Wednesday, 28 April 2010

Black - DVD Review


Dir: Pierre Laffargue
Cast: MC Jean Gab'1, Carole Karemera, François Levantal, Ibrahima Mbaye
France, 2009

All set for some action? Then get ready because Black is coming your way. A heist action flick that takes us from Paris to Senegal with the premise of the ultimate job takes the heist flick to a whole new level. MC Jean Gab'1 is a charismatic powerhouse as Black, our fearless hero that has a unique sense of style and opportunity. It is a very interesting choice to make a heist film where the main character has a fair range of emotional depth including remorse, this works very well in building unexpected sympathy for a character who is essentially a criminal. The fact that MC Jean Gab'1 exudes intense energy is what truly makes it work - you are always rooting for him no matter what is thrown at him which is anything and everything. Shot on location in Paris and Senegal we see a fantastic array of settings to explore and even with so many standards notes you hit in a heist film, there are so many twists and turns keeping us on our toes the entire time. It was also refreshing to see an action film that didn't play the stereotype for comedy game, but rather present and embrace strong characters of every variety. You certainly don't want to mess with any of them! The film truly has everything - action, totems, snakes, lions, diamonds, guns fights, car chases and the list goes on and on. A wild ride which I'd be happy to ride again.

Original saw the film at the Toronto After Dark Film Festival in 2009 where director Pierre Laffargue and producer Lauranne Bourrachat were in attendance. You can see selections from the Q&A from that screening here.

I'm thrilled that this heist action flick is now available on DVD from Evokative Films. The DVD features French dialogue with optional English subtitles in yellow. The DVD packaging is an environmentally-friendly made of 100% recycled materials & totally sleek. The wrapping is 100% biodegradable cellophane.

DVD Extras: (In French)
Documentary about MC Jean Gab'1 coming to Montreal including interviews and screening (26m)
A Capsule about the Canadian Premiere at Fantasia including footage of screening Q&A, audience reactions and interviews with MC Jean Gab'1, producer Lauranne Bourrachat and director Pierre Laffargue
A Making-of on location with director Pierre Laffargue, producer Marco Cherqui, special effects make-up artist Frédéric Balmer and actors MC Jean Gab'1 & Carole Karemera (25m)

DVD Extras: (In French & English)
The packaging includes a booklet with an director's note and a foreword by Tim League (founder of the Alamo Theatres and co-founder of the Fantastic Fest) and film trailer

Black DVD is available for purchase at the Evokative Films website store, as is the awesome poster for the film

Shannon's Overall View:
I loved it
I own it
I highly & widely recommend it, especially to fans of action & heist films

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© Shannon Ridler, 2009-2010
Originally reviewed for during Toronto After Dark Film Festival - August 19, 2009




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