Sunday, February 9, 2014
Written & Directed By: Vondie Curtis-Hall
Cinematography By: Bill Pope
Editor: Christopher Koefeod
Cast: Tupac Shakur, Tim Roth, Thandie Newton, Charles Fleischer, Howard Hesseman, Lucy Liu, Bokeem Woodbine, Vondie Curtis-Hall, Elisabeth Pena, John Sayles, James Pickens Jr., Debra Wilson, Rusty Schwimmer, Kasi Lemmons, Tom Towles
After a friend overdoses, Spoon and Stretch decide to kick their drug habits and attempt to enroll in a government detox program. Their efforts are hampered by seemingly endless red tape, as they are shuffled from one office to another while being chased by drug dealers and the police.
When I first saw the advertisements I thought this was going to be another hood movie only with Tim Roth. Though when the film came out in interviews It seemed to be a different film then what I thought it was originally going to be. Something tells me that audiences felt the same as it bombed. My first clue should have been when it premiered at the Sundance film festival.
I saw it on home video and was really entertained by what I saw.
Tupac Shakur really shows that he had the talent to be a true actor as he truly stretches here for the first time. He plays a musician but he isn't playing hood for once or a gangster more an artist. Who is tryig to get off of drugs.
Vondie Curtis-Hall originally offered the part of Spoon to Laurence Fishburne. But Curtis-Hall could not afford Fishburne's salary. The part was also offered to Don Cheadle and Forest Whitaker.
The film is more of a caper comedy. That tries to be satiric as here are two junkies trying to get clean legally an the system seems to be against them making it harder and harder just to get clean. Along the way they are trying to avoid some gangsters.
It might be that the audience wasn't accustomed to this type of film. That at heart is more comedic then street and not as violent as it looks. Though there is certainly violence and trouble around every corner.
I really enjoyed this film as it is real dark yet funny. It barely sits still as most scenes the characters are usually running from someone or running around trying to hustle to get into a rehab program.
The director character actor Vondie Curtis hall has said this film is semi autobiographical for him. About early in his career. It also shows as he film has a bunch of smaller roles played by familiar faces who have made their careers as character actors.
Tupac Shakur was also making music videos and recording music every day after filming. The producers convinced Shakur to cut back on his musical activities because his exhaustion was affecting his performance. Which actually works for the film as he is supposed to be going through some withdrawl in addition to running around throughout the film from various others.
I believe this was Tupac's breakthrough film and role to how he was more then just a rapper. He had an artistic sensitive side and seemed to want to how he was more then what was thought of him before his Life was cut short. Along with this film and gang related it seems he was truly taking movie roles more seriously even if fan related is kid of bad it showed he was at least trying.