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 Action. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Action. Show all posts

Tuesday, August 22, 2023

The Substitute (1996)

"The Substitute" (1996) is an action-thriller and cult classic directed by Robert Mandel and stars Tom Berenger and Ernie Hudson. By 1996, Hollywood established that films about white teachers coming to inner-city schools and turning things around were successful enough at the box office to continue to produce. For example, there was "The Principal" (1987), "Dangerous Minds" (1995), "Sunset Park" (1996), and "The Substitute." It was apparent enough that "High School High" was a spoof of those movies. Regardless, "The Substitute" stepped up the level and brought intense action to the inner-city high school theme. Additional cast members include William Forsythe, Marc Anthony, Glenn Plummer, Diane Venora, and Shar-Ron Corley. Inner-city high school-themed movies usually had primarily multicultural student populations. Mandel filmed "The Substitute" at Miami Sr. High School.

Director: Robert Mandel
Writers: Roy Frumkes, Rocco Simonelli, Alan Ormsby

Starring Tom Berenger, Ernie Hudson, Marc Anthony, Glenn Plummer, Diane Venora, Shar-Ron Corley, William Forsythe, Raymond Cruz, William Forsythe, Luis Guzmán, Richard Brooks, Vincent Laresca, Maurice Compte, Beau Weaver, Cliff De Young, Willis Sparks, Noelle Beck, Jody Wilson, Jim Warne, Ian Marioles, María Celedonio, David Spates, David Hayes, Peggy Pope, Rodney A. Grant

Inner-city Miami schoolteacher Jane Hetzko (Diane Venora) gets her knee broken when she stands up to the gang leader, Juan Lacas (Marc Anthony). Her boyfriend, mercenary combat specialist Jonathan Shale (Tom Berenger), goes undercover as a substitute teacher to take down the gang but soon discovers that Lacas is merely an underling for the actual criminal mastermind.

Sunday, July 23, 2023

Romeo Must Die (2000)

"Romeo Must Die" (2000) is an action film starring Jet Li and Aaliyah in her film debut and the only film she appeared in while she was still living. The film also stars Delroy Lindo, Isaiah Washington, Russell Wong, D.B. Woodside, Anthony Anderson, and DMX. Andrzej Bartkowiak was the director, and Mitchell Kapner, Eric Bernt, and John Jarrell were the writers. The soundtrack to the film consisted primarily of hip-hop and RnB debuting at #3 on the Billboard 200.

This film was a mixture of modern Chinese and Black culture. Jet Li recently saw incredible success in the US when he starred in "Lethal Weapon 4." As a result, "Romeo Must Die" was another mainstream introduction for the martial arts star. So Jet Li teaming up with the popularity of DMX and Aaliyah during the late 90s and early 2000s gained him more exposure. In addition, martial arts have been popular among black culture since the 70s in action movies. Martial arts also influenced one of the most significant hip-hop groups ever, so integrating the two cultures was familiar.

"Romeo Must Die" was a blockbuster film distributed by Warner Bros. It was a box office success grossing over $90 million on a $25 million budget. It's a fun action film with some talented actors. There could be more scenes with Li fighting, but overall it's an enjoyable movie. Seeing some of these familiar faces from over 20 years ago is nostalgic.

Director: Andrzej Bartkowiak
Writers: Mitchell Kapner, Eric Bernt, John Jarrell

Starring Jet Li, Aaliyah, Delroy Lindo, Isaiah Washington, Russell Wong, D.B. Woodside, Anthony Anderson, Henry O, Jon Kit Lee, Edoardo Ballerini, Matthew Harrison, Terry Chen, Derek Lowe,

In this martial arts take on Shakespeare's famous tragedy, an ex-policeman is jailed for a crime he didn't commit, and he breaks out to avenge his brother's death in America. He meets Trish O'Day there, and as they fall in love, she helps him in his search. Her father knows more about Li's brother's death than he should, and he and Li are at war soon.