Thursday, October 7, 2010
"I don't hate Balboa but I pity the fool!" - Clubber Lang
Have you ever seen "Rocky III?" Personally I think it's an American classic. Italian man gets beat up badly by a big bad black man, then learns to be the big bad black man with the help of another big bad black man that the Italian previously beat. But that's another story and not the point of today's post. Today's post is about a classic line from that film that describes my feelings towards Winston James, better known in his non Boondocks appearance as Tyler Perry. I don't hate TP but I damn sure pity the fool.
Let's first talk about what I love about Tyler Perry. I love his hustle. I love the fact that he came from the poorest of poor families to rise above his situation. I love the fact that he overcame a rough, emotional upbringing to beat the odds. I love the fact he believes in himself when others did not and that he currently is #5 on the list of richest folks in Hollywood (It's true, it's damn true). I even love how he suckered TBS into not one but two shows for 100 plus episodes and reaping the financial benefits now that they are in syndication. So what's my beef with him and others who get mad when I opt not to support his stuff? Well let's talk on it shall we...
I first learned about Perry probably in 2002 or 2003 when he came to town and black folks I knew were falling over themselves to get tickets to his play. Can't recall the name of the show but I know Madea was in it and it was something like Madea meets the prison or some off wall joint. Now true I was prejudiced in my first thought of why in the fuck would someone name a play meets the prison (or whatever it was called) and was immediately turned off. It sounds like a bad skit on In Living Color called "Mama done forgot to fry the chicken and now the damn house is hungry." And I felt like a loner because both men and women are like "Yo you going to see TP's show?" or "You gotta check out the videos!" and I'm like aw hell naw...
BUT I'm a dude that does like to support my own. So as I was dating my wife, one of TP's movies was adapted for the big screen, "Madea's Family Reunion." She pleaded with me to take her and if you understand courting, you understand you going to that movie (wink wink). So we up in the theater watching it, and literally like within 10 minutes, I'm mentally going "Calgon please take me away" because the shit was cliche and my Negrodamus sense kicked in. It was telling more buffoonery is coming Honest Man, just wait. And boy did it come. Hot grits, ex convict gardeners, the "climatic" family meal, basically watching a people version of Prego, because it was all in there. And I remember my wife laughing her ass off and I'm going this shit is corny but her laughing had me laughing at her. When it ended, I said ok, I've done my time, gave him a chance. I'm soooo good on TP.
It's funny when I publicly mentioned I don't care for Tyler Perry, it's like telling his supporters you don't believe in God. Here are some samples
"I don't understand how you don't like Tyler Perry. The themes in his movie are Christian related and he's trying to spread the good word."
"You like all those bang bang shoot 'em up movies but not his movies.
"How can you watch someone like Martin that dresses up like a woman and say it's okay but criticize Tyler for doing the same thing?"
For starters, I don't think God ever intended for his messengers to spread the good word by cross dressing. Find me the quote or passage in the Bible that okays that portrayal (I'm waiting). Second, the difference between Martin and Tyler is that Martin never publicly tried to say his movies have Christian themes. NEVER. For the record, I have no issue with him pushing that theme because it's definitely needed but please don't tell me dressing up like a woman is the right way to go about it because it's not. Third, I'm a dude that likes mental stimulation in a movie. That means when I walk out, I'm going damn, that's impactful on so many levels. Want some examples? "Do the Right Thing", "Love Jones", "Precious". Guess what? These were directed by black folks. Wow, imagine that!
And before you start rolling your eyes Perry lovers, I do think Perry has gotten better in recent years. "Why did I get married" was a good movie. I think "For Colored Girls" has potential to be a good one from the preview I saw. But when I hear a new Madea movie is coming out, I'm going colored me blind because I can't see paying my money for the following: Madea does some cussing, Madea does some tussing, and Madea does some fussing. Toss in some resurrected black actor or actress that couldn't find work except with TP and we got ourselves a movie. Yeah!!
Like I said, I admire Perry for hustle. Cat is an inspiration to me as I try to unlock the key to my own American dream. But admiration and me parting with my cash to see his movies is another subject. If you want me, I'll be next door watching the "Social Network" Cheers!