Shaft/Black Dynamite

Do not be fooled by the date. While the Blue Moon's video-screened double-features generally run on Tuesdays, tonight's blaxploitation tribute is a worthwhile exception. First up is the original 1971 Shaft. He’s a complicated man, and Richard Roundtree’s turtleneck-wearing “spade detective” became an undisputed icon of the ’70s. But is he a nice guy? Well—not exactly. “I love you,” his girlfriend coos. “I know,” is his self-satisfied reply. The man keeps two groovy bachelor pads, one in Harlem for his main lady, the other in the swinging Village for the white chicks who dig him. Following is the SIFF-favorite blaxploitation spoof Black Dynamite. Co-writer and star Michael Jai White treats this material deadpan straight, recreating the stilted lines, stiff acting, cheap lighting, and leaps of plot logic that plagued the poor sons of Shaft. And though the hugely buff White, as the kung fu-kickin’, multiple-lady-lovin’ ex-CIA agent Black Dynamite, is no Leslie Nielsen, he has his moments. When a ghetto lovely says that he never flirts or smiles, he responds from beneath clenched jaw and fixed, immobile moustache: “I am smiling.” (R) BRIAN MILLER

Mon., Feb. 21, 9 p.m., 2011

comments powered by Disqus

Friends to Follow