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Blu-ray Release: Dope

October 27, 2015

By John Corrado

Dope Blu-rayLast week, Sony Pictures Classics released Dope on Blu-ray.  Malcolm (Shameik Moore), Jib (Tony Revolori) and Diggy (Kiersey Clemons) are a trio of high school friends from a rough Los Angeles neighbourhood, self-professed geeks who have their own band and are obsessed with ’90s pop culture and retro hip hop.

But Malcolm’s Harvard dreams are threatened when he finds thousands of dollars worth of illicit drugs hidden in his backpack after a party, forcing them to become mixed up in the gang life they have been trying to avoid, and hatch a plan to get rid of the stash without getting caught.

Director Rick Famuyiwa has crafted a unique and stylish coming of age film that subverts our expectations every step of the way, mixing elements of comedy, drama and gangsta thriller, with slyly thought provoking social commentary simmering just beneath the surface.  Shameik Moore delivers a gripping and starmaking performance, making sure his protagonist remains a relatable and sympathetic figure throughout, just trying to do the right thing and stay out of trouble and avoid the racially charged stereotypes constantly threatening to swallow him up.

Topped off with an awesome soundtrack of classic hip hop tunes, and some excellent original tracks produced by Pharrell Williams, Dope is exhilarating and hugely entertaining to watch.  A breakout hit from Sundance, that deserves to reach a wider audience, this is independent filmmaking at its freshest, funniest and most exciting.  Put simply, I really dug it.

The Blu-ray includes a pair of brief featurettes, one with the cast and the other focusing on the music.

Dope is 103 minutes and rated 14A.

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