- The Washington Times - Monday, February 5, 2007

Gang doc on HBO

Filmmaker Antoine Fuqua (“Training Day,” “King Arthur”) ventures into premium cable as the producer of “Bastards of the Party,” an unflinching look at the violent history of Los Angeles’ two largest black gangs — the Crips and the Bloods — tonight at 10 on HBO.

Directed by former Bloods member Cle “Bone” Sloan, the 97-minute documentary traces the timeline of early L.A. street gangs from the great migration in the 1940s — a time when many black families moved from the South and Midwest in search of a better life — to the rise and demise of both the Black Panther Party and the black nationalist organization US in the mid-1960s, to the formation of today’s gang culture in the City of Angels and elsewhere.

“Bastards” also features interviews with past and current Bloods and Crips members (rappers Snoop Dogg, Tone Loc and the late Easy-E are among several entertainers who reportedly had Crips affiliations); Los Angeles historian Mike Davis (whose book “City of Quartz” sparked Mr. Sloan’s project); former FBI agent Wes Swearingen; and Geronimo Pratt, the former Black Panther Party minister of defense.

Mr. Sloan — who spent his youth immersed in prison and street life before appearing in and serving as a technical adviser on Mr. Fuqua’s Oscar-winning “Training Day” — became interested in the history of Los Angeles’ black gangs while he was still a member of the Bloods. “I started learning from older members,” he says. “It was interesting to learn about the ‘70s and ‘80s from people who had lived it.”

His preliminary study began in the turbulent period following the Rodney King riots in 1992. With the city’s fractious racial history under intense scrutiny, Mr. Sloan found himself being interviewed by Larry King and Ted Koppel about the state of black neighborhoods, and soon he began asking himself similar questions.

“I wondered how we ended up killing each other,” Mr. Sloan recalls.

Rickles on ‘Unit’

Comic and TV personality Don Rickles guest stars as himself in tonight’s episode of “The Unit,” the CBS military drama created by playwright David Mamet.

Oscar winner Linda Hunt (“The Year of Living Dangerously”) also takes a turn in the show’s guest spotlight as a psychiatrist brought in to investigate Kim Brown (Audrey Marie Anderson) after a spy overhears

her talking about a dream in which Mr. Rickles appears. The unit’s dangerous mission in North Korea and the career of Kim’s husband, counterterrorism team member Bob Brown (Scott Foley), are jeopardized by her discussion.

Dennis Haysbert and Robert Patrick also star in the acclaimed drama, which airs at 9 p.m.

Murphy on Murphy

BET Network is offering a “rare and frank conversation” with Oscar nominee Eddie Murphy (“Dreamgirls”) tonight at 10.

Filmmaker Reginald Hudlin, BET’s president of entertainment (who directed Mr. Murphy in the 1992 feature “Boomerang”), interviews his longtime friend on “Murphy’s Law: Entirely Eddie … Entirely Genius,” an hourlong special that charts the funnyman’s journey from TV comic to box-office superstar.

Mr. Murphy’s latest movie, “Norbit,” opens Friday. “Murphy’s Law” airs again Saturday evening at 10.

Compiled by Robyn-Denise Yourse and Kelly Jane Torrance from staff, Web and wire reports.

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