Black Cloud [Import]
An inspirational story about a young Native American boxer who overcomes challenges as he fights his way to a spot on the US Olympic boxing team. DVD Features:Audio Commentary:Commentary by Director Rick Schroder, Tim McGraw and boxing coach Jimmy Gambia DVD ROM Features:TBD
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"Black Cloud(2005)" is about the personal struggles and triumphs of Navajo boxer Black Cloud. (Full name) Black Cloud (Eddie Spears) faces racism from the local residents and city police near the Navajo rez. Local Sheriff Powers (McGraw) knows about the personal struggles of the Navajo Nation people. And he sees Black Cloud as a survivor, so he gives Black Cloud the benefit of the doubt when he gets in trouble. The only outlet Black Cloud has is boxing. Boxing keeps Black Cloud out of trouble when it is so easy to find on the rez. When an Olympic scout (Peter Greene) sees Black Cloud fight on the boxing under-card of an arrogant Olympic hopeful Rocket Ray Tracey (Pooch Hall), he sees Black Cloud making the Olympic boxing team. But will Black Cloud's personal demons get the best of him? Black Cloud's father is an alcoholic. He has constant parties at his house and has no time for his son. So, Black Cloud seeks out his coach and mentor, Bud. (Russell Means)
Black Cloud's girlfriend Sammi (Julia Jones) has a son by rodeo circuit, white bull rider Eddie. (Schroder) When Eddie tries to reunite with his ex, Sammie, Black Cloud's anger gets the best of him and he opens a can of whip ass on Eddie. Will this put an end to his Olympic shot?
The character relationship and dialogue could have been developed more. The background, relationships and why Black Cloud does not trust the white man were not explained thoroughly. A lot of the stereotypical Native association is utilized like alcoholism, trust, mysticism and poverty. But this is the first time I've seen Native Hip Hop in a film. The typical hard partying and attitude came along with it. Native Hip Hop has been actually infiltrating and influencing the younger generation on the rez for many years. Whether that is good or bad can still be debated.
The film shows the beauty of the Navajo Nation rez located at the four corners. Rick Schroder utilizes boxing coach Jimmy Gambin (Rocky, The Champ) to train the boxers. The boxing elements in the film are action packed and realistic.
Recognizable Native actors include; Nathaniel Arcand (Jimmy), Saginaw Grant (Grandpa) and Branscombe Richmond (Peter). "Seinfeld's" Wayne Knight makes a special appearance as the special favor, white power monger Mr. Tipping.
Rick Schroder (Little Ricky in Silver Spoons) utilizes his experiences from acting and growing up in the entertainment industry to help with filming. The DVD shows his potential as a director, but his script writing on this film could have been more polished. Will the financial risk of movie making leave Schroder high and dry in the future?
Even though the venue for the movie was boxing - great story line.
In fact, I probably wouldn't have watched the movie if it weren't for him. I don't think he's getting near the credit he deserves for his contribution to the movie, but that's just me. All in all, it's a good movie, and I feel that it gives an accuarate portrayal of modern life of young American Indians on the Rez today, simply because Russell Means, being who he is, would not have been a part of it if it didn't, and I have a tremendous amount of respect for Mr. Means.