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Samuel L. Jackson , Vanessa Williams , John Singleton    R (Restricted)   VHS Tape
3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (68 customer reviews)

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Product Description

Samuel L. Jackson makes a gleefully updated John Shaft in John Singleton's homage to (not remake of) the early '70s action classic, picking up where Richard Roundtree's legendary Shaft left off. The Manhattan-set film is highlighted by excellent performances, dynamic action scenes, and witty one-liners (Jackson's Shaft: "It's my duty to please the booty"--although the line's deceptive: there's a surprising lack of sex in the film). Unfortunately, it's offset by a surprisingly uninspired, predictable, one-dimensional story, penned by Singleton, Richard Price, and Shane Salerno. The story, in which Shaft investigates the murder of a young African American, is without suspense, since from the start the audience knows that rich white boy Walter Wade (Christian Bale) did the deed, and that Shaft is going to kick his ass, big time. That said, charismatic performances--from Jackson (who, in keeping with the times, is more volatile and fiery than his predecessor), Toni Collette (as a frightened witness), the villainous Bale, and the utterly amazing Jeffrey Wright (Basquiat)--make the film enticing and watchable. Look for a cameo by the original Shaft's director, the legendary Gordon Parks, and fans of the original should note that a still stunningly handsome Roundtree briefly appears as Jackson's uncle. --N.F. Mendoza

Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
2.0 out of 5 stars This film should have gotten the "shaft" April 30 2004
"Shaft" (2000)
Shaft's (Richard Roundtree) nephew, also last-named Shaft (Samuel L. Jackson), is the star in this movie. But it is nothing like the original starring Roundtree and directed by Gordon Parks (although both of them make cameos in this film). The first "Shaft" was a blaxploitation flick and is a classic. This movie, directed by John Singleton, seems less black, more made-for-Hollywood. The plot is thin and unlike the original, the only love scene to be found is in pieces during the opening credits. And what was Busta Rhymes' purpose? It added nothing to the movie. Sorry, Sam Jackson is a hell of an actor but his Shaft doesn't make me forget about Roundtree's. -EJR
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Samuel L. Jackson in Shaft could have been a great movie. He has the talent and skill to effectively play the role. Unfortunately, he is prevented from doing a giving a good performance because of the weak direction and script by Hack Extrodinare John Singleton. Someone please stop Mr. Singleton Before he directs again.
Singleton's terrible script and direction turns Shaft into a campy over-the top superhero movie instead of an intruigung murder mystery. Most of the characters come off like cartoonish stereotypes instead of real people the way they did in the 1971 original. Shaft fans know he is smart, smooth and clever; he's subtle about the way he does things. He's not a black batman wannabe as depicted in this film. Perhaps Mr. Singleton dreams of doing a Batman movie and thought he could apply those concepts here. He was sadly mistaken.
In the openeing scene he comes off as menacing and threatening, that he scares the witness even more and puts the white racist (Christian Bale) on the offensive by arresting him. A litle subtlety would have helped the story here and made the character more interesting. In the subplot our menacing shaft threatens a neighborhood drug dealer (Geoffrey Rush) and arrests him on some trumped up charges. While in jail the two consipire to find a witness who can finger Bale's character for the murder he committed. Sounds a lot like Batman Returns doesn't it? Just so he can have something to do, Shaft goes on a macho search to find the witness who can help his case. Personally, I think Singleton wanted to have a ton of frames of Sam Jackson looking cool in Armani leather. This goes on until the last act the movie which turns into a great big comic book action sequence chock full of shootings and mayhem.
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4.0 out of 5 stars VERY GOOD REMAKE OF THE 1971 CLASSIC Jan. 15 2004
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4.0 out of 5 stars wonderful remake Oct. 18 2003
Format:VHS Tape
a great remake with Jackson being the man Shaft. good action with some unexpected turnabouts. Christian Bale is menacing as the racist who kills Mehki Phifer then has to answer to Shaft and Jeffrey Wright is a spectacular badguy as well. a good ride
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4.0 out of 5 stars Jackson was born to play shaft June 8 2003
Samuel L Jackson is fabulous in this as John Shaft a tough, cynical NYPD detective who resigns in anger and takes justice into his own hands.
Some have criticised the plot for being obvious but I find that there are some unexpected twists that keep the story interesting. The dialogue is solid and the screenplay is very well written. The hard-ass banter between cops and bad guys is deliverd almost universally in a very natural style and really captures the feel of NYC.
Jeffrey Wright is just amazing as Peoples Hernandez and next to Jackson delivers some of the best lines in the movie. His performance alone makes this film worth checking out. Christian Bales is the other bad-guy. He plays the son of a Donald Tump-like real estate developer who commits a racist murder and then uses his money and influence to avoid being brought to justice.
Bales is very good in this role and his scenes with Jeffrey Wright are some of the best in the film.
Buster Rhymes plays Shaft's friend and driver and is also very good.
The action sequences are well done but what makes this film is the dialogue and the trading of insults, etc. between a variety of characters that are New York stereotypes. And while they may be stereotypes they still deliver some really memorable lines.
I've watched this numerous times and know much of it by heart but that doesn't prevent me from continuing to enjoy it.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A Fun , if Violent, Movie May 29 2003
Lightweight storywise--but no more so than a modern James Bond movie--"Shaft" is nonetheless stylish and entertaining, even with some scenes of terrible violence. Samuel L. Jackson makes a worthy successor to the family legacy of being supercool, playing the same sort of urban 007 Richard Roundtree brought to life in the Shaft films of the 1970s. This time, the nephew of the original clashes with a brutal racist and a showoff drug kingpin who have joined forces to stalk the only witness to a savage murder. Director John Singleton keeps the energy constant, helped in part by Isaac Hayes' terrific theme and David Arnold's incidental music, though the occasional quick zoom gets annoying after a while. Taken as entertainment with a little social commentary, "Shaft" offers little to dislike, except, perhaps, the brief appearance by Roundtree, who also seems more mellow and unhip this time around.
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Most recent customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Tough, slick update/sequel to the originals
I actually cringed when I saw the trailer to this movie. It didn't show much except shot after shot of Samuel L. Jackson removing his designer sunglasses and staring at the camera. Read more
Published on March 30 2003 by N. P. Stathoulopoulos
2.0 out of 5 stars Oops.
Sure, Samuel L. Jackson was a light in a dark place, but it was too dark a place! Shaft was a lousy remake that could have been great. Samuel L. Read more
Published on March 21 2003 by Jackson Brown
1.0 out of 5 stars This movie is horrible
Not even the acting of Christian Bale and Sam Jackson could save this horrible, poorly written, bad directed movie. Read more
Published on Oct. 21 2002
3.0 out of 5 stars No way compares to the original
I realize that eventhough the original Shaft was made in the 70's and was poorly produced, it's still a classic. Read more
Published on Sept. 24 2002 by E. Batica
3.0 out of 5 stars No way compares to the original
I realize that eventhough the original Shaft was made in the 70's and was poorly produced, it's still a classic. Read more
Published on Sept. 24 2002 by E. Batica
5.0 out of 5 stars oh...yeah!
This movie was completely off the hook! Samuel L. Jackson was as usual, smooth. He's just been getting better since his 'Gator' role in "Jungle Fever". Read more
Published on Aug. 12 2002 by Jayha
4.0 out of 5 stars solid action flick
Samuel L. Jackson, Vanessa Williams, Christian Bale, Jeffery Wright, Busta Rhymes, Dan Hedaya, Toni Colleti, and Richard Roundtree star in SHAFT, an action packed remake of the the... Read more
Published on July 4 2002 by J. F. Cramer
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