Dope – DVD Review


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Dope

Starring: Shameik Moore, Tony Revolori, Kiersey Clemons, Blake Anderson, Zoë Kravitz

Directed by: Rick Famuyiwa

Rated: R
Run Time: 104 mins
Genre: Comedy, Drama
3.5 out of 5 Frames

By Lisa Minzey

If you missed out at catching it in theaters or on the festival circuit this year, you’re in luck! You can now own “Dope” (the movie, not the drug) legally for your recreational use starting October 13 out on Blu-Ray/ DVD and VOD platforms. Not sure if you’re ready to commit? Check out the review below…

Being labeled a geek has come a long way in the decades where it was coined as a negative label. Nowadays, being labeled a geek is a badge of honor for some as the geek culture has raised ranks in the societal hierarchy. what do you get when you add in a coming of age story, set in the “hood” of Los Angeles where your main characters is a straight-laced urban geek? Give the whole “Straight Outta Compton” stereotype a new twist, right?

Maybe not. What this film really examines is what is at the core of a person, when they are pushed to the limits, will they choose to do what’s best for them?
Malcolm (Shameik Moore) is a straight up geek. He and his friends, Diggy (Kiersey Clemons) and Jib (Tony Revolori) are obsessed with 90’s rap culture, play in a punk bank called Oreo and everything modern technology. Like most teens, they all are worried about their latest crush or getting laid but in Malcolm’s neighborhood, add the element of survival and it takes on a whole new level of “Game of Thrones” type of lifestyle.

Malcolm has his eye on one of the neighborhood girls, Nakia (Zoë Kravitz) but so does local dope slinger Dom (A$AP Rocky) so his chances of getting with her are none to slim. But God Bless his little geek heart as he makes the effort to try. When one of the prerequisites to getting Nakia to go to Dom’s birthday party is for Malcolm and his friends to go with her, they’re all in. Needless to say, this may not be in the best interest of his future ambitions as it leads him down a shady path where few people in his position, culture and neighborhood location are easily able to free themselves from.

This is where the power of geekdom comes to play. The shadier the circumstances that Malcolm and friends find themselves in, the more creative and more character building solutions arise and come to challenge. Can Malcolm overcome all preset expectations of himself by his peers, mentors and society to overcome and achieve his dreams?

At the heart of this film, once you get past all the layers of drugs, violence, racial slurs and tensions is a strong message of overcoming expectations to finding inner strength to achieve your dreams. The message is wrapped up neatly in an entertaining way, of course, but the journey of Malcolm is extremely well done. What is great about this film is that all the normal stereotypes and gripes that people say about the other races, such as using the “N-word”, are addressed with class and humour which if society used more of these days, what a different world we would live in. Aside from that, the production value is great, the love of storytelling and music really shines through. Check out the special features “Dope is Different” and “Dope Music” as they both add a layer of appreciation to the screen craft with behind the scenes footage. Bonus, bonus feature Pharrell Williams personally chose the music to use in the film. How can you not love Pharrell? Overall, this is a great DVD & VOD selection to have in your indie film collection so make sure to check it out when it’s released on Blu-Ray DVD and VOD platforms starting October 13, 2015.

Things to Watch For: Nudity, violence, drug use and the occasional geek smackdown.

Who Should See this Movie: Fans of Shameik Moore, Tony Revolori, Kiersey Clemons, Blake Anderson, Zoë Kravitz; Fans of underdog movies, 90’s hip hop and urban films.

TV, DVD or VOD: Definitely catch this on DVD and download to your VOD collection.

TECHNICAL INFORMATION BLU-RAY™:
Street Date: October 13, 2015
Copyright: 2015 Universal Pictures Home Entertainment
Selection Number: 55171525
Layers: BD-50
Aspect Ratio: 2.40:1
Rating: R for language, drug content, sexuality/nudity, and some violence—all involving teens
Languages/Subtitles: English SDS, French and Spanish Subtitles
Sound: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1, Dolby Digital 2.0
Run Time: 1 hour, 44 minutes

TECHNICAL INFORMATION DVD:
Street Date: October 13, 2015
Copyright: 2015 Universal Pictures Home Entertainment
Selection Number: 55171526
Layers: Dual
Aspect Ratio: 2.40:1
Rating: R for language, drug content, sexuality/nudity, and some violence—all involving teens
Languages/Subtitles: English SDS, French and Spanish Subtitles
Sound: Dolby Digital 5.1
Run Time: 1 hour, 44 minutes


About Lisa Minzey

Lisa Minzey is Editor in Chief of The Reel Critic.com. She has written for Phoenix Film Foundation, an online contributor for EW.com and is known to write a screenplay or 12. She’s worked in Hollywood in various forms, but her first love is writing. She currently resides in Los Angeles.

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