Friday, September 14, 2007

Disco Godfather

I've just had one of the most confusing cinematic experiences of my life. It came to me in the form of a netflix recommendations. Typically, I am totally amazed at how wrong netflix judges what films I'll like. Three Men and a Baby?! What kind of guy does netflix think I am?
The same goes for users "similar" to me- I've only found one user who is more than about 40% similar to me.

But the description of this one was just too much to resist:
"Tucker Williams (Rudy Ray Moore) is a former cop who spends his nights spinning vinyl at a disco. When his nephew (Julius J. Carry III) starts using angel dust, Williams pulls out his martial-arts skills and stirs things up. He gets help from Noel (Carol Speed), and together the pair goes after big-time dealer Singer Ray (James H. Hawthorne). Unfortunately, Ray and his men are more dangerous than the drugs they're selling."

If anybody knows this it's my household: there are a lot of really, really bad movies out there with great taglines. And in general, the "Blaxploitation" genre is entirely overrated. Like all B genres, it's plagued with intolerably bad audio, lighting, and especially bad pacing.

This movie's audio is occasionally bad, its got a little filler- lots of overly long intro shots and disco scenes, and LOTS of drawn out "PCP freakout" scenes. But somehow, I loved the film. The lead character's got an almost grandfatherly stiffness about his acting. I came away from this film convinced not only that I really liked the character, but that I would probably really like Rudy Ray Moore in real life.
There are a lot of false-PSA cautionary tale sort of b-films. Most of them are relatively transparent- it becomes obvious their intention is foul after about 10 minutes. But this film made some sort of an honest statement that I can't quite figure out. I came away from the film thinking that Rudy Ray Moore really wanted me to stay away from PCP, to "Attack the Wack" if you will. And just like in most people's lives, his statement about this somehow came out wrong, or a little unnecessarily mixed up. Disco Godfather spends the whole film effectively chasing the "demon" of PCP as she shows up in the hallucinations of those he cares for. In the end, it is only through his forced entrance into the PCP realm of hallucinations that he's able to conquer this demon- and in a hallucinatory scene involving a burst of bad animation he kills the leader of the PCP lab.
You'll leave the film really confused about what the film was really trying to say.
Also interesting is that I'm starting to notice that films called "blaxploitation" were rated much more gently than those designed for both black and white audiences- this one is a wild drug use movie full of foul language and it got rated the same thing as Home Alone. I can only assume that this was racism on behalf of the MPAA in feeling that black audiences were not as sensitive as white audiences.
This is definitely one that needs a little "parental guidance"- unless you want you children to think that the only way to get a friend off of drugs is to take the drug themselves so they can enter the realm and do battle with the spirit of the drug. On second thought, I think even kids can see that that doesn't really make a lot of sense.

Saturday, September 01, 2007

End of Summer Mix

Just playing around with some new software I got, and I thought I'd mix and post a bunch of the new music I've been digesting lately.