powered by SignMyGuestbook.com

Get your own
 diary at DiaryLand.com! contact me older entries newest entry

2003-08-21 - 2:27 p.m.

Ok peeps its been a while so here you go..............................

The Setting

Lieutenant Harry Callahan walks out of the city morgue. A positive identification. They killed his partner (again). Harry unholsters his .44 magnum and double checks that it's ready for action. In traditional Dirty Harry style, it's time to go clean up the streets and rid the city of the scum that has infested it.

In his jade green unmarked Chevy Nova, he pulls into an alley. The man who killed his partner is here somewhere, it's just a matter of finding him. He comes to the first door and kicks it in. A woman and her child scream in fear. He's not there. He moves on to the next door, and the next, searching homes with his typical disrespect for warrants and other useless forms of bureaucracy.

Finally, after busting in the last door of the alley, he begins to hear the groove of a funky 70's beat, which steadily grows louder. Suddenly, at the far end of the alley, a dark shape bursts through a window onto the pavement. Harry turns to see a large man clad in a leather trenchcoat, wielding a shotgun, sweating pure coolness. John Shaft, protector of the innocent, steps in to protect his neighborhood from the tyranny of The Man(tm).

So Owen, who will win this neighborhood shootout? Who will out cool" the other?

Dirty Harry



The Commentary

Owen: You know, I still remember the first time I saw a Shaft movie. I'm not sure which one it was, but it was either Here Comes Shaft, Shaft Takes Manhattan, or Shaft in Woolworths. Anyway, when I started watching it, I thought to myself, "Wow! The one and only Shaft! Now I get to see the toughness that made this guy so famous!"

So I'd see Shaft enter a scene and I'd sit up, getting ready to watch him bust somethin' up. But he never did anything! It was just a bunch of talking and jabbering. I thought to myself, "I thought this guy was supposed to be BAD! What's going on?!" And to make things worse, after this went on for a while, Shaft goes into a coffee shop and orders an espresso. With lemon peel. I thought to myself, "What kind of blaxploitation hero orders something with lemon peel?" I was beginning to think Superfly (tm) could take this wimp.

So, finally, the moment arises. About 90 minutes into the film, there's Shaft, armed and ready, on one side of the door, with Mr. Big's baddies and the kidnapped girl on the other side of the door. Well, Shaft busts through that door, guns ablazin', and promptly gets shot, real impressive, Mr. Shaft. I've seen Woodbridge girls that didn't go down so easily. The only reason he wasn't killed was so that he could take a message back to the Hood (tm). Face it, Trav, despite the hype, Shaft's a wuss.

Now, contrast that with Dirty Harry. The first time I watched a Dirty Harry movie, he killed 20 people in the first 5 minutes and half of those were either nuns or cops. He's got the sneer, he's got the one-liners, and he's got the most dangerous handgun in the world, able to blow a man's head cleeean off. Shaft shoots himself in the foot right before Harry blasts him into next week.

Trav: Your mocking of Shaft's coolness only shows your ignorance of the matter. What do you know of cool? Especially 70's style cool, which Shaft defines. Back in the 70's espresso with lemon peel was the thing to do. And with his own personal theme music, he just goes off the scale.

Shaft's supremacy is clearly dictated by the lyrics of his theme song.

What can we learn from it? First, he won't cop out when there's danger all about. Dirty Harry equals danger, so we can assume that Shaft will muster all his strength for this fight. Second, no one can understand him but his woman. Therefore, Dirty Harry can't understand him. He'll be too unpredictable, and will catch Harry off guard, leading to an early demise for Mr. Callahan.

Finally, the most astonishing fact we can glean from the theme song is that Shaft appears to be some sort of man/cat mutant ("Who is the man...", "Who is the cat..."). What kind of mystical powers does this give him? Obviously, some sort of super-human agility and quickness would be standard for this type of mutation. This of course means instant death for Dirty Harry.

Owen: What, so now Shaft is really Nastassja Kinski? Can we really take the Shaft lyrics that seriously, Trav? If we took all lyrics that literally, then the three Brady girls would actually be "very lovely". Clearly, there is a stark contrast between reality and theme music.

But I can see why you make such a big issue of this. There's really nothing else to work with. Shaft has nothing, except maybe some nice trenchcoats. Dirty Harry has "I know what you're thinking... Did I fire six shots or only five?"

While I might acknowledge that Shaft has a slight positive by having his own theme music, Dirty Harry has "Go ahead, make my day." And while you claim Shaft to be cool, only someone truly cool, such as Dirty Harry, could come up with the classic line "Opinions are like assholes: everybody has one." Whether we're talking about firepower, ability, or coolness, Shaft is outclassed across the board.

And besides, have you ever seen I'm Gonna Get You Sucka? Shaft and other blaxploitation heros are openly mocked in this film, yet the Wayans brothers continue to thrive and prosper. Why has no one ever made a Dirty Harry spoof? Because everyone knows what would happen to them if they did. Shaft's a washed up joke; Harry's still gotz the respect, even in the what-have-you-done-for-me-lately world of Hollywood (tm).

Shaft loses count of the bullets, thinks he feels lucky, and ends up drinking espresso with Scorpio.

You don't assign him to anything , Trav. You just turn him loose.

Trav: Dirty Harry is not as flawless as you think he is. There are quite a few bricks missing in his wall of cool. For example, there are his women problems. Several women have come on to him over the years, but A) He's blind to it, B) They get killed, or C) He's too screwed up in the head and has to go get drunk, head out to the strip club, and find a prostitute instead, a la Sudden Impact.

And Shaft? No problems in that department! Shaft's coolness easily covers all of the women bases. Maybe that won't help him in a shoot-out, but if he loses, he'll at least die a happy man.

And finally, yes I have seen I'm Gonna Get You Sucka'. Sure it mocks them, but that only proves that they were good movies at the time. Have you ever seen a bad movie that was mocked? I don't recall ever seeing spoofs made of the Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers Movie, Operation Dumbo Drop, or In the Army Now.

Spoofs only get made from good movies. Examples include Star Wars, Top Gun, and The Silence of the Lambs. This goes to show you that maybe you don't know what a good movie is. The Box Office has spoken.

Ok there you go peeps all set up who wins it well I gota go with Harry how bout youz?

Ok so that was fun guess I am outa here peeps be well god bless and hey remember big brother is watching so dont pee on a dimond dawgs car it will get you chased of the ange hill for sure.... ha ha ha ha ha ha

For Trystan:

Hey asked for and given! I think Ruad made the pic BTW....

previous - next

about me - read my profile! read other Diar
yLand diaries! recommend my diary to a friend! Get
 your own fun + free diary at DiaryLand.com!