Sunday, November 22, 2009

Before I Self Destruct Movie Review

Before I Self Destruct (2009) is an uncompromising view of life in the inner-city that focuses on how things can change without warning. When that happens, you can be forced into making decisions that alter your path and the life of those around you. The story is told from the view of Clarence (Curtis Jackson), who also adds insightful narrative of his thoughts and past throughout the film.

Clarence and Shocka (Elijah Williams) are nurtured and loved by their hardworking single mother. Shocka is gifted academically and excelling in school while Clarence works at the grocery store after his future as a talented basketball player was shattered when he was injured on the court. Coming home one evening Clarence walks by the scene of a shooting without much thought, that is, until the police come to the door with the news that their mother was killed during a shooting. Life gets even harder when Clarence comes home to find an eviction notice the same night he is fired from his job for stealing food to feed his little brother.

After committing an act that opens the door to an illegal life he starts working for Sean (Clifton Powell) as an enforcer. He enforces Sean's enterprise and the code of the streets with deadly force. Shocka's life keeps getting better because Clarence shields him from everything. He is a positive role model at home and keeps Shocka on the right path. As Shocka asks... How long can this continue?

7 out of 10 - Rated R - Overall it is a powerful and thoughtful film that will leave a lasting impression on you. A few hilarious moments are thrown in to offset some of the seriousness. The acting is pretty simple and mostly holds true to the story and life, although a few of the lines from non-lead actors come across unnatural and forced at times. The cinematography was great; making many powerful scenes when combined with the music. I felt some of the sexual encounters where a bit over the top and not needed. Certainly worth the watch; the film is included in Curtis "50 Cent" Jackson's
new album.