Black Dynamite has a lot going on. And I’d be lying if I said there wasn’t enough to parody from vintage blaxploitation films. Nevertheless, there may be just a bit too much here for one feature to contain. But the fact that Black Dynamite not only parodies the works of Fred Williamson, Richard Roundtree, Jim Brown, Jim Kelly, and Rudy Ray Moore (to name a few), but still manages to treat them with the respect they deserve is extremely commendable (something the Wayans brothers haven’t been able to do since I’m Gonna Git You, Sucka!).
But creator/actor/co-writer Michael Jai White doesn‘t deserve all the credit, folks. Director Scott Sanders (who also co-wrote along with actor Byron Minns) gets a great big kudos for keeping a film that could easily lose its steam together. And editor/composer Adrian Younge also deserves a great amount of credit for keeping the soundtrack as authentic as can be via original compositions (performed entirely with authentic instruments of the early ‘70s) and some classic music drops (fans of Alan Tew will notice a few segments of “The Detectives” here and there).
Sanders’ noteworthy efforts to keep Black Dynamite looking like it just fell out of the ‘70s is also notable in the film itself. Unlike modern movies, which can use anything from digital to 35mm negative film stock, Black Dynamite was shot using the almost archaic 16mm reversal film stock (which many a blaxploitation film used back in the day) to give it an even more authentic feel. Because of this unique choice, one might think that a High Def transfer would be even funkier than an Isaac Hayes score. Instead, Sony Pictures’ Blu-ray presents the movie in a 1080p/MPEG-4 AVC transfer and a 1.85:1 ratio, preserving the film’s original theatrical exhibition. On Blu-ray, Black Dynamite comes through looking like the sleek mutha he is, and offers vibrant tones and contrast all around.
Sound-wise, Black Dynamite sports a DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 Lossless soundtrack. Whether it be the film’s deliberately hokey dialogue or Adrian Younge’s masterful music, the disc’s one and only audio option presents its mix quite well. English (SDH), French, and Spanish subtitles are included.