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This movie had me in tears on multiple levels: 1) I AM NEWBURGH Yes, although I live in the Town of Newburgh, this movie completely captured the spirit of a former marine returning to the dead end they left but with an inner strength and sense of conviction and purpose. I identify completely with Nelson and his desire to move beyond his past. 2) I probably pass that barber shop on the corner of Gidney and Liberty Avenue at least five times per week so hooray for the cinematographer who filmed from the graveyard of my church Calvary Presbyterian Church across the street from that corner. It is more cost efficient to shoot in Newburgh than in Brooklyn. Thankls again for the scouts for picking the right place to shoot these scenes. 3) Gritty - there was nothing fake about the emotions or actions of each character. I know people like this in real life. Let's thank the script writers including the lead actor, for their realistic portrayals of dialogue. that wasn't phony or artificial. 4) Am I too proud for what this film crew did by putting Newburgh on the map?? Love all of you - I have rarely seen a movie get a perfect 100 score so that tells you something: - it is not about big explosions, guns blazing or big breasts - it is all about the STORY. Newburgh is a small city of 33K people with big city problems like unemployment, drugs and poverty. This movie shows that there is another way to handle violence - seeking forgiveness - and that we are ALL connected to our future via our children. This movie spoke truth. Violence is not the answer.
Why are critical reviews on great black films like this so scant and non-existent? They don't teach white critics how to evaluate black films in film school? And why does the description refer to life in a "poverty-stricken ghetto?" I was born in NYC and lived in the Queensbridge Housing Projects for the first ten years of my life but definitely never, ever felt that I was living in a "ghetto". In fact, I had no idea, as a child, what a ghetto was until I returned to the area as an adult over ten years later. Who called it a ghetto? The scenes in this movie most certainly do not depict financial impoverishment, moral or intellectual deprivation or spiritual insufficiency that is more pervasive today. The scenes with garbage strewn around the houses are reminiscent of someone failing to dispose their refuse rather than the ghettos of South Africa during that time. This is a story about family, community and the search for identify. If the play won a Tony Award, then why was the movie not reviewed? Again, this is the reason why more people from this generation have not seen this film or realize it social relevance. The cast features some of the best black thespians at that time post the so called "blackspoitation" film period.
Let me break it down for you That house certainly doesn't look like a rental home. Johnny Williams appeared to be a home owner in a house that I would have loved to live in myself. The lead characters all had jobs and/or careers. This was a great film with themes that resonate today. Big Moe reflected the loss of our Black Nationalist leaders for the day due to the implementation of the COINTELPRO programs that assassinated them. (See BLACK POWER MIX POWER TAPE 1967-1975 review). Although my father served in the Navy twice during the Korean and Vietnam Wars, I found my mother reading Eldridge Cleaver's SOUL ON ICE with words that my Catholic school education did not teach me. I live through that era and graduated from high school the year this movie was made. Unfortunately, the black movie that sticks out the most from that era was SPARKLE. What a shame. Our struggle as a people had been neutered with the production of films that removed the revolutionary fervor of progress in place of singing and shufflin on a stage. No Score Yet? It should be double what people gave it. But that score illustrates the lack of our people's history and social consciousness of our people today. This film stands as a reminder of what we once were prior to the crack epidemic. The government was never supposed to save us. We have to save ourselves from the cooning roles that are so dominant in television sitcoms today (THE GAME, MEET THE BROWNS, etc.). To be honest, I do not watch Tyler Perry sitcoms so I should not comment on them but I don't believe that I would have time to watch them because I am preoccupied in the struggle for liberation from economics and social poverty.
This is a film about a black family living in America after the death of our leaders (MLK, Malcolm, Black Panthers, etc.) and should have been reviewed and identified as such. This was a great film wit more power than some black films today. Where are black filmmakers today and why haven't they created more works like this that focus on this era? Because as Melvin Van Peebles said in CLASSIFIED X, the greatest obstacle to the progress of black people is our susceptibility to the white man's programs. This is apparent by the lack of black businesses today as it was during that time. I miss these actors in such honorable roles. Why hasn't this movie been shown on Centric, BET or TV1? Because those stations don't consider this the classic it truly was and are owned by non-black entities that want us to forget who we were and where we came from. I saw so many characters in this film that I were familiar with in real life growing up. They still exist today. I hope we can remember them. I identify with Jeff Williams very much and have a similar experience with his. It is up to me to take responsibility for my own liberation and this film clearly teaches this on all levels. Let's see Tyler Perry remake this one. Where is Spike Lee when you really need him.
I don't care how bad the movie is, with Scott Adkins in it, I am going to watch it because he always delivers an UNDISPUTED "let me rewind that move in slow motion" martial arts masterpiece. Even in the worst Van Damme movie, he delivered. I ended watching him more as the villain than JCVD the herO in THE SHEPARD because his stunts were extremely impressive. I can't wait for him to be taken seriously in a martial arts film. As I watch movies like SAFE HOUSE, looking at Ryan Reynolds during the fight scenes, I ask myself, "where is Scott Adkins when you REALLY need him?" No disrespect to Ryan, who is a great actor, but when it comes to physical fight scenes, he will always get my Oscar for fight choreography. Cant' wait to watch this movie late tonight on cable, since I just read the TV grid for tonight. For pure martial arts fans, (as we already know) the worst movies have great martial arts when real fighters are in them. And I know he will deliver.