Jan 13, 2009
Not Easily Watchable
I Feel Sanctified
Someone sent me a text the other day saying that they were just leaving "Bishop Jake's film." That phrase sounded weird to me. First of all, the reverence with which Jakes was accorded in title and secondly, the fact that his name and the word "film" would be used in the same sentence. The "Bishop Jakes" in question is none other than Bishop Thomas Dexter "TD" Jakes, to be precise. Jakes is the influential modern day preacher who presides over the Dallas mega church The Potter's House. His film is the recently released Not Easily Broken.
I am a big proponent of a) advocating that people stay in their lane and b) bashing organized religion in all its many guises. Preacher's shouldn't make movies and filmmakers shouldn't preach. It is a sad day in Hollywood when the few black films that get made are increasingly those made by chitlin' circuit entrepreneurs like Jakes and Tyler Perry. These two have become the modern day versions of people like Oscar Micheaux and Spencer Williams. Unlike those early black film pioneers whose cinematic shortcomings are a bit more understandable considering their times, Jakes and Perry have no excuse for the contemporary coonishness that their films perpetrate. Further, the overt religiousness of their films are but another demonstration of the way that the evangelical movement is seeping into places where it need not be. Just another lasting legacy of the soon-to-be-departed 43, I guess?
Now some will ask, have you seen Not Easily Broken? And my answer is, absolutely not! And I don't plan on it either. When you are The Notorious Ph.D. and you watch film and have been watching movies for a living for the last 20 years, you don't need to see something to know whether or not it's bull defecation; the smell alone is a dead giveaway.
Green for the Money and Gold for the Honey!
People complain about rappers becoming actors all the time. Well, what about preachers and charlatans becoming filmmakers? That is a much bigger issue of concern for me. TD Jakes needs to stick with his regular hustle and stay out of the theaters with that overly moralistic, retread, "All God's Chill'un Got Wings" sentiment. What we might laugh at now when seeing say Green Pastures from 1936 is no longer funny in 2009. Frankly, it's quite sad. Besides as far as "Bishops" go, I much prefer listening to Arch Bishop Don "Magic" Juan anyway. Better yet, if Nina Mae McKinney, I'm sorry, Taraji P. Henson, ain't singin' "It's Hard Out Here For a Pimp" then don't even call me.
Nina Mae McKinney