|Index||4 reviews in total|
A second Cocaine Cowboys documentary. For years many fans of the crime
genre have only heard stories about Pablo Escobar and the Medellin
Cartel, we now get a glimpse of the Miami 1980's cocaine era. The
fast-paced documentary is directed by Bill Corben (Raw Deal) and edited
by David Cypkin. A lot of real life Scarface stories. The documentary
actually makes Scarface look like a choir boy. Truth is sometimes
stranger than fiction definitely holds merit in this case. The
documentary was received well by the crowd. The rap scene particularly
seems to love the documentary. Songs were recorded in dedication of
Griselda Blanco. DVD's were shot in dedication of Jon Roberts and
Mickey Munday. The Miami premiere of CC2 even shows a person with a
tattoo of Griselda Blanco on his arm. CC1 turned into a cult. Corben
decided to make a second part.
While CC1 focused on the cocaine era on a large scale, CC2 focuses more on Charles Cosby and Griselda Blanco. Cosby was a big-time cocaine distributor in the Oakland area. The documentary shows the come up of Cosby, his relationship with Griselda Blanco during her stay in prison and we get some more information on Griselda during the cocaine era.
CC2 gives us more information on Blanco's childhood. It give us insight in what made this woman so ruthless. What I noticed from watching documentaries on Escobar and this documentary is that Escobar and Blanco grew up in horrific circumstances. It's not that surprising that they hold little value for human life. Columbia was in very bad shape at that time and it left a mark on the young generation.
CC2 is slower in pace then CC1 but that doesn't mean much. CC1 was very high paced. With CC2 Corben does an excellent job of grabbing the audience by the throat and never letting them go. CC2 uses cartoons to illustrate certain events. Not only does it look impressive visually, but it also illustrated the surrealness of the CC story. Of course this style is also used because you can look at the narrators face for so long before you get bored. The music used in this documentary is rap. Rap made specially for the documentary.
The filmmaker does a good job of not only talking to the police about the Cocaine Cowboys but also talks to the Cocaine Cowboys themselves. CC2 has fewer interviews with officials. Cosby does most of the talking. This gives you insight in the cocaine business, but this is also tricky. You must remember you're dealing with big time criminals here. Cosby was head of the largest cocaine distribution network in Oakland and lover and close business partner of someone who's accused of being involved in more then 200 murders. He isn't going to give specific information about certain events, because he would be incriminating himself. Regardless of this I never really felt that I as the viewer was being lied to or was giving half truths. I think the filmmakers did the best they could to get this documentary as close to the truth as possible.
Bottom line: A fascinating, well told story. While some might enjoy it less then CC1, it's still good. With the focus on Oakland drug lord Charles Cosby and queen of cocaine Griselda Blanco.
Cocaine Cowboys II was disappointing. If you watched any documentaries
about the Miami cocaine wars you'll see the same tired recycled stock
footage and photos. The story of Griselda Blanco is interesting. She
was drug kingpin that is attributed to over 200 hundred murders. I
can't fault Director Billy Corben. It's hard to tell a story that has
been done to death.
Charles Crosby rode to the top of the Oakland drug trade by becoming the kept man of Griselda Blanco. He has charisma in front of the camera has he tells his story. To break up the talking head factor of this DVD cartoonish reenactments are shown as he recalls past events. It looked like something out of Sin City. I didn't like reenactments.
If you've never heard of Griselda Blanco then this DVD could be worth a rent. If you watched other documentaries on the Miami drug trade this one will be a snoozer.
A sequel to Cocaine Cowboys, the subtitle says it all. "Hustlin' With
The Godmother" deals with the story of Charles Cosby and the
relationship he somehow struck up with Griselda Blanco, the infamous
figure who came to overshadow the latter half of the first documentary
about the explosion of cocaine trade in Miami in the 70s/80s.
Cosby was a small-time drug dealer who managed to score big when he wrote to Griselda Blanco and became her friend and more. But anyone getting close to the woman who was once known as "The Black Widow" has to be careful, as Cosby learned during events he relates for the camera.
Almost as enjoyable as it's predecessor, Cocaine Cowboys 2 suffers because it's all about a relationship between two people who weren't all that nice to anyone else around them at that time. In fact, it's sad to hear Cosby's old cohorts talking about him with respect and awe because few people deserve it less (as, I hope, Cosby possibly believes now that he's a very different person).
Details revealing the troubled early life that Griselda Blanco had are supposed to explain some of her behaviours and attitudes but a lot of what she did, or ordered to be done, was still inexcusable and no amount of traumatic tales will ever change that so to have people providing these excuses for her way of living just doesn't cut it.
There is still plenty here that's fascinating, and disturbing, but it's harder to enjoy the tales when they're being told by less appealing (less charismatic? perhaps) talking heads.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
While meant to be a documentary, I found the storyline portrayal to be
more along the lines of a captivating series such as 'Intervention',
drawing you in even though you may not have planned to watch it.
We have seen the drug trade glorified in countless movies, but what makes this docu-drama standout out is that its characters are real and portray themselves in raw form while speaking to the camera. Interviews with the dealers, police, former hit men, everyone except Griselda herself though we hear her voice on recorded prison calls replayed a few times throughout the film.
Footage is a mixture of old recordings, reenactments, interviews, photo montages, and whatever could not fall into one of those categories is therefore sketched out in a cartoon-like manner. There is even footage of how to cook crack.
Stereotypes of all kinds exist about Oakland, but not usually one of overnight local millionaires running an international multi-billion dollar operation. (though an illegal operation, but that's not the point). By the end of the movie a light is shed on a piece of history not widely known to most, of both Oakland and Griselda's empire.
The end of the movie ties up nicely with closure and laughter of the totally bizarre yet true series of events which saved the Godmother and others from prison or even the death penalty.
Raw, authentic, dramatic, slightly comedic, and definitely a movie appealing to viewers of several different genres.
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