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Saturday, December 29, 2012

Django Unchained or The live version of Catcher Freeman

Forget what Spike Lee has to say about Django Unchained, I want to know if Aaron McGruder recognized his work on the big screen.

After reading what Quentin Tarantino said about Roots, I had plans to sit this one out. Then I got an invite to see it. 
Tarantino called out Roots as inauthentic as a part of his battle with Lee, who accurately said Django was disrespectful to his ancestors. About ten minutes into this overly long spaghetti western/blaxplotation flick, I wanted to make a tee shirt that would read, SPIKE WAS RIGHT. 

Tarantino should've made a western with a black hero -- the slavery aspect of the movie was just so unnecessary. Granted, this movie is a work of fiction and not based on any historical slavery story. And yes, people go to the movies to be entertained, but overly violent movies aren't entertaining to me. However, I digress. 

The fact that some many people are talking about how "original" this movie is proves one thing: Y'all don't watch  The Boondocks.

I'm not saying QT, as his fans call him, stole this idea from McGruder -- actually I'm saying he stole several ideas from him.
Samuel L. Jackson's Stephen character is Uncle Ruckus. 

Django is Catcher Freeman.

QT may call Roots inauthentic, but at least it wasn't based on a cartoon.

8 comments: said...

Samuel took Uncle Ruckus to another level :-) I would however stop short at suggesting that Tarantino copied McGruder. The characters are archetypes that existed decades before both were even born.


Um no, Sam jackson added NOTHING to The Ruckus character. Mcgruder has Flashed out Ruckus so much much more than anything Sam had to work with. Same's role was actually not large enough.
Yes all of this preexisted lots of things, but McGruder is the ONLY person who has successful brought it to life in recent times, on this level. Quinten needs to Credit this man for inspiration. On that note, Id rather watch any episode of boondocks over the tripe QT produced. At least Mcgruders work has a message. QT's film was straight bafoonery.


sorry, my comment was in response to the above comment. This article is SPOT on. Kudos to the author.

M. Demon said...

1) In episodes of The Boondocks I have seen references to, or scenes and episodes inspired by or taken from -

Blazing Saddles
Charlie Brown
Shaolin Soccer
Star Wars
Just about any John Woo film
Gangster movies
Chapelle Show

And that's just off the top of my head. Should people behind all of those be pissed at McGruder for "ripping them off"?

2) Samuel Jackson's character physically looked a lot more like Uncle's father, Mister Ruckus. Also seeing how Sammy J is one of the voice actors for The Boondocks, it is hardly "theft" if he used the Uncle Ruckus character as some of the inspiration for his portrayal of an Uncle Tom character of his own.

3)The Boondocks and Django Unchained share a common producer. They gonna sue themselves?

4)Spike Lee (any anyone else) should shut the hell up about how bad a movie is until he actually bothers to at least watch it.

All I'm getting from the author in this is that she's sacrificing critical thinking just to get cool points and show off how much of a Boondocks fan she is.

M. Demon said...

Allsportstees -

You might want to give some of the credit for Ruckus to the man who was able to make the character work on screen better than he did on paper - Gary Anthony Williams.

Cheris Hodges said...

Actually, M. Demon, the Boondocks and Django don't share a common producer. McGruder and Hudlin split before the show aired over creative differences.

M. Demon said...

Fair enough, although if he left before airing but after production, he still has some credit to the show.

Either way, original point reminds. A lot of people borrow from each other and are inspired by numerous sources in the creative world. I honestly can't see McGruder considering Django Unchained to be ripping him off in any way. If somehow the next comiccon around here is able to get him as a guest, that's going to be one of the questions I want to ask him. I'm willing to bet that a guy who blatantly took scenes from things like Mad Max would be cool with it.

Nen Nen said...

It's widely recognized that Tarantino borrow elements from other work of arts. It's how he mixes them and add his personnal touch and makes those elements his own that makes him an interesting artist. Only in the western world are we so prone to call copying the borrowing of cultural references for the enjoyment of those entertained. If you look at other countries, Japan for example, you'd realize that it is considered an art to use cultural references in a new work of art. No, bunraku and kabuki theaters and japanese litterature have being doing that for centuries to great effects and, closer to us, rap music too!
As far as the question of respect of black people in Django, I can't prononce myself because I,m not black, I'd rather leave it to black people. However, I don't think Tarantino wanted to disrespect the African-American community. I think he just wanted to make an entertaining movie and so he did.