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Mario Van Peeples' "Posse" Coming Out On Blu-Ray June 7th

by Sergio
May 29, 2011 1:35 AM
16 Comments
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In retrospect, Mario Van Peeples' Posse is sort of like Spike Lee's Miracle at St. Anna. In other words, here was finally the film you'd been dying for - a traditional Hollywood period genre movie based on a real event, that was an answer to all those similar Hollywood films which failed to address the fact that black people had been heavily involved historically with the certain event.

In St Anna it was World War II, and with Posse it was the 19th Century American West

And finally, when you got the film... THEY BLEW IT!

Well O.K... hold on. I'm being too harsh. Posse isn't THAT bad. I have to admit I find it really entertaining. I recall going to see it twice at advance screenings. I was just REALLY desperate for a black western, despite the fact that I wouldn't exactly call Posse historically accurate.

And then there's that scene still seared in my memory - that of an oiled-up, bare-chested, buffed up Mario, practicing with his guns. If Posse wasn't the ultimate black western, one could argue that it's perhaps the gayest one, making Brokeback Mountain look tame (Hey, no assumption on Mario, honest).

And it's a million light years better than that other more recent black ghetto "keeping it real" western Gang of Roses, with LisaRaye and Bobby Brown (and if you haven't seen that...you're lucky).

So, all of this is to say that MGM/Fox Home Video is going to be releasing Posse on blu-ray, on June 7th. Despite everything I've said, I'm still getting it. I'm still desperate for a black western. And besides, maybe they finally fixed the bad audio mix problem in the film where the loud music and sound effects would at times drown out the dialogue. Hey, just like in a Spike Lee's movie. Another thing both films have in common.

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16 Comments

  • Neziah | May 30, 2011 4:51 AMReply

    Stick with "Boss Nigger", now THAT'S a great black B-Movie Western that is similar to "Blazing Saddles", and Fred Williamson did a great job on the screenplay, it was hilarious, I wish I could get a hold of a copy.

  • Neziah | May 30, 2011 4:45 AMReply

    I thought this was a heavily flawed(If not entirely terrible) Western with no real substance, consistency, or character development, but the final battle was entertaining.

  • Sergio | May 29, 2011 11:48 AMReply

    @ Cherish

    Washington YES, Patton NO and Union. No too. She has that "babyish" face that doesn't appeal to me. Every time I see her I want to say why don't you come back in 20 years when you're all grown up.

    And as for Posse not being historically inaccurate. I mean it;'s as historically inaccurate has was Boss Nigger the Fred Williamson western as is every other western that's been made. If it was an historically accurate black western for example then there would have been some lynching of black men by white mobs in the film as did happen during that period but you don't what to see that would you in a film? Neither would I

  • Cherish | May 29, 2011 11:21 AMReply

    On the Topic,

    I also was a little disappointed when I saw Posse. Was looking forward to seeing those actors in the movie (back in the day) and found it really dry. I haven't seen Miracle in St. Anna, but I remember being as disappointed in that Posse as I was in Panther.

  • Cherish | May 29, 2011 11:17 AMReply

    Sergio,

    It's not the same as watching a favorite actor. Just like I'm sure you wonder what Gabrielle Union, or Paula Patton, or Kerry Washington (then again, I think she has done nude scenes.) look like nude.

    One always wonder what their favorite actor has underneath those jeans....

  • Cherish | May 29, 2011 11:14 AMReply

    As for lack of nudity from American actresses...

    I think it has more to do with sexual harassment and exploitation by male directors and producers rather than a "Puritan" attitude. Movies from the 1970s through the early 1990s are loaded with female nudity. After Rosie Perez complained about feeling "raped" during that scene from Do the Right Thing, and how the director of Basic Instinct added that scene without telling Sharon Stone, I would be hesitant to do nude scenes too unless I had terms ironed out in an iron-clad contract.

    Also, around that time (mid to late 1990s) R-rated movies with extreme sexuality were not selling as well as PG or R-rated movies that are action-oriented. That, along with easier access to porn thanks to the internet so you don't need to go to mainstream movies to see sex scenes, are probably the bigger reasons for the move away from nudity in movies.

  • Sergio | May 29, 2011 11:05 AMReply

    @ Cherish

    Then you need to start watching more hard core porn.

  • Cherish | May 29, 2011 10:59 AMReply

    That's an interesting point AV brings up regards brotthas' intolerance for males' "glamorous shots." Maybe it has to to do with the homophobia in our community. Maybe some black men feel it takes away from that "hard" "gangsta" image which so many treasure, thinking that looking "sexy" makes them look soft. Interesting.

    "Frankly I can tolerate gratuitous bare chest shots more than I can tolerate shots of male frontal nudity (HBO and Starz need to tone that shit down)."

    AV, HUSH UP, YOU HEAR!!

    More male frontal nudity the better, please.

    I am really looking forward to the day when one my friends is sharing her sex story (yes, we do that too...LOL) and she starts talking about how big Dude's penis is, I can say, " So, was it as big as Morris Chestnutt, or as long as Tyrese's, or as thick as (fill in your favorite actor)...."

    Hmm, you get the picture. A girl needs a frame of reference.

  • BluTopaz | May 29, 2011 10:16 AMReply

    Funny how when some women comment about always seeing another women's ta-tas, crotch shots, etc. on screen they are often labeled jealous, fat, etc.

    Aside from that AccidentalVisitor brings up a good point, reminds me of the 'pretty motherfucker, never liked you anyway' scene from New Jack City.

    And Sergio, you still ain't said why this film is not accurate in your opinion but whatev, controversy sells

  • AccidentalVisitor | May 29, 2011 10:10 AMReply

    Ha! Alright, Sergio. At least you're consistent. But I have to ask you if you liked films like Rambo, Predator, Terminator, etc in which we the viewers were fed a lot of images of naked men or at least barechested men?

    As for the lack of exposed females in mainstream films....somewhere along the line American actresses came up with the collective stance that it was demeaning to be naked onscreen. Maybe it has to do with the Puritan heritage of the USA because foreign actresses don't seem to feel nearly as reluctant as their American counterparts on this front.

  • Sergio | May 29, 2011 9:24 AMReply

    No all of you are wrong. I don't like it either when white guys appear shirtless too. When that Thor dude shows up walking at=round shirtless in the scene in the move I had to advert my eyes. How come we don't see more naked shirtless women in Hollywood movies? That I would have NO problem with

  • Lynn | May 29, 2011 8:16 AMReply

    @ Jacetoon

    I agree w/ you completely Sergio did not say why it was historically inaccurate or why it was so painful to watch? I don't understand people when they dislike something at least explain why you dislike it and what makes it so terrible?

    "And then there’s that scene still seared in my memory - that of an oiled-up, bare-chested, buffed up Mario, practicing with his guns."

    O.K so that's your main reason for disliking Posse you dislike watching Mario Van Peebpe's greasy body on screen? I think some of us are too critical sometimes it was not the best western movie but it was alright.

    And why do we have to call it a "Black Western" movie? Why can't it be just a "western" movie? What makes it different than most western movies? I know the cast is Black but the stories are the same as other John Wayne western films that have predominantly white cast members.

  • AccidentalVisitor | May 29, 2011 8:04 AMReply

    1) it is not a good film. It was a disappointing followup to New Jack City. The only thing that stands out to me is it served as the introduction to the yummy Salli Richardson who was at her hottest in this flick.

    2)That being said....it did not waste an opportunity like Miracle at St. Anna did. Lets get real. Van Peebles was a so-so to solid director doing only his second film. Looking back it appears as if he was trying to make a black Young Guns, not some Sergio Leone masterpiece. With the film's limited budget and story it was always going to be at best a cheesy shoot-em up. That would be okay it was more entertaining but , of course, the point is it WASN'T more entertaining. Regardless I'm pretty sure expectations were low for the film.

    3)Expectations may not have been through the roof for Miracle, but considering Spike had been a filmmaker for over two decades and had earned a good enough reputation audiences were certainly expecting much more than they got. Plus Spike was adapting a novel based upon a serious subject for the big screen, even bringing in the author of the book to do the screenplay. He also had a stronger cast to work with than Peebles did for Posse (especially true considering Peebles was the actual star of Posse). The movie was released in the fall too which meant its studio was likely hoping it would have a critically acclaimed film to get behind for the Oscar season. And yet the movie was a disaster.

    4)To piggyback on Blu Topaz, what is the big deal that Peebles added on “glamorous shots” of himself for the film? I ask this because, and excuse me if I’m generalizing, it seems too often that we black males (those of us who are straight at least) seem to be uncomfortable of images thrown out there of other black men as objects of desirability. Over the years I have heard more complaints from black men putting down so-called “pretty boys” in the media (actors, athletes, etc) than from any other group of males. White guys don’t have an issue with idealized white men being put in the forefront of movies like Thor (or making the character Wolverine into a pretty boy who always has his shirt off). Why would they? The message such movies are sending is white guys are “hot”, and what white guy doesn’t like that notion being sold to the masses? At least on a subconscious level most of them probably like it enough to tolerate a bare-chested Thor prancing around in front of a camera. Asian guys don’t get wound up that in Brue Lee films Lee was not being presented as just the ultimate badass fighter, but as a sex symbol too. I know many women who did not care about martial arts flicks but stuck around and watched because they found Lee attractive. You think Asian guys don’t like that image being presented of one of their own? Think again. So what’s up with us black dudes? Increasing Hollywood has been of the mindset of drawing in those who are not typically into violent action flicks or superhero movies by offering them appetizers. That means increasingly making the male leads into eye candy, thus giving many female and gay audience members something to make such flicks more tolerable. It is shallow and it is manipulative, but it also works at times. Of course some ladies care more about the action than the shape of an actor’s body, but for those who don’t an attractive lead is always a good way of gaining and keeping their interest in a film aimed at men. What Mario Van Peebles showed of himself in Posse is no different than how Stallone, Arnold and even lightweights like Jean Claude Van Damme were being displayed in the action flicks of the 80s and 90s. Yet I don’t recall any black guys ever complaining about Van Damme’s naked ass being up there on the screen. Frankly I can tolerate gratuitous bare chest shots more than I can tolerate shots of male frontal nudity (HBO and Starz need to tone that shit down).

  • jacetoon | May 29, 2011 6:19 AMReply

    You dare speak against the works of Jean Claude La Marre!

  • BluTopaz | May 29, 2011 5:16 AMReply

    I don't understand saying a movie sucks without explaining why, other than seeing a man in great physical shape disturbs you a great deal.

    If you think the film is historically inaccurate it would make more sense to say why you believe this, since there is so little media about Black cowboys anyway.

  • CareyCarey | May 29, 2011 4:55 AMReply

    Nope Sergio, you were not too harsh. They blew it - miserably! That movie was a campy hokie mess.

    Don’t hold me to it (well, go ahead) but I am thinking it was as much of a let down as Rosewood. Come on now, Don Cheadle escapes by hiding under his 300lb mother - in her casket?!

    But I’ve never seen Gang of Roses, with Lisa Raye and Bobby Brown. Are we talking THE Bobby Brown? Lord have mercy, Bobby Brown of A Thin Line Between Love And Hate fame? Well, I need a good laugh, so I am definitely going to check it out, ASAP... yes I am. Just call me a fool for punishment.

    But I am not going to touch the Broke Back Mountain comment. OH NO! I had to face the music up in here, up in here, for using that movie as a reference to certain types of movies I don't enjoy watching. I licked my wounds and now I have to say, Ta Ta Ya , Baby. You're on your own.

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