Today! Because money talks, and bullshit runs a marathon –
New Jack City (1991)
Directed by Mario Van Peebles
Starring Wesley Snipes (x2), Ice-T, Chris Rock (x2), Mario Van Peebles, Judd Nelson, Bill Nunn (x2), Allen Payne, Bill Cobbs, Michael Michele, Russell Wong, Vanessa Williams, Tracy Camilla Johns, Phyllis Yvonne Stickney, John Aprea, Flava Flav, Fab 5 Freddy
Like every Catholic school attending twelve-year-old white kid in small town America, I was big into Mario Van Peebles inner city drug dealing crime epic circa the fall of 1991 (when it hit HBO). Another triumph of cable television in my youth! Look, I don’t have a good explanation why I watched New Jack City as much as I did in my formative years. It’s a movie that manages to effectively glamorize the super violent crime lord lifestyle while also digging into the gritty, crushing reality of addiction at the same time. And sure, it was fun that, like, Ice-T and Judd Nelson’s characters are partners and hate each other, and Chris Rock is way strung out as crackhead Pookie, but the only thing I can come up with for sure as a draw when I was a kid was that Wesley Snipes was the coolest motherfucker ever.
Yes, even rocking that fifteen pound necklace
Today! Because this is Ghana. You, my friend, are shooting for the Sudan –
White Men Can’t Jump (1992)
Directed by Ron Shelton
Starring Wesley Snipes, Woody Harrelson (x2), Rosie Perez, Kadeem Hardison, Tyra Ferrell, John Marshall Jones, Ernest Harden Jr., Alex Trebek, Donald Fullilove (x2)
The king of Costner-based sports comedy (Bull Durham, Tin Cup) Ron Shelton delivered one of the funniest basketball movies ever – nothing else immediately comes to mind…Space Jam? I’m not sure how popular this movie was in its day, but it was on HBO all the time, and at just the right time for this guy. There’s a reason 1992 is the most represented year on this list – so far, and in total – and that’s my exposure to it. Also, it was a legitimately great movie year, but a lot of middling movies are still finding their way onto this list in the early going.
Woody and Wesley are terrific together, and was there ever another great comedic performance from Rosie Perez? Sure, she’s solid in Do the Right Thing, and got nominated for an Oscar for Fearless (which I’ll go ahead and admit I’ve never seen), but this is her perfect all-time role here, as Billy’s trivia maven girlfriend, bound for Jeopardy and critical of his increasingly stupid choices. She knows six foods that start with the letter Q! Continue reading