Saturday, April 27, 2013
"Follow Your Hero or Become your own man
11 year old Woody(Michael Rainey, Jr) gets a crash course in what it means to be a man when he spends the day with his ex convict Uncle Vincent (Common) he idolizes.
Luv is an coming of age urban drama set in baltimore where we meet Woody an very smart 11 year old, who lives with his grandmother (Lonetta McKee) and Uncle Vincent(Common) they have breakfast, Woody ask for a ride to school from Vincent, who he looks up too.
One their way to school Vincent and Woody talk about different things until they get on the subject about girls in which he lies to Vincent about how he gets a lot of girls and because of this lie Vincent decides to have Woody spend the day with him instead of going to school.
Vincent wants Woody to be a man, even a better man then he himself is since he was recently released from prison and is trying to become a real business man who wants to start his own business, hence why he is dressed like a million bucks as Woody told him.
First Vincent gets Woody a tailor made suit and then they are off to take care of business along the way of Vincent making himself a real business man they travel all over Baltimore meeting with old friends Cofield (Charles S. Dutton) who lets Vincent know whats going on in the streets in reference about him. real business people a bank manager (Clark Johnson) about getting a loan for the restaurant that he wants to open, but that doesn't go so well.
After that meeting Vincent goes to see Arthur (Danny Glover) and they talk about the old days , but most importantly about where can he find his old street boss Fish(Dennis Haysbert) Arthur tells him and he reluctantly goes to meet with him about helping him get the money that he needs to start his restaurant business but nothing comes without a price since Fish agrees to give him the money he needs but that he has to do one final drug deal for him in order for him to get what he wants.
Luv plays similar to Training Day where Vincent teaches Woody about how the real world works, about what it is to be a man, etc. life lessons basically.
Common really shows that he is continually growning as an actor especially if you've seen him on AMC's Hell on Wheels and he really shows his range as tough as nails Vincent who wants a better life but like he tells Woody "I'm doing what I got to do" not all rappers are good at making the switch from music to movies but Common is in the class with Will Smith, LL Cool J now with his recent roles and with Luv hopefully Hollywood puts him in more Major Studio pictures.
The supporting cast is very good from Charles S. Dutton, who I believe has never giving a bad performance in any movie they man is just that good and even in the small part here he shows how good he is as the streetwise Cofield.
It was good seeing Danny Glover playing an original gangster Arthur who anybody who has older Uncle's or known some friends of their fathers that's who Arthur remind me of, I was kinda hoping for Glover to say his trademark line "I'm getting to old for this shit" but I guess that is played out now and would've been to much on the nose so actually good thing it was left not said.
Dennis Haysbert as Fish is the former street gangster turned gangster in a suit, who has his hand and eyes on everything in the city, and still is the man of the streets even if he isn't on the streets, Haysbert has always been a very good actor who should be a bigger star then what he is but he is Mr. Allstate now (Are You In Good Hands) so I guess he's doing alright.
For all The Wire fans out there I guess since that show anytime a movie is filmed in Baltimore you can't do a movie without somebody from that show showing up in it and Luv has Michael K. Williams(Omar) playing a Detective who is on Vincent's tale every step of the way.
Clark Johnson(Gus) makes a cameo appearance as the Bank Manager that Vincent goes to see, Anwan Glover(Slim Charles) plays a gangster who has it in for Vincent since he believe that years ago, Vincent killed his brother and the meeting between the two of them is a very tense and real life type of show down.
I was a little disappointed that Meagan Good who is billed pretty high in the credits has not even 5 minutes of screen time as she is the only other female of note other then Loretta McKee that's seen in the movie, It would've been good if she had a bigger part to play since she was supposed to be a love interest of Vincent and the scene between them seems very out of place with the rest of the movie.
Michael Rainey, Jr (Woody) in his first movie as far as I know does a great job as we're basically seeing what's going on threw his character eyes and this is his journey from boy to manhood in the span of 24 hours, the scenes between him and Common shows that they really enjoy working with each other, even though its always been said that child actors are tough to work with but nothing like that shows, at only 11 years old Rainey, Jr showcase alot of range that most actors wish that they could, hopefully this young man has a bright career ahead of him.
All in all Luv is a very good underrated film that should be seen by as many people as possible I believe that if it was shown on a bigger scale Michael Rainey, Jr. could've been nominated for an Oscar just like Quvenzhane Wallis since both played some what similar roles dealing with harsh realities, and tough on them father figures, so if you haven't seen this little film I highly recommend it.
Michael Rainey, Jr.- Woody
Danny Glover- Arthur
Charles S. Dutton- Cofield
Meagan Good- Beverly
Michael K. Williams- Det. Holloway