Posted in: Disc Reviews by William O'Donnell on December 7th, 2011
A small town girl named Lorie Walker is injured, which forces her to abandon her dreams of becoming a professional ballerina. After a chance encounter with an old friend, she is convinced to appear in a rap music video. The director of said video is immediately smitten with her beauty and takes her away to Los Angeles to become a Video Model.
The music video’s Lorie appears in are of the lowest common denominator standard (her debut video seems to only consist of the lyrics “I got a big booty cutie” repeated over and over) and her roles only demand that she stand around and look pretty for the camera. If you are not a casual fan of modern (and may I say, low grade) hip-hop, these will be the first hurdles you have to cross to become invested in this film.
There are pacing issues throughout the film. Sometimes scenes seem to drag on, then other moments rocket to moments that are overly dramatic without warning. For example, soon after we watch Lorie stand around at work (which IS her work), then go on a boring date, we see her sister get slaughtered outside of a gas station. Before we have a chance to catch our breaths, we’re right back to a series of scenes that slow the story telling to a crawl.
Having Lorie’s sister dying seemed to only be included so that her ghost could visit Lorie in her dreams and offer her moral support…I suppose phone calls would have been too dull a concept for the screenwriter. Such a tragic event should have anchored Lorie, but instead it only makes for temporary guilt trips down memory lane before she vaults right back into lines of cocaine.
Speaking of those lines of cocaine, Lorie’s downward spiral is typical of these types of films. She is new to Hollywood so it is only a matter of time before she falls in with the wrong crowd and loses herself to drugs. Lorie goes from being the most in-demand girl for rap videos (for what that’s worth) to being kicked off of the set for, what appears to be, choosing not to stand still during scenes. Naturally, the stakes are raised higher than that, as her drug use makes her start to alienate her true friends, including her best friend from her old town who has recently signed with the NBA…because apparently she came from a town of lottery winners who eat four leaf clovers for each meal, as well as getting nearly raped by a sleazy “movie” producer while high.
Meagan Good, who plays Lorie, is a talented young actress who helps to make this story function on some level. If not for her performance, this film could have been intolerable.
Writer/Director Doc Duhame does try to add some flare with a few stylish shot choices and scene setups, proving that he is competent behind the camera, but he the story he has written is still predictable and overly long.
Widescreen 2.35:1. This film jumps from night to day very frequently, making wide visual contrast between light and dark scenes. All are clear enough, although the dark scenes can be a bit muddy, with facial expressions being lost at times (although that also has to do with the quick cutting, which is an editing choice, and characters often looking in a direction away from the camera).
Dolby Digital 5.1. The terrible rap songs in this film are plenty clear in all speakers. The sound overall is mixed well enough to utilize all of the speakers. I always consider it a test to listen during low key scenes to see if anything atmospheric is coming through on the rear speakers. Some films omit this, thinking that they should only be reserved for big loud moments, but this film chose to include the light sounds of traffic or other scene specific tones.
Interviews: Some of the cast and crew members describe their characters and/or involvement with the films. All interviews were clearly conducted while on the set. Not at all enlightening.
Photo Gallery: A strange slide show of actors posing while random quotes are played.
Some talent went into the making of this film, but this story has been done so many times that its hard to muster up interest. That, and the special features might as well have been left out for this release.