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Review of The Mack

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The MackRating: ★★★★☆☆☆☆☆☆

Review

There was a time where Richard Pryor was the best comedian in the world, and he was, unapologetic and the shit. Now it’s Dane Cook or that chubby Spanish guy. It’s a sad sad world. Yet during Pryor’s reign as master of comedy, he and Max Julien helped put together an exploitation film called The Mack. the Mack is essentially a character study of drug dealing in the late 60’s. You would be surprised at how unfunny the film is, considering it’s lead, being more of a drama than anything else. This isn’t wrong exactly, but it does come from left field as a drama about black men in California, and less a comedy tripe.

Reason to Watch

Richard Pryor is playing someone relatively serious, something Pryor teased through his long career as an actor. Lots of street hustling, pimping, and dope as well for the hidden pimpmaster in us all.

Context

The Mack is for the times and is solidified in history as being such. After Pryor’s death, The Mack stands as one of the best things he’s ever been a part of, and an intriguing take on a counter-culture revolution in the seedy underbelly of drug culture.

Most Memorable Quote(s)
  • Goldie: Listen to me and listen good. I don’t give a shit what happened to you, you hear me? Now get yourself together, get out there, and get me my money!
What You Need to Get Through This Movie

Richard Pryor’s comedy set fresh in your mind. It’ll be all the better when he calls everyone a mother fucker non-ironically.

Trivia

According to director Michael Campus, screenwriter Robert J. Poole started developing the treatment and script on toilet paper while he was in prison. 

“The Mack” entered the non-competitive category of The Cannes Film Festival on May 11, 1983, 10 years after its release. 

The Mack was a direct influence on Oliver Stone‘s script for Scarface.  The Mack has been sampled in hundreds of songs (rap, R&B, hip hop, etc), including Dr. Dre‘s “The Chronic”. Max Julien also played Nelly‘s father in the video for “Pimp Juice.” 

Educational Content

Black culture is CRAZY

Scarface would have been The Mack if Richard Pryor or Max Julien replaced Al Pacino, and the setting moved to California

Justification for Rating

The Mack is only truly entertaining if you have some background understanding of the events and characters. Otherwise, you’re left sort of stranded.

Clip

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rkgz1FR9TO4

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