22 February 2011

Movies: Black Dynamite

Set in the 70's, BD is an ex-CIA agent/Vietnam Vet that goes on a rampage to avenge the death of his brother and wipe out the smack dealers - taking it all the way to the top.

Comedy / Action movie

Just as Airplane! lampoons disaster flicks, this flick lampoons 1970's blaxploitation films.  Cheesy dialog, bad acting, pointless violence, meandering plot, amateur camera work and editing, ill-timed cuts, era-appropriate (and sometimes hilariously terrible) music, pointless nudity, weakly choreographed kung-fu fight scenes, terrible car chases, continuity errors  - this movie does everything wrong and does it brilliantly.  The quality is leaps and bounds beyond crap that passes as spoof flicks lately, worthless crap like "Epic Movie" and "Meet the Spartans".

The comedy of this film extends through every level of film making, not just in the cast and dialog.  I have to applaud the effort put in by the crew to intentionally make this film have so many production mistakes, yet keep the film from being a total mess.
One shining example of the level of detail production paid attention to - during a fight scene one of the actors was 'really hit' by another actor, he drops character to complain, there's an obvious cut, and the dude that was hit was replaced by a different actor to finish the fight scene.  Another example: during a car chase - when the chased car plunges off a cliff it changes manufacturer, model and color and explodes before hitting bottom - implying a terrible continuity cut to stock footage to save production costs. Brilliant.

I'm not sure if having seen vintage 70's blaxploitation films is necessary to appreciate this film. Then again I grew up seeing 70s era films on broadcast TV back in pre-cable days so I sortof had a feel for the style to begin with.  I thought it was a good comedy because of the funny on so many levels and the obvious intelligence and care that went into making it so. It was smart comedy, not mindless stupidity, and I appreciate that.

This movie did not get the marketing it deserved.  I hadn't even heard of it until I happened to hear some comedians talking about the best comedy flicks of last year - their praises made me seek this one out.

(original post 31 Aug 2010)

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