Friday, October 07, 2005

Black Cloud (2005)

Building blocks or stumbling blocks?

This DVD has two filming debuts, Rick Schroder (Lonesome Dove, NYPD Blue) as director and Tim McGraw as actor. Both are good debuts. The script was also written by Rick Schroder.

“Black Cloud (2005)” is about the personal struggles and triumphs of Navajo boxer Black Cloud. (Full name) Black Cloud (Eddie Spears) faces racism from the local residents and city police near the Navajo rez. Local Sheriff Powers (McGraw) knows about the personal struggles of the Navajo Nation people. And he sees Black Cloud as a survivor, so he gives Black Cloud the benefit of the doubt when it comes to his troubles. The only outlet Black Cloud has is boxing. Boxing keeps Black Cloud out of trouble. Trouble is so easy to find on the rez. When an Olympic scout (Peter Greene) sees Black Cloud fight on the boxing under-card of an arrogant Olympic hopeful Rocket Ray Tracey (Pooch Hall), he sees Black Cloud making the Olympic boxing team. But will Black Cloud personal demons get the best of him? Black Cloud’s father is alcoholic and has constant parties at his house. So, Black Cloud seeks out his coach and mentor, Bud. (Russell Means)

Black Cloud’s girlfriend Sammi (Julia Jones) has a son by rodeo circuit, white bull rider Eddie. (Schroder) When Eddie tries to reunite with his ex, Sammie, Black Cloud’s anger gets the best of him and he opens a can of whip ass on Eddie. Will this put an end to his Olympic shot?

The character relationship and dialogue could have been developed more. The background, relationships and why Black Cloud does not trust the white man were not explained thoroughly. A lot of the stereotypical Native association is utilized like alcoholism, trust, mysticism and poverty. But this is the first time I’ve seen Native Hip Hop in a film. The typical hard partying and attitude came along with it. Native Hip Hop has been actually infiltrating and influencing the younger generation on the rez for many years. Whether that is good or bad can still be debated.

The film shows the beauty of the Navajo Nation rez located at the four corners. Rick Schroder utilizes boxing coach Jimmy Gambin (Rocky, The Champ) to train the boxers. The boxing elements in the film are action packed and realistic.

Recognizable Native actors include; Nathaniel Arcand (Jimmy), Saginaw Grant (Grandpa) and Branscombe Richmond (Peter). “Seinfeld’s” Wayne Knight makes a special appearance as the special favor, white power monger Mr. Tipping.

Rick Schroder (Little Ricky in Silver Spoons) utilizes his experiences from acting and growing up in the entertainment industry to help with filming. The DVD shows his potential as a director, but his script writing on this film could have been more polished. Will the financial risk of movie making leave Schroder high and dry in the future?

Post a Comment