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Can a young person in the South Bronx pursue a dream that isn't tied to crime, gang-banging, prostitution, violence, and racism? Tommy is a natural leader and a gifted artist. When Allen, a white kid, moves into the neighborhood with his single mom, he's a victim of constant harassment until Tommy offers friendship. Meanwhile, a corrupt cop hits on Allen's mother and, when she rebuffs him, vows revenge. Forces beyond Tommy and Allen's control put them in the hands of the criminal justice system. A local murder, a rivalry between two young women, and the hot temper of Tommy's older brother make things even more difficult for the friendship and dreams of the young men. Written by
First off, I am an aspiring independent film director myself. When I had talked to consultants about my project, they told me never to write something that I didn't know anything about. Case and point, a Russian named Val Lik has decided to write and direct a film about Puerto Ricans, like myself, and failed miserably, because it's obvious he doesn't know what he's talking about.
This movie had little plot and I couldn't tell who the lead was from time to time. When reading the TV Guide review, it stated that a white kid was trying to survive in a Puerto Rican neighborhood. When I read the online review, it stated that a painter looked to do something better with his life besides crime and drugs and prostitution. So, what character are we supposed to follow? Not even Val Lik, who plays the white kid, knows who we are supposed to follow. It's completely fake.
Not to mention, Axel, an overweight Boricua, taking off his clothes any chance he gets to do so. If I had to see this kid's ass one more time, I was going to shoot myself. His little hijinx distract from the message that Val was attempting to convey. Why add a scene where Axel hitches a ride from the police? What good is that to the overall story?
Considering how weak his story was, he enlisted the help of hip-hoppers Big Pun, DMX, Method Man, Redman, and a few others, to try and earn him some credibility. It doesn't. Not to take anything away from any of these artists, but this outsider's look on Puerto Ricans in the inner city gives him no credibility and no chance of redemption in my eyes, regardless of who he casts in the film.
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