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Wild Style

4.2 out of 5 stars 37 customer reviews

Price: CDN$ 68.98
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Product Details

  • Actors: 'Lee' George Quinones, Lady Pink, Fab 5 Freddy, Patti Astor, Andrew Witten
  • Directors: Charlie Ahearn
  • Writers: Fab 5 Freddy, Charlie Ahearn
  • Producers: Fab 5 Freddy, Charlie Ahearn, Jane Dickson
  • Format: Color, Dolby, DVD-Video, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (US and Canada This DVD will probably NOT be viewable in other countries. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • MPAA Rating: R
  • Studio: Warner
  • Release Date: Sept. 10 2003
  • Run Time: 82 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars 37 customer reviews
  • ASIN: B00006L938
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #173,061 in DVD (See Top 100 in DVD)
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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
I just spoke with Charlie Ahearn this weekend at the panel discussion in NYC for the book "Aerosol Kingdom" (which you should definitely check out) and I asked him about the kitchen scene. The problem was money (I know, big surprise). The people that hold the rights to the two songs used in that small clip wanted $8,000 each, which was far more than Charlie could pony up, especially after all of the other costs of re-releasing a film.
People always think there is some major multi-national corporation behind every project, but in this case it was just Charlie Ahearn (Rhino is distributing, but they don't get involved with the production costs). So, in short, try to understand that sometimes unfortunately money is a real issue, especially when you have real people (not companies) involved.
By the way, the only version that had the original music in it was the theatrical release. The VHS release is the same as the DVD version.
I would HIGHLY recommend that you check out this hip-hop classic for the truest depiction of what it was like back in the day.
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Format: VHS Tape
I think it's possible that a generation raised on "realism" in movies, and now "reality TV" (oxymorons for morons), have come to expect De Niro-style dramatic acting in every movie they view. But drama is not reality. Real life might seem more like film, and perhaps as exciting, if God the Director would see fit to edit out all the bathroom breaks, stretches of boredom, mundane and inane dialogue, and blow things up more often. Alas, He doesn't. Still, people tend to ham it up when a camcorder's trained on them, as if this is more interesting than how they normally behave. Conversely, if they view a film where the actors behave normally, they malign it as "bad acting".
Hence Wild Style's bad "rap" in the acting department. What's brilliant about Wild Style is that all the key roles are played by real emcees, deejays, breakdancers, and graf writers. Unlike Beat Street, where the center character (Ramo) is portrayed by some thirty-year-old white guy pretending to be a teenage graffiti writer. Or Breakin', which has as its cast everyone who got kicked off the set of the TV show Fame.
And Wild Style's "poor plot" is another victim of the reality/drama confusion. Yeah, there's no awesome John Woo-style gunplay or revenge drama. Instead we have an honest and historical account of the merging of South Bronx subculture and New York's Uptown art scene. Fab Five Freddy, whose character "Fade" in the movie shuttles between these two worlds, was, in reality, a liason who helped hip-hop cross boundaries into mainstream culture (first, as depicted in the film, and later as vee-jay for Yo! MTV Raps). Lee Quinones really was a young artist trying to find his place in a world of alienation, and in the film is the archetype of the individual vs.
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Format: VHS Tape
"Wild Style" is for the die-hard fans of either 'early hip-hop' or 'old school graffiti.' As a film, the plot plods along, the editing is inconsistent, and the acting is far from engaging.
Granted, we see the original artists at work (Lee, Lady Pink, etc.) but it might have had a smoother feel if the cast were made up of (at the very least) collegiate actors. Considering "Lee" is portraying not himself, but a character named "Zorro," why not use actors who could deliver a better performance?
I enjoyed the video overall (only because I was there in NYC and had met Lee in the late 70's) but if you're interested in a quality production on the origins of NYC rap and what graffiti bombing (back in the day) were really like, then I suggest you hunt down a copy of the '82 "Style Wars." Amazon would be doing a great service to the graffiti world if they marketed that video instead of this inept production.
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Format: VHS Tape
This is one of my favorite hip-hop movies. It crystallizes the submerging art-form of hip-hop in its budding stages. Wild Style has a myriad of classic scenes. Some of my favorites in the movie are when Busy Bee and the Fantastic Romantic 5 rap at the Dixie, the breakdance/Grandmaster Flash DJ scene, Grandmaster Caz at the amphitheater, Rock Steady b-boyin' (breakin') to Caz's flows, among others. The movie is thick with nostalgia, history, and most of all hip-hop. This video is manna for hip-hop purists and junkies alike. If you want to see hip-hop in its pure and untainted state, you must see "Wild Style." It's required viewing for anyone who dares to call themselves a "hip-hop head."
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Format: VHS Tape
I wonder why this is not to be sold to people under 18. There's nothing in it that you won't see on network TV. Then again, there are many places where minors can't by spray paint or box-cutters, so maybe it's the fear of spreading ideas to this great nation's vulnerable youth that makes this tape so dangerous.
WILD STYLE was ahead of its time, so what you'll see is older than old school, which will probably interest some but disappoint others. There are some classic scenes, but this movie would've been better had it been a full-on documentary instead of a mix of hardcore street footage and a weak plot which doesn't arouse much interest.
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