LUV Movie Reviews
User reviews on LUV
I thought this was a good film and I think it is worth seeing in the theaters. The film is very intense and you will find yourself rooting for the relationship to work. I thought that the film had heart and intelligence and that is a rare thing in American films. I did think that the film went a bit downhill during the second half but I still thought that it was pretty great . The best thing about this film was definitely the performances, I was very impressed and delighted with the cast of this film. I think the film succeeds on the emotional level and I hope that people will go and see this wonderful film and experience the beauty of it.
Okay...so am I going to be the one who says it? Common is a decent actor (for a rapper) but he isn't exactly the kind of star who can carry a movie. Even a small independent movie that has a few bigger name actors in supporting roles. The real star of this movie is the little boy who plays Woody. The kid really inhabits the role with such a natural ease and charm that you have to wonder where such kids get their talent from. He isn't given any great lines or anything but he definitely plays the part as though it's really happening to him. I think the best bit of this whole movie is the reaction shots of the kid. He doesn't always say much but his face speaks volumes, especially when he's witnessing his uncle's downfall. I think the movie could have been better if they just wrote it at a deeper level. Everything sounds and feel so superficial that you really can't relate to anyone except Woody. And that isn't enough for a movie like this.
Yes, I get why people will think that this movie is formulaic. It is cliched and it is something that you've seen before, but it is something you haven't seen quite like this. It's actually a pretty sweet story that you might not be expecting when you hear that it stars Common, the rapper who usually plays thugs and mercenaries. He plays an ex con in this who used to sell drugs. He is trying to get his life back on track now that he is out of jail. His 11 year old nephew needs to go to school one day so his uncle says he will take him. But when he gets in the car, he decides to take his nephew on a different sort of excursion than he had originally planned. The uncle tries to show the nephew the ways of the world, but he turns out to know a lot less than he thinks and he ends up doing bad things again. The boy learns that adults do not always have the answers they think they do. It's a sweet story and one that everyone should see.
This movie is okay. Honestly, I wanted to like it a lot more than I actually did. The trailer made it look like it would be something different, but it's really not much better than the average made for TV movie. Common and the little boy at the center of the story do their best with the material they're given but they don't seem to get much scope to act. I actually think this would have made a better TV series than a movie. It would be interesting to see what they can do with the premise of the story because it could definitely be something worth watching. I think the movie works well in the scenes when the little boy is interacting with his uncle without other people around. He really know how to act, this kid. I've never seen him before so I guess this is his first major job, he's one to watch out for I'd say. Common is also really good, as is that guy from the Allstate commercials whose name I don't remember. A solid cast, a so-so storyline.
Common is da man, and in this movie he really rocks it hard. He really turns in an award worthy performance as an ex con who is opening a restaurant in an effort to turn his life around. When his sister has to go out and take care of some business she ends up leaving her son Woody who is 11 in the care of her brother who decides that instead of doing the typical and responsible thing and just dropping the kid off at school he takes him out to "take care of business". Things go from bad to worse really quickly when a dope deal goes down and the little boy begins to understand that his uncle isn't the man he thinks he is. Common really gets into the skin of his character and makes the most of every scene. You really forget that you are watching a movie when you see a lot of the scenes. I also liked the little boy a lot. I can't believe that this is his first major movie. Kudos to everyone, they rocked it.
This is a really sweet movie that teaches an important lesson. It's about a man who is an uncle who has been on the wrong side of the law too often in his life. He is in charge of watching his nephew one day and he decides to show him what it means to be a man. He shows him what it takes to be independent and to do the right thing, though it kinda turns out that he can' escape his troubled past as easily as he would like. I remember seeing Common in "Date Night" and thinking he was a decent actor for someone who I'm pretty sure doesn't have any formal acting training. He is really believable in this role and I think a lot of people will take notice of his acting. But the show really belongs to the little boy who plays his nephew Woody. He hits all the right notes and he never seems to be acting. I was very impressed by him and expect that he should get lots of awards for his performance next year.
I remember after the release of Precious and I watched with somewhat bemused shock at the bevy of criticism levied upon the film by African American film critics and social commentators who slammed the film for glorifying every oppressive and ugly ‘trope of blackness’ (their words, not mine). Since I am not African American, I could only appreciate from a distance what some vocal critics were decrying as the upholding of ghetto stereotypes.
That was in mid 2009 – a few months after the nation had elected its first African American president. Four years later we have reelected the same president and are confronted with the challenge of redefining “tropes of blackness”. Does the ascendance of Obama mean that little black boys everywhere now know they can grow up to be more than basketball layers or rappers? Or that society now expects much, much more from them?
That is a loaded and difficult question, and it gets a little bit of redeeming lip service in the new film LUV which stars the rapper Common and newcomer Michael Rainey as his nephew. Common plays an ex-con named Vincent who takes it upon himself to teach his 11-year-old nephew Woody the ways of the world. More specifically, he directs him on the process of becoming a man.
Vincent wants to make good on his freedom and decides to show his nephew how to be a man by letting him observe the launch of his new business. Unfortunately, things don’t work out and he’s drawn back to pretty crimes, which surprises exactly no one. Turns out, he isn’t quite the man he thought he was.
The movie means well, and for that it gets credit. Regrettably, it’s far too clichéd to do anything other than reinforce the very stereotypes it tries to defy. Which makes me wonder if the real tragedy for Woody and others like him is not the limits of expectations, but the transfer of unresolved burdens from previous generations. Which is kind of what I thought Precious was all about anyway.
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