DVD Talk
Release List Reviews Shop Newsletter Forum DVD Giveaways Blu-Ray Advertise
Reviews & Columns
Reviews
DVD
TV on DVD
Blu-ray
International DVDs
Theatrical
Adult
Video Games

Features
Collector Series DVDs
Easter Egg Database
Interviews
DVD Talk Radio
Feature Articles

Columns
Anime Talk
XCritic.com
DVD Stalk
DVD Savant
High-Def Revolution
Silent DVD

discussion forum
DVD Talk Forum
Resources
DVD Price Search
Customer Service #'s
RCE Info
Links

DVDTalk Info
Review Staff
About DVD Talk
Advertise
Newsletter Subscribe
Join DVD Talk Forum
DVD Talk Feeds


Special Offer

Search: For:
Reviews » DVD Video Reviews » Freestyle - The Art of Rhyme
Freestyle - The Art of Rhyme
Palm Pictures // Unrated // May 24, 2005
List Price: $19.99 [Buy now and save at Amazon]
Review by Aaron Beierle | posted June 19, 2005 | E-mail the Author
Buy from Amazon.com
C O N T E N T
V I D E O
A U D I O
E X T R A S
R E P L A Y
A D V I C E
Recommended
E - M A I L
this review to a friend
P R I N T
Printer Friendly
The Movie:

Rap or hip-hop music has been a dominant force on the airwaves for the last several years, with stars like Eminem, Jay-Z, 50 Cent and others often sharing the top spots on the billboard chart. While rap has often been the source of controversy and debate, rarely does the media take a look at the history of the genre.

"Freestyle" takes a look at the roots of the hip-hop culture, and more specifically, the art of "freestyling". In other words, having artists take the stage and simply riff on anything that comes to mind. Recently presented seriously in "8 Mile" and parodied in "Scary Movie 3", freestyle battles take place in front of large audiences, as the crowd voices their approval for whoever was the stronger force in the war of the words.

The documentary is mainly made up of performance footage that director Kevin Fitzgerald has collected, and most of it is remarkable. As one participant notes, freestyle is an incredible outlet of expression, and certainly better than many of the alternatives. Hip-hop may often be the subject of debate regarding its lyrics and content, but I'd challenge anyone to listen to some of the performances here and not appreciate the skill involved. Regular people, who are in "that moment", doing an unbelievable job stringing together rhymes that are not only catchy, but almost effortlessly done on-the-spot.

The documentary also ties freestyle into some other art forms that came before, such as preaching/gospel. Footage of Muhammad Ali is also shown early in the feature. There's no real downside shown here, and I didn't feel that there really needed to be, as the piece did a fine job using its nearly 75-minute running time providing an enlightening and insightful look at the birth and evolution of this art.

The movie features performances from Mos Def, ?uestlove, Mc Supernatural, Jurassic 5, Divine Styler, Last Poets, Medusa and more.

, The DVD

VIDEO: "Freestyle" is presented by Palm Pictures in 1.33:1 full-frame by Palm Pictures. The picture quality varies, which is understandable, given that the picture is assembled from fairly low-quality video footage that is shot in varying light. That said, the image doesn't look half bad. While appearing a bit rough and gritty, sharpness and detail aren't bad, as the picture at least appears crisp, for the most part. The picture doesn't suffer from any edge enhancement, pixelation or print wear. Colors can appear a bit subdued/flat, but this is likely due to the low-budget shooting style.

SOUND: The 2.0 soundtrack was perfectly crisp and clear, as the freestyle raps and dialogue came through sounding natural and not distorted.

EXTRAS: The DVD offers a commentary from director Kevin Fitzgerald and the film's producer. Although the commentary sounds like it was recorded on rather primitive equipment, it still remains interesting, as we hear more about the conception of the project, trying to complete it on a low budget and trying to get it out to an audience.

Additionally, we get 45 minutes of additional freestyles, deleted scenes and interviews. The film's trailer is also included.

Final Thoughts: "Freestyle" is an informative, enjoyable low-budget look at the art form, with some good performances and insights. Palm presents the DVD with fine audio/video quality and a nice helping of supplements. Worth picking up for hip-hop fans.
Popular Reviews
1. Godzilla 2000
2. Tinto Brass: Maestro Of Erotica Cinema
3. Godzilla Against Mechagodzilla / Godzilla, Mothra, and King Ghidorah: Giant Monsters All-Out Attack
4. They Came Together
5. Graceland: Season 1
6. Wilfred Season 3
7. Last Man Standing Season 1
8. All That Jazz
9. Rebirth of Mothra / Rebirth of Mothra II / Rebirth of Mothra III
10. Legend of Hell House


Special Offers
DVD Blowouts
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
7.
Alien [Blu-ray]
Buy: $19.99 $9.99
8.
9.
10.
Special Offers
Release List Reviews Shop Newsletter Forum DVD Giveaways Blu-Ray Advertise
Copyright 2014 DVDTalk.com All Rights Reserved. Legal Info, Privacy Policy, Terms of Use