Monday, January 19, 2009

The Black "B" Movie Blues - COVER

Today I'm introducing a new regular posting topic, the Black B" Movie Blues. On a semi-regular basis I will focus upon a black film that didn't make it to local movie theater. In some cases, calling these films "B" movies will be extremely generous, but I intend to be very broad-minded in terms of critiquing these films. I look forward to your comments about these films and your suggestions for other films for this regular column.

My first selection is the film, Cover staring Aunjanue Ellis, Leon, and Paula Jai Parker. This film has a few things going for it right from the start. It has recognizable and talented actors, was directed by long-standing actor and director Bill Duke, and seems to have more than a three-dollar budget. The film has an interesting and ambitious story line, approaching the difficult subject of the "down low brother" with surprisingly well-rounded depiction of this convoluted issue, even if the film often falls into very heavy-handed, hand-wringing, and ham-fisted moralizing.

I really view this film as an ambitious failure, watchable, thought-provoking, leaving this viewer wondering what a few more rewrites of the script and a larger budget would have added to the final results of this film. I think this film shows that there are enormous possibilities for making original films about issues related directly to the black community, but that we have significant issues with making films that are not neat and tidy in terms of answering problems that plague us.

Also, black folks need to make better casting choices, the lead actor is really weak, not terrible, but not good either. Patti Labelle is miscast and her every appearance screams, "Miss Patti is here!" I don't know what in the hell happened to Roger G. Smith, but he just doesn't look good anymore and his acting has slipped. I can't believe I'm saying it, but Louis Gosset Jr. and Clifton Davis, both show why at one time they were big stars.

Paula Jai Parker is quite good, but she's got the crazy black bitch role on lock, I wish she would get the chance to play something else. I really like Aunjanue Ellis and she really gives her all in this film. I hate that she has never gotten a movie role really worth her enormous talent. Leon is beautiful as usual and stuck in his repetitive role as the villain.

And I will most definitely run from anyone saying I have something in my eye and would I like them to blow it out for me. You have to see the movie to get my last statement, this repeated phrasing had me cringing, but it made it's point each time.


RainaHavock January 19, 2009 at 3:12 AM  

I saw the movie "Cover" on my way back from the ATL classic with the school. ***Spoilers Ahead***
At first I was going to write this off too but it turned out to be kind of interesting. Granted there were times in the film I got very confused but it was alright. Also that part with the woman trying to commit suicide because of her husband was openly going out and sleeping with other men and she allowed it for the sake of comfort was horrible.

iLuv Brooklyn January 19, 2009 at 9:04 AM  

You know my Moms saw this movie and begged me to see it, b/c it was so "good". LOL

So I found a copy and fast forwarded though most of it...the fake outrage over the wife flirting with her client and then to see that scene where dude was busted. Whoa!

I was not ready to see my Favorite 5-heartbeat like that. And the something in your eye bit, is very creepy. I can't imagine DLs actually saying this...I just want to know how can you tell, do they just say it and hope for the best?

Overall I'd say this movie was aiiight.

Anonymous,  January 19, 2009 at 10:00 AM  

You know, I've seen this around, but never rented or purchased it...and I'm one to search for almost anything black in the stores! Does anyone remember when BET Arabesque books became films?!?! OMG, almost ALL of them are in my favorite is "Masquarade" with Simbi Khali and the dude that played Scooter on Living Single.

But I tend to like/support the straight to DVD movies anyway.

Mista Jaycee January 19, 2009 at 12:31 PM  

I checked this film that Eric Jerome Dickey wrote the screenplay for called Capaccino and it was terrible. A terrible script, just bad all around but it was at least an effort. With all this digital tech,and the ability to produce a cheaper film we would go beyond Superfly, one last big dope deal and we open our drycleaners! At least Bill Duke and Eric J. tried to do something different.

lincolnperry January 19, 2009 at 4:00 PM  

Think What would happen if E Lynn Harris wrote screenplays for his books, and Tyler Perry directed and produced these stories!

msladydeborah January 19, 2009 at 4:17 PM  

You're going to make me start renting films again. Just so I can see this.

From the trailer it looks like a lot of drama and too much trauma. But I am a movie fan and B movies work for me.

Kim January 20, 2009 at 1:50 PM  

I like the movie. Bill Duke directed and he's also directed Not Easily Broken. But Cover I would rate it up there with One Week as a good independent film. The only part I didn't appreciate was when the Pastor and Wife came to visit and they sat on the bed and the you could see the bed just almost sank to the floor..LOL I have a thing about, good bedding, mattress and sheets

Anonymous,  January 20, 2009 at 4:28 PM  

The line of this movie...
"Ryan Charles is HIV positive!"

That damn Leon know he can play a rat, and he plays it well from David Ruffin on down the line.

Divalocity January 21, 2009 at 7:50 AM  

I have this movie and I've purchased several of these movies and I can honestly say many are quite good. I was shocked how this movie turned out because I was not expecting the ending. I check almost every month for new ones. You can tell a good one from a bad one easily because it's all in the packaging. I also like the fact that it keeps black actors working.

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