Monday, May 16, 2011

Book Review: Ice: A Memoir of Gangster Life and Redemption-from South Central to Hollywood

Over the last quarter century, Ice-T has slowly transitioned from being one of Hip-Hop’s earliest and most successful provocateurs to one of its most transcendent and recognizable personalities.  Amazingly, that transition has never been formally chronicled save for a few magazine interviews and the like.  Ice: A Memoir of Gangster Life and Redemption-from South Central to Hollywood attempts to tell the story of Tracy Morrow in a way that will speak to the converted and skeptics alike.  It does so in what has been a very productive period for the ever expanding cannon of serious hip-hop literature.

Movie Trailer: Never Back Down 2: The Beatdown

The original Never Back Down was essentially a mean spirited remake of the original Karate Kid.  It had very little going for it other than a competently staged final bout (for which it won an MTV Movie Award).  An inevitable but totally unnecessary sequel was all but assured.  The prospect of a follow up to a marginal MMA film held no interest for me whatsoever. Then I learned that it would be Michael Jai White’s directorial debut (read my excellent interview with him by clicking here).  Since Michael strikes me as the type that is successful at just about whatever he tries, I was eager to see a glimpse of this film.  Today I got my wish courtesy of the good people at Twitch.

Things Threaten to Boil Over in This New Clip from "Touye Pwen"

Verbal confrontations between characters are an important part of good crime stories.  A big part of intimidation is acting.  Criminals are some of the greatest actors in the world.  You have to be able to convince your opponent of what you’re capable of before you resort to physical violence.  If your prey senses any hesitance or fear in you, your threat will not be taken seriously.  This is key to some of the great staring contests and verbal stand offs in gangster films.  It’s like the calm before the storm.  Sometimes the actual fireworks, which come in the form of action and/or violence, can be anti-climactic after a tense verbal exchange.  R.L. Scott shows his understanding of that philosophy with this latest clip from his highly anticipated web series Touye Pwen.