Thursday, January 12, 2006

Belated Beginning…

A blog on the books we read over winter break:

I’ll admit after reading most peoples blogs about the books I became slightly scared. You see, I actually enjoyed Heroes in Hard Times by Neil King. Yes it was redundant but it was also funny. I am huge fan of innuendos of any kind and this book had a fair handful of them. I also enjoy a good set of statistics every once in a while. Although numbers can lie it just didn’t seem probable that he would make up all of that research. Of the few movies in the genre I had watched when I first read the book I could already find his theories making sense. He “argue(d) that heroes seek not authority but attention and pleasure. They are less upstanding than childlike and they have a hard time dealing with adults.” (King, pg.173). This argument made sense to me along with the others on sidekicks being the therapists and women not really being present in most of the movies. It was also hard to disagree with some of the theories he brought up in chapter seven: Sodomy and Guts. There is a such a clear almost romantic relationship going on between so many of the buddies that it was easy for me to agree with him. Though it was mainly King’s pages of quotes and descriptions of scenes in which homoerotic tension or suggestions were present that got me on his side.

I also agreed with most people that Ed Guerrero’s book was better written, more concise, and more formal in general. Guerrero’s book was well-argued and he made several points that I hadn’t even thought of thinking of before. The way in which he wrote about each “movie-movement” made it easier to see the influences each one had on the following, ending with the biracial buddy cop genre. Having read Guerrero’s book first I could find many places in King’s book where threads from the plantation genre were being discussed and see the way all the movies had common threads linking them together.

Overall I enjoyed both books. Guerrero’s gave me a great history of the African-American film movement and included some great pictures from movies I had never even heard of. Neal King’s book provided me with short summaries on movies I would now like to watch at some point and taught me more about cop action movies than I ever though I would need to know. King even provided a few laughs along the way.

Now onward to watching more cop action movies!


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