BADass SINema Unearthed - Blu-ray Review

Friday Foster (1975) - Blu-ray Review

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Friday Foster - Blu-ray Review

3 beersPam Grier. Yaphet Kotto. Carl Weathers. Scatman Crothers. Eartha Kitt. All directed by Arthur "Detroit 9000" Marks. Need I say anything more about this film’s potential for mass appeal? And yet most people do not know about the savvy adventure of Miss Friday Foster as she uncovers a plot designed to protect white privilege here in America. Friday Foster remains am unassuming delight of 1970s filmmaking.

Friday Foster, heralding from 1975, remains a gem from the Blaxploitation era of filmmaking. While unfairly dismissed at the time of its release as just another drive-in flick, Grier’s turn as an intelligent magazine photographer caught up in murderous plot to undue African American unity is all the proof I need in declaring that the movie was simply ahead of its time as it offers so much more than its genre counterparts in terms of a message.

Based on the short-lived syndicated comic strip (1971-1974) by Jorge Longarón and Jim Lawrence, Friday Foster (Grier) winds up a target marked for death after witnessing an assassination attempt on America’s wealthiest black man, Blake Tarr (Thalmus Rasulala), while on assignment. Her photographic skills did not go unseen however and now a stealthy hitman, Yarbo (Carl Weathers) is hot on her trail.

After the death of her best friend, Friday teams up with a private detective, Colt Hawkins (Kotto), and the two discover that this plot – referred to as Black Widow – is bigger than they could have ever imagined. While handling things as cool as they can, they soon realize that their silence is necessary as this political plot to destroy a unified front of minority leaders involves high-ranking senators and other figures of power, including the rather randy Noble Franklin (Crothers) whose lust for Friday dominates even his sermons on Sunday.

Featuring an all too brief BUT fantastic electric funk score from Luchi DeJesus, Marks’ film does not disappoint. He keeps things unpretentious and rocksteady. He definitely knows how to entertain and, as he began by directing television shows, knows exactly what he needs from his leads all for the benefit of a paying audience. The majority of the film was shot in and around Wilshire Boulevard in Los Angeles, where the barrio currently meets Korea town, and the locations are prime in their grime and reveal the 1920’s Hollywood history in some of the architecture. None of this misses his direction.  

As a result, both Kotto and Grier are on fire here. Their banter is quick and their chemistry together is on fire. Grier charms the camera with quick winks and grins and puts so much heart into the role that you soon forget her grittier past work with Jack Hill. She should have played the title character in two more pictures as far as I am concerned. And Kotto is so relaxed here that, up until his marvelous fight sequence with Weathers, one wonders if he was acting at all and took the gig solely to hang with some friends. Yeah, he’s that laid back and I truly do dig it.

You’ve heard of Shaft. You know of Superfly. But have you met Friday Foster? As the poster exclaims, “Wham! Bam! Here comes Pam!” and, yes indeed, here she comes as the incredible Friday Foster.

Friday Foster - Blu-ray Review

MPAA Rating: R.
Runtime:
90 mins
Director
: Arthur Marks
Writer:
Orville H. Hampton
Cast:
Pam Grier, Yaphet Kotto, Godfrey Cambridge
Genre
: Action | Crime | Drama
Tagline:
FORD MALOTTE - his yen was for men - not for Friday Foster!
Memorable Movie Quote: "You treat a person like a person... and a woman like a woman."
Distributor:
American International Pictures
Official Site:
Release Date:
December 25 1975
DVD/Blu-ray Release Date:
June 9, 2015
Synopsis: Friday Foster, an ex-model magazine photographer, goes to Los Angeles International airport to photograph the arrival of Blake Tarr, the richest black man in America. Three men attempt to assassinate Tarr. Foster photographs the melee and is plunged into a web of conspiracy involving the murder of her childhood friend, a US senator, and a shadowy plan called "Black Widow".

Friday Foster - Blu-ray Review

Blu-ray

Blu-ray Details:

Available on Blu-ray - June 9, 2015
Screen Formats: 1.85:1
Subtitles
: None
Audio:
English: DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0
Discs: 25GB Blu-ray Disc; Single disc (1 BD)
Region Encoding: A

Retaining the grain and grit of its low-budget, Olive Films presents Friday Foster on blu-ray with a new 1080P transfer. In spite of its technical limitations, there is a solid contrast through most of the picture and even the colors appear brighter than before. Skin tones are solid and the details in some of the period clothing are sharp. There is some noticeable print damage as there has been little attempt at a proper cleaning. While there is ZERO depth to many of the shots and dirt and some scratches still pop up, Friday Foster and its many LA locations simply doesn’t disappoint. The DTS-HD Master 2.0 channel mono track is solid.

Supplements:

Commentary:

  • No

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None

 

 

 

 

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