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Black Cloud [Import]

Eddie Spears , Russell Means , Ricky Schroder    PG-13 (Parental Guidance Suggested)   DVD

Price: CDN$ 36.43
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Product Description

Black Cloud, is an inspirational story about a young Navajo, Native American boxer, who overcomes personal challenges as he comes to terms with his heritage, while fighting his way for a spot on the US Olympic boxing team.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.0 out of 5 stars  37 reviews
13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful cinematography of the Navajo Nation lands July 13 2005
By Film Fan - Published on Amazon.com
Format:DVD
There are several things about this film by Rick Schroder that make it special. One is the location. The cinematography of the beautiful Canyon de Chelly is spectacular. One has the feeling of a John Ford/John Wayne western at times. Another plus is the wonderful company of indigenous actors. Russell Means is a standout as the boxing coach. Julia Jones is impressive as the single Mom who is in love with a troubled young man played by Eddie Spears. Spears does a good job as a mixed blood Indian youth in the midst of an identity crisis. Tim McGraw's music is an added plus to the film, and it works well. Although McGraw made his acting debut in the film, he seems very natural in the role of the sheriff. The boxing scenes are very well done, thanks to an adviser who worked on Rocky, The Champ, and a lot of other films of that genre. This is Rick Schroder's tribute to the West that he loves, Native Americans, etc. It's a good debut for him as a filmmaker.
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Building blocks or stumbling blocks? Oct. 7 2005
By Don D. Basina - Published on Amazon.com
Format:DVD
This DVD has two filming debuts, Rick Schroder (Lonesome Dove, NYPD Blue) as director and Tim McGraw as actor. Both are good debuts. The script was also written by Rick Schroder.

"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?
11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A mixed bag from an actor-turned-director. Sept. 28 2005
By Miles D. Moore - Published on Amazon.com
Format:DVD
I'm a big fan of Rick Schroder's acting in such programs as "Lonesome Dove" and "NYPD Blue," so I really wanted to like "Black Cloud," his debut as a director/screenwriter, a lot more than I did. The film's not terrible, but it is something of a disappointment. To begin with, Schroder did himself no favors by making a boxing movie at the same time that two other actors-turned-directors, Clint Eastwood and Ron Howard, released veritable masterpieces of that genre. And then, though Schroder the director shows confidence and visual flair, Schroder the screenwriter doesn't seem quite sure of the story he wants to tell. Does he want a rousing boxing flick in which the underdog triumphs a' la "Rocky," or a searing indictment of the racism and dead-end prospects young Native Americans face? Frankly, I found the second story by far the more effective of the two, particularly as acted by Eddie Spears as the titular character, a young Navajo boxer consumed by frustration and hatred of the white man's world. (His hatred, at least in the context of the movie, is thoroughly justified; every major white character except one in this movie is an irredeemable monster.) When he sticks to Black Cloud and his plight, Schroder works strongly and sharply, and he elicits excellent performances not only from Spears as Black Cloud, but also from Julia Jones as Black Cloud's girlfriend Sammi and Nathaniel Arcand as his best pal Jimmy. (Schroder also contributes a sharp performance as Eddie, Sammi's vindictive ex-boyfriend and the father of her child.) But these scenes never really mesh with the boxing portions of the movie, so that the entire film in the end seems soft and diffuse. Schroder's directing of his actors is uneven; Russell Means is a little shaky as Black Cloud's boxing coach, and Tim McGraw is downright bad as the bigoted local sheriff. Also, Schroder makes the mistake of segueing into Navajo mysticism, which produces some embarrassingly awkward screen moments, particularly toward the end. "Black Cloud" is good enough to make me hope that Schroder will do better with his second effort, but not quite good enough for me to recommend.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Black Cloud Sept. 23 2005
By Nancy Lind - Published on Amazon.com
Format:DVD
Wow - this is a really reat NDN movie - Eddie Spears is great as Black Cloud - really has a great scowl down - wonderful to see this young actor's career take off and really growing with each role he has undertaken. Rick Schroder - did an excellent job of capturing NDN angst, survival and spirit to continue...

Even though the venue for the movie was boxing - great story line.

Nancy Lind
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A good movie for fans of American Indian films May 12 2006
By Georgia Whitworth - Published on Amazon.com
Format:DVD
I'm not a big Ricky Schroeder fan, but I am a Russell Means fan.

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.

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