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BET Blackbuster series draws new viewers

Corbin Hicks | Monday, December 10, 2007

Imagine this: You’re in a dorm room and you’re flipping through the school’s provided cable channels (sorry, no HBO here). In continuing the full sweep, you pass channel No. 75.

For most people that live on campus, which is also indicative of the student body here, channel number 75 is either skipped or stopped on as a source of amusement. The channel in question is none other than Black Entertainment Television, or BET.

BET is the destination for people looking to get their fix of misogynistic rap music, rehashed MTV reject shows with all-Black casts – “College Hill,” I’m looking at you – and dating shows featuring midget devils. I’m convinced that Keenan Ivory Wayans owns stock in the channel, because it’s one-stop shopping for both “In Living Color” and “The Wayans Bros.”

Other staples of the channel include “106 & Park,” “Rap City” and former UPN shows that have been canceled or are currently available in syndication. And yes, I’m crossing my fingers in hopes that “Malcolm & Eddie” is added to the rotation.

However, I haven’t mentioned the true “diamond in the rough” of BET. That, my friends, is the BET Blackbuster Movie of the Week. Yes, you read me right: “Black” buster.

Once a week, preferably late at night on the weekends, the program directors over at headquarters dig through a crate of bootleg VHS tapes and find a different movie to show. These vary from cinematic classics like “Poetic Justice” and “Holiday Heart,” to gangsta flicks like “Boyz N Da Hood” and “Menace to Society,” to spoofs like “I’m Gonna Git You Sucka” and “Don’t Be A Menace To South Central While Drinking Your Juice In The Hood” – yes, that’s the full title – and even the “straight to barbershop” smashes like “3 Strikes” and “I Got The Hook Up.”

My personal favorite is a tie between “Baller Blockin'” and “Hot Boyz,” from the “Cash Money” and “No Limit” glory days. There’s just something about New Orleans rappers trying to do serious films, with plots only using one camera, that I find amusing. I’m convinced that Silkk the Shocker should have won an award for his captivating performance in “Hot Boyz.”

“Baller Blockin’,” serious film that it is, is only 50 minutes long and ends with the classic “To Be Continued” motif. Needless to say, seven years later there still hasn’t been a sequel, but I will be first in line to buy a ticket when there is.

The newest Blackbuster movie is “The American Dream,” starring the one and only Mike Jones. The movie is about an aspiring Houston rapper and the trials and tribulations that occur during his quest for fame and stardom.

Sound familiar to anybody?

During the movie, which was obviously filmed at the rapper’s house or some other low-budget locale, the viewer is drawn in for the same reason most people watch trashy TV: because the girls look good.

But I have digressed.

For those of you who have never had the pleasure of watching one of the movies that I’ve listed, I strongly urge you to do yourself the favor. Although not all will be “Ride or Die” starring Duane Martin and Jadakiss, occasionally you’ll have an enjoyable, fulfilling film experience. And remember, all of these big name actors have to start somewhere.

If Wanda from “In Living Color” can get an Oscar, you never know what’s around the corner.