Monday, March 27, 2006

Anticipating "ATL"

I was really excited about this one until I saw that rather ridiculous three-letter title. Let's hope the movie itself, opening Friday, delivers a lot more.

From looking at the trailer, I think it can. With rapper T.I. as its primary star, it appears to be boys in a different hood, which might be a good thing.

You can say many things about T.I., but you can't say he's not sure of himself. His modestly titled "Urban Legend," along with being one of the best rap albums of the last five years, is an exemplary exercise in ego. I'll be interested to see if he can take that dynamism onto the big screen.

According to the press release sent to Telegraph entertainment writer Maggie Large last year, T.I. was filming a "hip-hop and roller skating" movie. Well, in reading the synopsis on the Warner Bros. site and watching the trailer, it seems writer Antwone Fisher and director Chris Robinson have since decided to toughen things up.

In a nutshell, the plot centers on T.I.'s Rashad, a 17-year-old who is head of the household and trying to keep his younger brother Ant (Evan Ross) from joining the local drug trade. Trying to lure our young lad to the dark side is Antwan "Big Boi" Patton, who apparently brought along some of his own pit bulls to add menace to his presence. Patton and Outkast partner Andre Benjamin will finally see their own movie, "Idlewild," released this summer (assuming there are no further delays.)

Tacked on to this rather familiar plot is a Romeo and Juliet-style romance with foxy newcomer Lauren London, who crosses over from the right side of the tracks to slum with her new man T.I., much to the chagrin of her father.

I'm not sure why, but I'm really holding out hope for this one. I guess it's mostly because since moving down here, I've fallen hard for Southern hip-hop, and though Scarface and UGK are still the kings in my mind, T.I. is definitely rising fast.

Anyways, check out the trailer and decide for yourself here.

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