Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Black Dynamite & Space Cowboys

Just by the way, Michael Jai White is brilliant.

Just watched Black Dynamite, a film co-written and starring Mr. White, and I have to say I found it highly entertaining and clever. Watching it solo (my wife’s been out of town this week), I guffawed out loud several times, which is something I rarely do when watching a film. Very funny for anyone with even a passing interest/knowledge of the low-budget and exploitation films of the 1970s.

I admit I’m not all that familiar with Mr. White’s earlier work…I’m not a Seagal or VanDamme fan, and was never all that much into Spawn (I’m familiar with the comic and have caught parts of the film on TBS during weekend matinee runs). But this film was real showcase of the guy’s talent…funny, deadpan, crazy, and one bad-ass action hero…plus, as I said, I found the writing excellent. Some might find it strange that an action-hero/actor can write a decent screenplay…of course, Stallone won an Oscar for Rocky. Oh…as did Matt “Jason Bourne” Damon and Ben “Daredevil” Affleck.

[besides Mr. White, Black Dynamite had a fantastic cast in general…though I’m a bit surprised David Alan Grier wasn’t attached to the project as it seems right up his alley of expertise… and was well-directed with incredible make-up and costuming. Checking Ye Olde Wikipedia I see it beat out the much over-rated Hurt Locker for best picture at the Seattle International Film Festival, which doesn’t surprise me much…the is a town where the 70s have been refusing to die for 30 years]

Anyway, it makes me wish I was a movie producer so I could cast this guy in something. I’ll let my readers in on a deep, dark secret of mine: I’ve harbored secret daydreams of being a comic book writer since age 7 or so. It’s never gone anywhere (I’m just not talented enough in the ways that matter), and my two or four vain stabs at it have never gone past the first couple-five pages. But I get daydreams/ideas for comic books all the time that just pop up and stick around…sometimes for years. Many times these comic/character ideas have been transformed into characters (PCs and NPCs) for various role-playing games.

I write all this by way of introduction to a particular comic concept I’ve had stuck in my head for 2-4 years now (I lose track of time due to having been in the same job for nearly 10 years…). The “space cowboy” (the images have no other name or title attached) is a science-fiction character made for an episodic serial of random adventure and hijinx. In my head he is a cross between George Peppard in Battle Beyond the Stars (sans alcoholism), Jubal Early from Firefly (sans psychosis), and the comic book character Buck Godot (sans the weight issue). A kind of Jack Burton (Big Trouble in Little China) in space, but twice as smart.

In my head, he is always African-American (well, you can’t really have “Africans” or “Americans” in space…call him a black guy with West Coast accent). He has his own ship…no wookie co-pilot. He wears a Stetson, a vest, a red flannel shirt, jeans, and cowboy boots. Sometimes he has a moustache but not always. He’s actually a bit of a Sam Spade, Private Eye type (again, see Buck Godot) in western attire with a space craft. B.J. McKay in space, but the Bear died and yeah he helps out folks less fortunate, but mainly ‘cause it’s the right thing to do and sometimes there are folks in need. Otherwise, he’d probably just be drifting.

Yeah, I’m weird.

Anyway…that’s the comic book, but I think it could easily make a great movie or TV show (at least on the SciFi channel)…starring Michael Jai White. ‘Course he’d probably have to slim down a bit (space cowboys are a lean bunch, mostly, and Mr. White appears to be build like a linebacker). Also, I should probably let HIM write the script…I’m sure it’d be stellar.

Chill, turkeys!

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