Why Redbelt? Why? Because you have a code. Because you have honor, that’s why. When everyone else has or is in the process of selling out, you say honor and code. Statements written on dojo doorways are sometimes read but rarely adhered too. You instill this code in others. Few, but others none the less. It is an ancient code. One used by Ken Watanabe in “The Last Samurai”. Redbelt used it in every action he took during his day to day life. Even when sold out by a woman (A woman sold a man out in something Mamet wrote!!?? What the hell is going on?) he stays to what is right. What is true. How did Mamet find this code? Maybe during the study of martial arts or in old hand written teachings handed down through the ages. Maybe watching UFC on cable. I do not know. But I know that as a practitioner of martial arts I like what Redbelt told me, even through the Mamet filter. Where dialogue is repeated cryptically. Repeated cryptically. Speaking in riddles is how the eastern arts should be taught. So Mamet’s filter works just fine. Mamet is like some cagey old guy who owns a used book store surrounded by strip malls and new condo developments. They try to buy him out to put in a Starbucks, but he won’t sell. You go in there to support local business and when he barks at you or makes you feel stupid because you don’t know the author of an obscure title, you think, “Fuck this guy. I’m going to the Barnes & Noble.” It is right at that moment that he shows you some book that you never would of read. Then you have a 32 minute conversation about why J.D. Salinger went into hiding and how Allen Ginsburg is not a genius but a filthy pedophile that should be shot, not revered. You leave the shop very happy that you spent 12 bucks. This is how I feel about seeing Redbelt. Great acting with Mamet words is not easy. They do it here. I like knowing that while the whole world is skull fucking puppies for a nickel, there are a few who live by a code. Thank you, Redbelt. This has been a review by 2nd degree yellow belt Graham Elwood. PALM STRIKE!
Author: Graham Elwoodhttp://grahamelwood.com
In addition to being a stand-up comic and filmmaker who likes going into war zones, Graham is also the Supreme Commander of the Palm Strike Army and a Samurai in training. His CDs include The Comedian’s Got A Boo-Boo and Palm Strike Dance Party. He also directed and starred in Laffghanistan, a documentary about his first USO tour entertaining the troops in Afghanistan. Graham starts every day by surfing, swinging his katana, and wondering when a real rain will come and wash all the scum off the streets... www.grahamelwood.com