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Luke Cage – The Creator (Review)

Luke Cage has always been engaged with The Godfather.

This was obvious even during the first season. Outside of dialogue accepting The Godfather, Part II as “the sequel better than the original” in Step in the Arena, the portrayal of the Stokes family in flashback owed a lot to Francis Ford Coppola’s generation crime saga. Indeed the sequences of the Stokes family gathered around the family table, unaware of the chaos that would rain down upon them, evokes the closing flashback of The Godfather, Part II. It is an image rich with irony, bringing the tragedy something of a full circle.

This point of comparison makes a great deal of sense. The Godfather is a story about a minority community in America, trying to exist both inside and outside the law. It is an archetypal American fairy tale, one of the great cynical meditations on the American Dream. (After all, the opening line of The Godfather is “I believe in America.”) This fits neatly with what Luke Cage is, an exploration of a particularly distinct subculture within contemporary America that explores the sometimes tumultuous relationship that this community has with the law and with political structures.

The second season of Luke Cage commits to this idea even further, its narrative borrowing liberally from The Godfather and The Godfather, Part II in crafting a generational superhero crime epic.

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Non-Review Review: Live and Let Die

This post is part of James Bond January, being organised by the wonderful Paragraph Films. I will have reviews of all twenty-two official Bond films going on-line over the next month, and a treat or two every once in a while.

Who’s the black private dick honky secret agent who’s a sex machine to all the chicks? Bond, James Bond.

It’s blaxploitation, but with a British accent.

Strange bedfellows…

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Non-Review Review: Dr. No

This post is part of James Bond January, being organised by the wonderful Paragraph Films. I will have reviews of all twenty-two official Bond films going on-line over the next month, and a treat or two every once in a while.

Sure, there’s an opening scene involving the murder of a British agent stationed in the Caribbean, but the start of the movie that everybody remembers takes place in a late-night British casino over a game of card. A beautiful young woman is losing to the suave cigarette-smoking stranger on the opposite side of the table. “I admire your luck, Mister…?” she remarks, locking eyes with the figure. He coyly lights a cigarette.

“Bond,” he introduces himself. “James Bond.”

The rest is cinematic history.

You know the name… You know the number…

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