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Cameron H.

Musical Mondays Week 75 Fear of a Black Hat

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I watched this a ton in high school and college. I liked it so much I made a cassette of all the songs so I could listen to the music. I watched it for the first time in at least 15 years a few months ago and was surprised how well it holds up (except for the homophobic scene with the choreographer).

It is sharp and funny and a pretty solid parody of hip hop at the time. I still argue there's no justice that CB4 was pretty well known at the time and this very superior movie flew over the radar. 

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Yeah, I liked this movie a lot. It was very much of its time, but for the most part, I felt like it held up pretty well.

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I'm at home with my daughter, who had a nasty fall yesterday. It's been a harrowing 24 hours to say the least but all will be well. The upshot is that I've got a little time of my hands to weigh in on this, one of my favorite movies from high school. Like Cameron and grudian pointed out, this movie holds up well enough, although for 1993 it is a little backward looking. One of the hidden gems of this movie is that you get a window into a time that is nearly completely forgotten now. Almost anyone can remember Vanilla Ice and his tragicomic career has been covered elsewhere, but who remembers P.M. Dawn? I mean they fucking nailed those guys. 

pmdawn.jpg.7e5cd51261bc90097a413bd2fb556126.jpg

Plus, all the Cross Colours (!), a brand that was pretty much dead by the time this movie was released. Anyways, I have a fair number of thoughts on this movie but I'll leave it there. I'm generally impressed that they could pull this movie off for $1 million and a single recognizable actor (Larry Charles).

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48 minutes ago, joel_rosenbaum said:

I'm at home with my daughter, who had a nasty fall yesterday. It's been a harrowing 24 hours to say the least but all will be well. The upshot is that I've got a little time of my hands to weigh in on this, one of my favorite movies from high school. Like Cameron and grudian pointed out, this movie holds up well enough, although for 1993 it is a little backward looking. One of the hidden gems of this movie is that you get a window into a time that is nearly completely forgotten now. Almost anyone can remember Vanilla Ice and his tragicomic career has been covered elsewhere, but who remembers P.M. Dawn? I mean they fucking nailed those guys. 

image.png.705c2d6bc5335798f931946b791a741c.png

Plus, all the Cross Colours (!), a brand that was pretty much dead by the time this movie was released. Anyways, I have a fair number of thoughts on this movie but I'll leave it there. I'm generally impressed that they could pull this movie off for $1 million and a single recognizable actor (Larry Charles).

Sorry to hear about your daughter’s fall. Glad to hear she’s on the mend.

Yes! I loved the PM Dawn bit! 

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5 hours ago, joel_rosenbaum said:

'm at home with my daughter, who had a nasty fall yesterday. It's been a harrowing 24 hours to say the least but all will be well.

Hope your daughter is healing well (obviously). I don’t have any kids but I do work in an elementary school (and have a niece and two nephews) and kids’ Injuries can be traumatic for all involved (again, I’m being captain obvious, but it’s true).

As for the movie, I really enjoy it, largely because it functions as a time capsule so successfully and because it’s really fucking funny. I wish the homophobic stuff wasn’t there, but it does accurately reflect that problem with rap music itself, especially during that era. It’s a very 90s movie in that respect, as others have noted. 

But there are tons of classic quotes and it’s insanely impressive that Rusty Cundieff not only wrote and directed the film, but co-wrote all the songs. I also love the PM Dawn stuff, plus the C&C Music Factory parody, the scene where the agent tries to persuade them to wear paper hats when they can’t find their real ones, and Kurt friggin Loder killing it in a cameo role!

i’ll also add that some moments, such as the stand off with the security guard, genuinely made me feel uncomfortable in reflecting how little times have changed (that was one section where my friend who I was watching it with said “I can’t laugh at this”). What was true in 1993 remains true twenty-six years later. Holy fucking shit.

i had hoped to add some insight from a director’s  commentary—I own the DVD—but I was under the weather this weekend and didn’t get around to watching  it. When I do, if there’s anything notable, I’ll post about it.

All in all, it’s not flawless but it’s a film that deserves a following, I think.

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Yea this was really fun to see again. I did find that some of the jokes were told in fairly amateurish ways, like it was just a first draft almost, but so many of the details and costumes and music and attitude is so perfectly spoofed, overall, the movie still works.

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There were so many sections and bits from this movie that were so dead-on, and the music was so good, my jaw was on the floor. Other times, like I mentioned in my Letterboxd review, there is only so much parody of the misogyny and homophobia in hip hop culture of the time you can do before it becomes just that. Show nearly naked butts as you sing about wanting to put your penis inside it isn't making fun of it, it just is that thing. We are what we pretend to be.

Ultimately though, the movie is just too entertaining to be denied, and really feels like a proper skewering of rap and hip hop tropes. This is the era of hip hop that I have listened to the most, so maybe those tropes are just imbedded in my brain, with easy access for these jokes. The cast is wonderful, the performances are note-perfect, and there are one-liners galore (even if some are big ol' duds). I had never heard of this movie before watching it for Musical Mondays, but I am very glad I did. Thanks for introducing me to it!

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Also I'll add, it's the best type of parody - the one that actually loves its target. These guys like rap music and that's why they can dig into its ethos so well

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also #RIP Ric Ocasek

"White Cops on Dope": Only available on the motion picture soundtrack and DVD bonus features. The song is a musical parody of the Tubes' "White Punks on Dope", and is based on the trend of rappers working with rock bands (such as the Run-D.M.C./Aerosmith version of "Walk This Way") in an effort to cross over to mainstream audiences. Ric Ocasek of the Cars is featured on the track."

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Just for fun... a highlight of the movie, whether you’ve seen it or not!

The sunflower dancing is the icing on the cake.

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Apologies all for being MIA. I got a very serious strep infection in my left foot. I have been in the hospital since 9/16.  It appears I will get to go home tomorrow so I hope to be able to join next week’s mayhem.

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Just now, Cinco DeNio said:

Apologies all for being MIA. I got a very serious strep infection in my left foot. I have been in the hospital since 9/16.  It appears I will get to go home tomorrow so I hope to be able to join next week’s mayhem.

Oh geez! I was going to reach out to you today and ask how you were. I’m sorry about your foot, but I’m glad you’re on the mend! Get well soon!

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3 hours ago, Cinco DeNio said:

Apologies all for being MIA. I got a very serious strep infection in my left foot. I have been in the hospital since 9/16.  It appears I will get to go home tomorrow so I hope to be able to join next week’s mayhem.

Yikes! Like Cameron said, I’m glad you’re on the mend and that you’re on your way out of the hospital. I hope you feel better soon.

 

 

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@Cinco DeNio I echo the "get well soon" sentiments. I'm sorry you've had to go through these ongoing medical issues, but I sincerely hope you get back to fighting shape soon!

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My apologies to Graham S. I did my best to try to get ahold of this movie but after much searching it was not released in Japan. I tried Vuduu or whatever that site is called but it's region locked. I was looking for to this as I was wondering how it would stack up against CB4.

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