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Blu-ray Review - Original Gangstas

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In 1988, titans from the Blaxploitation era (including Isaac Hayes, Bernie Casey, and Jim Brown) reunited for "I'm Gonna Git You Sucka," a parody production from director Keenan Ivory Wayans that triumphantly pantsed the absurdities of the subgenre and embraced some of its effortless cool. In 1996, director Larry Cohen, a player in the Blaxploitation game with movies such as "Black Caesar" and "Hell Up in Harlem," reunited most of the gang for "Original Gangstas," which drops any ounce of intentional silliness, attempting to stage a traditional vigilante actioner with old faces and fists. Results are uneven at best, but when "Original Gangstas" fails, as it often does, there's always the thrill of seeing some of these meaty actors onscreen again, delivering poundings to a younger generation that's been raised without rules and respect. For that alone, the feature is worth a viewing, but it takes considerable patience to get there, as Cohen isn't too concerned with throttling supporting performances, and the messages of Aubrey Rattan's screenplay are confusing, seemingly celebrating a thuggish mentality the protagonists of the story are struggling to extinguish.  Read the rest at Blu-ray.com

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