March 31st: Blow by blow.

82. Shaft (John Singleton, 2000)

I’ve just switched this on and thought I’d ‘live-blog’ my review, sort of giving you a blow by blow account.

00.02 Shaft opens on a montage of the man loading up his gun intercut with him having sex. Well maybe him having sex, it’s mainly just breasts. It’s completely unconnected to the film though – it’s just a mission statement. Sex and guns, sex and violence, this film will fill your requirements for sex, violence, sexy violence and potentially (but not necessarily) violent sex.

00.08 Shaft walks down the middle of the street after he’s punched racist murder bastard Christian Bale, thus assaulting a suspect and ruining the case against him. But he walked off down the middle of the street BECAUSE HE’S AN ICON. DO YOU GET IT? ICONIC WALKING DOWN THE MIDDLE OF THE STREET! INTO ONCOMING TRAFFIC!

00.15 Busta Rhymes can’t act. No sir. Not a sausage.

00.20 Ethnic stereotypes are brilliant as long as you’re on the side of the coolest stereotype. Hispanics are effeminate and a bit pathetic, white people are uptight racists and black people are all sticking together to fight ‘the man’. With added sexy violence.

00.23 Richard Roundtree gets his obligatory cameo.

00.25 YES! Christian Bale fights like in Batman Begins only dressed like Patrick Bateman.

00.26 That didn’t last long enough.

00.30 Richard Roundtree gets two women.

00.31 “It’s my duty to feel that booty.” FUCK OFF.

00.33 All the white people in this appear to be racist.

00.34 And panto Evil. EEEEEEE-Ville.

00.35 Shaft is going to go it alone. Cue music. And gun.

00.43 After watching The Wire I find the depiction of street life in this just a teeny-weeny bit simplistic.

00.44 Shaft’s main method of getting results is pistol whipping and making people say his name over and over again.

00.47 I’d forgotten Toni Collette was in it, cracking actor – completely wasted in this.

00.48 John Singleton can’t do action particularly well. Most of it consists of Samuel L. Jacksons face filling the screen with either his ‘Say what one more God damn time!’ look or his ‘I’ve just been eaten by a giant mutant mako shark’ look.

00.50 Christian Bale has gone off the rails a bit and teamed up with the Hispanics. That means Shaft can do him! Clever!

00.53 There’s people from The Wire in this. That makes me sad for some reason.

00.59 At roughly an hour into any film recorded on my Sky+ box I lose about 15 seconds of sound. It’s mildly annoying but in the case of this film I was pretty comfortable with making up the dialogue myself.

01.06 Dirty cops? Never!

01.10 This is reminding me of Ben Stiller and Owen Wilson’s Starsky & Hutch, except I’m pretty certain this wasn’t supposed to be a tongue-in-cheek nostalgic comedy.

01.11 The Hispanic gangster has just taken an on-screen shit. I like this. Very rare you get an on-screen ‘sit down’, best to keep track. Best one was James van Der Beek in Rules of Attraction.

01.14 The Sky+ box is saying theres 40 bloody minute left of this. I hope some of that is adverts.

01.17 Toni Collette appears again. I think she’s up to her sixth line. Never mind – there’s some guns and violence to do.

01.19 Dan Hedaya didn’t want to be in this. That’ll be why he’s buried under a baseball cap all the time.

01.20 Highly dramatic scene where Bale gets icepicked through the hand by the Hispanic gangster. Notable only because it marks the first time that the Hispanic guy has changed his outfit. I keep calling him ‘Hispanic guy’ because that’s how the film is treating him. His character is called ‘Peoples’. Why? Because as the local kingpin ‘he looks after his peoples’. Bollocks.

01.24 Stayed past its welcome now. Toni Collette finally gets some acting to do. Her flashback scene with Bale is the best in the film.

01.28 Big urban shootout time. All relevant plot strands to be resolved with bullets. Busta Rhymes appears to be surviving.

01.30 Car chase. It’s average. Shaft’s gun sounds louder than everyone elses, so he wins. A-Team style outlay of bullets into Shaft’s car (4 people in it) no one is hit but the car is in pieces. Phew!

01.34 Good job they drove to this abandoned industrial estate for the final showdown.

01.38 Attempts to set up a sequel. No thanks. Cue music.

4 thoughts on “March 31st: Blow by blow.”

  1. I pretty much pissed myself reading this review…. Unfortunately though, as the review was so fun I’m going to HAVE to watch the film.

    Damn you all!

  2. I’m fried Con. The Diary of the Dead review is shit. Written in the 20 minutes between getting home and eating my tea. Reading that Shaft review back – it actually works pretty well. 207 hits in the last two days aswell! I’m fucking well chuffed about that.

    Cheers Si and Simo too. I enjoyed writing the review more than watching the film.

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