Monday, October 22, 2007
I know it's been a minute, and I still have to blog about my camping trip and my birthday, but I'm in the middle of watching Malcom X on no. 4 of the Denzel Washington Movie Collection and feel compelled to comment on the phenomenon that is Denzel. Now Woodstock, don't go getting all upset, let me explain myself. There is a definite separation between the new and old school as it relates to Denzel - old Denzel v. new Denzel, is he good looking, etc. etc. Malcom X sort of personifies what I think is the whole fascination behind Mr. Washington. It's what the new school calls "swagger" and what the old folks call attitude.
The movie's pivotal moment is when Bro Johnson is arrested and subsequently taken to the hospital on Malcom's orders. As he stands outside the hospital with the police officer (who happens to be Frank from "Everybody Loves Raymond") he dispurses the crowd with a simple hand gesture. Now think back to every movie you've seen. What black actor consistently evokes the type of attitude and persona that just makes people want to stand up and listen? Granted, it's a character, and Malcom X was that type of dude. But it's also the man behind the character - or more appropriately, the actor behind the character, because who's to say he's like this when it's just him, Pauletta and kids sitting at home eating dinner.
Don't get me wrong, he's had some rough moments. For every Devil in a Blue Dress, Man on Fire (yeah, this one is a stretch, but anyone who carries a gun while wearing a suit is alright with me) or Training Day, there's a Inside Man (what was UP with that haircut?), Antwone Fischer (weird mustache) and Bone Collector (I'm pretty sure I saw snot bubbles at one point). But regardless of how he looked, he always has the same commanding presence - even when confined to a bed that he moves by blowing through a tube (which I also find incredibly disgusting. It must fill up with spit, like a woodwind instrument ... sorry, I got off track).
Regardless, I know that when American Gangster makes it over here probably 2 months after its release, I won't be going to watch it to see if TI can really act (though my fondness for southern men, specifically Atlantans is no secret) but to see Denzel.
And I'm sure I won't be disappointed.