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Once upon a time, Cranky had a very prosperous career in the music biz on the radio side, producing programs on "rock history" among other things. It never failed to amuse me how early rock and roll stars and their music were often denounced as "degenerate". Not so different from reactions to rap music today. I'm at the age where I can almost comprehend the reactions of parents of the 1950s, whose screeching ran along the lines of "you want to be like that???" (Substitute the racist "n" word for that, and you've locked into the feeling).
In the 1990s, us old folks are bewildered by Rap because, since the 60s, we've acknowledged that Black (or African-) Americans have gotten the short end for too long and have tried to do something about it. So why is there such a fanbase for rap "music" (which fails the technical definition of "music" on at least 2 of 3 counts), perceived by us fossils as anti-equal rights, pro-hard drug, pro-violence, homophobic, racist, immoral and in most cases glorifying the kind of poverty Americans are supposed to aspire to get out of? (Not to mention that most of it is a total ripoff of hit rock music sampled for the music tracks...)
Don't push me because I'm close to the edge. I'm making a point here. . .
Kids have always wanted to piss off their parents, and Rap is a fine example of the best way to do it. So here we have whiteboys, in which corn fed, All American boys from Holyoke, Iowa practice their raps in front of mirrors and do some petty drug dealing as practice for the "big syndicate operation." Their parents are, at best, bewildered.
The most diehard of them is the very lower blue collar class Flip, aka T-Dogg (Danny Hoch). Flip walks the walk and talks the talk, buys condoms and fails to use 'em, and dreams of the day when he can share a jail cell with Snoop Dogg. Flip does his best to emulate the videos he sees on teevee, and creates his own vids in his head, all co-starring a number of rappers who make cameo appearances. Deep down inside, Flip knows that he is really Black. His goal in life is to get to Chicago's infamous Cabrini Green and set up the Big Score. Which is news to Flip's crew, the pistol packing, burger joint floor scrubber James (Dash Mihok) and the much closer to middle class Trevor (Mark Webber). With the help of the sole black kidlet resident of Holyoke, Khalid (Eugene Byrd) (who thinks Flip is out of his ****ing mind), the trip happens and, no, don't assume you automatically know what happens next, 'cuz it ain't what you think.
It would be too easy to dismiss whiteboys because I think the music is mostly crap, the language is repulsive and the threatening, egomaniacal attitude is a diss to everyone (even when you say it isn't). From a strictly film student POV -- Cranky's got to be fair -- the story is solid, the performances are fine and there's nothing but decent moviemaking to be found here. But whiteboys is absolutely not to my taste.
On average, a first run movie ticket will run you Eight Bucks. Were Cranky able to set his own price to Whiteboys, he would have paid...
If you're into rap, or the rap "lifestyle" (whatever the hell that's supposed to be) add a couple of bucks. Cranky would've rented on a dare, and he would have been pleased with the quality of the filmmaking. But . . . one of Flip's fantasy vids rips off the Moody Blues, and you know where I stand on that.
28 Weeks Later
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