Great Movies on DVD for Black History Month.

Discussion in 'DVD' started by Lloyd White, Feb 4, 2004.

  1. Lloyd White

    Lloyd White Stunt Coordinator

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    All of these are original movies produced by either HBO or Showtime that I feel are extremely good movies filled with drama so profound and emotional, that I just can't stop watching them over and over. That and I am interested in the real American history, not the sanitized version. I believe they are all available on DVD, according to Amazon.com. DVDAF doesn't have most of these listed for some reason, but I'll fix that shortly.

    Boycott - About the Montgomery MS bus boycot that touched off the civil rights movement in the 50's. Jeffery Wright is almost too convincing as MLK. I also like how the movie humanizes MLK and the folks beyond the Boycott (such as MLK was drafted not because he wanted it, but nobody wanted the job to lead a boycott that was surely thought to fail). The movie is well directed, as he mixes up the pacing and keeps it brisk and never boring, with some music pieces, different film stock.

    I really wish this director would've done a whole series of movies on the whole Civil Rights movement from MLK's perspective. Wright is unbelievable as an actor, and the cast of supporting actors,each one of them turns out for this flick. Just a great movie. The only mark against the film was the cheesy ending credits sequence, but that's easily ignored. The DVD has a directors's commentary that is pretty informative.

    Deacons For Defense - Peaceful protests enrage racial tensions in the south. Almost the same situation as in Boycott, only a different solution to the problem, as violence seemed to not be avoided. Not that they didn't try, as both points of view are put to the test. Supercharged emotional drama that just jumps off the screen that grabs you and makes you feel something. That's why I love these films so much.

    10,000 Black Men Named George - About the forming of the first black union in the US, in Chicago. Again, some outragously authentic and real emotional performances. Charles Dutton (aka Roc) is off the hook in this movie. If you are into movies with characters that confront each other with very strong arguements on both sides, then this is it. The acting supercharged, as the stakes are pretty high from the prospective of the characters. Andre Braugher is also amazing. Directed by Robert Townsend. These actors command respect by just walking through the door, one of the reasons why I can't get enough of these movies.

    Keep the Faith, Baby - About a controversial black congressment from Harlem, Adam Clayton Powell Jr. I know, another Biopic, but yet another unbelievably good performance by an obscure actor, Harry Lennix. A very flamboyant acting turn with all types of mannerisms. He got across how strong willed and how strong of an interesting character Powell Jr. was. I actually never heard of him before this film. The movie, while sympathetic, does show some of the more negative sides of his life, including his ego getting in the way of joining MLK (and going out of his way to derail his movement). Also stars Vanessa Williams.

    Has anybody seen these films? Anybody who wants riveting drama should at least rent these films, and hell, this month is as good as any. This is the topnotch of the topnotch, that showcases the talents of the best in Hollywood. After watching these back to back to back, I was feening for some more of that topnotch drama from anywhere! So if anybody knows any other films (doesn't matter how well known) concerning black history that are topnotch go ahead and tell us. It would be appreciated.
     
  2. William Waits

    William Waits Stunt Coordinator

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    They need to put Murder in Mississippi on DVD. It was a made-for-TV-movie prequel to Mississippi Burning, and it is as good as the theatrical release...

    It stars Blair Underwood in by far his best performance.

    ------------

    Actually, I misuderstood the topic... I thought it was movies that SHOULD be on DVD...
     
  3. Eric Fisher

    Eric Fisher Stunt Coordinator

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    "To Kill a Mockingbird"
     
  4. LisaDoris

    LisaDoris Stunt Coordinator

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    If you're going with HBO films you should also include The Tuskegee Airmen which is a wonderful film. No extra features to speak of but the film itself is incredible.
    Soul of the Game is also amazing and keeps with the Blair Underwood props. Details the integration of MLB by Jackie Robinson.

    My students are watching Boycott this semester and last semester I had my class watch 10,000. Most of them didn't bother to watch the movie but those who did were just amazed - nobody knew who A. Philip Randolph was.

    Devil in a Blue Dress is also a good film if people are interested in how race was lived at that time. Carl Franklin is a talented director and Don Cheadle blows everybody out of the water in this movie. The commentary track is OK; nothing to write home about.

    And in yet another Denzel movie, might I plug A Soldier's Story. Great cast, great movie, good special features on the DVD. The commentary is fine but the real accomplishment is the documentary about black men in the armed forces during that time.
     
  5. StephenA

    StephenA Screenwriter

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    Glory is a good one to watch.
     
  6. Lloyd White

    Lloyd White Stunt Coordinator

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    That's the thing that I'm worried about, the indifference. My main point about watching these films is not just to see history some would like to forget, but to enjoy really intense, all out drama. I figure, people that are into drama would be interested in these movies, no matter what their background is.
     
  7. Lloyd White

    Lloyd White Stunt Coordinator

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    one last bump...
     
  8. Mark Cappelletty

    Mark Cappelletty Cinematographer

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    Most studios seem to use Black History Month as an excuse to release blaxploitation movies from the early '70's. I love the titles by and large, but it seems more than inapporopriate when movies like The Learning Tree or even a satire like Watermelon Man have yet to be released.
     
  9. Kenny Goldin

    Kenny Goldin Second Unit

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    Lean On Me. True story and very powerful. One of my faves.[​IMG]
     

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