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There’s No Stoppin’ Us: Saving the Community Center One Movie at a Time

April 14, 2010

I believe in the beat!

I am a sucker for any movie which utilizes the Save the Community Center trope*. I will throw down on a bunch of impassioned folks singing, dancing, Shakespearing themselves in front of the bulldozers – real or metaphorical – of oppression.

Breakin’ 2: Electric Boogaloo

  • In the much maligned Breakin 2: Electric Boogaloo developers threaten to destroy the community in favor of some kind of condo situation. As both a condo dweller and a community center enthusiast I found my loyalties tested, though ultimately, much like the film, I came down on the side of what’s right. And contrary to what MST3K fans seem to believe, the use of “Electric Boogaloo” as a movie suffix has been in existence long before they appropriated it. We’re talking hours after the release of the film. And I remember a local Air Forces Radio DJ calling First Blood: Part II – “First Blood: Part II: Electric Boogaloo” during a screening at The Bad Children’s Theater and he got NO LOVE. Too soon, I suppose. The only thing I remember seeing this in the theater on the weekend it screened at the Bad Children’s Theater was how much I wanted to pair hot pink and yellow together, preferably in some kind of heat seeking stretch material.

Cicily Tyson and the kids in 1981's Bustin' Loose.

Bustin’ Loose

  • The forgotten Richard Pryor gem Bustin’ Loose doesn’t so much save the community center but the community itself. Namely, some kids of varying levels of ability, emotional stability and adoption potential and their freeze dried social worker played by Cicily Tyson. The lulz are constant and there are scenes hot off the “I can’t even believe this shit” presses that totally make me howl merely by thinking about them. There are all kinds of wonderful moments of poignancy, cheesiness and if Robert Flack’s Children’s Song doesn’t break your heart or make you stand up and cheer while crying happy tears, well then you’re just an awful person. Trust me, I’ve done the legwork.

What are your favorites of this “genre”?

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*The sole caveat being the community ITSELF must be doing the saving.

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11 Comments leave one →
  1. April 14, 2010 7:11 am

    Tron 🙂

  2. April 14, 2010 10:33 am

    Did they have a community center in that one? If so, it appears they were unable to save it. We’re gonna need to hold a half ass carwash or bake sale.

  3. April 14, 2010 10:45 am

    I though they saved the (virtual) community.

  4. April 14, 2010 1:00 pm

    Oooh they did! You win a stove!

  5. evmaroon permalink
    April 14, 2010 5:40 pm

    The Goonies!!!! “There will be no golf course today, next week, or EVER!!!!”

  6. April 14, 2010 6:08 pm

    Does Honey count? They put on a show to save the community dance theater.

    I have not watched a movie with my mouth agape so much since Showgirls. And you should totally review both those flicks.

  7. April 14, 2010 8:37 pm

    Does Honey count? They put on a show to save the community dance theater.

    I have been itching to see this film and a couple of others in that genre. I saw Showgirls the night it opened in LA and I have never seen an audience so rowdy outside a midnight showing of Rocky Horror.

  8. hsofia permalink
    April 14, 2010 8:52 pm

    Well it wasn’t exactly a community center, but Be Kind, Rewind was an odd little film of this genre. I like it basically because Mos Def plays a really strange guy who happens to be black. I strongly believe there need to be more POCs being cast in the role of the harmless weirdo. Jack Black’s character is a little scary, though.

  9. April 15, 2010 12:38 am

    I’m gonna add it to the list.

  10. April 15, 2010 12:43 pm

    I don’t remember it involving a community center, but this entry reminded me of The Last Dragon.

  11. April 15, 2010 2:17 pm

    Does the Blues Brothers count? They saved St. Helen of the Blessed Shroud Orphanage.

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