In Which We Incoherently Opine on Films We've Yet to See.

I’m going to get pilloried for this, but there aren’t many actors who annoy me more than Angela Bassett. Her default setting is Righteous Indignation, and she rarely, if ever, deviates from it. Her performances are always so self-serious and joyless. Just watching this trailer — what are the chances that this movie is good, btw? L’il Kim is being played by a former member of 3LW — I got the sense that we’re in for two hours of vintage Bassett: Powerful, Neck-Veiny Emoting. Also, doesn’t Voletta Wallace have a fairly pronounced Jamaican accent in real life? Whatever, yo.

Denzel is also guilty of this, which is why American Gangster sucked so hard. (Well, one of the reasons.) The best thing about the film was Josh Brolin, and this is sort of becoming a pattern for him, the way it is for Amy Ryan or Chiwetel Ejiofor. He’s just routinely very, very good, making mediocrities like W. much better films. I tried to see Milk this weekend, but it was sold out. But I’m sure his turn as Dan White is quietly on point, as usual. Just pencil this cat in.



Gene "G.D." Demby is the founder and editor of PostBourgie. In his day job, he blogs and reports on race and ethnicity for NPR's Code Switch team.
  • LOL @ “righteous indignation.” You’re exactly right, but I figure that’s why sisters love her.

  • Grump

    American Gangster could have been better if they only focused on ONE side of the law. That, and I wished they could have shown scenes from when Frank Lucas witnessed his cousin’s murder.

    when I saw this preview at the show, I, too, was wondering where was Mrs Wallace’s accent.

  • I have a weakness for biopics. Something about spanning decades in mere hours and actors going to great lengths to approximate the mannerisms and cadences of historical figures. I will probably catch this on HBO sometime in the near future. Not exactly jumping on Fandango to score tix for this one. I think the most intriguing casting decision has to be Derek Luke as Sean Combs. The only other character I can recall Luke playing who possessed such bravado and self-importance was his turn as Bobbie Miles in “Friday Night Lights.” It will be interesting to see how he pulls this one off. Combs is very much a contemporary celebrity who remains in the public eye so Luke cannot just play him as caricature like you see in many other biopics. Actually, Combs is a caricature of himself so it may not be that difficult.

    And yes, Mrs. Bassett has a penchant for overacting at times. I think she is a stone-cold fox, but some of her performances make Tyler Perry movies look like cinéma vérité. That said, I did dig her in “Sunshine State.” She did the whole “Righteous Indignation” bit, but since it was an ensemble flick you only had to tolerate it in small doses.

    Oh and glory, sistas are inherently “righteously indignant,” so go figure. I kid, I kid.

  • grahamad

    Milk is AWESOME. Saw it sat night. Cried.

  • Im interested in seeing how they are going to cover the whole Death Row beef. I wonder if they will tred lightly or will they stir up the pot. The interesting thing with this biopic is that since it it still not that far away from his death, Im sure everybody will feel that they are an expert on Biggie’s life and career and the whole Death Row beef. I wonder if they will make Pac look like an asshole since it is told from Biggie’s supposed point of view.

  • grahamad

    @ Ralph – I also love biopics! History goes down easy if they’re done well.

  • aisha

    It doesn’t look as bad as I would have though. I might catch a matinee.

  • ladyfresshh

    uh..G.D. incoherent is my realm

    as for this film
    no thanks

    as for angela bassett?
    *removes G.D.’s black card*
    thank you

  • I am going to put this disclaimer before I make the next comment: I know everyone has their own definition of an excellent actor so I understand if you disagree with me. I totally do.

    My comment is you are absolutely right about Angela Bassett and Denzel Washington. I actually don’t mind them as actors but I don’t think they have that much range and are pretty overrated. Their best roles, IMO, were when they played real life people (Tina Turner and Malcolm X). They were excellent in those movies but overall, when I watch them in movies, I see Angela Bassett or Denzel Washington on the screen, not the characters they are playing.

    And this movie looks like it’s going to suck. I will be shock if it gets good reviews. And even then, I would have a critical eye on it cause it looks suspect.

  • Xavier

    I can’t believe you have actually said this! I have gotten into so many arguments with friends about Angela Bassett…I I also agree that she is not that good of an actress but it seems like sacrilege to say so around black folk, thank you for putting into words what I have thought for many years. As for Denzel, I couldn’t agree more.

  • meh

    i was done after you said “L’il Kim is being played by a former member of 3LW ”

    um, i think i’ll wait til the movie hits TBS, hopefully all the profanity substitutions will make the movie halfway entertaining.

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