Monday, April 02, 2012

Small Bites: Black Gunn, I Love You Phillip Morris

Black Gunn

A blaxploitation film starring both Jim Brown and Martin Landau may sound like a recipe for awesomeness, however, sadly Black Gunn does not deliver. The film really tries too hard to sell the plot, which is a mistake since the plot is anything but original. Basically Gunn (Jim Brown) must avenge his brother’s death after he is killed by the mafia (which includes Landau). Gunn’s brother was part of a militant African-American group that robbed an illegal bookmaking operation run by the mob. In many ways Black Gunn feels extremely tame for a blaxploitation film. Sure there are several action sequences scattered throughout, but for the most part the scenes are uneventful. Even the sexual innuendo in the film feels G-rated. Outside of one amusing scene where Gunn confronts a double crossing drug dealer in a bowling alley, there is very little to recommend about this film.

I Love You Phillip Morris

After a series of less than stellar comedies, it is easy to forget how funny Jim Carrey is when he feels inspired. I Love You Phillip Morris is one of the funnier romantic comedies I have seen in the last few months. Carrey really excels in the role of Steven Jay Russell, a real–life con artist who will do anything to be with the love of his life, Phillip Morris (Ewan McGregor). The film works well as both a comedy and a love story. You would think watching Jim Carrey breakout of prison multiple times would get dull, but it never does. It is fascinating to see what lengths Russell is willing to go to in order to achieve his goals. Though the scenes with Carrey showcasing his con artist abilities are amusing, the thing that struck me the most was the great chemistry that Carrey and McGregor have with each other. It is easy to believe that these two men would fall deeply in love with one another. The only downside about the film was that it was deemed to controversial (i.e. too gay) to receive a wider release. I honestly feel this film could have become a huge hit if it had simply been given the chance.

I Love You Phillip Morris is part of our "The Must See List" series. The film was recommended by Sam


  1. A blaxploitation picture starring Jim Brown...and it isn't awesome? That's a shame. I'll probably still check it out anyway, because I love Jim Brown.

    1. Jim Brown really seems to be going through the motions in this one. Even if you are a fan of Jim Brown it is hard to find anything in this film that he has not already done better elsewhere.


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