January 14, 2011

Netflix'ns: Black Belt Jones

Netflix'ns is a series of review shorts of films discovered on Netflix, be it DVD or streaming. For better or worse, I sat through these films and have lived to tell the tale. These are not so much reviews as just comments on the film watched. This is also a work in progress.

Following his breakout performance in the martial arts classic, and Bruce Lee's last film, Enter the Dragon, Jim Kelly starred in the blaxploitation action film Black Belt Jones. The film was directed by Robert Clouse, who also helmed Enter the Dragon and Gymkata. This was my first time seeing Kelly outside of Dragon and I have to say it is a lot of fun.

I have not seen much in the way of blaxploitation, but I think it is a whole that needs to get filled. This movie is a blast thew whole way through. The story is nothing special, the mob is moving into the neighborhood, buying up all the land for development. In the center is Papa Byrd's (Scatman Crothers) martials arts school. Pinky and his thugs are are hired to "encourage" Papa's exit, but accidentally kill him.

The students enlist Black Belt Jones (Kelly) to help defend the school and avenge Papa's death. It s so much fun, crazy dialogue, big hair, and over the top fights. Kelly kicks ass and takes names as he carves a swath of beaten thugs on his way to victory and love (with Papa's granddaughter).

This is one to kick back and have some fun with. There is something about watching Jim Kelly beat people up with that amazing head of hair and his Bruce Lee-style woops. Definitely check this out.

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