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Top Customer Reviews
I thought Saul did quite a job for this being his first movie role. I think it's based in large part on his real-life self. Some of the acting was an eyesore, like the Chinese guy at the beginning, good God! A few of the other small parts were iffy, but I think the main characters, who are all pretty much unheard of, did fine. The best scenes to me were when Ray was about to get his ass kicked in the prison yard and he busted out with an exhilirating rap, and when Ray and the prisoner in the next cell were rhyming. The latter shows a contrast between two distinct rapping styles. The other guy was swearing up a storm kicking violent gangsta rhymes, while Ray's was intense, but loving, etheral, mystical, and mind-bending. The other guy's style represents what gets played the most on the radio and is popular, while Ray's embodies an 'underground' attitude and the style that Hiphop was created with. I am a huge Hiphop guru, and I prefer Ray's style, obviously.
Otherwise, the movie leaves an impression, and gets you thinking about the ways of the inner-city lifestyle, as well as that in the prison. The poetry was what set this movie apart. Ray and the main female(forgot her name) perform at a poetry slam at the end of the movie. I wouldn't give this a five-star, but it's still good and worthwhile.Read more ›
Anyway, SLAM is a simple, sometimes dopey, sometimes thrilling story of a guy who winds up in jail, gets out, and might be heading right back in again. But both Saul Williams, the principal actor, and his love interest, Sonja Sohn (of THE WIRE) are real live poets, and man, does it show when they do their poetry readings... or "slams" as they are known.
And I'll tell you what: SLAM has some scenes that will knock your socks off.
There's one in particular where our protagonist avoids a fatal shanking in the prison yard by giving a dramatic reading of his poetry. One of his fellow felons says of the performance, "I still don't know what that nigga did, but it was fascinatin'." That was pretty much my reaction, too.
SIDENOTE: Yeah, that's crack smoker, prostitute patron, and former mayor of Washington, D.C. Marion Barry playing the judge. That was a cameo that blew my mind.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Amazing movie, most of my favorite slam poets and storytellers are in this. It's definitely worth watching. Amazing story.Published 7 months ago by Amazon Customer
I can never watch this film without it having such a strong impression on me. I cry and laugh and feel alive watching this film.Published 8 months ago by danilo Parra
Very mature film addressing the sociological problem of crime among African American youth. Although it was not produced with Blockbuster quality, the film was intended for... Read morePublished 8 months ago by Lee