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Tag Archive: Shaft


Cool moves to the third generation in the summer release of the third film in a 48-year spanning series of action movies.  Warner Brothers and New Line Cinema released the first trailer for Shaft, the third film with that title, starring original John Shaft actor Richard Roundtree from the original 1971 movie back again, along with Samuel L. Jackson as his son John II from the 2000 film, and introducing the new member of the family, John, Jr., played by Jessie T. Usher.

Regina Hall and Alexandra Shipp also star in the movie, which follows John, Jr. as he learns the ropes of being the resident tough guy from his father and grandfather.  The trailer was accompanied by the official poster.  The series is based on the character John Shaft from the novel by Ernest Tidyman.  And, of course, the movie is accompanied by the Academy Award winning theme song by Isaac Hayes, one of the noted best radio songs of the 1970s.

Here’s the too cool, first trailer for the latest Shaft:

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The Equalizer poster A

This weekend’s release of the first trailer for The Equalizer, starring Denzel Washington as Robert McCall, a role originally cast in the 1980s by British actor Edward Woodward in a successful four-season television series, brings up yet again the age-old question of when you can change a character’s race or sex in a retelling and when you can’t, or shouldn’t.

Can Kojak, originally played by Telly Savalas, an American actor of Greek heritage, be played by a black actor, so long as he’s also bald (as played by Ving Rhames in the 2005 remake)?

When adapting comic books to film, can you change Perry White (as in The Amazing Spider-man series) and Nick Fury ( as in The Avengers movie series) from white to black?  Can you change Johnny Storm from white to Latin (as in the next Fantastic Four)?  Does it matter that his sister is played by someone white?  What if the sister is Latin and the brother is white (as in the first Fantastic Four movies)?  Should Wonder Woman be played by anyone who isn’t Greek (see American Lynda Carter in the 1970s TV series or Israeli actress Gal Gadot in the forthcoming Superman vs Batman)?  Can Harvey Dent be black (as played by Billy Dee Williams in the 1989 Batman)?  A black orphan Annie (another new film)?

Equalizer teaser poster

How much of any of these characters–the essential elements of these characters–is about what their race is?  Is any?

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Black Dynamite cover 1

Former CIA agent, international ladies man, and sworn ass-kicking enemy of The Man… he’s BLACK DYNAMITE.

IDW Publishing is releasing a new comic book series tomorrow that will be a must for many readers’ comic book store pull lists, Black Dynamite.  Based on the 2010 movie and Adult Swim animated series by Michael Jai White, Byron Minns, and Scott Sanders, the new comic book series is almost a mash-up of Shaft meets Fat Albert and the Cosby Kids.  Black Dynamite is the first time the character has his own ongoing monthly series.  He is, of course, THE greatest action star of the 1970s–he has a way with the ladies and a way with getting in the middle of the action.  Written by Brian Ash with pencils by Ron Wimberly, inks by Sal Buscema and colors by J.M. Ringuet, the first issue has the retro look of the art and design found in Bill Cosby’s 1970s animated series featuring kids living around a Philadelphia junkyard.

Black Dynamite alt cover variant

He’s the biggest, baddest, meanest, most not to be trifled with dude in the history of the universe and he’s coming to comics!  Such superlatives could only describe one man.  A former CIA agent and expert in all disciplines of international ass kicking and a thirst for the sweet nectar of justice, hero to the downtrodden, sworn enemy of the Man… BLACK DYNAMITE!

BD alt cover

Black Dynamite is an off-the-wall introduction to the blaxploitation meets kung-fu films of the early 1970s.  It’s a series you could imagine coming from Quentin Tarentino, complete with the action and the look and feel you’d find in Grindhouse.  Is that Richard Roundtree and Pam Grier?

And check out that Marvel Comics circa 1975-inspired cover.

Click here for a seven-page look at Black Dynamite, Issue #1.

Black Dynamite, Issue #1 hits comic book stores tomorrow, January 15, 2014.

C.J. Bunce
Editor
borg.com

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