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Posts Tagged ‘capoeira’

Besouro

Friday, March 18th, 2011

tn_besouroHere’s a nice surprise, just something I found at the video store that I never heard of before, sounded interesting from the description on the box and it turned out it was. BESOURO is another movie based on the life of a legendary martial artist, except not an Asian one. This is a Brazilian film about a capoeira fighter.

The movie takes place in 1924. A narrator tells us that it’s less than 40 years after slavery ended in Brazil, that Africans are still treated like shit, that their religions and the practice of capoeira are outlawed. The setting is a small settlement where mostly African-Brazilians live, but they work in the sugar cane fields for an asshole white Colonel who uses the n-word more than 50 Cent does (played by Michael Richards [no, not really, but wouldn’t that be weird though?]). (read the rest of this shit…)

Only the Strong

Thursday, October 1st, 2009

tn_onlythestrongLadies and gentlemen, I present to you the best find of my Back To School Special. Maybe THE SUBSTITUTE is better, but I’d already seen that one before so I knew what to expect. This is a surprisingly natural hybrid of the inspirational teacher movie with the American martial arts star vehicle. It embraces the necessary corniness of both genres and seems a little more sincere about the turning kids around aspect than THE SUBSTITUTE does. And it came out in ’93, three years earlier.

It stars American Iron Chef host Mark Dacascos and it’s directed by long-time Van Damme collaborator Sheldon Lettich. This is his third directational work after LIONHEART and DOUBLE IMPACT. Dacascos plays Louis Stevens, a peace time Green Beret who fell in love with the martial art capoeira while stationed in Brazil. He was apparently some kind of troublemaking kid until a good teacher named Mr. Kerrigan (EVERY WHICH WAY BUT LOOSE sidekick Geoffrey Lewis) turned him around and convinced him to join the military. Once he gets out he returns to the school to see if there’s any way he can work there and try to make a difference in other young people’s lives. The school is a hellhole and he pretty much gets tossed out on his ass. (read the rest of this shit…)