"Shaft", the prototype for all the 70s "Super Action" films to follow is filled to to the brim with the kinds of things an audience likes to see. Well, not really. Gritty, hilarious masterpiece or unwatchable lethargy on film? The line is blurred. I seem to remember "Shaft" as an "entertaining" movie. This delusion was hastily put away upon viewing a hacked-up TNT version. Instead of blood, nudity, and cussing... You get: turtlenecks (lots of them, in various hues), policemen that look like Mario, a series of moldy rooms, an endless array of phone calls, lots of scenes of Richard Roundtree walking around with no real purpose, a mushmouthed gangster called Bumpy, a trendsetting/now cliche/yet still neat wachikawa guitar soundtrack, a few more small moldy rooms, and maybe some more intense phone calls. Whether mindnumbing boredom is worth enduring in order to extract a few good lines is up to the individual viewer. Oh, and Shaft does a lot of jaywalking too, thus proving what a man he is.
QUOTES, SERVED THE WAY YOU LIKE THEM
Jamie> That Shaft is one TV14 muthafucka.
Djenk> Blaxploitation, ma'am..keep your head down...
dungarees> Why is he crabwalking in pursuit of a criminal?
Balthasar> Watch out, a man who would buy gum is capable of anything!
oatdreg> For a jivetalking hipster, he sure has a nice set of Reader's Digest Condensed Novels...
Jamie> I hate it when the beginning of Columbo goes on and on like this. Where's Peter Falk?!
dungarees> Is his turtleneck made of changeable taffeta or something? It was salmon-colored a few minutes ago.
Merlynn> He hits you with a loogie,you hit him with a bottle,that's the Harlem way.
oatdreg> Of course, he'll take the cab downtown and begin his aimless wandering again.
dungarees> Ah...more jaywalking...hold me back from that hunkoman.
Djenk> The Outta Tune Horn Trio, folks
Balthasar> How did it become Harlem Nights all of a sudden?
oatdreg> It's hard to respect a man named Bumpy. I wonder where he got that name.... Actually, no. I better not wonder.
THX-1138> Just like with the yellow Dick Tracy jackets, the studio tried to sell Shaft leather jackets. It too failed miserably.
Balthasar> "Damn woman. I just gave you sweet lovin' 5 minutes ago. You tryin' to kill me?"
dungarees> This chair scene is kinda a miniseries about the Monroe Doctrine
Jamie> Despite all my rage, I'm still just a Shaft ina cage!
oatdreg> Now get the tapioca out of your mouth, Mr Bumpy Sir
Balthasar> Don't cry, I'll buy your damn Gangster Scout cookies!
dungarees> You have a lovely Magritte porfolio, sir, but shouldn't we be working on the case?
oatdreg> Oh, "The News"? That's a good paper.
Balthasar> "The comics" is my favorite strip in "The News"
Djenk> I'm sure in your fever dream world you hear cats talking allll the time
oatdreg> Yeah, whatever. Shouldn't you be rescuing a Princess or something?
dungarees> Nobody pouts like Shaft
Jamie> You talk jive to me, on my daughter's wedding day?
Balthasar> Shaft treats us to another peep into his turtleneck collection.
oatdreg> Talking. Offices. Walking. Talking. Offices. Walking. Mario. "Getting Laid". Walking. Bumpy. Sigh.
Jamie> I know what you're thinking. Did I shoot five cats or six?
dungarees> Shaft sure has a lot of #2 pencils...this is just rich with symbolism
Balthasar> Shaft once again reaches for the phone in his hour of need.
oatdreg> Shaft. The hero who dares to mercilessly repeat his name over and over again.
Merlynn> Shaft isn't so much a bad mother as a big freak.
Balthasar> Why are injured people always put on the couch? Do couches have healing properties?
dungarees> I do believe he's bought a bile green tie to match the doors
Jamie> The New Mod Squad: Linc, Linc, Linc and Shaft.
Balthasar> Whitey? CUT! The line's HONKEY!!
Djenk> And several people were also killed, but who cares about them
Balthasar> Early experiments in cubicle science...
dungarees> Tom Cruise only wishes he was as good at pouring as Shaft
oatdreg> Well, he did study under Michael Caine
Balthasar> Burnt Orange-It was a law in the 70's for your kitchen to be either that or Avacodo.
MOST REVEALING LINES FROM THE FILM:
"How come a couple of cats from harlem come downtown this morning to see John Shaft?"
"I got to feelin' like a machine- and that's no way to feel."
"Well, they're soul brothers. They came down so I could teach 'em the handshake."
"Warms my black heart to see you so concerned 'bout us minority folks."
"Why don't you stop playin' with yourself, Willie?
"That cat you threw out the window was a cat from Bumpy Jones!"
"You ain't so black. You ain't so white, baby!"
"Lot of hyped-up black people gave you the money you're spending, pimp!"
"Cut the crap, man. This is SHAFT."