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G

Sony Pictures // R // March 28, 2006
List Price: $26.96 [Buy now and save at Amazon]

Review by Louis Howard | posted April 24, 2006 | E-mail the Author
Set in the lovely Hamptons in Long Island, Summer G (Richard T. Jones) is a self made millionaire, famous rapper and the head of his own hip-hop music label. The one thing fame and sizable fortune has not given him is Sky Hightower (Chenoa Maxwell) a woman who dumped him during their college days to instead marry well-heeled Chip (Blair Underwood), a reckless man who gives little thought to anything other than his personal gain or wishes. Tre (Andre Royer) is a journalist sent to interview G in Long Island where G has recently bought a home- just to be near Sky- and winds up being a go-between involved in Sky and G's situation in spite of being disinclined to have anything to do with it. What ensues is a love triangle with several twists along the way, some of them surprising, others simply unpleasant.

Co-written and directed by Christopher Scott Cherot, G is an obvious modern day, African-American retelling of F. Scott Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby. While the premise of this is rather inspired and at times ingenious, it also is vulnerable to the same pitfalls of Fitzgerald's telling- the viewer needs to immerse himself in the story and the characters in order to truly enjoy the movie. This is a beautiful film to watch, the locations lush and close to perfection- unfortunately the people who inhabit them are anything but. Confused, desolate and many times ugly and uncaring of what chaos is to come as a result of their philandering, the film turns into something along the same lines as an old Harold Robbins steamy, seamy novel. Wealth, luxury and power not being enough, this group of people seem incapable of being satisfied with all the posh grandeur around them- always craving more and in some cases obsessing over things they know shouldn't be available, while having little regard for the consequences involved in attaining them.

The acting here is solid all around. Jones comes across as a convincing G, lovelorn and lost in spite of his rise to fame. Maxwell is good as Sky, a character who obviously regrets what her life is becoming yet seems incapable of taking any direction towards changing that. Royer's Tre is the most likable; subtle, sensitive and more than a little hesitant to be a party to what is ensuing around him at all. Blair Underwood's take on Chip as a conniving, thoughtless brute of a man is quite believable as well. All parties seem intelligent and deservedly well to do. The tale they collectively create is what left me cold and more than a little bored by the end; I didn't find myself caring much about what the outcome would be for these souls in their various states of disarray.

Video-

Video presentation here is 2.35:1 and mastered in high definition. It shows; picture quality is close to splendid throughout, imaging sharp and clean. Colors are deep and lush with blacks seeming dead on. It really is a beautiful film to watch.

Audio-

The audio track given here is English 5.1 Dolby Surround and sounds quite good, the music throughout rich, bass deep and dialect is accurate.

Extras-

No extras.

Final Thoughts-

An update on the acclaimed classic The Great Gatsby, I suppose this movie will appeal to those who want to be immersed in the telling of a rather unpleasant sordid love triangle that is sometimes quite messy. The pace of the film was slow for this reviewer and I simply couldn't involve myself in it enough to do more than give a recommendation to rent it.
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