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Turn It Up

Director/Writer:Robert Adetuyi
New Line Cinema; 100 minutes; R
Cast:Pras, Tamala Jones, Ja Rule

Most Fugees fans agree that Lauryn Hill had most of the talent, then Wyclef Jean, and then... what was his name? Pras, the third Fugee, the one with the least presence. He stars in Turn It Up, a ghetto gangsta flick of dubious quality. Pras plays Diamond, an up-and-coming rapper struggling with art and shady business. Buddy Gage (Ja Rule) is deeper in crime than Diamond, and their shared superstar ambition racks up serious debt to the wrong people.

The narrative is worn out and spotted with cliches. Hip-hop criminals, the pregnant girlfriend, the wise black father, the mean dirty streets. Oddly enough, urban ambience gets the best role. Turn It Up offers moments of fine cinematography far more entertaining that the lead actor or his story.

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