Artisan // 2003 // 95 Minutes // Rated R
Reviewed by Judge David Johnson // December 18th, 2003
Making music can be murder.
Two young hip-hop musicians must cope with brutal life on the streets and limited acting abilities in order to reach their goal of national acclaim and rampant promiscuity.
Tony and Bryan (Georgio and Kasan Butcher -- sounds like level bosses from Double Dragon) yearn for a shot at recording stardom. Yet many obstacles stand in their way: Tony surrounds himself with idiot gangsters and Bryan is a lazy whiner.
But the dysfunctional duo see their chance when they stumble upon a super-secret new beat developed by local tough-guy record exec Max Rice (Ty Jones). Tony and Bryan intercept the track as it is being passed on to rapper heavyweight Cool (Coolio).
The tune takes off and propels the thieves to glory, but fame has its price, especially when it comes at the expense of a scenery-munching whacko like Max Rice. Rice sends his go-to girl Angie (Kelly Jo Minter) to investigate. Inexplicably, she sleeps with both Tony and Bryan only to discover what label they signed with. Isn't that information public knowledge?
Regardless, Rice seeks payback, and before you can say "I'll never get these 95 minutes of my life back," guns blaze and squibs pop and general mayhem ensues.
This film marks the debut of writer/director/musician/producer/lead actor "Georgio," and it's obvious from this effort that he has a long, successful career ahead of him...in refrigeration repair.
This waste of time and resources is so awful I felt my insides start to decay. The story, though fragmented and boring, is also cliché. Wow, that's a new one, the struggling artist from the streets sells his soul for success and ends up embroiled in disaster!
The writing is equally inane; in lieu of compelling, substantial dialogue, Georgio opts for F-words peppered everywhere. And despite the fact the F-word is the most versatile expression in the English language, actors find ways to insert it in the most ridiculous ways. Characters end up just spouting endless streams of profanity without saying a @$%#ing thing.
Oh, and dig these choice tidbits:
Tony: "Yo, what up D?"
Big D: "Maybe I should ask you that."
Max Rice: "Some businessmen deal in furs, others in camera lenses. I happen to trade in music." (?!)
Tony: "The cops are breathing up my ass."
The characters are all hollow, cut-outs from the Urban Film Cliché department, and there's not a sympathetic one among them; note the fact a couple of cop-killers are deemed protagonists. By the end, I was rooting for everyone to be shot dead.
The flick is in full-screen and sports a Dolby Digital 5.1 mix that does little to validate its existence. Only when the prop guns start belching are the surrounds actually put to a little work. Besides that, there ain't nothing but poorly delivered dialogue and numbing hip-hop beats on a loop. No extras here, save a trailer. An apology would have been nice, though.
"Hi, my name is Georgio. I made a movie with Coolio in it! I get to run around with guns and have simulated sex with a bunch of girls! You're jealous aren't you? Aren't you?"
Tapped Out is exactly what the court did upon having to endure this toxic discharge. We give up! We surrender! No more, please!
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Scales of Justice
* Full Frame
* Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround (English)
Running Time: 95 Minutes
Release Year: 2003
MPAA Rating: Rated R