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Shaft 2000
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Length:1 Hour 39 Minutes
Cast:John Singleton, Samuel L. Jackson, Vanessa L. Williams, Jeffrey Wright

Shaft 2000 is not so much a remake as an elaboration on 1971's seminal blaxploitation classic, Shaft, reviving Ernest Tidyman's fictional private eye in the formidable person of Samuel L. Jackson. Actually the nephew of the character originally played by Richard Roundtree (who essays the role once more in an amusing cameo), Jackson's Shaft quits the police force and goes into private practice after legal legerdemain frees one of his "collars," a callow playboy (Christian Bale) who murdered a young black man. Aided by a former comrade (Vanessa Williams) and marked for execution by a psychotic drug dealer (Jeffrey Wright in all his scene-stealing glory), Shaft doggedly pursues the wealthy killer. Writer-director John Singleton (Rosewood) makes visual and verbal references to previous Shaft films, but in style and attitude his version owes little to the now-almost-quaint blaxploitation formula; it's every bit as tense, fast-moving, and violent as the best '90s cop thrillers. The DVD is packed with extras, including exclusive cast and crew interviews, music videos for Issac Hayes's classic Shaft theme song and R. Kelly's "Bad Man," a featurette on the making of the film, and a theatrical trailer. Ed Hulse

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