Belly (1998)

BELLY aches at times, with an increasingly confusing story (who
*are* all these alike-looking young black men?) and so much slang-
ridden dialogue that the rapper actors might as well be speaking 
Shakespeare.  (And to that thickly accented Jamaican crime boss:
get thee some subtitles!)  Stunningly (though at times too dark-
ly) shot by Malik Sayeed (HE GOT GAME, CLOCKERS), the feature-film 
debut of music-video director Hype Williams is at least a feast 
for the eyes.  (Some of the screen compositions take your breath 
away...)  Fabulous finale, too, that transforms the oft-tedious 
gangsta drama into an unexpectedly potent moral-message-for-the-
millennium movie.  Spike Lee would approve.  With such colorfully 
named cast members as NAS, DMX, Power, Method Man, and Tionne T-
Boz Watkins.  (Rated "R"/95 min.)

Grade: C+

Copyright 1998 Michael J. Legeros
Movie Hell is a trademark of Michael J. Legeros

Originally posted to triangle.movies as MOVIE HELL: November 8, 1998

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