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Five Ways Black Movies Can Do Better

Um, yeah.

“…while there have been quite a few entertaining Black movies produced in the last decade or so, the only ones that would be categorized as “very good” or “great” in the same way a “Boyz n the Hood” or a even a “Devil in a Blue Dress” would be are films like “Precious” that deal with subjects so unrelentingly heavy and depressing that moviegoers should watch them with buckets of hot buttered Zoloft instead of popcorn.”

This quote is from “Three Ways That Black Movies Can Do Better,” an article published at Ebony.com yesterday that discusses how the best term to describe the Black movies made in the last decade or so is “instantly forgettable,” and lists some things that can be done to reverse this trend.

And, while I think the three things I listed (1. Bring The Sexy Back, 2. Chill With All The Church Scenes, and 3. Hire Angela Nissel) represent a good, safe start, my word count limit and the fact that, for obvious reasons, I can’t be as, um, “colorful” as I want to be when writing there limited what I was able to say…and how I was able to say it.

Today, here’s the rest of what I would have said yesterday if I wasn’t strong-armed by the Team Ebony Drop Squad.¹

4. Chill With The Got Damn Positive F*cking Messages All The Damn Time

Two of the three best Black movies I’ve seen in the last decade² both had cameos from numerous porn stars and strippers, both revolved around pimps who did some truly effed up things during the course of the movie, both dealt with a seedy urban underworld, and both featured dozens of hilariously misogynistic, racist, and homophobic jokes. And while “Black Dynamite” and “Hustle & Flow” were entirely different types of movies, part of what made them as entertaining as they were was the fact that they reveled in and had fun with some very “unpositive” subject matter. Yet, despite the fact that they were both good movies that featured numerous working Black people, neither got anywhere near the guilt-trip marketing push that “positive” or “important” movies like “Red Tails” usually receive.

I understand why Black filmmakers may feel burdened to always have some type of positive message in their movies. Generally speaking, we (Black film goers) are some thin-skinned motherf*ckers who will think nothing of creating a petition to protest anything less than an onscreen depiction of a “Black life” that never actually existed.

Still, despite the inevitable push back from the Black Blog Tea Party, I think there’s enough of us who don’t necessarily need to have positive and/or message-laden shit pushed down our throats to have a good time at the movies, and I think we’re ready for some Black filmmakers to start having some more quality and ratchet fun.

5. More Nicole Beharie

I don’t believe in the Illuminati, but I do believe that there’s a secret Black society led by Steadman Graham (Why Steadman? Because he doesn’t have shit else do to.) that forces each burgeoning Black producer or director to cast either Paula Patton, Taraji P. Henson, or Meagan Good in their movies. I know it seems far-fetched, but it has to be the only reason why one of those three chicks has been in every single Black movie made in the past eight years.

I know secret societies love them some fresh blood to hold their ceremonies with, so why not cast Beharie in one of those roles? She’s hot, she’s talented, she’s wicked smart, and, wait…did I mention how hot she is?

Anyway people of VSB.com, what do you think needs to happen to make Black movies less damn forgettable? What additions or subtractions would you make if you were Black Movie Czar for a day?

¹Just to be clear, I realize there are a ton of indie Black films that would definitely qualify as quality and entertaining. Today though, I’m more focused on major motion pictures. 
²The third movie? “Akeelah and the Bee”

—Damon Young (aka “The Champ”)

***For all the folks in the DC area, this Saturday, April 7, from 930pm-3am at Liv Nightclub (11th and U Street, NW) is another edition of #REMINISCE, the party dedicated to all 90s everything brought to you by VSB, Shine On Me, and Just Cause Events. It’s FREE BEFORE 11 w/RSVP (reminiscedc.eventbrite.com), a Courvoisier sponosred open bar from 930-1030pm, and no dress code! It’s cheaper to come out and party. Last month’s party was OFF THE HINGES! Somebody shook my hand when they left and just said, “Thanks P, for throwing this party…” <—- not lying. So come and make it do what it do this Saturday at Reminisce!***

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Damon Young

Damon Young is the editor-in-chief of VSB. He is also a contributing editor for EBONY.com. He resides in Pittsburgh, and he really likes pancakes.

  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M5FR1LGsT7E TheAnti-Cool

    4. Chill With The Got Damn Positive F*cking Messages All The Damn Time

    THIS. This is why I haven’t seen a “black” movie for a while. Real life is depressing. I don’t need to be emotionally crushed and/or preached down to by a movie.

    I LOVED Black Dynamite, btw. That’s what I want to see more of in the theater. Not Precious for Colored Girls.

    • https://twitter.com/#!/fiveisthenumber fiveisthenumber

      There needs to be a seven year moratorium on Tyler Perry Movies.
      *Dollar Bill Voice* “emeejhedly!”

      • http://commentarybyvalentina.wordpress.com/ Val

        A permanent ban of all Tyler Perry films would make me happy!

    • Latonya

      I saw Jumping the Broom this weekend on cable and I thought it would be a good black movie. But I was wrong it was just bad comedy and writing. I just did not like it.

      • http://verysmartbrothas.com Panama Jackson

        yeah, Jumping The Broom was craptastic. I wrote a post ways back about how Tyler Perry would have saved that movie.

        • GypsyCurl

          There are a few good black movies that are lighted hearted comedies with no church stuff and devoid of tyler perry.

          1. Two Can Play the Game with Vivica Fox (the dialogue was very true to life)

          2. Just Wright with Queen Latifah

          3. Breaking All The Rules with Jamie Fox

          These movies are great and could have been interchanged with an all white cast.

          • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M5FR1LGsT7E TheAnti-Cool

            Just Wright sucked. I did enjoy Breaking All the Rules though.

      • http://verysmartbrothas.com The Champ

        “I saw Jumping the Broom this weekend on cable and I thought it would be a good black movie.”

        aside from the fact that, in the trailers, each of the actors had the brightest white teeth ive ever seen before, what made you think it would be a good movie?

    • Latonya

      I loved Black Dynamite!! Talking about bad black movies Blaxploitation was the worst. But I loved watching Coffy and Foxy Brown.

  • http://www.greenafrodiva.com Green Afro Diva

    Use more foul language and talk/do more sex. It doesnt make sense to do a romantic comedy or drama and not delve into sex. Or how we really talk about relationships. Because theen we end up with watered down versions of hes not that into you(think like a man) where a movie like that should be rated R. I agree with you. Its why there will never be a black hangover or bridesmaids because we will either depend on played out stereotypes or we are just too hypersensitive. I say, Bring On the Ratchetry!!!

    • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M5FR1LGsT7E TheAnti-Cool

      I think they have to get that PG 13 rating to make any kind of money back. And they can’t go too far cause you know we will boycott some sht.

      • kaname

        The MPAA’s skullduggery appears to be behind the shenanigans surrounding the lucrative nature of pg-13 ratings.

        • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M5FR1LGsT7E TheAnti-Cool

          +2
          For both “skulduggery” and “shenanigans” as they are two of my favorite words. Yes, I have a list. Yes, I am a nerd.

          • kaname

            +1! Words are simply too scrumptious at times- just sitting there, waiting to be devoured 0_o I was gleeful when I got to use “copacetic” in a conversation and nerded out on the spot, much to the puzzlement of my listener.

            • Royale W. Cheese

              “when I got to use “copacetic” in a conversation and nerded out on the spot”

              Much to their consternation. :)

              • kaname

                It wasn’t consternation; if not chagrin would be the word of the day; it was just genuine bafflement :P

                • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M5FR1LGsT7E TheAnti-Cool

                  *nerdgasm*

                  Good night.

            • That Ugly Kid

              Probably not the same thing, but I d*mn near ejaculated in my jeans the first time I got to use “F*ck You” in a sentence as well as the subsequent anger filled sentences that followed.

              • kaname

                O_o definitely not the same thing, but I’m glad that ummh…your exuberance did not reach fruition, or else that would have been a most…difficult situation to explain.

    • https://twitter.com/#!/mackaroto Jay

      I try to do more sex every chance I get. I think doing more sex would solve ALL of our problems. I like saying it like that… “do sex”. It amuses me.

      • http://www.facebook.com/mjoy MJoy

        hahahahaha. do sex.

    • GypsyCurl

      #6: Stop trying to cater to black men and women with one movie. Make an action flick for black males and a chick flick for black women (although I think alot of black movies would be considered chick flicks, especially anything by tyler perry)

      Fight club= action film
      Sex and the City = chick flick

      Now do the same with an all black cast

    • http://verysmartbrothas.com The Champ

      “Bring On the Ratchetry!!!”

      i’d definitely watch a movie with this title

  • AfroPetite

    1. More dry humor & less slapstick. I hate that writers of films aimed at black audiences assume that we will miss a joke unless it’s in bold red print with blinking LED lights surrounding it. I appreciate the comedy in “The Office”, “Modern Family”, “The Community”, etc.

    2. Less “I-was-born-in-the-backseat-of-a-Honda-and-made-it-out-the-hood-by-the-grace-of-God-and-my-talents-as-a-stripper/athlete/rapper” films. We get it, some black people are just far too destitute and unintelligent to become anything more than shucking and jiving puppets for the masses. Next.

    3. I’d love to see more black horror/thriller films. The last one I recall is the one with Marquis Houston and B2K…..and that’s a stretch to call it “horror” -________-

    • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M5FR1LGsT7E TheAnti-Cool

      #1 Yes! We actually “get” shows like these and we can have shows like these.

      #3 This is a real thing? I’m afraid to Google it. I guess the “horror” comes in actually paying money to sit through it.

      • AfroPetite

        It’s called “Somebody Help Me”. A fitting title for such a s***** film.

        • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M5FR1LGsT7E TheAnti-Cool

          Lmao. It’s too late (or too early depending on where you are) for this.

        • That Ugly Kid

          I hated that movie more than I hate peas. And I set a bag of peas on fire once…

          • kaname

            With a microwave or a stove top? ’cause any other way…

            • That Ugly Kid

              I just took it out back and set it on fire with a match. Had to get rid of them before someone tried to make them part of a meal.

              • naturalista88

                Wow, I don’t like peas either but you took it to a whole ‘nother level *lmao*.

              • kaname

                *pours out some Hollandaise sauce for the peas* may their charred ruin upon the earth bring forth life to other veggies that will not earn your ire.

          • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M5FR1LGsT7E TheAnti-Cool

            Slayed. Who hates peas that much though? They are so cute and sweet. Unlike artichokes. Now those one can hate with impunity.

            • That Ugly Kid

              I do. I hate peas and I hate beans. And whichever d*ckface thought it was a swell idea to cook beets needs to be held at gunpoint and have his/her face vigorously slammed into a cactus. Non-stop.

              • http://afrikanmami.blogspot.com African Mami

                @TUK,

                Oh stop the dramatics! Peas are BOMB! If I bake you some pea bread…you’ll DIE from heavenly goodness……

                • That Ugly Kid

                  I will have NOTHING to do with peas, you hear me? So I’m going to pretend that pea bread is code for “sopping wet v*gina”. In which case, yes I’ll gladly eat some. Maybe even a second or third helping. If said “pea bread” is indeed the bomb and I do expire from its heavenly goodness, as least I will have died eating my favorite fruit. The forbidden fruit….

                  • http://afrikanmami.blogspot.com African Mami

                    @ TUK,

                    CONTINUE!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I’M WATCHING

              • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M5FR1LGsT7E TheAnti-Cool

                Ah…The hate is strong with this one…I can work with this.

              • kaname

                @TUK – which type of beans: string, lima, black eyed peas?

                • That Ugly Kid

                  Everything except string beans. But even those have to be prepared a certain way or I’ll flip a table.

                  • http://wildcougarconfessions.com Wild Cougar

                    *giggles* you’re funny and cute and you made this post better

                  • http://www.styleillusions.com WIP

                    LOL, You’re the first person I’ve heard share my disgust for peas and beans. I also agree on string beans. you just might be alright…

              • naturalista88

                When I finally get my PhD in psychology, I’m gonna look you up so we can have a nice, long chat, mmkay? *lol*

                • That Ugly Kid

                  We can, but it won’t stop the genocide of the peas. Can’t stop. Won’t stop. *Shimmies*

                  • A Woman’s Eyes

                    That shimmy alone :)

              • http://asiyah3.wordpress.com Asiyah

                beets?!!!!!! EWWWWWWWWWWWW!

            • http://www.styleillusions.com WIP

              Peas are awful. The skin comes off and the inside is pasty mush. The smell of peas is enough to turn a stomach.

        • http://www.iamyourpeople.com I Am Your People

          The worst part of Somebody Help Me is that there was a sequel. Like…really?

          • AfroPetite

            -____-

            A slow and painful death to all those involved

        • JessicaL

          Lmao, I thought you meant You got served. It was scary to me that someone actually wrote that script.

    • http://commentarybyvalentina.wordpress.com/ Val

      If you want to see a great Black horror/ Thriller check out Attack The Block.

      And I Love Modern Family too. I often wish that the family was Black.

      • LaDreaming86

        I rented Attack the Block from Netflix back in January. It wasn’t too bad, but I didn’t like the monsters. They were too ugly for me.

        Have you seen Kidulthood? It’s another film set in London.

        • http://commentarybyvalentina.wordpress.com/ Val

          Yes! Kidulthood is a great film.

      • http://vanityinperil.com Vanity in Peril

        Love Attack the Block!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      • https://twitter.com/#!/NewYork2VA NY2VA

        I wish they were black too!!! I thought it was just me.

    • http://commentarybyvalentina.wordpress.com/ Val

      Oh and one more thriller, it’s called The Mortician. It stars Method Man. Great film. Really creepy.

      • Latonya

        What was The Mortician about? How would you rate it out of 5 stars?

        • http://commentarybyvalentina.wordpress.com/ Val

          The film is set in a what looks like a post-apocalyptic city. Method Man plays the city’s coroner. He’s completely introverted and spends most of his time alone and with dead bodies. Then one day there’s a kid who is hanging around the mortuary. Then Method sees the kid get kidnapped or at least that’s what he thinks he sees.

          The story really takes a lot of twists and turns after that and ends up in places you wouldn’t expect. It also stars Judy Marte who was in “Raising Victor Vargas”.

          I’d rate the film 4 stars.

          • Aly

            Thanks for the suggestions Val. I’m a huge horror/thriller fan and will be checking these out soon!

            • http://commentarybyvalentina.wordpress.com/ Val

              YW. Enjoy!

          • Deeds

            I need to check these out as I’m a huge horror/scary movie watcher as well. Does anyone remember Tales from the Hood?

            • demondog06

              tales from the hood wasn’t scary, but i still loved it..

              now candyman was that deal…i still won’t say candy man 5 times in a mirror…..in fact i dare you to!

      • AfroPetite

        Thanks for the suggestions! I’ll have to look into these.

        • http://commentarybyvalentina.wordpress.com/ Val

          They are definitely worth checking out.

    • Latonya

      Girl I thought that I was the only one that watch that hot of mess movie with Marquis Houston and Omarion. LOL Now that was a bad movie!

    • Royale W. Cheese

      “I hate that writers of films aimed at black audiences assume that we will miss a joke unless it’s in bold red print with blinking LED lights surrounding it.”

      OMG, yes. This.

    • http://www.nicknotnikki.com NicknotNikki

      #1. YES!!! There is no laugh track in movies so they gotta make it all “insert laugh here” in order for us to get it.. Part of what makes The Office so great are those moments where Jim just looks at the camera.. THAT is real life! We can relate to that. Not everyone walks around with chainsaws cutting up people’s sofas and other Madea-like stupidity.

      • http://www.styleillusions.com WIP

        Agreed. Although I won’t hold anyone to the standard of The Office (gotta start somewhere) I’d be open to seeing something along those lines, even if it’s not as great. Can I get black people acting normally?

    • Deeds

      “1. More dry humor & less slapstick. I hate that writers of films aimed at black audiences assume that we will miss a joke unless it’s in bold red print with blinking LED lights surrounding it. I appreciate the comedy in “The Office”, “Modern Family”, “The Community”, etc.”

      Yes!! Thank You…I think that’s one of the reasons why I love Awkward Black Girl so much, she uses that kind of humor.

    • http://pinchmycheekie.wordpress.com Cheekie

      “1. More dry humor & less slapstick. I hate that writers of films aimed at black audiences assume that we will miss a joke unless it’s in bold red print with blinking LED lights surrounding it. I appreciate the comedy in “The Office”, “Modern Family”, “The Community”, etc.”

      YES! While I appreciate slapstick, I’m curious as to how a black film would handle dry humor as well. I admire dry humor so much because it’s so difficult to nail.

      And the horror movie… I actually have a horror film in mind (after I write this young romantic comedy I’m writing now) and while my scripts always lend to “blind casting” (I seriously try to make a point of that… now the hard part is getting a production company to truly see it as blind casting, or ya know… starting my own gottdayum company) it WOULD be dope if it was an all or primarily Black cast. Hmmm, you got me thinkin’, now…

      • Breezy

        @Cheekie..what you said is why Curb Your Enthusiasm is the bomb.

        • http://www.styleillusions.com WIP

          I think Donald Glover could handle it. Or dude from 30YOV.

      • http://www.styleillusions.com WIP

        It’s so easy for horror movies to be bad, no matter who the cast of characters are. That’s a hard genre. The only recent movie that really scared the crap out of me was The Exorcism of Emily Rose. I was waking up at night, looking at the clock. Demon movies are where it’s at.

    • http://verysmartbrothas.com The Champ

      “3. I’d love to see more black horror/thriller films. The last one I recall is the one with Marquis Houston and B2K…..and that’s a stretch to call it “horror” -________-”

      I remember seeing this. I always remember eating a bowl of cream of wheat while watching it. i have no idea if these things are related, but it wouldnt surprise me if they were

      • http://pinchmycheekie.wordpress.com Cheekie

        For some reason, this correlation makes all of the sense. I can’t even articulate how or why, but it does.

  • https://twitter.com/#!/fiveisthenumber fiveisthenumber

    I wish the rumor about Martin Lawrence and Will Smith doing an Uptown Saturday Night Redux would become a reality.

    • https://twitter.com/#!/mackaroto Jay

      YES!!! But I thought that it was Duane Martin and Will Smith?? And last I heard it was more than a rumor… Will Smith successfully bought the rights.

    • http://afrikanmami.blogspot.com African Mami

      are you guys talking about a real movie or the supposed bromance between Will and his friend, ya’ll wanna see it made into a film….confused,

      *dreads are hella segzy* ———->*ahem*

      • https://twitter.com/#!/mackaroto Jay

        Thats a RUMOR!! There are waaaay too many rumors surrounding Will and Jada btw. But no, we’re talking about Will and whoever remaking the CLASSICS Uptown Saturday Night and the sequel Let’s Do It Again starring Bill Cosby and Sidney Potier. If you haven’t seen them go and get them ASAP and if not then, as soon as possible!!

    • http://verysmartbrothas.com The Champ

      “I wish the rumor about Martin Lawrence and Will Smith doing an Uptown Saturday Night Redux would become a reality”

      lol, i couldn’t disagree more. I think we need to chill with the remakes and sequels and sh*t too.

      • https://twitter.com/#!/fiveisthenumber fiveisthenumber

        The remake is a Hollywood Staple. I would like to see what type of spin they put on the movie.

  • kaname

    I dunno Champ about your #4 – I think the tv landscape is so saturated with non-positive messages (mostly “reality” shows) that it just bleeds all over the viewership landscape; movies may be the last bastion of positivity out there that people seem to support. But anyhoo, if we’re looking at movies, I’d love to see a black James Bond/Jason Bourne style franchise.

    • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M5FR1LGsT7E TheAnti-Cool

      There was talk of making Idris Elba the next Bond. I don’t like him in that role or period really but I like the idea of having our own super cool super spy.

      • kaname

        Yeah, I’ve heard his name being tossed around. I wouldn’t pick him though ’cause I don’t get his appeal >_> Maybe some like Anthony Mackie, or Derek Luke?

        • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M5FR1LGsT7E TheAnti-Cool

          I like Derek Luke but Anthony Mackie wasn’t in Biker Boyz (one of the worst movies I have ever seen) so he gets the advantage here.

          • Jay

            Black women will watch anything with Idris in it.

            • http://www.iamyourpeople.com I Am Your People

              Black women will watch anything with Idris in it.

              I already bought tickets to “Idris Elba Reads the Dictionary.”

              • Todd

                Idris Elba Reads The Dictionary? *dead*

              • Deeds

                Bwhahahaha

              • Breezy

                And the sequel “Edris reads the phone book”…its said to be bigger than “Edris Big Fat Greek Wedding”.

              • http://pinchmycheekie.wordpress.com Cheekie

                “I already bought tickets to “Idris Elba Reads the Dictionary.”

                *faints*

                Yes, please.

              • http://asiyah3.wordpress.com Asiyah

                “I already bought tickets to “Idris Elba Reads the Dictionary.””

                LOL I love!

            • http://pervertedalchemist.blogspot.com/ Perverted Alchemist
      • mena

        Watch Luther on Netflix. If you still don’t like him then he really just isn’t your type of actor. There are 10 1hr episodes.

        • kaname

          It’s not about his acting, it’s about his err, (looks around nervously), his attractiveness.

          • mena

            The comment was geared towards TAC who said she didn’t care for him at all.

            As for his attractiveness, everyone has a right to their opinion. People think that Avery on Grey’s Anatomy is hot but he is too pretty for my liking.

            • kaname

              @Mena – I gotcha.

            • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M5FR1LGsT7E TheAnti-Cool

              Well, what Kaname said. I’ve seen him act and he seems perfectly charming in interviews but I don’t get the infatuation beyond that lovely accent of his. I’d consider marrying that accent and giving it many strong sons.

              • Breezy

                LOL…strong sons…LOL…you people kill me.

          • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M5FR1LGsT7E TheAnti-Cool

            You mean his UNattractiveness? Like his oddly shaped cranium?

            I stand by my Idris-ain’t-all-that-ness. I will not be afraid. Much. *ahem*

            • kaname

              @TAC – Oh, I *know* you are unafraid. I’m an infrequent commenter but an accomplished lurker, so I know the deal on Elba around these parts.

              • That Ugly Kid

                Rae you two trying to shut down the internets? Stop this at once!

            • http://www.nicknotnikki.com NicknotNikki

              You got a partner in me.. His head comes to a peak, and it reminds me of peanut M&M’s.. I don’t understand the appeal..

              • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M5FR1LGsT7E TheAnti-Cool

                Oh my. I’m in literal tears of laughter.

                (plays “You Are Not Alone” and stands with you against the coming tide of Idris lovers)

                • http://wildcougarconfessions.com Wild Cougar

                  Me too. He looks like one of my uncles. And he looks like an alcoholic a**hole. Probably is, cause I’m good at judging people.

                  • https://twitter.com/#!/NewYork2VA NY2VA

                    Do you people watch and make up stories about what their lives might be like? I do. It’s one of my favorite things to do lol!

                    • A Woman’s Eyes

                      lmao

                    • SheWhoMustBeObeyed

                      I do!

                      Idris Elba looks like one of those people that clean up very nicely but have messy apartments. You know… dishes in the sink, unwashed laundry, stacks of unopened mail, random and faintly unpleasant smells… Things that make you go :(

                      My apologies to all the Elba lovers out there. I can’t help the way my brain works with these things!

              • kaname

                @NicknotNikki – I feel like you just threw my sweet, delicious peanut M&Ms under the bus. I offer you a Humpty Dumpty shaped head instead.

            • GypsyCurl

              I will be bold. I will stand in front and you can cosign. IDRIS is NOT alttractive!!!!!!

              BUT he would make a great James Bond because of his British swag.

      • Nolan Voyd

        Maybe a proper remake of Spook Who Sat By the door? Nah, I’m terrified of how easily this would be ruined….

      • demondog06

        white people would lose they cotton picking minds if there was a black bond. folks was mad enough that sam jackson played nick fury, a little black girl was the one of the main characters in the hunger games and that some black comedian seriously campaigned to play peter parker in the latest spiderman movie.

    • http://verysmartbrothas.com The Champ

      “I dunno Champ about your #4 – I think the tv landscape is so saturated with non-positive messages (mostly “reality” shows) that it just bleeds all over the viewership landscape; movies may be the last bastion of positivity out there that people seem to support.”

      thing is, movies (and tv and radio and whatever else) are about entertainment first. yes, movies containing positive messages can be entertaining, but not if the entire movie itself is just one big ass f*cking message

      • That Ugly Kid

        Co-sign. People get caught up too much in message and such. They forget that the primary function of things like movies, tv shows, and music is to entertain, not educate. You want a message, go read “The Little Engine That Could”. I read that book a lot when I was a kid. That’s the book that taught me that if I kept trying, I could successfully sneak into the Girls’ bathroom.

        • naturalista88

          You have me dying in my school’s library right now *lol*.

        • http://asiyah3.wordpress.com Asiyah

          “You want a message, go read “The Little Engine That Could”. I read that book a lot when I was a kid. That’s the book that taught me that if I kept trying, I could successfully sneak into the Girls’ bathroom.”

          That book IS one of the greats…

  • http://commentarybyvalentina.wordpress.com/ Val

    There have actually been quite a few good “Black films” made in the last decade. One of my favorites was “Medicine For Melancholy”. It starred Tracey Heggins and Wyatt Cenac. The film didn’t get much press and it was very hard to find in theaters, which was a shame. There was also “Attack The Block”, “I Will Follow”, “Pariah”, “Money Matters”, “Bullet Boy”, “Shottas” and “Our Song”, just to name a few.

    If you are waiting for Hollywood to make good Black films then you’re going to keep getting Black dysfunction films like “Precious”. Or you can go off the beaten path and check out Black indie films. And if you do you will find a lot of great films that go under the mainstream media radar.

    Btw, I HATED Precious.

    • https://twitter.com/#!/mackaroto Jay

      Attack The Block!!! Loved it. Raved about it to all of my peoples. You sound like a fool explaining it though…. “Um its a black/British/hood/conspiracy/alien/sci-fi/horror flick with a message.

      • http://commentarybyvalentina.wordpress.com/ Val

        “Um its a black/British/hood/conspiracy/alien/sci-fi/horror flick with a message.”

        Lol, I know, right. It is hard to explain but you did a good job of it..

      • Jay

        Shottas is saved on my DVR! It keeps me alive! “you tryin to escort me?” “It’s extort!”

    • Royale W. Cheese

      Desert Flower, the biography of Waris Diri was really good. But I literally had to get up and leave during the genital mutilation scene. I just can’t watch a baby scream in pain, even in an acted out scene.

      • http://commentarybyvalentina.wordpress.com/ Val

        “Desert Flower” was a great film. Liya Kebede was really good in that. There’s another film like that called “I Am Slave”. It’s about a Sudanese women who is enslaved and brought to modern day London, where she tries again and again to escape.

        • Latonya

          Is that “Desert Flower” more like Eve’s Bayou? Now Eve’s Bayou was a classic black film good movie.

          • Royale W. Cheese

            Desert Flower is about a Somali woman who escapes an arranged marriage with someone who is old enough to be her grandfather…not only that, but he would have to “cut her open” to deflower her, since after female circumcision they sew you almost shut. She ends up in London and becomes a super model. It’s based on the life of Waris Dirie.

          • http://commentarybyvalentina.wordpress.com/ Val

            No, Desert Flower is nothing like Eve’s Bayou. Desert Flower is a biopic about former model Waris Dirie and how she was circumcised as a child in Somalia then sold into marriage as a teen but managed to escape and become a super model in Europe.

            • A Woman’s Eyes

              I remember reading a story about an actual East African supermodel that was pretty similar to this story.

              • http://commentarybyvalentina.wordpress.com/ Val

                Yeah, that’s who this film is about. Her name is Waris Dirie.

    • http://vanityinperil.com Vanity in Peril

      Medicine for Melancholy is an awesome little film. They play the hell out of it on IFC (or one of those channels).

      • Anders

        It’s on Netflix. Great great movie.

    • http://verysmartbrothas.com Panama Jackson

      I’m sorry…but you seem to have accidentally included “Shottas” on your list of good Black films. Would you like me to go back and edit that one out? Because I can.

      “Medicine for Melancholy” was such a good indie flick. I could probably write an entire thesis on that movie. Hell I fully intend(ed) to here on VSB b/c I think that SO many folks here could relate to it.

      • http://pinchmycheekie.wordpress.com Cheekie

        I’d actually love you long time if you wrote that thesis. Too bad I haychoo, tho.

      • http://commentarybyvalentina.wordpress.com/ Val

        “I’m sorry…but you seem to have accidentally included “Shottas” on your list of good Black films….”

        Lmao! I liked it.

    • http://asiyah3.wordpress.com Asiyah

      Thanks for your suggestions, Val. My roommate and I love movies and we love Black people, so it works.

      • http://commentarybyvalentina.wordpress.com/ Val

        Lol. YW. :-)

  • King

    As a former black film student the biggest thing that needs to happen is for TP to stop spoon feeding his audience a story. Regardless of race a good movie allows the audience to make inferences. The story guides, not explicitly tells. We’re smart… Let us make some judgement calls.

    And stop with all the damn church scenes.

    • http://pinchmycheekie.wordpress.com Cheekie

      “As a former black film student the biggest thing that needs to happen is for TP to stop spoon feeding his audience a story. Regardless of race a good movie allows the audience to make inferences. The story guides, not explicitly tells. We’re smart… Let us make some judgement calls.”

      HalleluYURR. Thing is, I think he masks his story weaknesses with the over-the-top entertainment so well that he still gets audiences going to his movies over and over. It’s fascinating really. LOL

      But, yeah I agree with you that he doesn’t give his audiences enough credit.

      • https://twitter.com/#!/NewYork2VA NY2VA

        Exactly. This writing style is fine for gospel stage plays, but not for motion pictures which need to appeal to a wider audience.

  • https://twitter.com/#!/mackaroto Jay

    who…Who… WHO is the woman in the picture!?!? I want answers! Now, on to read the post which probably would have answered my question had I actually read first.

    • kaname

      I saw her in the movie Shame – she was nekkid.

      • https://twitter.com/#!/mackaroto Jay

        I saw her in the movie Shame – she was nekkid.

        I just dropped my laptop.

      • http://commentarybyvalentina.wordpress.com/ Val

        Shame really sucked. And I was all hype about seeing it too. What a disappointment.

        • kaname

          I don’t think Shame sucked at all! That movie was *made* to make you depressed without you even realizing it. When the horror of Brandon’s so called life starts to set in…

          • http://commentarybyvalentina.wordpress.com/ Val

            We need someone to break the tie.

      • That Ugly Kid

        Not gonna lie. I only googled this movie because you mentioned this Nicole chick being nude. She was. And I was filled with glee.

      • http://verysmartbrothas.com The Champ

        “I saw her in the movie Shame – she was nekkid.”

        why did i not know about this until now????

  • That Ugly Kid

    I can’t co-sign on #4 enough. It’s super annoying how everytime a predominantly “black” movie comes out, SOMEONE has to get offended. I personally, thoroughly enjoyed For Colored Girls. However there were an abundance of black men who got offended because they felt that black men were being portrayed in a negative light.

    It happens everytime. Black people could care less what the movie is actually about, as long as they are represented in a exaggeratedly positive manner, no matter how unrealistic it is within the movie’s setting and plot. All black women want to be portrayed as einstein-intelligent, strong, independant, witty, calm demeanored, and flawlessly beautiful beings despite the fact that such a woman, to my knowledge, doesn’t exist. Not to mention such perfection would be more blatantly out of place than LL Cool J at the Academy Country Awards in a movie setting similiar to say, The Wire. Black men also suffer from this annoying habit as well, though we aren’t as vocal as our female counterparts.

    • That Ugly Kid

      I also think the reason why black people are thin skinned when it comes to these kind of movies is because as far as the way we are portrayed in the media, the news and things of those nature, the last thing we want to something on the big screen that plays into whatever stereotypes we have about us. Which is why I think people hate Tyler Perry movies so much. They play into the negative stereotypes about us. Honestly, I don’t care about the stereotypes. That’s not what bugs me about his movies. It’s the fact that it’s the same d*mn story each and every film.

      Main character is lonely and down-trodden. Main character either meets the love of their life who makes everything all better, has a life changing convo with Madea, or goes to church and suddenly everything’s A o-f*cking-kay. Or any combination of the three. This is why the ONLY TP film I liked was The Family That Preys. Though I really liked For Colored Girls, I can’t give him full credit on that. That was someone else’s sh*t.

      • A Woman’s Eyes

        I think Black people dislike Tyler Perry films because we are pissed at ourselves for not creating better films in 2012. If we had better films out, we wouldn’t give a phuck what Tyler Perry was doing with his movies. I really don’t think Black people are that hypersensitive about what White people think of their movie tastes…because Tyler Perry isn’t the first and last shitty Black films made — what about the ghetto straight to DVD films that are horrible knock offs of Baby Boy?

        • A Woman’s Eyes

          Free my comments please, again.

        • That Ugly Kid

          It’s not our movie tastes so much as how we are portrayed in the movies. Especially ones that make it to the big screen. Why? Because they are in theatres. Everyone knows they exist and has the option of going to see them. However, there is no other black film maker making “positive” films, which is what irks people. We have no alternative. These negative stereotypes are the only thing making it to the big screen, which is why black people constantly complain about positive imagery in film. Which is why every black person known to man tried to guilt you into seeing Red Tails. “Support Red Tails so that Hollywood will start giving a sh*t about black people and allow more positive black films to be greenlighted.” If you can count on your hands the amount of times you heard that when that movie came out, you in the wrong hood.

          #youaintboutthatlife

          The “straight to DVD” part of your response answered your own question as to why no one gives a f*ck about those movies. They aren’t on display for all to see.

          • A Woman’s Eyes

            We have had tons of negative stereotypes in Black movies before Tyler Perry came on the scene.

            I think we are pissed because we did that shyt to ourselves and Tyler Perry started making movies in response to our past movie fuckery.

            You’d think horrible Black movies began with Tyler Perry with the argument that Black people don’t like being portrayed according to negative stereotypes.

            Ever heard of Soul Plane? Jason’s Lyric? Menace to Society? Friday?

            • A Woman’s Eyes

              free my comment please

        • http://verysmartbrothas.com The Champ

          I think Black people dislike Tyler Perry films because we are pissed at ourselves for not creating better films in 2012. If we had better films out, we wouldn’t give a phuck what Tyler Perry was doing with his movies.

          i agree with this. tyler perry isn’t the problem. the problem is that there arent any superfriends around to provide a contrast to his lex luther.

      • E. Reed

        Yeah. I have issue with the boring characters in TP movies.

        Can we get another cast like the cast of Boomerang? Still my favorite romance comedy to this day.

        The Eddie Murphy/Grace Jones ‘Pussy’ scene at the resturant still cracks me up.

        • demondog06

          Boomer rang is my all time favorite movie…hands down followed by ghost dog, deep cover and the 1st matrix.

      • http://wildcougarconfessions.com Wild Cougar

        People hold Perry to a higher standard than they do the rest of Hollywood. How many romantic comedies aren’t based on lazy stereotypes and have the same formulas. Waiting…… Can’t name too many, can ya?

        There isn’t anything wrong with his movies that you can’t say about all movies of that genre. That you watch and don’t go on blogs to express seething hatred about.

        Get over it.

        • http://verysmartbrothas.com Panama Jackson

          you’re right to a degree. while i do think that TP gets unfairly criticized at this point (i mean hell he aint going anywhere the criticism gets lazy at some point) the truth is that’s where good writing comes in. Think of Friends With Benefits. The writing was excellent. If Tyler Perry movies had better writing, they’d be hard to criticize..but they don’t.

          For instance…I saw Good Deeds. And the premise is fairly simple obviously. Rich guy stuck in his own perfect world meets woman who turns it upside down and blah blah blah. With good writing, it could have been a good movie. But the writing sucked donkey nuts. And becasue people keep going to see his movies the first weekend (though this was his second worst opening…apparently ninjas want more Madea, which says a lot more about us than him) he has no incentive to change his formula. Or hire people he’d have to pay to write good sh*t.

          • Leeward

            How was “Friends with benefits” an example of excellent writing when the same movie came out earlier in the same year? I believe it was called “No Strings Attached”, starring Natalie Portman and Ashton Kutcher. They’re essentially the same movie with Ashton and Natalie actually possessing some legitimate chemistry. JT needs to go back to singing. Both of these movies are effectively paint by numbers romantic comedies.

            • http://www.styleillusions.com WIP

              I’m surprised you guys referenced either of these movies because they both looked dry and boring as hell from the trailers…white people hooking up…wow. LOL

              • http://vanityinperil.com Vanity in Peril

                “White people hooking up… wow” is the best part of my evening reading. Thank you from the bottom of my wine glass.

          • http://asiyah3.wordpress.com Asiyah

            “Think of Friends With Benefits. The writing was excellent.”

            Peej, no disrespect, but I emphatically disagree! The writing was terrible, the acting was terrible, the ending was terrible. OMG Peej! The only good thing about that movie was that it ended.

        • DQ

          I am not in love with Tyler Perry’s stage plays… like not at all, but his movies really aren’t terrible (I say that having only seen 2 of them). Why did I get married series did have stereotypical characters but it didn’t follow the tried and trusted everything works out in the end formula (which I actually appreciated because it more approximated real life than most other movies)

    • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M5FR1LGsT7E TheAnti-Cool

      “All black women want to be portrayed as einstein-intelligent, strong, independent, witty, calm demeanored, and flawlessly beautiful beings”

      Cause we are. Well, I am. Therefore, I demand an accurate representation on the big and small screen. Is that really too much to ask?

      • naturalista88

        You know the menz of de world won’t let that stand *lol*.

        • http://pinchmycheekie.wordpress.com Cheekie

          Which is funny because we womenz go the movies more than they do, on average. Dolla dolla bill, ya’ll.

      • That Ugly Kid

        You don’t quote something that mentions that “all” black women are intelligent AND calm demeanored, and then loosely throw the word “accurate” around to describe it. April Fool’s was 2 days ago. Unless you are located overseas in which case it would have been 3 days ago.

        • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M5FR1LGsT7E TheAnti-Cool

          You missed where I clarified that I, NOT all women, am all those things. I know that I am the one special snowflake that is unlike every other woman on the planet. Doesn’t that deserve it’s own movie?

          • That Ugly Kid

            Oh of course sugerdrawers! This is why I’m currently developing a movie titled TAC: Goddess Personified. Just for you….

            • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M5FR1LGsT7E TheAnti-Cool

              You’re a beautiful liar.

              • That Ugly Kid

                A liar? I would NEVER lie to you my beautiful Cinnamon-Scented Queef! You are my everything.

                Sidenote: Make sure to pick up my copy of Petnames For Dummies. It works wonders…

                • kaname

                  Queef? Ummh do you what that means, ’cause if not then…I’ll just leave this here; or maybe my mind is so far gone (no Jill Scott):

                  http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=Queef

                  • That Ugly Kid

                    I know exactly what it means. Which is why I saw it a perfect oppotunity to advertise my Petnames For Dummies book. Because…forget it…

                  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M5FR1LGsT7E TheAnti-Cool

                    Oh I bet he knows exactly what it means.

                    • kaname

                      @TUK – that is a terrible pet name! Unless of course @TAC that’s what you’re into.

                • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M5FR1LGsT7E TheAnti-Cool

                  HMPH!

                  Oh, I burned that book in the back yard next to the pea pyre. It’s in a better place now, chick o stick.

                  • That Ugly Kid

                    B-But…I’m making a movie. About you! The perfect woman! Why am I not praised?!

          • http://verysmartbrothas.com Panama Jackson

            i think it exists already…its called Jurassic Park.

    • Latonya

      Well even though I like For Color Girls it did depict black man as animals with no soul.

      • That Ugly Kid

        See, my thing was, while the depiction of us wasn’t exactly flattering, the movie wasn’t ABOUT us. It was about the lives of these women, some of whom, were involved with unsavory black males. The wasn’t so much as saying, “All black men are like this” what it was showing was the hardships these women were facing and their attempts to overcome them. The fact that some of these hardships were brought upon by black men was unfortunate, but the movie wasn’t about that.

        The movie wasn’t about black men mistreating black women, it was just about black women. Period. That’s why I wasn’t offended.

        • Royale W. Cheese

          Excellent point. I tend to hear “the movie bashed black men” as “I’m sick if hearing about black women’s f***in problems” which pretty much boils down to competitive victimhood.

        • https://twitter.com/#!/mackaroto Jay

          I was offended because it was a sh*tty movie.

        • http://www.nicknotnikki.com NicknotNikki

          I was offended because those are hours of my life I can’t get back…

        • Royale W. Cheese

          I was offended that Perry Tyler made the movie…and I didn’t even watch the movie, because well, you know, there’s always gotta be that person and I felt I may as well be her.

    • http://pervertedalchemist.blogspot.com/ Perverted Alchemist

      “All black women want to be portrayed as einstein-intelligent, strong, independant, witty, calm demeanored, and flawlessly beautiful beings despite the fact that such a woman, to my knowledge, doesn’t exist.”

      In the movies or in real life? LULZ!!!

    • GypsyCurl

      When Bill Cosby was trying to get the green light for The Cosby Show, the main critim was that it would not appeal to a white audience because it was untealistic.

      I said that to say, there is nothing unrealistic about portraying black men or women as super intellectual. Besides this is not done anyway. So I dont understand your statement. It is rare to find any movie besides Eddie Murphy’s version of The Nutty Professor, that portrays black men or women as super intelligent.

      • That Ugly Kid

        My point is that black people want to be portrayed as the epitome of perfection no matter what the movie is about. Which annoys me. Take The Wire for example. Notably, Season 4, which dealt with the inner city schools and the lives of poverty stricken children. The Wire is supposed to be a REALISTIC take on street life, so having a cast full of super intelligent, infallible, black characters in that specific setting drastically takes away from the realism of The Wire.

        It’s not the unrealistic aspect itself that bugs me, but the fact that black people often want these unrealistically perfect black characters in movies they have no place of being in. Basically, it’s hard for good “black” movies to be made because we care more about how certain individuals are portrayed, rather than the movie itself. Which is unfair.

  • Royale W. Cheese

    Vincent: And you know what they call a… a… a Quarter Pounder with Cheese in Paris?
    Jules: They don’t call it a Quarter Pounder with cheese?
    Vincent: No man, they got the metric system. They wouldn’t know what the f*ck a Quarter Pounder is.
    Jules: Then what do they call it?
    Vincent: They call it a Royale with cheese.
    ~ Some deep film that you depraved people probably have not seen

    Greetings VSB community, Champ.

    :)

    “I don’t believe in the Illuminati, but I do believe that there’s a secret Black society led by Steadman Graham (Why Steadman? Because he doesn’t have shit else do to.) that forces each burgeoning Black producer or director to cast Paula Patton, Taraji P. Henson, or Meagan Good in their movies. I know it seems far-fetched, but it has to be the only reason why one of those three chicks has been in every single Black movie made in the past eight years.”

    This part made me think of that scene in Mulholland Drive where the Cowboy tells the hapless director “when you see her picture, you will say, ‘this is the girl’.”

    Oh yes, on to the question posed originally, how to make black movies better.

    Stop trying to make black movies and just make good movies, inspired movies, movies that speak from the heart. If they happen to be black, because they spring from a black person’s life long experiences, then so be it. But when one sets out to intentionally make a black movie, one creates a charicature just as bad as the stereotypes generated in some white-directed movies.

    No need to thank me, but in case you have already, you’re welcome.

    ~R

    • Royale W. Cheese

      Give my comment free! Please :)

    • Deeds

      Hey now…I love Pulp Fiction.

    • http://verysmartbrothas.com Panama Jackson

      why would you think that most of us haven’t seen Pulp Fiction?

      • http://pinchmycheekie.wordpress.com Cheekie

        LOL, right? I actually think Tarentino has a large Black audience in general, from my experience. lol

      • Aly

        I think she’s mocking a certain someone…

        • http://pinchmycheekie.wordpress.com Cheekie

          LOL, I just reread it and I now do think that’s what she was doing too. I ain’t had my breffis when I read it before so I was um… slow.

        • That Ugly Kid

          I immediately caught on to this as well. I noticed because I usually read Royale’s comments because I’m honestly entranced by how beautiful her freakin hair is her avi.

          But I see what she did there….

          • http://asiyah3.wordpress.com Asiyah

            “I immediately caught on to this as well. I noticed because I usually read Royale’s comments because I’m honestly entranced by how beautiful her freakin hair is her avi.”

            Right?! Her hair is AMAZING! MashAllah.

      • Royale W. Cheese

        I know you guys have seen it. It’s a classic. I just was spoofin’ a certain someone ;)

        Thanks for the fro love, everyone :)

    • https://twitter.com/#!/NewYork2VA NY2VA

      I’ve seen Pulp Fiction a million times.

      *Rummages through purse to find my Bad Mutha Fcuka wallet*

    • Mena

      Tarentino is horrible. I don’t understand how anyone likes his movies. I heard I should see Inglourious Basterds though before i give him a complete 2 thumbs down.

      • http://verysmartbrothas.com The Champ

        blasphemy!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

        • Mena

          Blasphemy deez!

          You need better taste.

        • Royale W. Cheese

          +1

          VSB heresey!

      • http://commentarybyvalentina.wordpress.com/ Val

        I agree with you, Mena. I hate his films. I especially hate them because he seems to get off on using the ‘N’ word a million times in each of his films.

        • Mena

          His films are so DANG DRY!!! Like come on. I walked out of the room when Kill Bill was playing. Pulp Fiction, only saw 15 minutes. Those are the only 2 that i have “seen” and it was enough for me to know that I do not like him as a director, writer, producer or anything else.

          • http://www.styleillusions.com WIP

            QT films are dry? Wow. Some of them are dialogue/set up heavy- longer periods of time where nothing is necessarily “happening” but dry?? “The Protector” isn’t dry. That being said, I never made it through “Inglorious B@stards”- it’s probably the only film I found a little dry.

            • Mena

              My favorite movie, Sense and Sensibility, had dialogue. My second favorite film A Bronx Tale had great dialogue along with a wonderful soundtrack.

              Tarantino’s movies are just babbling crap. DRY. DRY. DRY. and BORING as all get out. My God I don’t see what everyone sees in him.

              • http://commentarybyvalentina.wordpress.com/ Val

                A Bronx Tale is a classic.

          • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M5FR1LGsT7E TheAnti-Cool

            You walked out on Kill Bill? A pox on your house!

        • Mena

          I totally don’t mind white screenwriters or actors using the N word. It doesn’t get under my skin. In the movie Kids, the main characters use the word left and right. It is a movie and they should be allowed to express themselves however they choose. I can decide if i want to see it or not.

      • https://twitter.com/#!/mackaroto Jay

        GAAAASP!!! Blasphemy indeed!

    • Mena

      Vincent: And you know what they call a… a… a Quarter Pounder with Cheese in Paris?
      Jules: They don’t call it a Quarter Pounder with cheese?
      Vincent: No man, they got the metric system. They wouldn’t know what the f*ck a Quarter Pounder is.
      Jules: Then what do they call it?
      Vincent: They call it a Royale with cheese.
      ~ Some deep film that you depraved people probably have not seen

      Greetings VSB community, Champ.

      Gives head nod.

      • Royale W. Cheese

        lol.