Sunday, March 1, 2009

That's W-I-G-O-U-T.

Due to my work week, I can't really afford to have a typical Friday night, and since I was alone in my apartment, I decided to watch She's Gotta Have It. If you've ever seen any Spike Lee movie from before this decade, you probably already know what kind of man Spike tries to triumph, which made watching this movie, for me, really frustrating. Briefly, you've got pretty boy Greer Childs, unemployed fool Mars Blackmon and the "well-meaning" Jamie Overstreet. In a movie that is about a black woman in the 80s trying to find her own identity, that has female characters that don't feel like they only serve a purpose as background, the dudes in this movie feel really kind of flat. As soon as you meet Greer, you know Spike is going to make it seem like he's the absolute worst choice for Nola. Watch School Daze, his hate of pretty boys beats you over the head. He felt like a kind of cinema straw man, though him calling Jamie and Mars "ghetto negroes" was pretty awesome.

Mars... really had no business dating Nola in the first place, so I couldn't see him as any sort of real option from the start. Unlike Greer, he's one of those "real" black people Spike Lee loves, which seems to be the only reason his character didn't get any real sort of comeuppance or judgement in the end. He's supposed to "grow up" and that's it. As though Spike couldn't bring himself to judge someone who's kind of an idiot. Let me be clear: I love Mars in every way, but in the context of this movie, and the serious turn it takes towards the end, the Hood Rat archetype has to be put in its place, not simply tossed off as immature. As a side note, living in Boston and watching Mars come down hard/truthfully (you be the judge) on Larry Bird was such a sweet moment. "Nobody can cover him," my ass.

Then there's Jamie... who rapes Nola (or to use her words, "near-rapes"). But somehow I should not really feel like he's a bad person, because Nola can't make up her mind anyway, so it goes both ways? This is where he lost me. The inability to come to a conclusion is the definition of a Spike Lee Joint, and while it's great in Do the Right Thing, here... I'm not sure.

ANyway, does anyone remember Doggy Fizzle Televizzle, Snoop Dogg's first foray into TV? I imagine Dogg After Dark can't hold a candle to this:

At some point I'll write about actual rap music again. I've been listening to The W after the release of Raekwon's new singles. I'll get my thoughts together in a little while.

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