Lift
Showtime // R // $24.98 // July 15, 2003
Review by Shannon Nutt | posted August 9, 2003
M O V I E
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
Skip It
E - M A I L
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R E V I E W S
Graphical Version
THE MOVIE

When I took a look at the box cover of Lift, I assumed this would be another run-of-the-mill heist movie…and I've grown quite tired of heist movies over the past few years. But for perhaps the first time we get a lead character who doesn't want to pull off the "big heist" for fame, glory or money, but simply for acceptance.

Kerry Washington stars as Niecy, a young African American woman who works as a designer for a major department store, and uses her knowledge of the fashion world to spend her free time using stolen credit cards to steal expensive clothes. Niecy has gotten so good at it, that all her friends actually gather around her after each "lift", seeing what they can get and how much they'll have to pay for it.

But Niecy has a number of problems - a mother whom Niecy feels will only accept her if she provides her with expensive merchandise, and an unwanted pregnancy. In order to try and please her mother, Niecy decides to try and steal an expensive necklace. However, it won't be easy, so she enlists a gang of thugs which are run by her former boyfriend to help her out. And of course, while Niecy can't see the big mistake she is about to make, we as viewers can see the end long before the movie gets there.

Lift is one of those films with a good idea, but not a very good follow through. The acting is only of television movie quality, although Washington does a good job in her role as Niecy. The concept here is fairly original, but the follow-through is pretty clichéd.

THE DVD

Video:
The video on this DVD is presented full-frame and is about average for a release of this nature. It isn't particularly sharp, but there's nothing about it that is distracting, although there are a few flecks of "dirt" here and there – but only occasionally.

Audio
Even though the audio is presented in 2.0 Dolby, I was surprised at how poor it sounded for even a 2.0 track. The sound is surprisingly low, and I found that I had to turn my volume up significantly just to hear what the actors were saying.

Extras:
For a low budget and not that well-known movie, the extras here aren't bad at all. The most informative and entertaining extra is a feature-length Audio Commentary from directors Demane Davis and Khari Streeter. Also on the DVD is a Scenes From The Lab featurette, which details the directors work at the Sundance Film Festival's Filmmakers' Lab; a Music Video; Filmographies for some of the cast; and five Trailers for other titles available from Showtime Entertainment DVD.

THE BOTTOM LINE

I'm right on the borderline as to whether to recommend this movie or tell readers to skip it, and I think I'll go with the latter. Lift is one of those movies where the premise is interesting, but the film never delivers on the promising storyline.


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