Alright folks, Harry here and I'm excited about this film. In the earlier stages, the reviews were lacking for the film, but with each subsequent test screening and reshoots... The film's performance has seemed to have improved. And that's exactly as it should be. Now, I'll be seeing SHAFT on Thursday here in Austin, and I can't wait... right after the screening I'll be headed to the Alamo Drafthouse to check out.... SHAFT there as well, though not with SAM THE MAN... Till Thursday, Terry has the floor...
Hello all in geek land.
You know the song, you know the man. Talkn' about-SHAFT! Damn right.
I can't get that song out of my head. Anyway Terry the Terrorist here, I was on Hollywood Blvd working on a project to, uh, improve traffic went I found out that an advance screening of Shaft was about to go on. I made a call to the 'Network' and found my self in a mixed race, mixed gender, mixed age screening group. But the common bond between us all was Shaft.
Now you know that Sam "The Baddest Mother Fucker Ever" L. Jackson is John Shaft. Don't worry a bit, if you thought Mr. Jackson, as he should be referred to from now on, was bad before, you haven't seen nothing yet!
Now, what movie delivers ten times out of ten? Shaft. Exactly.
After seeing MI:2 I was asking myself, is all action that empty? Just a lot of stunts and no substance? I know know the answer, Hell No!
Shaft is a tight, tense and great action movie. I hate to put movies in to genres because the good ones never fit. This movie defines genre, the drama is intense, the action is mind blowing(for some characters, literally) and the comedy is hilarious.
John Shaft is a detective for the NYPD. He is a great detective that tries his best ot work inside the law but gets angrier as the law fails him and the people again and again. When a black man is beaten to death by a rich white man, Walter(Christian Bale), and the white boy leaves town, Shaft waits to bring him in. However, all the white lawyers will keep him out of jail unless Shaft can find the only witness to the crime(Toni Collette).
Meanwhile, Shaft gets frustrated by a "small time, three block pusher" named Peoples (Played by utter brilliance by Jeffrey Wright). After meeting in jail, Walter wants Peoples to find and kill Toni Collette's character. Peoples is willing to do this but it will cost Walter. From there the plot keeps moving and sends in plenty of surprises to keep it interesting.
Vanessa L Williams plays Shaft's partner in the NYPD and Busta Rhymes is his outside driver. See, Shaft is well respected in the police, they are all frustrated as well with the law and look to Shaft to hand out street justice. The best part is Richard Roundtree plays J. Shaft, the private dick who gets all the chicks. Uncle Shaft wants his nephew to work with him. He sees how Shaft can not work with in the law, he knows after all.
I can not say enough good things about his movie, the writing is great and you will want Shaft working for you. Hell, all the characters owe Shaft favors and gladly turn them in to help him make things right. Although a theme of the movie is racism, it is treated well. It's not about black or white, it's about wrong and right. It's about respect. Shaft is a hero but not a super hero. With all the wire tricks lately it's nice to see an ordinary man dish out justice.
Now to let you all know this ain't for the kiddies. The violence is raw, but not exploitive. The action is intense and very real. Guns are not glamorous, when a character fires a weapon it is loud and it has concequecnces.
Over all I thought the movie was well done and extremely well acted. All of the characters you could relate to in some way. The plot had perfect pacing and the writing was great. Congrats to John Singleton for making a great movie. And congrats to Mr. Jackson, Vanessa L Williams, Busta Rhymes, Christian Bale, Richard Roundtree and especially Jeffrey Wright. I haven't seen a bad guy this good and scary in a long time.
Now go see this movie on Friday and then see Titan A.E. on Saturday. They both open June 16th and both are well worth the price of admission.
Remember, who's the man?
Terry the Terrorist