Always Outnumbered (1998) is an HBO
drama about an ex-con and felon, Socrates Fortlow (Laurence Fishburne),
trying to handle his rage and get by in an LA suburb. As the film
opens, he is collecting cans and bottles, and sweeping sidewalks in
order to earn barely enough to survive, but at least he feels like his
own man. His goal is to get a job as a checker in a market.
|His circle of friends
includes Natalie Cole as the owner of a bus converted into a diner.
She is sweet on him. His best friend Bill Cobbs, who is dying of
cancer, and lives in a boarding house run by Cicely Tyson. Rounding
out the ensemble is a young boy, Daniel Williams, whom he
befriends after catching him killing and trying to steal a chicken.
The story is narrated by Cobbs, and shows how Socrates copes with his
own demons, and ends up helping those around him that he cares about.
He developed a heart and a soul in prison, and a sense of survival,
but is nothing but rough edges.
|The exposure comes from :
Crystal LaPrie, who is doing
it in the bushes while young Williams is watching, and
an unknown who is topless in
the home of a murderer/drug dealer that Socrates and his
friends tell to leave town.
||The cast did a superb job, and
Fishburne won me over early as a character to root for. I enjoyed the
film very much.
guideline: 7.5 usually indicates a level of
excellence, about like three and a half stars
from the critics. 6.0 usually indicates lukewarm
watchability, about like two and a half stars
from the critics. The fives are generally not
worthwhile unless they are really your kind of
material, about like two stars from the critics.
Films under five are generally awful even if you
like that kind of film, equivalent to about one
and a half stars from the critics or less,
depending on just how far below five the rating
guideline: A means the movie is so good it
will appeal to you even if you hate the genre. B means the movie is not
good enough to win you over if you hate the
genre, but is good enough to do so if you have an
open mind about this type of film. C means it will only
appeal to genre addicts, and has no crossover
appeal. D means you'll hate it even if you
like the genre. E means that you'll hate it even if
you love the genre. F means that the film is not only
unappealing across-the-board, but technically
inept as well.
Based on this
description, it had a lot of action and humor for a character
driven drama. I give a high C+.
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