KANSAS CITY, MO — **LUV (R)**
Common first made his name as a hip hop artist out of Chicago called Common Sense. He may have dropped the second half of his name but when it has come to his acting career the rapper known for his smart lyrics and seductive flow has been very smart in choosing the roles he has has decided to play.
He has also slowly deveveloped into a decent thespian. He’s not as fiery as a 2Pac or tactical as an Ice Cube or overly likeable like a Will Smith. But there is a fire behind his eyes and the main reason why the small independent film “LUV” works so well. Common nails it and the rest of cast are dialed in as well — Danny Glover, Dennis Haysbert, Charles S. Dutton and newcomer Michael Rainey Jr.
It’s well written and directed but it’s Common who sells this story which is brilliantly told and shot with the same urban urgency and street smart tension that made HBO’s “The Wire” seem so real, gritty and authentic.
“LUV” is a wickedly told — day in the life of an 11-year-old accompanying his uncle, an ex-convict doing bad business in Baltimore while teaching the youngster what it means to be a “real” man. A mentor story with unflinching reprecussions. The streets is real and the urban spawls of America is nasty. And “LUV” captures this perfectly as director Sheldon Candis takes you on trip you think you’ve been on before but haven’t.
It’s moving and powerful. And very quietly a new American Classic. That’s my call.
The extras on the Blu-ray include deleted scenes, director and writer commentaries, behind-the-scenes featurette “The Making of” and “See LUV” and you get Common and Rainey’s opinions on the film.
See this. Trust.
SHAWN: 4 Popcorn Bags
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