
...
Gracie Bookman
Oscar Brown Jr. ...
Marvin Bookman
...
Slick
...
Bubba
...
Spyro
Eddie Bo Smith Jr. ...
Damien
...
Kayo
...
...
Detective Slatten
...
Mayor
...
Michael Casey
Edit

Storyline

Marvin Bookman is a small shop owner in Gary, Indiana, USA. After he sees a drive-by shooting of Laurie Thompson's son by a local gang, he gives up the license number of the car to the police. The gang doesn't like this so they go to the store and rough him up. Soon, John Bookman comes to town to set the wrong things right. With the help of Laurie and his old friend Jake, they attempt to take back the streets and show the new breed of gang members what the true originals can do. Written by Josh Pasnak <chainsaw@intouch.bc.ca>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The original bad boys are stepping up in '96!


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for non-stop violence and pervasive strong language | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

10 May 1996 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Warzone  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

$4,800,000 (estimated)

Gross:

$3,014,000 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Goofs

When John and Jake do a drive-by at the steel mill in an attempt to start the gang war, several fires in barrels are burning. When they make their second pass, the smoke and fire can be seen going backwards, back into the barrels. See more »

Quotes

John Bookman: Big talk coming from a faggot who don't even know what sex his mother is.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Intimate Portrait: Pam Grier (1999) See more »

Soundtracks

It's All Over
Written, Prouduced, Arranged and Performed by John Bolden & Teddy Bolden II
Publishing: Third City Music (BMI)
See more »

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User Reviews

Why is this film so disappointing?
11 February 2004 | by (Los Angeles) – See all my reviews

This film does not work.

It has great potential and the theme of abandoning your roots frequently pops up -- giving potential for further plot development which most action films do not even approach. However, this all-star cast of blaxploitation veterans making their first film together rarely jells.

For instance, Fred Williamson, who produced, seems to have forgotten that there were other great actors from that era. 90% of the film is him strutting around, pontificating on how bad the neighborhood has become and why don't the cops/neighbors/politicians/whoever do something about it. He saw fit to put Jim Brown in as co-star, but Brown serves as little more than a bodyguard, punching the whey out of a few people and (in his one big solo scene) threatening a young thug. Richard ("Shaft") Roundtree and Mr. "Superfly" himself -- Ron O'Neal -- are given glorified cameos. In fact, the introductory scene with O'Neal is shown completely in long shot. Why didn't the director do a few closeups? You can hardly tell it's O'Neal. That's just sloppy direction (either that or they didn't have permits to shoot on city streets and shot this on the sly).

Other great character actors -- Robert Forster, Charles Napier, Wings Hauser -- are featured but have little to do but act like cartoon characters. Whoever wrote this film should have given thought to the reasons why the best blaxploitation epics worked.

Not a complete failure but overall a major disappointment considering this is the first and only film these stars have been in together (no chance for a reunion with O'Neal's recent passing).

** out of *****


9 of 11 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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