In 1990, the explosion of Hip Hop and Rap was starting to take over pop culture, but when today’s film was released I was too young to watch (it also got lost in the shuffle). The film I chose to watch for today is the 1990 hip hop influenced comedy House Party. All young Kid (Christopher Reid) wants to do is survive the day and go to his best friend Play’s (Christopher Martin) party that he’s throwing later that night. The only problem is that Kid got in trouble at school and his father (Robin Harris) found out and grounded him. Despite being grounded, Kid manages to escape his house, but the trouble is far from over for him along the way when he runs into the one group after him. Will they get him or will he make it to the party? The film also stars Martin Lawrence (A Thin Line Between Love and Hate) as Bilal, Tisha Campbell-Martin (My Wife And Kids) as Sidney, A.J. Johnson (Sister Act) as Sharane, Kelly Jo Minter (A Nightmare on Elm Street 5: The Dream Child) as LaDonna, Daryl Mitchell (Galaxy Quest) as Chill, John Witherspoon (Friday) as Mr. Strickland, Full Force (Paul Anthony, B-Fine, Bowlegged Lou) and the film was written and directed by Reginald Hudlin (Boomerang).
I just read a cool fact about the film in that DJ Jazzy Jeff and Will Smith were supposed t0 be the roles of Kid and Play, but they chose not to do it hence Martin and Reid getting the roles. Wait there’s more, so when it came time to do The Fresh Prince Of Bel-Air, Martin and Reid were supposed to be in that show, but they declined and Will Smith and DJ Jazzy Jeff took their place. The crazy thing to is that when you are watching the film, the relationship between Martin Lawrence and Christopher Martin seems so natural and it should seeing as they are cousins. There were so many great and funny moments in the film especially with Martin Lawrence and then there are those I would have found funny back in the day like Full Force’s parts. One of my favorite parts in the film is the freestyle battle between Kid and Play in the film. The whole time before the battle you are led to believe that Kid is horrible and that Play is the slick rapper, but boy are we surprised when Kid kills it. It’s a fun scene that just reminds you of how awesome it was when Hip Hop exploded on to the scene. John Witherspoon was great as the annoying neighbor who wants to call the cops constantly and Robin Harris was just awesome from beginning to end with his insults and quick wit. It’s a fun film that you should enjoy especially if you love old school hip hop and George Clinton makes a cameo. I am going to give the film an A- for a final grade.
Considering that today is Super Tuesday and the whole political world is going to be watching what happens, I figured I would review a movie that has something to do with that world. The film that I chose for you today was written, directed, and stars Warren Beatty (Dick Tracy) in the film Bulworth. Warren Beatty plays down and out California Senator Bulworth, a man on the brink of a nervous breakdown due to the fact that his campaign is plummeting. In a desperate condition, he calls on a man to carry a hit on him so that his family can collect a life insurance policy. Everything is going as planned until the Senator has a revelation and starts speaking the truth while on his campaign. With the help of the mysterious Nina (Halle Berry), he will try everything he can to stay alive and make a difference. The film also stars Oliver Platt (X-Men: First Class) as Dennis Murphy, Sean Astin (Rudy) as Gary, Christine Baranski (Cybill) as Constance Bulworth, Graham Beckel (Brokeback Mountain) as Man With Dark Glasses, Don Cheadle (Iron Man 2) as L.D., Paul Sorvino (Goodfellas) as Graham Crockett, Jack Warden (Problem Child) as Danvers, and the film features a cameo from Larry King.
One of the things I can say about this film that I enjoyed was the soundtrack because if you’re a fan of old school hip hop/gangsta rap then you’ll enjoy it too. As far as the film goes, it was an OK movie in my opinion as there really wasn’t anything outstanding about it. There are parts in this film that are just cheesy like every time Warren Beatty decided to rap, he made white people seem more cheesy than Vanilla Ice. Some of the scenes in the film felt forced at times (Club scenes) while others meshed real well (the debate and other times he gets interviewed). What I did like about the film is that I wish we had a candidate in the world that decided that enough was enough with the BS like Senator Bulworth. Sadly someone like him would be deemed too dangerous and would probably be taken out because there is too much money flying around with the special interest groups. I seriously want to know what was up with Don Cheadle’s look in the 90’s, it seems like he had just stepped off the set of Meteor Man, shaved the blonde hair, and kept his outfit for this film as he once again plays another crime lord. If you’re looking for a super political movie, then this isn’t it for you. This is more of a satire or Beatty’s attempt on social commentary when it has to do with how the country feels when it comes to politics. I couldn’t find anything else to watch so I checked this out, but the film isn’t that bad. I am going to give the film an C+ for a final grade.
For today’s film, I chose a film that peaked my interest as soon as I heard the word’s 90’s Hip Hop. I am talking about the summer sleeper known as Dope which was directed by Rick Famuyiwa (The Wood) and stars Shameik Moore in his first lead role as our lead character Malcolm. Malcolm isn’t your ordinary kid from the hood, you see Malcolm is a straight A student who has an obsession with 90’s hip hop culture and music and he plays in a punk rock band called Oreo. After being invited to a party, the life of Malcolm and his two friends will change for a least a little while when Malcolm realizes that he is in possession of some dope. He is then faced with a tough proposition as he has to sell off all of the dope or it’s his ass and his recommendation letter to Harvard. The film also stars A$AP Rocky as Dom, Kiersey Clemons (Eye Candy) as Diggy, Tony Revolori (The 5TH Wave) as Jig, Quincy Brown (We The Party) as Jaleel, Kimberly Elise (Diary Of A Mad Black Woman) as Lisa Hayes, , Chanel Iman as Lily, Blake Anderson (Workaholics) as Will Sherwood, Zoe Kravitz (Mad Max: Fury Road) as Nakia, and Roger Guenveur Smith (Final Destination) as Austin Jacoby.
First off, I want to start this off by just saying that I really loved this film. Besides Straight Outta Compton, Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Mad Max: Fury Road, that this may be one of my favorite films of 2015. The other thing is that if you are a fan of Hip Hop music, then this is a film that you are going to love because it features some great classic hip hop in the film like Public Enemy, Onyx, Digital Underground, and so much more. One other observation I made while watching this film is that I should have researched that it was Zoe Kravitz in this film. I kept saying to myself, “wow this girl looks a lot like Lisa Bonet” not even realizing that her mom was Lisa Bonet. Yes that one was my bad, but she does a terrific job as did everyone in this film. The acting was top notch in this modern day coming of age story as Malcolm finally figures out just who he is after a teacher threw that question in his face. I will also say that I was thoroughly impressed with A$AP Rocky who is essentially only in the first half of the film and the man that sets off the chain reaction or slippery slope as he puts it in the film. I said above that if you were a fan of hip hop then you would like this film, but the truth is if you are just a fan of films, then you should enjoy this. Check it out for yourself as I give this film an A- for a final grade.