Welcome to The Daily Cup a movie blog/writing project by Kyle B. Dekker, presented by Hot Chocolate Media. You can read series concept here. The basic rules, Kyle must watch 365 movies in 2018 and write about all of them. 292 of them have to be movies he's never seen before. Thanks for reading.
One of my mantras I try to live as a film fan is that you should let people enjoy the movies they enjoy, and don’t judge them if their opinion is different from yours. This is a relatively recent mantra of mine that’s come over time, and I’ve grown away from the snarky hypercritical film analysis that is popular on YouTube. Sometimes you need to take a deep breath acknowledge a movie has flaws, and then also acknowledge you enjoyed it, immensely. You can tell other people why you enjoyed it and hope they give it a chance, but don’t get upset if you don’t change their minds. Posse (1993) is a very stylistic western that is high on concept,messy on execution, and totally fun.
Directed by Mario Van Peebles, Posse is the story of a team of black cowboys (and one token white guy). It’s a tale of gold, revenge, racial injustice, and Mario Van Peebles’s muscular, glistening chest. The story starts amidst a battle in Cuba during the Spanish-American war. A group of black soldiers and one white outcast are sent on a dangerous mission. On the mission they discover a large amount of gold and escpase Cuba with it to the American west. Their racist colonel tires to hunt them down. The journey leads the team of former soldiers to a black town in the west threatened by a town run by a sheriff who is also a KKK leader. There is a tale of revenge mixed in with all of this and the movie cumulates in a epic shootout complete with dynamite, knives, and gatling guns.
The cast is solid and their real strength is how much they seem to be having fun with each other on screen. Van Peebles plays the lead Jesse Lee, a stoic and quick drawing sharpshooter with a hunger for vengeance. Tommy Lister plays the muscle bound Obobo, a giant with a heart of gold. Charles Lane plays Weezie the bookish nerd. Big Daddy kane plays suave gambler Father Time, and Stephen Baldwin plays the plucky and crude Little J. When I say the cast really got along, there is a funny scene of the Posse bathing together. If this same scene were in a movie today the cries of “homosexual virtue signaling” would be deafening. But in this film it's just a bunch of buds grabbing each other and having fun while naked. This charismatic band of protagonists are opposed by Billy Zane as Colonel Graham, bloodthirsty, racist, and so comically evil he has an eyepatch. Tone Loc and Pam Grier also help out with own fun characters Angel and Phoebe. Most of these characters are cut out of trope handbooks, but the actors execute them well, and make it fun.
Van Peebles directing style is bit of a mixed bag. He and his director of photography were very fond of Dutch angles, black and white flashbacks, and slow mo. There is a very hot, but also very unnecessary sex scene featuring the director. At least showed they as much Van Peebles flesh as it did of actor Salli Richardson-Whitfield. At times it felt as certain scenes were glamour shot sessions for Van Peebles, and were a bit cringey. The finale action sequence however is pure awesome fun, and is the perfect matchup of 90s action style in an old west shootout.
This film was pure 90s fun. Sadly it didn’t usher in an era of stylistic westerns, I would have loved to have seen more movies like this. While not without its flaws, it's entertaining and fun from beginning to end. Even though each and every character in this film is a trope, you care about them. The biggest crime this movie commits is that it makes me want more westerns about black cowboys, and that’s a genre with very few films so I’m just left wanting more.
Movies new to me watched: 37/292
Other movies: 9/73
Total movies watched: 46/365
Have your own thoughts or opinions on this movie? Comment below or contact Kyle at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter at @kbdekker.