Martin Teller's Movie Reviews

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My Crasy Life

Posted by martinteller on May 20, 2012

Gorin’s third film in the “language trilogy” (also known as his “California trilogy”) explores the world of the “Sons of Samoa,” a Los Angeles street gang.  Again we have a group which is partially defined by a linguistic bond, in this case the slang of the gangbanger.  In one of the film’s most compelling sequences, they take turns addressing the camera to explain the meaning of words like “tat” and “loc” (this scene is heavily sampled in the Cabaret Voltaire song “Low Cool,” thus clearing up another old mystery for me).  This community, as one would expect, is mostly characterized by a sense of super-sized machismo.  There’s some token lip service given to love of their families and their cultural heritage, though little evidence of these other bonds is apparent in their actions.

What makes this film unusual is how much the Sons of Samoa are running the show.  Unlike the previous two film, Gorin’s voice is entirely absent.  When they are asked questions, it’s by someone who appears to be either part of or associated with their hood.  The gangsters act out scenes of their own invention, little scripted vignettes that give insight into their lifestyle, or at least what they perceive their lifestyle to be.  Long segments showcase their rapping… which is, if I may judge, pretty awful.  They should leave it to the professionals and stick to listening to Ice Cube.  But again, it gives them a chance to express their machismo and their unified sense of loyalty to their homies.

But none of this feels especially new or revelatory, and if there’s truth to be found here, it’s hidden beneath the posturing.  It is an interesting alternative to fictional narratives like Boyz n the Hood, Menace II Society and Straight Out of Brooklyn (all of which came out around the same time) but I don’t know if it tells us any more than those films do, or even in a more honest fashion (whether actual truth or “poetic truth”).  There’s also some really stupid bits with a talking police computer (think HAL, but more sarcastic) that don’t work at all.  I miss Gorin’s voice in this movie, and was disappointed at the lack of the freeform style he established in the previous two films.  This is a much more one-note affair.  It is watchable, and conceptually there are some noteworthy facets, but it didn’t spark my interest nearly as much.  Rating: Fair


4 Responses to “My Crasy Life”

  1. Memo said

    I love your reviews. Is there any chance you could add an index ordered by release date?

    I’m sorry for the unrelated comment, I couldn’t find any other way to contact you.

  2. joshBoy562 said

    hey guys i was wondering how can i go about watching this movie!!?? thanxz

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