Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
BE WARNED!!! THEY RUINED THE BEST SCENE!
-Paul E Kilianski--- | Power Kingdom, New York | 10/24/2002
(1 out of 5 stars)
"It's a shame really. This classic among classics would have otherwise received 10 stars from me (even without all the extras, which are great btw). But they butchered what has got to be the best part of the whole film... the scene where Grandmaster Flash is cutting records in his kitchen!!! In the original print, you see (and just as importantly, hear) Flash cutting up The Headhunters "God Made Me Funky" and then Bob James "Take Me To The Mardi Gras" while the film cuts back and forth to members of the Rock Steady Crew break dancing (For those not up on their samples, the Bob James tune was most famously used as the backing track to Run DMC's "Peter Piper").
Well, my guess is that they never cleared the song for use in the film and didn't want to pay whatever it was going to cost to clear it, so...they simply cut the audio out and REPLACED it with a track made to SOUND like "Mardi Gras" .....with HORRIBLE results. They should have, at the VERY least, had a warning written somewhere on the back of the case, letting unsuspecting buyers know that this is NOT Wild Style as it was originally shown in 1983.
I don't know how other die-hard hip hop heads out there feel about this, but to me, Rhino straight up [messed up] this film.
...Over 25 years old and hip hop STILL doesn't get it's proper respect...even when it's well deserved as in this case."
The truest film reflection of Hip Hop
Carrie | Chicago, IL | 12/17/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Wild Style was created by independent New York filmmaker Charlie Ahearn with the help of Fred Braithwaite (aka Fab Five Freddy). The first movie to depict the elements of hip hop, it became an underground hit. It featured well-known graffiti writers Lee and Lady Pink as "Zoro" and "Ladybug", and included performances by Grandmaster Flash (in his own kitchen!), Grand Wizard Theodore, Busy Bee Starski, The Cold Crush Brothers, and b-boy champions the Rock Steady Crew. Lee admits, "It didn't really have a script, but we didn't have a script in real life. The film didn't call for acting because we were being ourselves. There's no Hollywood thing about it" (from the excellent book Yes Yes Ya'll, 2002). This lack of a "Hollywood thing" is precisely what made Wild Style so popular among the people who lived hip hop. Writers were played by writers, DJs were played by DJs, and the breakers were real b-boys.
Fab 5 Freddy wanted the film to tie together the elements of hip hop, and show the rest of the nation that graffiti, breaking, and DJing and MCing came out of the same place, and often the same people. The result is the most accurate depiction of hip hop in film. Lingering shots of boarded up buildings, junk yards, and filthy subway stops portrayed the Bronx for what it was. Zoro tries to balance street credibility with commissions to do pieces on canvas from wealthy art collectors. He is a young man trying to find his place in a difficult world. Blondie's Chris Stein describes it, "Wild Style was just so ahead of its time. I remember telling Charlie Ahearn, `As soon as this thing comes out, mark my words, Hollywood will eat it.' And Beat Street came out... which was a sappy, watered-down version"."
adesh. kumar | united kingdom | 10/09/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"im from england and in 1984 the hip hop breaking and grafiti scene arrived. but it took me a good 6 months to really get into it. i use to bomb my school walls and break too. in 1985 the breakin scene died down, but in my heart i wanted to keep it alive. it wasnt till the summer of 1986 when i went to NEW YORK that i was looking forward to seeing the greatest breakers and graffiti artists, but when i arrived it was all finished. i even asked people on the street wheres all the breakin and graffiti, they replied its out of style man. i was just so saddened i could not have seen a culture which in my view was new yorks greatest. it wasnt till after that i saw WILD STYLE,WHICH made it more saddened for me. i actually stayed in the south bronx, in which was the centre of it all. Wild style bought the real fruit of the culture. if there was no wild style, i dont think there would of been beat street, breakin or any of the other classics. Even to this day i still have the pleasure in watching it. Many people in ENGLAND believed that going and bombing trains in new york was part of the film, but life in NEW YORK was exactly how you saw wild style. I remember a puerto rican guy named CHICO who i made friends with over in new york, said to me" wild style exactly how new york was in 1983,84. i guess my real sadness was i couldnt of gone to new york at that time to see it.
GOD BLESS, all old skool lovers.... adesh kumar.... many thanks"
Don't expect Shakespeare, expect Hip-hop!
H. Brumfield | St. Louis, MO | 01/27/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I think it's possible that a generation raised on "realism" in movies, and now "reality TV" (oxymorons for morons), have come to expect De Niro-style dramatic acting in every movie they view. But drama is not reality. Real life might seem more like film, and perhaps as exciting, if God the Director would see fit to edit out all the bathroom breaks, stretches of boredom, mundane and inane dialogue, and blow things up more often. Alas, He doesn't. Still, people tend to ham it up when a camcorder's trained on them, as if this is more interesting than how they normally behave. Conversely, if they view a film where the actors behave normally, they malign it as "bad acting".Hence Wild Style's bad "rap" in the acting department. What's brilliant about Wild Style is that all the key roles are played by real emcees, deejays, breakdancers, and graf writers. Unlike Beat Street, where the center character (Ramo) is portrayed by some thirty-year-old white guy pretending to be a teenage graffiti writer. Or Breakin', which has as its cast everyone who got kicked off the set of the TV show Fame. And Wild Style's "poor plot" is another victim of the reality/drama confusion. Yeah, there's no awesome John Woo-style gunplay or revenge drama. Instead we have an honest and historical account of the merging of South Bronx subculture and New York's Uptown art scene. Fab Five Freddy, whose character "Fade" in the movie shuttles between these two worlds, was, in reality, a liason who helped hip-hop cross boundaries into mainstream culture (first, as depicted in the film, and later as vee-jay for Yo! MTV Raps). Lee Quinones really was a young artist trying to find his place in a world of alienation, and in the film is the archetype of the individual vs. society, who "comes of age" with the realization that he is an individual within society, a society comprised of individuals. Lee's pontifications on graffiti as outlaw-art throughout the film are key to understanding the essence of hip-hop as a whole. See my review of the Wild Style soundtrack for my list of how influential this film has been to hip-hop music itself. Thank Charles Ahearn and Fab Five Freddy for this time capsule, without which a gaping hole would exist in the musicological timeline. My one beef here is that, probably out of copyright considerations, the classic Grandmaster Flash scene has been butchered to remove the Bob James "Take Me to the Mardis Gras" bells. Oh well. The film still rocks."