Friday, June 8, 2007

Almost Filmed/Written AKA Dartflix Edition #17

Did you ever notice that Hip Hop/Rap doesn’t have a film anything like “Almost Famous”? Not even remotely. Think about it. “Brown Sugar” doesn’t even come close. That was a love story with Hip Hop merely as the background noise/B story and selling point/analogy. When Cameron Crowe made “Almost Famous” is was an obvious cinematic love song to classic Rock & Roll and that whole era that spanned the time he began writing for Rolling Stone. Sure we have “Wild Style” and “Style Wars” but those were documentaries, and Rock has WAY more documentaries, exploitation films (the mid to the late 50’s), movies where bands were the main focus (Hard Day’s Night, Head, The Wall, etc.). The main question is, after damn near 35 years you’d think that Hip Hop culture would have legitimized itself enough in the eyes of mainstream culture and had enough fans that ONE of them happened to be a screenwriter and he or she’d have made a movie about Hip Hop culture in the vein of an “Almost Famous” by now.

For the most part, Hip Hop themed films (especially the early ones) have been low budget or exploitive as opposed to showcasing the art of the culture (Krush Groove, Tougher Than Leather, Disorderlies, etc.). That was the damn 80’s, though...How come in 2007 Hip Hop/Rap themed movies and their perception haven’t advanced any?

Maybe it’s because any picture that involves the urban element (read: Brown folks) is going to automatically have to deal with the issue of drugs and violence. Just look at “Paid In Full”, it was a story of legendary crack dealers in Harlem during the mid to late 80’s. It was NOT a Hip Hop movie per se, but it was viewed as one anyways because it was made by Damon Dash. It seems the only way to get a film greenlit about the beauty and artistry that is Hip Hop is to make it a damn documentary (The Show, Rhyme & Reason, Backstage, Scratch, Rock The Bells, The Hip Hop Project, etc.). It’ll happen eventually I guess. It’s just that it should’ve ALREADY happened by now...and several times over at that.

Jumping topics, it seems that Hollywood has exhausted all of the great Sci Fi writers ideas, short stories and novels by now. Phillip K. Dick, Isaac Asimov, Ray Bradbury, etc. (Where’s the “Fahrenheit 451” remake?). Here’s an author they should consider using for source material...Octavia Butler. The “Pattern Master” series is way overdue to be developed into a big screen production. Someone needs to get on it immediately and make it happen...see how the Wachowski Brothers jacked the idea for “The Matrix” and then dropped the ball? “Parable Of The Sower” would be HUGE.

On to another subject...Now that James Brown has passed on, why are the idiots over at Dick Clark Productions still sitting on the “The T.A.M.I. Show”? People have been clamoring for a re-release of this footage for years, this would be the ideal time to once again make public footage of what is considered the single greatest live recorded performance of all times. Prince used to have a loop of this performance playing all around Paisley Park as an inspiration and a level of showmanship to aspire to. Also, would these studios stop bullshitting on the biopics of Sam Cooke and James Brown already? I’m well aware that there were always issues with the Cooke family about his portrayal and especially about the odd manner in which he died (or was set up and be the judge), but that last Sam Cooke book made in 2005 could totally fix all of those issues.

Someone present a package to the Cooke family, get permission to use his songs, hook them up with some serious royalties and make the damn film already! The James Brown project that was in development is now in development limbo...Spike Lee has his hands full with three other films right now and God’s knows when a writer and director will latch on to it. As for those of you whose interests are piqued and would like to acquire the T.A.M.I. Show look here. But you ain’t heard that from me....Now, on to the movie stuff.

Dart’s Top Ten Trailers Of The Ides Of June (6/1/07-6/15/07):


The Ten



The Strangers

The Invasion

Talk To Me

Goya’s Ghost

The Simpsons

Death Sentence

Dart’s Top Five Apple Trailers Of The Ides Of June (6/1/07-6/15/07):

Rock The Bells

Illegal Tender

I Am Legend

Civic Duty

The Prisoner Or How I Planned To Kill Tony Blair

Movies you should consider seeing now available to rent through Netflix:
The Spaghetti West -An IFC Original Documentary
Film School (series)
Atlantic Records: The House That Ahmet Built
Deadwood: The Complete Series
The 36th Chamber Of Shaolin
The 5 Fingers Of Death AKA King Boxer
Hannibal Rising
The Number 23
Home Of The Brave
The Messengers
The Messenger: The Story Of Joan Van Arc
Almost Famous
The Dancer Upstairs
The Salton Sea
El Mariachi
The Brinks Job
Friends Of Eddie Coyle
Skeleton Key
Escape From New York
Gimme Shelter
Legends Of The Fall
The Taking Of Pelham One Two Three
Rising Sun
The Big Lebowski
Grosse Point Blank
Things To Do In Denver When You’re Dead
Two Days In The Valley
Rising Sun
Memories Of Murder
Born To Fight
Event Horizon
Predator 2
Blade Runner
Logan’s Run
The Omega Man
Soylent Green
No Escape
Spy Game
Confessions Of A Dangerous Mind
The Aviator
The Recruit
The Devil’s Own
12 Monkeys
Planet Of The Apes
Conquest Of The Planet Of The Apes
La Femme Nikita
Leon The Professional
No Sleep Til Shanghai
Favela Rising

What the future holds for comic book/cartoon movies:


The Shadow

Speed Racer

Teen Titans

The Spirit (who's gonna play Ebony White?)

Dart’s Picks:
Thunderbolt- This is another Jackie Chan action flick made way back in 1995. It has EVERYTHING in it. The fight scenes are ridiculous. The stunts are bananas. The whole joint is off the wall like a Lil’ Wayne poster in my nieces room. Rent this shit now!

How To Eat Your Watermelon In White Company (And Enjoy It)-If it wasn’t for Melvin Van Peebles I wouldn’t be writing this blog right now. That’s how important this man is not just to film, or music or Hip Hop or Black culture, but to AMERICAN culture as a whole. Rent it.

Piece By Piece/Infamy- They’re both graf documentaries/films that I really shouldn’t even have to try to sell you on. Rent them both now (if you’re into that sort of thing).

Dart’s WTF/Watch This Bullshit At Your Own Risk Award:
Circle Of Iron-This movie was to be Bruce Lee’s greatest masterpiece, even greater than Game Of Death (which if you’ve seen Bruce Lee: A Warrior’s Journey, was going to be a MUCH different film than the one the studio butchered). He was writing it and tirelessly working on it while he was making “Game Of Death” before he died suddenly. The studio then decided to piss on his coffin and memory by making the shit sandwich that is “The Game Of Death”. Then the studio found Bruce Lee’s writings and drawings and notes that were to be his next great work “Circle Of Iron”. The studio immediately rushed to make Bruce’s dream casting David Carradine in the title role and butchering every aspect of his original work. This was the equivalent of exhuming his body, skullfucking him in the eyeholes and then relieving yourself (Nos. 1 & 2) on his corpse just to close the coffin and then bury him again. In the immortal words of MIN One this was a “never forgive action”.

Ghost Rider-Yeah, I was just wondering when these motherfuckers in Hollywood were gonna stop completely butchering the essence of these classic comic books in order to make toys to sell to children...No time soon, huh? That wasn’t “Ghost Rider”. Not even close.

Norbit-Fuck a Norbit. How can Eddie Murphy follow up his great performance in “Dreamgirls” with this? That’s hustling backwards!



Max said...

I'm sure you've already recommended this, but, in addition to the Melvin Van Peebles post, if you haven't, watch "Badassss!", Mario Van Peebles' biography/tribute to his father, it's fucking fascinating. Great post as always, be sure to check out my blog at, and leave comments! Thanks.

Anonymous said...

I'm crazy amped about the Speed Racer movie, which has been in development for years. Thank god Hype Williams isn't directing anymore.

Christina Ricci as Trixie? WTF? She does weight 83 pounds now. Matthew Fox as Racer X looks good though.

And another Shadow movie? Really?

Dart Adams said...

Yep, another Shadow movie! Next week I write about the Luke Cage project and include some video game flicks as well. One.