by Lauren Sepanski
Film Monthly Home
Short Takes (Archived)
Small Screen Monthly
Behind the Scenes
New on DVD
Books on Film
What's Hot at the Movies This Week
Blaxploitation films aren’t something I’ve been into, ever. But after seeing the trailer for Black Dynamite, a film that was a 2009 Sundance Film Festival’s official selection, I couldn’t help but throw down on tickets when it came to the Los Angeles Film Festival. Boy, was I glad I did that! Black Dynamite is a classic parody style comedy that rips on all the Dolomites and Shafts of 1970’s filmmaking. Director Scott Sanders is officially, in my eyes, the black Mel Brooks. That being said, Michael Jai White has to be the Gene Wilder to his Mel Brooks. White’s performance is that not-so-subtle slapstick comedy that comes from utterly ridiculous dialogue and scenarios and perfectly conveyed by timing and silly faces.
White plays Black Dynamite, (yes, that’s his name,) who “embodies all that is righteous and good,” also he knows karate. When his brother is murdered by “the Man”, Black Dynamite has to gather all his courage and all of his friends to help him avenge his brother and keep drugs out of the hands of children in the community. “But, Black Dynamite, I sell drugs in the community.” THEN YOU GOIN’ DOWN, SUCKA!
Surprisingly, there were a lot of familiar faces in this film. Such comedians as Kym Whitley, Arsenio Hall, Cedric Yarbrough, Tommy Davidson, and Nicole Sullivan play roles in this over the top comedy. (IMDB them, I know you know who they all are.) Black Dynamite isn’t one of those comedies that could star Will Ferrell and a hamster; it really is a more classic type of comedy that appeals to teen and their parents who have been quoting Animal House and Caddyshack since they saw those films in the theater.
Black Dynamite really is worth seeing in the theater more than once, but you’ll have to wait a few more months. Luckily, it’s gotten such great reviews that it will have a US release date December 4th. Quit your bitchin’! You’re lucky it’s coming to theaters at all! In the meantime, there’s some fun stuff here: http://www.blackdunamitemovie.com and don’t forget to look up the trailer and bone up on your nun-chuck skills, you’ll need all the help you can get.
Lauren Sepanski Lauren Sepanski is an animation connoisseur living in LA
Got a problem? E-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org