Gimme the Loot
R2 - United Kingdom - Soda Pictures
Review written by and copyright: Samuel Scott (29th September 2013).
The Film

***This is a technical review only. For reviews on the movie from various critics, we recommend visiting HERE.***

A warmly studied account of life on the streets of New York, as a pair of aspiring teenage graffiti artists attempt to get even with a rival gang. When the Woodside King Crew (WKC) from Queens show disrespect by spraying their 'tags' on their work, Bronx teens Malcolm (Ty Hickson) and Sofia (Tashiana Washington) plan an audacious payback by spraying their own tags on a giant apple that is an iconic feature at Citi Field, the home of Queens-based baseball team The Mets. Despite numerous setbacks along the way, and needing to find $500 to bribe a Citi Field official, the street savvy pair soon embark on a two-day fund-raising odyssey across town, hustling, stealing and conning their way towards their goal.

Video

Soda Pictures present Gimme the Loot on DVD in the original aspect ratio of 1.85:1 which has been anamorphically enhanced. Filmed with a Sony HDW-F900R camera, with a low budget on the streets of New York, and using a similar colour scheme and feel as Larry Clark's Kids, Gimme the Loot looks pretty good, although not flawless.

The only real problem in the transfer for me, is the lack of detail in a number of shots, most noticeably those that pan the characters as they walk or run around outside. Detail is better in close range and indoor shots, but still lacking a little for such a new movie. The film uses light tones throughout, and contrast levels and colour definition is above average for the duration. There is no sign of print damage with no particularly noticeable scratches, aliasing or edge enhancement.

The disc is region 2 encoded, PAL, and runs 76:18.

Audio

There are two options available here:
- English Dolby Digital 5.1
- English Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo

For review purposes, I opted for the 5.1 audio track which was more than adequate. One touch of genius with Gimme the Loot is how they decided to avoid the usual hip-hop/rap laden soundtrack that one might expect, and gave it a much more mellow track instead, suiting the tone of the characters perfectly. This soundtrack is well reproduced, and although channel separation is generally minimal, it is sufficient. There are no scratches or dropouts, volume levels are consistent, and dialogue is clear throughout.

Extras

The first extra included here is an audio commentary with director Adam Leon, and although not advertised in the menu, he is joined by several random guests at various points including crew members and cast members. The commentary never drops momentum and runs at a solid pace for the full runtime of the movie - with Leon mixing it up between technical aspects and anecdotes. He is an enjoyable commentator to listen to, and has found the right level of information to please both those interested in directing as well as the average viewer who just happened to come across a movie they have enjoyed.

"All City Hour" episode (18:55) is the next extra, and is a mock public access television channel show with various cast and crew members. Segments include Cooking in Jail, Movie Reviews, Advice from Meeko and Sam, and much more. It's an interesting little extra, worth a single watch.

Next up, a short film entitled "Killer", which runs for nine minutes and 25 seconds. Directed by Adam Leon, it follows a teenager determined to win a game of Killer in New York City.

The last extra of substance is a deleted scene (0:34) entitled "You Can't Play Me Like That" which features an argument between several main characters. It feels as though it was correctly removed to keep the pacing feeling smooth.

The rest of the extras are self explanatory.
Start-up Trailers:
- "Compliance" (1:57)
- "For Ellen" (2:02)
- "Woody Allen: A Documentary" (1:57)
Theatrical Trailer (1:31)

Overall

The Film: B Video: B Audio: B+ Extras: B- Overall: B

 


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