I was bored yesterday so I decided to peruse the imdb messageboards for the film “300”. Apparently, this movie has managed to draw the ire of a wide array of people for various reasons. Among the offended and outraged are history buffs (historically inaccurate), comic book fans (yet another comic book film made into a movie), Black people (cuz it’s racist! Duh!), Iranians (the descendants of the Persians...because, again, it’s racist!), gays (it’s homophobic), and movie purists (the film was mostly CGI effects and it looked like a video game). I scrolled through 69 pages of angry people both tearing the movie apart and defending it with equal fervor amidst people asking harmless question regarding the film just to have some nut jump down their e-throats and get all up in their e-grills. Needless to say, I was quite amused by it all (I'll see it on DVD).
One of the questions asked on the 300 boards in the form of a thread was “Who would win in a fight/war between...?” and they presented two armies or groups from different films (i.e. The Trojan army from “Troy” vs. The 300 Spartans from “300”). It reminded me of a similar question asked on imdb’s boards about the two 1979 cult movies based on novels about New York gangs, the question was asked, what gangs would win in a rumble? The gangs from “The Wanderers” set in 1963 or the gangs in “The Warriors” set in the mid/late 70’s? Being that I’m a huge fan of both films, this was an interesting question...although I really identified a lot more with “The Warriors” than “The Wanderers” this was a tough decision when I thought about it. I’ll break it down and show my work like it’s Math class back in the day:
The Wanderers vs. The Warriors
First off, the Wanderers totaled less than 30 guys at full strength. The Warriors were supposed to have upwards of 100 dudes of various ethnicities in cool ass vests back in Coney Island, Brookyln so that doesn’t fare well for the Wanderers and their bright yellow jackets. Based on the eight guys the Warriors sent (fuck Rembrandt) and what you know of the Wanderers and their fighting abilities from seeing the movie, I can easily assume that those Italian cats would’ve got the hair products beaten out of them/wigs pushed back by Cleon, Ajax, Cochise, Cowboy, Swan, Fox, Vermin and Snow. I give it to the Warriors hands down, they could whip the Wanderers asses in a train station bathroom, a train station platform, a public park at night, or in a locked apartment during a house party. 1-0, Warriors.
The Del Bombers vs. The Punks
The all black gang called the Del Bombers had as many soldiers as or slightly more than the Wanderers. Being that the movie was set in 1963 during the height of the Civil Rights Era, I’d have to assume that these cats had some serious rage inside of them due to being denied basic human rights for their entire lives. Factor in how the Punks got their asses handed to them by the not even at full strength Warriors (once again, Rembrandt did nothing but spray a cat in the face and slap him to jump the scrap off...the girl Mercy was more gully than he was) and I can safely say that the Del Bombers would’ve handled the Punks like luggage. It’s tied 1-1.
The Baldies/Wongs vs. The Baseball Furies/Rogues
In the world of “The Wanderers”, the Baldies rolled about 40 deep and they all could fight. The leader and 2nd in command were huge. The Chinese gang, The Wongs numbered less than 30, but all of them knew Kung Fu so they could kick some serious ass and take out multiple heads each. The Baseball Furies had about 30+ dudes full strength and the Rogues had about the same amount as well. The Baseball Furies might be able to hold it down for a while but the Rogues for the most part are punks. The only way this would be even is if the Turnbull AC’s showed up..unfortunately, they’d rather ride around in their bus listening to the radio then get out and scrap with someone. The combined forces of the Baldies and Wongs would win out in the end...Don’t fuck with the Baldies/Wongs! Wanderers are up 2-1
The Ducky Boys vs. The Gramercy Riffs
The Ducky Boys are a scary ass Irish gang that numbers 500 soldiers. The scene in which we first see them in “The Wanderers” is bugged out because they keep coming out of the mist in droves like zombies. They all seem like they’re unhinged or mentally deranged. Near the end of “The Wanderers”, they rush the Wanderers/Del Bombers football game and get turned away by the combined forces of all the gangs in the Wanderers universe.
The Gramercy Riffs on the other hand, were loosely based on the Black Spades/Savage Skulls/Nomads and their numbers went into the low thousands. As scary as the Ducky Boys are, ain’t nothin’ scarier than thousands of armed militant Black dudes with sunglasses and afros...just ask the US government (and Cointelpro). In the world of “The Warriors” the Riffs have enough power to organize all of the gangs in New York (with the exception of the Turnbull AC’s, Orphans and the Lizzies) in one spot...and nobody was wasting nobody. That’s a miracle, and miracles are the way things ought to be. It goes without saying that the organized and more disciplined, trained army of the Gramercy Riffs would wipe the floor with the relentless yet unorganized Ducky Boys. I’d love to see it happen live, though...Cats with dashikis and black karate gi’s bopping through the fog with baseball bats, chains and hockey sticks (if you see a bunch of brothers with hockey sticks and you’re not in Canada, some shit’s about to go down). Tied 2-2.
I have to go a tiebreaker, so I’ll go with lasting power and relevance of the two films on audiences today. Let’s see...”The Warriors” has become not only a cult classic, but a staple in hip hop culture as well. Rockstar Games made a video game version of the film recently (an idea I had way back in 1990, but I digress). The movie has been released on DVD in two different editions. “The Warriors” has WAY more quotable lines (“Magic...A whole lot of magic”, Cyrus’ speech, etc.) than “The Wanderers”. People have been dressing up as characters from “The Warriors” for more than 25 years now so it’s clear that it’s had way more impact as far as pop culture goes. The kicker is I don’t even have “The Wanderers” on DVD...The Warriors win 3-2. Can you dig it? *Cues up “In The City”* Oh yeah...on to the movie stuff.
Dart’s Three Trailers Of The Week (3/11/07-3/17/07)
The Host (Gwoemul)
Resident Evil: Extinction
More Netflix releases to consider putting on your queue now:
Over The Edge
Bad Boys (not the Will Smith/Martin Lawrence one)
24 Hour Party People
The Lost Boys
Battle Royale 2
Planet Brooklyn (see below)
Infernal Affairs 2
Infernal Affairs 3 (only if you saw the first one...otherwise you’ll be lost)
The End Of Violence
A History Of Violence
The Constant Gardner
Three O’ Clock High
Better Luck Tomorrow
Dart’s Picks For The Week:
Over The Edge- This other 1979 film classic is the first appearance of Matt Dillon as the troubled youth (a role he’d play for damn near another decade). It was based on a true story of a planned community (New Grenada in the film) that drew a bunch of families and skilled labor with the thought of future fiscal growth in mind. They, however, forgot that they had a huge teenage population and nothing in place for them to do (or plans to do anything in the near future). This resulted in rampant juvenile delinquency and the adults worst nightmare happens at the films climax. It’s definitely a cult classic for us 70’s and early 80’s babies that remember it from back in the days. It still stands up well after damn near 30 years.
Pusher- Nicolas Winding Refn’s breakout 1996 indie Danish film about a drug dealer in Copenhagen has become one of the greatest cult films in overseas history, spawning 2 sequels. This movie made such an impression with audiences that it has been remade in India, sticking almost to the original material word for word and shot for shot. I saw it for the first time years ago and was shocked that no one I knew in the US knew anything about it (but all of the European film buffs I knew swore it was ill). This flick made me want to grab a camcorder and bang out a script on my laptop. Check it out.
Dart’s The Jury’s Still Out Award:
Planet Brooklyn-I really wanted to like this movie...The best thing I can say about it is it didn’t suck. The script was well written (by Mad Matthewz) and it starred Ishmael Butler (Butter of Digable Planets AKA Cherrywine) and one of my biggest influences, hip hop journalist Bonz Malone (Whiteboys, Slam, Bomb The System). This movie did have some nice writing and it wasn’t derivitive at all. The films low budget did hinder it’s appeal greatly, though..past the main characters (Ish, Bonz, Andre Royo (The Wire) and Anita Kopacz (love interest and sister of video chick/soap opera star Yvonna Kopacz) the acting fell off tremendously with some of the supporting roles. The story also seemed to drag in spots. Watch it for yourself and draw your own conclusions.
Dart’s WTF?/Watch This Bullshit At Your Own Risk Award:
Havoc- This movie was a hot mess from beginning to end..the one saving grace was seeing Anne Hathaway act like a complete nut/slut for change and horny teenage boys will watch the flick just to see her breasts. (It’s On Demand on Comcast, BTW). Indie film queen Bijou Phillips once again shows up in another troubled teen role complete with the prerequisite loose morals. By now, I’d like to see her play a church chick or librarian to test her acting chops (sarcasm intended). This movie is a cinematic train wreck and the end will make you scratch your head. Who am I kidding? Watch this shit and laugh your ass at how ridiculous it is.