I'm not trying to be a hero! I'M FIGHTING THE DRAGON!!

Posts Tagged ‘Max Julien’

Cleopatra Jones

Thursday, June 29th, 2017

CLEOPATRA JONES is a blaxploitation movie that goes above and beyond the call of duty. It has all the funk, swagger and aspirational badassness that you hope for in the genre, but even more heightened. That’s both literal and figurative; Warner Brothers’ answer to American International’s success with Pam Grier vehicles was to hire the regal 6′ 2″ model Tamara Dobson, teach her some martial arts and have her play an unfuckwithable special agent.

I didn’t notice them specifying which agency she works for, her ID literally just says “SPECIAL AGENT,” with a presidential seal. And we can’t say “secret agent” either because, like James Bond, most people know who she is, and she sure as shit doesn’t try to keep a low profile. Her fashion is flagrantly eye catching and she drives a badass Corvette with mag wheels that says her name on the plates and sometimes spews fire out of the back.

To my knowledge CLEOPATRA JONES is the only blaxploitation movie where the first shot is of a camel. Cleo helicopters into a base in Turkey. She steps out in a fur-lined, hooded cape and walks through rows of leaders gathered to give her a queen’s welcome. She flew in to personally give the order to drop bombs on a poppy field. “That’s right, baby. $30 million worth of shit that ain’t goin into some kid’s veins. Burn it.” (read the rest of this shit…)

VERN has been reviewing movies since 1999 and is the author of the books SEAGALOGY: A STUDY OF THE ASS-KICKING FILMS OF STEVEN SEAGAL, YIPPEE KI-YAY MOVIEGOER!: WRITINGS ON BRUCE WILLIS, BADASS CINEMA AND OTHER IMPORTANT TOPICS and NIKETOWN: A NOVEL. His horror-action novel WORM ON A HOOK will arrive later this year.

Up Tight

Tuesday, October 23rd, 2012

You guys know who Booker T and the MGs are, right? The amazing instrumental R&B group, centered around soulful organist Booker T. Jones, with a group of super-tight studio musicians including Blues Brothers Steve Cropper and (in a later lineup) Donald “Duck” Dunn. They were the house band for Stax Records, so not only did they have all their great albums but you can hear them backing up Otis Redding, Wilson Pickett and others.

If you know them you might also know this song, “Time Is Tight”:

Recognize that? Their somewhat similar song “Green Onions” is used in way more movies, but “Time Is Tight” is in FEAR AND LOATHING IN LAS VEGAS, so you’ve at least heard it in there.

One thing I didn’t know until a couple years ago is that this song was originally composed as part of the score for a 1968 movie called UP TIGHT, directed by Jules Dassin (RIFIFI). I found the soundtrack on vinyl, but at that time the movie had never been on video. It finally came out a couple weeks ago so I checked it out.

(read the rest of this shit…)

VERN has been reviewing movies since 1999 and is the author of the books SEAGALOGY: A STUDY OF THE ASS-KICKING FILMS OF STEVEN SEAGAL, YIPPEE KI-YAY MOVIEGOER!: WRITINGS ON BRUCE WILLIS, BADASS CINEMA AND OTHER IMPORTANT TOPICS and NIKETOWN: A NOVEL. His horror-action novel WORM ON A HOOK will arrive later this year.