The mission of The Department of Afro-American Research Arts and Culture to identify the global significance of the creative contributions pioneered by an international diaspora of Blackness
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Showing posts with label 1989. Show all posts
Showing posts with label 1989. Show all posts

Saturday, June 17, 2023

Tap (1989)

"Tap" (1989) is a drama film written and directed by Nick Castle and stars Gregory Hines, Sammy Davis Jr., Suzzanne Douglas, and Joe Morton. As the title suggests, the movie is mostly about tap dancing with a story of redemption. After the 1940s, there were few films about the tap dancing art form that once dominated American entertainment. In particular, tap dancing was a huge part of black entertainment culture during the 1920s, 30s, and 40s.

"Tap" introduced a younger generation to the dance style, so the film includes a mixture of performers from old to new. The legendary tap dancers in the movie were Sammy Davis Jr., Howard 'Sandman' Sims, Bunny Briggs, Steve Condos, Jimmy Slyde, Arthur Duncan, and Harold Nicholas. In addition, Savion Glover starred in the movie as a 14-year-old boy learning from the legends. At the time, Glover was starring on Broadway as a performer. Finally, Gregory Hines connects all the generations in the movie. Suzzanne Douglas performs alongside Hines, displaying her gracefulness as a singer and dancer. 

This film has become a historical artifact because this was the last time an ensemble of legendary tap dancers was in a movie together. The cinematography is excellent, and the music is fantastic. The story is also engaging because actors like Joe Morton and Dick Anthony Williams appear. If you're looking for quality entertainment, I recommend "Tap" for viewing.

Director: Nick Castle
Writer: Nick Castle

Starring Gregory Hines, Suzzanne Douglas, Sammy Davis Jr., Joe Morton, Dick Anthony Williams, Savion Glover, Howard 'Sandman' Sims, Bunny Briggs, Steve Condos, Jimmy Slyde, Arthur Duncan, Pat Rico, and Harold Nicholas

Max Washington (Gregory Hines), an ex-con just released from jail, is a veteran burglar and a talented tap dancer. Reuniting with his girlfriend, Amy (Suzzanne Douglas), Max is approached by her father, Little Mo (Sammy Davis Jr.), about a new dance production. Max's criminal past, in the form of his old buddy, Nicky (Joe Morton), also comes knocking, and he must decide between embracing dance and lapsing into his delinquent ways.

Tuesday, April 4, 2023

The Mighty Quinn (1989)

"The Mighty Quinn" (1989) is an action crime-thriller starring Denzel Washington and directed by Carl Schenkel. Hampton Fancher is responsible for the screenplay, which he adapted from the 1971 novel "Finding Maubee" by A. H. Z. Carr. The film has an established cast starring Robert Townsend, Sheryl Lee Ralph, Mimi Rogers, James Fox, Esther Rolle, M. Emmet Walsh, Art Evans, and Norman Beaton. 

One of Denzel Washington's most underrated movies, "The Mighty Quinn," is a highly amusing film with much to offer. Filmed in Jamacia, the movie has a lush tropical vibe that draws you in with the upbeat Reggae music. Washington leads the way as chief of police in Jamacia, where he is investigating the murder of a hotel resort owner. Among the prime suspects is the longtime friend of the police chief. Throughout the movie, you get an experience of a simply entertaining performance from all involved. 

The movie features Michael Rose and Bob Marley's wife, Rita Marley, singing "Guess Who's Coming to Dinner?" and Sharyl Lee Ralph performing "It's a Living" with two of his daughters, Cedella and Sharon Marley." In addition, Washington gets down on the piano singing Taj Mahal's "Cakewalk into Town."

Robert Townsend plays Maubee well and charmingly. However, he deserved more time on the screen than he got. Esther Rolle was lovely and vibrant as Ubu Pearl. Her screen presence was as strong as ever. In addition, there are a couple of well-known international stars, such as Guyanese actor and longtime United Kingdom resident Norman Beaton and pioneering Jamaican actor and producer Carl Bradshaw. Many of the extras within the movie were natives of Jamacia. 

Overall, the movie is a fun who-done-it film. The cinematography is fantastic and colorful, and the music is energetic. It's a movie you can watch and enjoy. Of course, you can be critical of the accents of some of the American actors, but they did well, and it shows how dedicated they are to their crafts. So, if you're looking for a movie to watch and enjoy, "The Mighty Quinn" is it.

Director: Carl Schenkel
Writers: Albert Z. Carr, Hampton Fancher

Starring Denzel Washington, James Fox, Mimi Rogers, M. Emmet Walsh, Sheryl Lee Ralph, Art Evans, Esther Rolle, Norman Beaton, Alex Colon, Robert Townsend, Tyra Ferrell, Carl Bradshaw, Maria McDonald, Fitz Weir, Baldwin Howe, David McFarlane, Bernie McInerney, Keye Luke, Ron Taylor, Sharon Marley Prendergast, Cedella Marley, Rita Marley, Michael Rose

Police chief Xavier Quinn (Denzel Washington) investigates the gruesome murder of Donald Pater, one of the wealthiest residents on a Caribbean island. He was found decapitated in his jacuzzi. Although the local political establishment, especially crooked Governor Chalk (Norman Beaton), insists that small-time thief Maubee (Robert Townsend) is responsible, Xavier doubts it. However, this view is complicated by the police chief's personal history with Maubee: The men have been friends since childhood.