It’s Tuesday which can only mean one thing and that is that it is time for Based on a Truesday Story. Based on a Truesday Story is a segment I did on my other blog where we watch films that are based on a true story and for today we are doing American Gangster. Frank Lucas (Denzel Washington) is an African American drug lord from Harlem, New York who decides that the best way to take over the competition is to fly directly to the source in Vietnam. He quickly becomes the drug kingpin of New York, but that attracts the wrong kind of attention. Richie Roberts (Russell Crowe) is an honest cop who gets put on the case to track down Frank Lucas and shut him down completely and anyone else corrupt as well. The film also stars Chiwetelu Ejiofor (12 Years A Slave) as Huey Lucas, Josh Brolin (The Goonies) as Trupo, Lymari Nadal (The Blackout) as Eva, Ted Levine (The Silence Of The Lambs) as Lou Toback, Roger Guenveur Smith (He Got Game) as Nate, John Hawkes (Lincoln) as Freddie, RZA (The Man With The Iron Fists) as Moses Jones, Carla Gugino (Watchmen) as Laurie, Idris Elba (Thor) as Tango, Common (Selma) as Turner Lucas, TI (Ant-Man) as Stevie Lucas, Armand Assante (Judge Dredd) as Dominic Cattano, and the film was directed by Ridley Scott (Alien).
What happens when you put Denzel Washington in a leading role of a film? Well, I hope that you are preparing yourself for one hell of a performance because that is exactly what you are getting with this film. The thing I loved about this film is that you sort of get two stories in one where you have one guy who wants to make his teacher and his family proud by being at the top of his game while you have another who feels that honesty is the best policy and it will lead him over the dirty cops. I have to be honest in saying that if I found a million dollars as a cop, I may skim a few off the top of it. It’s kind of the story of the two roads with the one less traveled and you can guess who took which road in this film. There are so many actors that appeared in this film that I couldn’t fit above that deserved honorable mention like Cuba Gooding Jr., Ruby Dee, Jon Polito, John Ortiz, and many more who do a terrific job in the film. Now we all know that Hollywood takes some civil liberties with their films, but this one seems to have a lot according to an article on historyvshollywood.com. One story is that Frank says in the film that he drove for Bumpy for 15 years. Reports indictate that Bumpy was released from prison in 1963 and he died in 1968 leaving only a five year window. Check out more of the facts vs fiction in that article that I provided. The film is excellent with a very good story, amazing cinematography, and it’s the kind of gangster movies we love here in the states. So, what more could you possibly ask for? I am going to give the film an A- for a final grade.
For today’s film, I had been holding on to a DVD from a film that I am surprised I never watched back in the day. I waited 20 years to watch the film Striptease, but as they say better late than never. Striptease stars Demi Moore (One Crazy Summer) as a former FBI agent turned stripper Erin Grant. Erin has lost custody of her daughter to her no good pill pooping husband Darrell Grant (Robert Patrick) only because she didn’t have a job. Erin turns to dancing to try and raise money for her appeal hearing when a crazy congressman named David Dilbeck (Burt Reynolds) becomes obsessed with her. Erin has to try and battle Dilbeck’s man holding her custody of her daughter over her head while also trying to battle her ex-husband in this crime drama. The film also stars Armand Assante (Fatal Instinct) as Lt. Al Garcia, Ving Rhames (Mission: Impossible) as Shad, Paul Guilfoyle (CSI: Crime Scene Investigation) as Malcolm Moldovsky, Rumer Willis (The House Bunny) as Angela Grant, Dina Spybey Waters (Six Feet Under) as Monique Jr., Robert Stanton (Mercury Rising) as Erb Crandal, William Hill (Gran Torino) as Jerry, PaSean Wilson (Scary Or Die) as Sabrina, Stuart Pankin (Fatal Attraction) as Alan Mordecai. and the film was directed by Andrew Bergman (Honeymoon In Vegas).
Like I said in the above paragraph, I can’t believe I waited 20 years to watch Striptease which features the beautiful Demi Moore topless. It features her topless in several different scenes throughout the film which was just awesome (if you want to see it then watch the movie for yourself). Besides that fact, the story isn’t that bad because the film is much more than just a film about an angry stripper who wants her daughter back while trying to help a cop solve a murder case. Burt Reynolds is absolutely hilarious in his pre-Boogie Nights role as a severely perverted congressman who will stop at nothing to get Demi Moore despite the fact that it’s election time. I thought his character though was a little over the top and to be honest what was up with that hairdo? I couldn’t help, but laugh at a poor old Burt Reynolds with that awful hairstyle. He still was the perfect man to play the role I will add as I couldn’t see anyone else do that. Armand Assante was well Armand Assante, but the real credit to the film was Ving Rhames and Robert Patrick. Ving Rhames was so enjoyable to watch as the over protective always scheming bouncer while Patrick did a good job as the sleazeball, pill popping jerk off husband. Without those two in the film, I think this would have been an OK movie that you watched just to see Demi’s assets. While the film is certified rotten on rotten tomatoes (it has a 12%), I think that is a little unfair cause it wasn’t that bad. It wasn’t the greatest movie ever, but it was OK. That is why I am going to give the film an B- for a final grade.