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Terry The Terrorist checks out SHAFT and says oooooh yeaaaah

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

Readers Talkback
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  • June 5, 2000, 4:10 a.m. CST


    by BobbyDigital

    Yeah, but is there any shagging?

  • June 5, 2000, 5:52 a.m. CST

    Perfect Casting


    Sam is the Man!

  • June 5, 2000, 5:55 a.m. CST

    what's that blaxploitation flick...

    by Jon L. Ander

    that we were talking about on a previous Shaft talkback where some guy strangles people with his giant cock? I forget you see.. P.S if this is a hit will we see a remake of Shaft in Africa?

  • June 5, 2000, 8:54 a.m. CST

    Totally deformed

    by not_a_jedi_yet

    Has anyone noticed that the "Mrs. Robinson" in Harry's new graphic has a leg that is hideously deformed? It looks like she had the lower half of her leg amputated, then had a prosthetic device made to appear "sexy," but it's attached very poorly.

  • June 5, 2000, 9:54 a.m. CST

    Like a RhineStone Cowboy!!

    by The Equalizer

    In response to an earlier comment, yes, the leg is prosthetic!! But fair play to the fat monkey, he knows how to create funny animations on a daily basis!! And my second point, they made Shaft!! It still makes me weep when I think of people sitting in offices in Hollywood saying something like: "Well, you know, that script for a Sci-Fi/Action/Horror/Period Drama/Thriller is great and all, but what we want, as a studio, is to remake films that cannot get any better than the originals. How about making Shaft..again. No, I've got a better idea, how about RollerBall. Fuck it, lets remake Reservoir Dogs and Citizen Kane to boot!!" You may be able to see where I'm coming from here. Hopefully it will be a good film, but please studios, take a leaf out of Gus Van Sant's book and watch Psycho, the original, and tell me why remake it?

  • June 5, 2000, 10:49 a.m. CST

    Shaft is the man!

    by Mikuji

    i knew this movie was gonna rock.... saw the trailer, saw Mr. Jackson in his gear.... hopefully Isaac Hayes will appear somewhere in the background in the film.. that would be great

  • June 5, 2000, 11:27 a.m. CST

    SOUL VENGEANCE or Welcome Home Brother Charles

    by MOSDEF

    The Blaxplotation flick where the guy strangles people with his *ahem* "manhood" is called Welcome Home Brother Charles (or some video releases have been retitled SOUL VENGEANCE) and was directed by Jamaa "Penitentary" Fanaka. For me SHAFT is my most highly anticipated movie this summer. Brothas NEVER get to KICK ASS... all we're relegated to is comedy. Nice to see a BLACK ACTION HERO (first time since BLADE). I hope this is a hit. maybe they'll remake THREE THE HARD WAY and cast Ving Rhames, Wesley Snipes, and Sam Jackson. And then what the HELL? Remake "COFFY" with Lisa "Ally Mcbeal" Nicole Carson!

  • June 5, 2000, 11:47 a.m. CST

    Right On, MOSDEF

    by mrbeaks

    I personally believe there should be some kind of Bond-type character in the works for Taye Diggs. That guy's so charismatic, he even made HOUSE ON HAUNTED HILL watchable (though I still have *no* plans to *ever* see HOW STELLA GOT HER GROOVE BACK. I liked the story better when it was a stand-up routine in EDDIE MURPHY RAW.) Oh, and nice User ID. It's always welcome to see a true M.C. gettin' his props on this board.

  • June 5, 2000, 12:12 p.m. CST

    * spoilers * you have been warned...

    by Devils Halo

    First of all.. this wasn't that great a script. It had its moments and snappy one liners, but what is this movie really? It's a Dirty Harry movie with the racial roles reversed. It also had some holes. that's HOLES, not HOs. I mean the villians aren't the strongest, to the point that there are two. I think it's evident in the trailer so it's not worth a spoiler warning, but i will get to the point in the next couple sentences... i'll run most of the words together for you spoiler warning impaired folks... whydowenevergetintroducedtothevictimsmother? sheplaysapivotalroleandwehavetotakeforgrantedwhosheis. whatshedoesatthefilmsendreallymakeseverythingshaftdidseemmeaningless. whybotherwithgettingdianepalmieriinthefirstplace? therewasenoughevidenceintheflashbacktoconvictwadethewhitey. andwhybotherteaminguppeopleswithwade? becausetwovilliansmeansyouhaveweakcharacters. ok, so that's about it. no real spoilers, but things to think about in the movie. it was a fun movie.. hit all my expectations, tho Singleton has to learn how to shoot action sequences without coming off as a poor man's Antoine Fuqua.

  • June 5, 2000, 12:36 p.m. CST

    Sam's auditions finally paid off...

    by David Lopan

    Now it all makes sense. Sam Jackson has been auditioning for Shaft in some of his previous movies. It will be interesting to see if he finally hits it this time.

  • June 5, 2000, 1:14 p.m. CST

    Who's the kiss-ass reviewer with all the plugs?

    by RedRockWest

    Are Shaft and Titan AE being released by the same studio? Harry, I know your spy network extends to moles inside the studio megapolis but this guy Terry The Terrorist sounds like a P.R. rep. Movie reviews should exclude "congrats" or any other shameless plug or "send out."

  • June 5, 2000, 1:16 p.m. CST


    by Skllbns

    To quote my generation's greatest songsmith: Do you ever get the feeling you've been cheated? If Hollywood was running the auto industry, we'd still be driving around in Pintos and Le Cars. I mean, can anyone really admit to getting excited to see SHAFT? Hell, even if I was mildly interested, I'd keep it to myself. I mean, gee whiz, I can understand excitement over GLADIATOR and STAR WARS and I can even actually understand why people might get excited over SPIDERMAN, but SHAFT? First of all, a remake has already been made - it's called I'M GONNA GIT YOU SUCKA and it was friggin hilarious. It was perfect because it was a parody, and that's what SHAFT is ripe for -- parody. Anyway, don't get too excited. Remember, Hollywood has a knack for remaking B-movie crap classics and vintage crap television and making them WORSE than the original.

  • June 5, 2000, 1:43 p.m. CST

    I thought the summer of '99 was bad...then along came the summer

    by the_pissboy1

    That was a movie review? Why didn't the reviewer just come right out and state he wants to take on Samuel Jackson and Singleton in some wild threeway? Gawd what a sorry review. So far the summer of 2000 is shaping up to be the worst in memory. Not one good movie has hit threaters this summer and from the looks of the next few months that will hold true. Argh.

  • June 5, 2000, 1:50 p.m. CST


    by ghettobaby

    I dont know about this flick it doesn't look raw enough.I remember seeing the original SHAFT and a buncha other blaxplotation flicks growin up and this one looks too clean.I think john singleton is still trying to be the black spielberg.The hughs bros. would've been a better choice to make this film.Note to all future filmmakers who wanna make a blaxplotation flick, make it raw make it ghetto make it something people would say now thats a bad muthafucka,and most of all keep it close to the streets.Because to me this new version just looks like a typical hollywood cop movie replacing the white boy with a black man.

  • June 5, 2000, 3:28 p.m. CST


    by mephisto666

    Personally I can't get all that hyped about re-makes. And Harry, lose that damn American Pie pop up. It's even more annoying than Denise Richards.

  • June 5, 2000, 3:37 p.m. CST

    Still not convinced

    by Stilt-Man

    The trailers for the film make it look like it is one step above one of those saturday afternoon 2 star action/thriller movies you see on upn. The action looks like it is in the been there, done that category. The villain of the film looks like a hispanic stereotype we have all seen done to death. The damsel in distress route in the trailer looks like nothing I have not seen before. The "one-liners" in the trailer do not impress me. Samuel Jackson's "acting" in the trailer looks like nothing that will advance his career (police chief, or whatever berates him for abusing a suspect, then he hits the suspect again and goes you mean that, or something to that effect...groan, how many times have we seen a similar scene in other films). I thik people want this movie to not suck so bad, that they are trying to ignore the trailers and look to positive reviews to influence their desire to enjoy the film. Unfortunately, the "positive" review makes me agree with the people who look at certain reviews as plants (I NEVER thought I would agree with the talkbackers who tend to over-react and immediately label certain reviews as obvious plants, usually roll my eyes at them in fact). Shaft better than MI2, come on folks...I have no problems if you hate the film, but to honestly say the trailer for Shaft makes you want to make the leap and say Shaft is better without having seen the movie in its entirety, is a leap of faith I would dare not make.

  • I say we round up all the positive reviews that Harry has written, or has posted, in the last year or so, and notice the decline in solid, believeable, and trustworthy opinions that he has to provide. I remember when he first started writing on the site; his reviews weren't tainted by anyone other than himself and possibly a side-note from Moriarty. If I read his reviews, I knew that I was in for a good movie, since I believe that he could discern utter "feelgood!" crap from a true gem. Zip back to the present: Harry is using his website to manipulate studios into giving him free buffet lunches and flying him to previews, and all the while he's the true puppet, and his thumbs up has the ability to bring in a good 10 mil. extra (or more) at the total box office gross. Harry got caught up in the glitz and glamour of being on TV with Ebert, or having his own animations, or being called "the most influential critic alive." Don't take him seriously anymore.

  • June 5, 2000, 4:39 p.m. CST


    by MrKearns

    And thanks for the ad popup window, too.

  • June 5, 2000, 5:48 p.m. CST

    Yeah, I got burned on "The Messenger" too.

    by Dave_F

    Pun intended. I rented that flick along with a few others, and about halfway through it realized it was totally emotionally unaffecting. Moved on to the next movie without a second thought. Luc Besson, what happened to you? "La Femme Nikita" and "The Professional" are among the most innovative modern action flicks I've seen...and then comes "The Fifth Element" and "The Messenger"? Hunh? Did the colossal misfire of "Element" permanently derail all your filmmaking subtlety? I can only assume so. It takes a pretty bad movie for me to cut it off halfway. Anyway, I trust Joan made out okay in the end, right? ******* Back on the topic for a moment - word of "M:I2" has been bad from my friends, so I'll probably wait for video on that one. As for "Shaft", unless it's hailed by critics across the land, I'll trust my preview instincts and avoid it. The preview tries so hard to make Sam Jackson cool that he really doesn't seem cool at all. And glowing reviews like this one...well, they're hard to trust.

  • . . .but it sounds to me like someone is trying to cash in on the Shaft(tm) brand-name. Let me see if I get this straight: Shaft is a cop who DOESN'T play by the rules? How innovative. Essentially, this movie sounds like "Action Jackson."

  • June 6, 2000, 3:37 a.m. CST

    Heeeey, wait a minute Zeno...

    by Dave_F made an "Action Jackson" reference in a Batman Talkback a few days ago, and now I see yet ANOTHER? Ah-ha, a closet "Action Jackson" fan. I'd suspected as much for some time, and now I see the proof. Remember, acknowledging that you have a problem is the first step towards beating it. On a different note, let's avoid jumping to conclusions about "Shaft" being a copy of "Action Jackson" just 'cause he's a cop who doesn't follow the rules and happens to be black. You wouldn't saddle the dozens of renegade white movie cops as being "Dirty Harry" knock-offs would you? Right, so let's not saddle our black brothers, or anyone for that matter, with the crap-o legacy of *shudder* "Action Jackson". On another level, I agree with you that making Shaft a cop instead of a private dick is fairly sacrilegious. Does Isaac Hayes' updated theme song reflect this with a good cheesy dubbing, I hope? "Who's the black LAW-ABIDING POLICE OFFICER that's a sex machine with all the chicks?" Oh wait, Shaft's not a sex machine any more either. Guess they'll just dump that line. Feh, no wonder I ain't seeyin' this flick.

  • June 6, 2000, 8:21 a.m. CST

    RE: Um... The Well Endowed Jackass

    by mrbeaks

    What the hell are you talking about? And why do you people *insist* on bringing Peter Noone into this mess? Sweet Nipsey, is reading comprehension ever at a premium nowadays. Oh, and if I may invoke Jack Burton on this dark and stormy night..... "where's my truck!?!?"

  • June 6, 2000, 11:27 a.m. CST


    by MrKearns

    Hell no, Harry could bring in a few thousand extra, not 10 mil. That's an... *extremely* bloated estimate... I was off on a rant and had just listened to about 3 hours of that conspiracy theory radio. I see you confused the hell out of MrBeaks, though... heh heh. I dunno. Harry's just... an ass, but I doubt he's got any real big pull anywhere. Gravitational, maybe, but not reviewers pull. I just kinda had an anti-AICN day, with the Smits casting and all that stuff that was going on with Harry and the other leading sites.

  • Damn you Carl Weathers! With your promises of cheap and easy renegade cop excitement! Thanks for talking me down off that ledge, Cormorant. You know how it is: first you watch a renegade cop movie on HBO because "there's nothing better to do," or, "there's nothing else on." Just a little Clint Eastwood, just to see what it's like. The next thing you know, you're in the action section of the video store, eyeing the box of Bullitt, starring Steve McQueen. Soon, you're watching McQ starring John Wayne, and Cobra with Sylvester Stallone, even the First Deadly Sin with Frank Sinatra. You're watching Burt Reynolds movies that you never knew existed. Before you know it, things are spiralling out of control: you'll take any fix you can get, including The Punisher, starring Dolph Lungren. Then finally, you wake up one morning curled up in a ball on floor, where you spend the rest of the day rocking back and forth, praying for a T.J. Hooker rerun, something, ANYTHING, just to get you through the day. The renegade cop movie is indeed a force to be reckoned with, and I can't promise that I won't see Shaft. All I can say is I'll just try to make it One Day At A Time (the philosophy, not the sitcom).

  • June 6, 2000, 12:55 p.m. CST

    SAM is SHAFT

    by thegilamon

    Samuel L. Jackson ROCKS !! What a bad mudder of a Shaft! I recall Jackson making the comment in regards to the role of "Shaft" dressing to kill in a custom-made black duster which stretches to his ankles " I want the wind to catch it in a certain way. Kinda that John Woo-esque action thing which always work for Chow Yun-Fat". Its a tingling feeling to know that my hero, Samuel L. Jackson is also a fan of my other hero, Chow Yun-Fat. What taste ! Together with Tommy Lee Jones and Chow Yun-Fat, he is the third of the the Unholy Trinity that I would like to see sharing the same marquee of a bad-assed of a super-duper action movie as yet to be made. Now lets just hope some Hollywood producers have the business acumen to do this and make piles of money. :) Pardon me, I just like to dream in technicolor.

  • June 6, 2000, 3:25 p.m. CST

    No, Richard Roundtree is Shaft, Sam is Shaft's nephew...

    by FlickChick

    Just had make that little correction. Sam, is cool actor, but I'll bet none of ya'll knew who he was prior to Pulp Fiction... Check Jungle Fever, that was the best acting I've seen from him, but I digress...There is only ONE Shaft and that's Richard Roundtree...

  • June 6, 2000, 9:43 p.m. CST

    Sam Jackson IS Hawk!

    by Bond7

    After watching the trailer for Shaft, I'm got psyched thinking about Jackson as Hawk in a big-screen adaption of one of Robert B. Parker's Spenser books. Add Russell Crowe as Spenser and you have yourself a movie! Those books are dying to be filmed and both the Robert Urich TV show and the current Joe Mantegna A&E movies just don't do them justice. Avery Brooks was a killer Hawk on the show, but that was 15 years ago. Jackson would be perfect.

  • June 6, 2000, 11:13 p.m. CST


    by kurosawa-sensei

    geezus, harry.... come on!!!!!