Hold onto your belts, because Pootie Tang is the Greatest Movie EVER!
Click on the movie poster or the title above to download our review of the film, featuring Sean ‘Hollywood’ Hunting.
Review in a Nutshell: See, my damie, Pootie Tang don’t wa-da-tah to the shama cow… ’cause thats a cama cama leepa-chaiii, dig?
Better movie to review:
1) Low Down Dirty Shame
2) Set it Off
3) Soul Food
5) Don’t be a Menace to South Central While Drinking your Juice in the Hood
6) Boys in the Hood
7) Dead Presidents
8) Bebe’s Kids
9) How Stella Got Her Groove Back
10) Menace to Society
I really, REALLY recommend Set it Off. Lady bank robbers.
I like Pootie Tang.
The original Friday is pretty good, funny film.
So happy to tune into this one. Lance was out in SF Sketchfest just a few weeks ago presenting the film and I finally got a clue why there’s fervor for it (never saw it before that screening, I assumed it was … well, whatever everybody else assumes it is when they hear the name,) now I get to hear the Gooberzilla while it’s fresh in my mind.
What a fantastic podcast! Shaun you have a great voice too, why not record your voice with a zoom on your end of the call and email it to Paul afterwards to sync up in post and replace over your telephone quality audio, because it’s harsh too listen to especially on this episode. Just an idea, great podcast guys.
Chris, Sean’s audio is recorded separately. He’s using old, hand-me down equipment that I gave to him years ago, and he’s just moved recently, so he had to break down and rebuild his recording setup. We had many technical difficulties getting this episode off the ground, which we admit at least twice in the episode, once at the beginning and once where Sean observes that he is clipping bad. I did the best that I could in post production to mitigate the issues. If you want to start a collection to buy Sean updated gear, I’m sure he would appreciate it.
Sounds like Paul and Sean did their research before the show, but if it helps, here’s some from what I remember of Lance’s interview a few weeks back:
= Lance Crouther is, as Paul said, more a writer than a performer and so yeah, he hasn’t been in a lead role since. He didn’t really set out to be the star of this either, it just happened that Chris Rock was considered “hot” as an actor during the production of Down to Earth, and Paramount was desperate to have even more Chris Rock movies in the pipeline. They asked to extend the deal to a multi-picture agreement, but Rock’s production team had nothing on the backburner, so in a pinch, they threw out a Pootie Tang movie idea. Rock had to sell them that he wasn’t the star and it was a little weird (and this was before the script existed,) but it was a hit on the show and Rock was going to do a bunch of roles so it got the greenlight.
= Pootie himself was never meant to be a reoccurring character, as Chris Rock wanted his show to not have repeats since he felt that was such an anchor in his time at SNL. But while on tour (I can’t remember if it was Lance & Louis or Lance & Rock?,) a DJ came on the radio and was giving shout-outs to Pootie and they realized they had something that couldn’t be ignored.
= As prospects on Down to Earth slowly became clear that it would be a dud, that’s when Pootie became a hot potato. Some at the studio hated it, some at the studio saw it as an opportunity for exploitation, but nobody got it at any point of development. There was never real support for it, and it had a crazy development ride, but despite some of the crazy stories about bail-out budgets and intervention, Crouther didn’t seem to make much of problems during shooting, maybe Louis saw more interference than he did?
= Louis C.K. turned in his 3-hour cut of the film. The studio asked when to expect the next cut, and he said that this wasn’t his rough-cut, this was the movie. (I’m not sure if Louis really loved the movie like that, or if he was just burned by the process and the dwindling prospects and just pulled the pin on his own grenade?)
= Crouther has seen that Louis CK 3-hour version and says that surprisingly, it hangs together at that length because it’s a very purely-Louis work. Scenes that shouldn’t work do (in his opinion, if you’re a fan of CK) by placement and editing and structure. He made it out to sound like a long-form, zany, all-black-cast version of the Louis show — like how stuff that doesn’t work in a single scene begins to work when played long-form with less chuckle-a-minute pacing and more spare, shocking laughs? That said, even Crouther understood when the studio balked at releasing a 3-hour comedy. (He also said the film wasn’t exactly “it” in that cut either, and wouldn’t expect a “director’s cut” to ever be approved to happen even if somehow the studio made amends.)
= People make a lot of the “hatchet-job” that the studio did on Pootie Tang, but realistically, it was a much more organic and homegrown salvage job, done by people close to the movie or close to Rock’s team rather than “rich guys in suits making blind decisions” as one might think. Crouther was involved in a bunch of the post-production effort (Chris Rock was in there too because his name was key, though I don’t remember Lance saying anything particular or important about Rock’s input,) and he didn’t make much of the studio’s intervention at all (it seemed like it was all a writeoff at that point.) He helped brainstorm with Ali LeRoi on super-cheap, effective ways of making the film sellable before the studio gave up on it completely. That included some reshoots, the voiceover narration, and of course re-editing. Obviously, some things were botched in that process with no time to polish or second-guess, but it was all that or no movie. At the very least, the people finishing the movie cared about it as a movie.
= Bob Costas was instrumental in saving the film. Crouther had worked with Costas on his “On The Record” show and asked him to be in it as a favor. For some reason, his appearance in the movie was a selling point. Still, Costas was pissed at first to be involved in such a colossal bomb and hated it the first time he saw it (or whatever he saw of it that first time, Crouther didn’t know exactly when Costas had seen it or how much of it, it wasn’t exactly the movie people trekked out to see even when they were in it,) and Bob griefed him about it the first time they ran into each other. Then five years later, Bob gave him the “You know, it’s not as bad as they all say” speech when Crouther ran into him again. And when they ran into each other again a few years after that, Bob had completely changed his tune, saying, “My kids LOVE that Pootie Tang, what a great movie!”
(By the by, Crother also apparently came out at the beginning of the show as Pootie and did an interview or sketch in character. I can’t tell you much about that though, because A, I was working the door and missed that part, and B, it was in Pootie speak, so I assume no further provocative details were to be had there.
“We had many technical difficulties getting this episode off the ground, which we admit at least twice in the episode, once at the beginning and once where Sean observes that he is clipping bad.”
Sorry Paul I didn’t get that far on this episode, Shaun sounded like he was talking through a straw, it was torture, I tuned out sorry but it got painful.
A collection is a great idea, let’s get Shaun a better straw fellow goobers.
My suggestions include:
Menace II Society
Waiting to Exhale
The Color Purple
The Preacher’s Wife
We need some “Baby Boy” up in this piece. It’s on Netflix instant and its a classic that’s strangely overlooked by everyone.
Here’s a movie, Buck Town. Fred Williamson, Pam Grier and a real young Carl Weathers. It was on netflix in hd a few months ago, and it’s on blu ray. It’s nicely shot, has a really fun story with a great twist mid way in the story and a crazy long ECW style fight at the end. And one of the single best kills in a movie ever, it’s shot beautifully.
Paul, I’d love to hear your discussions on some of the more intriguing classic and more fantastical Blaxploitation films of the Seventies, like BLACK BELT JONES, THREE THE HARD WAY or BLACULA.
So Paul, in your quest for Blackness, where the hell is Blade in the consideration? For the hope of interesting conversation, I’d like you to Review Blade Trinity, but that film is both an assault on black people and an assault on humanity.
Speaking of superheroes, I have looked at the podcast’s history, and I don’t think you’ve reviewed Spawn, arguably the movie that brought Michael Jai White into all our lives.
Or you could review any of his action films. Dude’s the total package. He does romcoms, action, he was a superhero, and he does comedy.
BTW, that Sweet Sweetback scene is SHOCKINGLY raw, Paul. If you watch that, prepare yourself.
Oh, I’d also like to address when you said that white people are the “majority” In America, yeah, but you well know that your audience is international, and you’ve covered films from all over the world. So internationally, the majority is Asian. This is just me saying that I’d like you to do more Asian films.:)
Black History Month is lame. I celebrate everyone’s culture, all the time. I don’t need a special month, especially in 2013.
I’m with VichusSmith on more Asian movies, definitely – especially outside the Godzilla/Anime ones you usually discuss.
Are Northern European Whites still the largest ethnic group in the U.S.? I thought Hispanics moved up to top us in the last Census. If you mean “Majority Culture” – well, yes but that’s changing some…..
To be fair to Paul, since the podcast is in English, the fact that the majority of the world is Asian might not really be applicable.
That said, it’s sort of odd that the movie picked to represent a contribution to “black cinema” is one that, while awesome, is the brainchild of one of the whitest white dudes around, Louis CK. I say go for the throat next time, Paul! Cut straight to the HEART of this matter. Go all out. Out the window or the stairs, that is. Review I’M GONNA GIT YOU, SUCKA so that you can reach that upper level. Your mind, body and soul must be one before you give the people what they have yearned for:
Berry Gordy’s The Last Dragon.
Now I understand that other comments have suggested other movies. But I’m pretty sure if you ask all of them, they will agree that my suggestions are BY FAR the greatest. (If they don’t, they should.)