Monday, October 19, 2009

The Good Movie

Kali dragged me to this movie on the weekend and I'm glad she did.

This is an actual "no-filler" movie. It's funny from beginning to end! I didn't spot a single executive theory in it.

The writing is funny (both plot and dialogue), the acting is funny and the direction is funny. Even the music is funny. And it's really clever. It's absolutely full of inventive custom touches in the actions, editing, actors' expressions and gestures. I couldn't believe it.

Seriously, whoever wrote the dialogue is a genius. This is real writing with skill, observation and a point of view.

The lead actor, Michael Jai White is perfect. He plays it straight but in a very funny way and has lots of other talents besides acting - which the producers are smart enough to show off to us.

It's eerie. I got all nostalgic for the 70s - which I hated living through. This felt even more like the 70s than the actual 70s and made fun of all the right stuff.

It also bravely brought back ethnic humor - which has been banned by white liberals for decades. It gets away with stuff no one else could today, making fun of white people, blacks and Asians all - oh and it's sexist too. In short, it's honest and made for real life humans - not focus groups and pseudo-psychologists.

Violence, some grossness but not for the sake of making you sick. It even makes fun or orphans which I didn't think anyone could do. The most amazing thing is that it breaks open a pile of modern taboos, and does it in a completely upbeat happy way.

I'm so used to modern entertainment going straight for the ugliest feelings possible, but I have to say this really lifted my spirits. I hope it makes a pot of money and wakes up Hollywood. I wish cartoons were allowed to be this inventive and whimsical. I'm super jealous.
But it does have some funny animation by my friends at 6 Point Harness.

Not for kids, unfortunately. Go see it and tell me what you think. Support non-filler entertainment! We're gonna go see it again and bring all our curmudgeonly pals.

45 comments:

John E. B. said...

I never heard of this movie before but I sure glad you put this up so I can go see it!

Ian Andersen said...

I completely forgot about this movie, I thought this was a classic exploitation movie when I first looked at the post. The trailer for this looked excellent and then I didn't hear anything else about it for the longest time. Now I absolutely must track this down.

drawingtherightway said...

I was glancing at the usa today insert in the weekend paper and they had an article about this movie. I didn't read it but this was the first I even heard of it. Then I read your post about it. These are the only 2 instances I heard of it. I'm assuming they didn't spend a lot of money on advertising.

JohnK said...

Really? Aren't they marketing it? That would be a shame because finally a sincerely entertaining movie has been made.

JohnK said...

The trailer isn't as good as the actual movie. It's misleading.

Justin said...

I have been really excited about this film for a while. Glad to hear it was good. I think the dvd release is coming up soon. I read Sony picked it up at Sundance. Wish they would give it a wider release.

JohnK said...

Anyone know why it's not getting a wide release?

I would think it'd do great in the midwest.

It's the major cities that are filled with uptight liberals.

Jay Taylor said...

Unfortunately it's not showing in my area. Hopefully it won't be too long before they release the dvd.

J said...

I've been waiting for this movie for a year since the trailer was released and now that its here, the nearest theater playing it is 600 miles away.

I really hope it gets a much bigger release in a few weeks if it does well, but I sadly doubt that. It looks like a great movie to watch in theaters especially.

Tom said...

The mighty Los Angeles Times ran a one inch by one inch ad for this film, deep inside its Calendar section. That is not a major marketing push, which is too bad.

Jordan said...

John -- Have you seen Anchorman? I consider Anchorman to be everything you said -- it has no intention except to make you laugh and to have the dumbest most cartoonish characters possible. There's no shoehorned in plot or fake emotional moments, not even for a second. It's just bizarre and hilarious from beginning to end.

tb4000 said...

Yeah, I caught this over the weekend. I'm in northwest Indiana and the only theatres over here show most of the blockbuster type stuff, but I saw this one on the marquee and had to check it. Very well written, and played ridiculously straight. Mike Jai White and Nicole Sullivan - hilarity.

Dorseytunes said...

Drives a $5000 car and wears a $100 suit!

Looks like I'm watchin' this on DVD. Sigh...

Niki said...

It's showing in my town but I'm pretty sure that the theater in walking distance from my house is closed down I gotta walk across from Lithonia to Stone Mountain. But I ensured everybody tyhat I will see this!

Niki said...

Also my friend asked if you've seen "District 9" I haven't and he plans to see it.

Oliver_A said...

The trailer isn't as good as the actual movie. It's misleading.

If the actual film is even better than the trailer, then i HAVE to see it, because the trailer is a SPOT ON homage to old 1970's blaxploitation films. Down to the fashion, the setting, the lighting, the music and even the style of the film material.

Here is another great clip:

Black Dynamite meets Barry

I hope it will open somewhere here in Germany!

Oliver_A said...

HAHAHAHAHA! This is so great, why on earth did I miss the development of this film?!?!

Great fake commercials:

Black Dynamite Anaconda Malt Liquor commercials!

I HAVE to see it NOW!

drawingtherightway said...

I just went back and read the article, but it doesn't mention if its a limited release or not. I'm thinking it has to be because I haven't even seen any commercials for it.

Hey John, I'm not sure if this is your type of humor but there was a show that was on in the U.K. a few years back called Garth Marenghi's Darkplace that they showed in the U.S. last year that spoofs old 80's horror shows... it has bad acting and effects on purpose. I've never made click able links before so hope it works. Here's a link to part 1 of the first episode. Darkplace Episode 1

bergsten said...

@JohnK:

The more I read your stuff on your website, the more I like you (this is a high-complement, not a prelude to stalking)!

"Black Dynamite" is in two LA theaters in all of CA. Sigh.

Naomi Eri/なおみ said...

I can't wait to see this movie!

RAKninja said...

if you want the polar opposite, watch anything by godfry ho and joseph lai.

their movies are so terrible they are funny. most times it's two movies stuck in a blender. the dialog is abominable, the plot is a joke, and the direction (if you can call it that) is non existent. the bad dub of english speaking actors is equally hilarious. each one is quite nearly a parody of the "super edgy" films that were popular during the 80's.


i barely have to do anything to those clips in my hobby of comical video remixing.

Allyn said...

unfortunately there's still no uk release date, been waiting for this film for far too long!

Jay Taylor said...

The website says it's only playing in NY, LA, Chicago, Atlanta, Philadelphia and Seattle.

Oliver_A said...

Hilarious, and quite clever:

(no) Drugs are fun!

mangamaxx said...

I saw the trailer for it, it looked like a great movie that parodied the movies of that time period. Glad to know that's what it is, and that they did it right.

Trevor Thompson said...

Wow, you LIKED this movie, John? Well, you're right about everything you said, I just thought you were too anti-hipster to sit through it.

Who knew? More kudos for Kali!

Jack G. said...

A movie you enjoyed all the way through?
I'll have to see if any local theaters have it.

I'll bet the studio suits hate it.
Why?

Well, you remember how Nick didn't like some of the best R&S episodes don't ya?

Suits don't like anything good.

When Mel Brooks played Blazing Saddles for about 12 suits they didn't laugh at all. They told him they so the movie as a limited release. So Mel screened it for a real audience that exploded over the film, then the suits gave in and went with a full release.

The Artist Aficionado said...

Animation might have been dead in the seventies. Though live action films were as good as ever. The Godfather, French Connection some of the best acting and writing I have seen in my life.

Probably the best novelty decade for films. The fifties seem to cliche and the sixties are just to surreal.

Pete Emslie said...

I always liked Pam Grier's "Coffy" and "Foxy Brown", though oddly enough I've never seen the granddaddy of them all, "Shaft". However, judging from the trailer, this looks like it could be a fun hommage to the 70s blaxploitation films, so I may check it out when it shows up here. Also, aside from the film itself, isn't it refreshing to see a movie poster with an actual ILLUSTRATION, instead of some godawful Photoshop job? Ah, I wish all movie posters could be handled by real artists again...

mike f. said...

I'd like to take this opportunity to warn people against shelling out good coin to go see Where the Hippie Things Are. (Blecch!)

Anyone expecting an entertaining, comic/scary treatment of the beloved children's book will be sorely disappointed. Instead, it's 2 excruciating hours of giant, walk-around muppet costumes talking about their feelings.

I might as well have stayed home and watched Dr. Phil kvetching on the Oxygen Channel...

mike f. said...

...isn't it refreshing to see a movie poster with an actual ILLUSTRATION, instead of some godawful Photoshop job? Ah, I wish all movie posters could be handled by real artists again...

Whatever you do - don't critique the poster, Pete. You don't wanna provoke the psychos again! (You know, the ones who are so concerned about free expression - as long as you keep your dissenting opinions to yourself!)

Pete Emslie said...

Point taken, Mike. I know better now than to allow a discouraging word to be heard where "art" posters are concerned :)

By the way, I'll be sure to also follow your moviegoing advice and remain firmly where the wild things aren't! Not that I'd planned to see it, actually...

Kris said...

BLACK DYNAMITE!

One of my old college buddies did some work for this movie, actually. I was already planning to see it for that reason whenever it comes around here, but I'm pleased to hear that you liked it.

HemlockMan said...

Okay! On your recommendation I'm going to go see this movie with my son. When I first saw clips for it, they didn't look very good and did not make me want to see the film. But I'll give it a shot.

lastangelman said...

Phew! I agree with your review totally. This was even better than "I'm Gonna' Get You Sucka'", the original blaxpoitation parody. Unfortunately if this film achieves any kind of, say, sleeper success, executives will waste a lot of cash again by trying clone it.

lastangelman said...

I agree with Mike about WTWTA. I saw a "review" copy of BD with a local movie critic, and fell about laughing so hard my sides ached. I had no idea this was in theaters yet. WTWTA is such big disappointment. I'm both a Spike Jonze and a Dave Eggers fan, but the film was completely unrelatable unless you had a lot of group therapy during your childhood, thus unentertaining.
I can't wait for BD to hit big screen in Dallas.

Brian said...

Because orphans don't have parents:
http://fightsmackintheorphenage.org/

lucas accardo said...

Hi John, Lucas from Argentina here.
I would also suggest in case you missed the movie
"How to get the man's foot outta your ass (2003)"

Directed written and starring Mario Van Peebles, he plays his father in 1971 when he gave birth to the Blaxploitation genre by creating completely with the money he had in his pocket the movie "Sweet Sweetback's Baadasssss Song".

Peter Saunders said...

'Black Dynamite' opened last Friday on just 70 screens across the U.S.

I live in Toronto, where usually even these limited U.S. releases also get some Canadian play, but nothing so far ....

NateBear said...

I saw the trailer for this about a month ago and was really impressed and excited by it.

It wasn't until 1/2 way through your post until I realized you were talking about a new movie and then I remembered the trailer.

You review has got me extra psyched to see something authentic (which is more than I can say about a bunch of harry monsters crying in the forest).

Jim Rockford said...

"...isn't it refreshing to see a movie poster with an actual ILLUSTRATION, instead of some godawful Photoshop job? Ah, I wish all movie posters could be handled by real artists again..."

It sure is! I had never heard of this movie before and when I saw the title card in the post I assumed it was a vintage 70's blaxploitation movie because the poster looks authentic!

I will have to track this down when it get to dvd.

You're right I am suprised they could make a movie like this today with all the p.c. bullcrap that abounds.

You'd never get films like "The Skin Game" made today.

Janiel said...

I saw Black Dynamite last Wednesday night based on your review, John. I absolutely LOVED IT!

Neutrinoide said...

Did you watch kill Bill? One of the rare movies I can say I enjoy.

Jim Rockford said...

"I'd like to take this opportunity to warn people against shelling out good coin to go see Where the Hippie Things Are. (Blecch!)"

Thanks for the warning.
I never go to see modern day remakes of anything,you know its gonna suck.

Have you guys heard about the new Farrelly bros. Three Stooges movie thats supposed to be out in 2010?

That one really makes me shudder!
Jim Carrey as Curly!?
Think thats bad? the movie will also be set in modern times!

This is an example of everything that is wrong with Hollywood today.
Remakes,remakes,remakes!
Nobody has any damn imagination or creativity left,they're happy to just be hacks and take a pre-existing idea and work it over until everything that made the original work has been gone,all in the name of turning a fast buck.

Its the whole "homer simpson" mentality,put as little thought and effort into anything as possible and try to coast off someone elses work.

Its really pretty scary.
30 years from now are they going to be making remakes of remakes?

I have to confess I was really shocked that the Stooges familys would allow this to happen.
It seems people will do anything for a buck these days.


Did anyone every see the Mel Gibson produced Stooges biopic?
Those scenes with the new actors re-enacting segments from the classic shorts were just painful to watch.

Moe,Curly,Shemp and Larry made the Three Stooges what they are.
They had very unique,extremely funny personalitys that cant be duplicated...they had a level of talent that sadly doesnt exist today.
We dont have any actors capable of pulling this off.

We have the old films of them at their best,what is the point of ruining those memorys with a terrible remake?
Cant todays generation watch something thats black and white anymore?,or must everything be dumbed down to the level of "Family Guy" with sodomy jokes and current pop culture references every 12 seconds in order to be funny?

Rest in peace Stooges!

Sven Hoek said...

I had no intention of seeing this movie, until now. John K knows entertainment, so now im looking forward to it. I really need some good entertainment. Im going to go see it tonight.