That Man Bolt is a long way from Sweet Sweetback’s Baadasssss Song. It’scloser to the Shaft films, but its closest relation is the Bond series, as our man Bolt (FredWilliamson) jets from Hong Kong to Las Vegas and back again, karate-chopping his waythrough the bad guys, working to bring down the crime lord who set him up as a fall guy. Bolteven winds up with a British government liaison. The action scenes are very flat, but theproduction values are high for th…s sort of thing. It passes the time.
Trick Baby (aka Double Con) is about two con artists, one black, the otherpassing for white. Or is he really white? This last question makes for some mildly intriguingreverse racism. Anyway, our pair work like dynamite together, but eventually they get in overtheir heads. There is an agreeably grungy atmosphere to the street scenes, but the dialogue ispretty painful.
Not, however, as painful as that in Willie Dynamite. Our “hero” is in the line ofSuperfly-style pimps. He runs his business according to strict capitalist principles (or so he keepstelling us), and has big dreams, but everything comes crashing down when the other pimpsorganize and turn on him. Then there’s the crusading attorney who’s also after him. The morallessons are as unconvincing as the badass attitude, and the flick is also just plain boring. Triviafans, take note: Roscoe Orman, who plays Willie, went on to become Gordon on SesameStreet.
The mono on all three discs is just fine, and the wakka-chi-wakka music has just the rightkind of sleazy, funky beat to put you in that seventies mood. There is no distortion or buzz, and astereo remix would have spoiled the retro vibe. You dig?
The transfers are all 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen. The prints are in very good shape, withno real damage. The colours vary from strong and bright (especially the reds) to rather murky,and there is grain present in all three cases. Even this doesn’t necessarily hurt, though. A littlegrunge here is just what you want.
None, other than some auto-loading trailers that have nothing to do with these films(Friday Night Lights???). The menus have scored main screens.
None of these films rank up there with the likes of Foxy Brown. Hell, they don’tmeasure up to The Black Gestapo. But the first two are still worth a look.
Special Features List