John Leguizamo's semi-falsified, one-man stand-up performance as...himself. This is his autobiographical story, about his life growing up, and his journey to try to be accepted by his ... See full summary »
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In San Francisco, a Caucasian family pressed by the real estate speculation, moves to Hunter's Point, an Afro-American neighborhood ruled by the V-Dub gang and the son Nick Wade faces problem with the violent gangsters. However, the drug dealer K-Luv decides to bootleg CDs and get close to Nick, protecting him. Meanwhile, the Chinese collector Lincoln Ma is blackmailed by the owner of a restaurant and he executes him, falling in disgrace with his mobster boss. The lives of Nick, K-Luv and Lincoln are entwined when the drug lord Sleepy protects a rapper against the Chinese piracy of his CD. Written by
Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
A 2.0 overall (which is what it was when I looked at it on IMDb), does not do this film justice. My ranking is an 8.
When I read this was a pilot for a series, I was not expecting much, but I'd heard good things about it, and, since I sometimes feel that I'm one of the last Spike Lee fans standing, I thought I'd give it a look.
What I saw was terrific characters in intelligent settings, a well-written script, well-acted for the most part (hey, these are kids). I really cared about the characters and want to know more ... but I guess the series was not picked up. Wonder why? Spike Lee has done a great job of giving us his version of the gritty reality of San Franciso ganglife.
I'm no expert on this subject by any means, but I did find the stories quite engaging. And the characters are all likable, in a weird way, from the sober, intelligent K-Luv, to the displaced, entrepreneurial Nick, to the confused but commanding Peter, all ambitious and ruthless. We must imagine how we would react to our surroundings if we were in their shoes. It's easy to sit on a highhorse and judge these guys, but would we really be any different?
The camera-work was phenomenal, with an earthy, videotape feel at times, and a cinematic one at others -- always appropriate. If you have an HD television, Showtime is showing it thus, and it looks remarkable.
Catch it if you can.
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