Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Sine Your Pity on the Runny Kine!

It's a bit of a funeral march walking through the aisles of a closing video rental store. This twisted reenactment of a lost ritual of youth is so common these days that it won't last for long - since there's not many stores left to shut their doors.

Growing up, I probably spent more time in my local and now defunct Video 99 than any other store besides Consumer's Distributing (especially if you include the catalog in the hour count). But if there's one upside of the demise of the video rental store, it's the chance to pick up great deals on out-of-print or hard-to-find movies*.

For example, the forgotten classic Pootie Tang. Yes, I'm in love with Pootie - not unlike the women in the film who can't resist the charms of the heroic 70s throwback, crime fighting lothario. Yes, I was one of the 8 people there on opening night in June of 2001 to check out this hilarious and confusing mess of a comedy. And yes, I finally tracked down a DVD copy of it at a Movie Gallery closing sale in Barrington Passage, Nova Scotia.

I watched it again last night for the first time, and noticed a few things (which you might have also noticed in the above unreleased trailer for the movie).

1. Written and directed by Louis CK, it bares very little resemblance to his stand-up routine or his recent sitcom work. Besides a like-minded worldview that defends the little guy and roots for the working class.

2. In a deleted scene featured in the credits, a very young Veronica Mars Kristen Bell plays possibly the only girl on earth who can resist Pootie's charms.

3. Pootie Tang features two characters from "The Wire". Reg E. Cathey/Norman Wilson as Dirty Dee and J.D. Williams/Preston 'Bodie' Broadus as Froggy. The two are criminal comrades in the movie and I don't know if they share a single scene in the Wire. I wonder if the casting director for "The Wire" could repeat that fact.

*I should emphasize that I have zero sympathy/nostalgia for the death of the Blockbuster juggernaut. The chain's own arrogance led to their decline and bankruptcy. Not Netflix, not Itunes, and not illegal downloading. Blockbuster's tragic flaw was they sucked.


  1. veronica mars, I'm watching you....watching your every move.....

  2. Poop Gunning is Back Baby! The sebatical damn near killed me.