PAID IN FULL Add To My Top 10

The Tragic Lives of Drug Dealers

Content -3
Quality
None Light Moderate Heavy
Language        
Violence        
Sex        
Nudity        

Release Date: October 25, 2002

Starring: Wood Harris, Mekhi Phifer, Cam’ron, Chi McBride, and Esai Morales

Genre: Drama

Audience: Older teenagers and adults

Rating: R, for violence, pervasive
language, some strong
sexuality & drug content

Runtime: 92 minutes

Address Comments To:

Bob Weinstein & Harvey Weinstein
Dimension Films
99 Hudson Street, 5th Floor
New York, NY 10013
Phone: (212) 219-4100
Fax: (212) 941-3836
Website: www.dimensionfilms.com

Content:

(PaPaPa, LLL, VVV, SS, NN, AA, DDD, MMM) Fatalistic pagan worldview with dark, pervasive mood of hopelessness & despair, with attitudes resigned to crime, drugs, illicit sex, violence; ultimate goal is power over people, attained through drug money; about 170 foul words, 53 being very strong; extreme violence with fatal and non-fatal gunshots, fist fights, and talk of torture; the portrayal of pregnancy outside of wedlock and explicit sexual content including pornographic photos and films; nude porno actors and nudity in artwork; alcohol use and abuse shown; strong portrayal of drugs and drug culture with characters getting stoned, selling drugs, reaping violent crimes related to drugs, etc.; and, miscellaneous immorality includes kidnapping, lying, cheating, stealing, betrayal, the degrading and abusing of women, and the addiction of power and position.


Summary:

In PAID IN FULL, a young man from Harlem, forced to cope with the 1980’s drug scene, builds an illegal empire, only to realize its terrors and entrapments. With deplorable language, sex, violence, and very clear instruction on the intricacies of drug dealing, this movie will surely be avoided by moral audiences.


Review:

If my list of “to do’s” this week included, “learn how to run an effective, illegal drug business,” I would have accomplished my goal by watching PAID IN FULL. This movie teaches the novice all about the intricacies of crack cocaine, how much it costs in bulk and divided into street-saleable portions, how to properly package it in little glass containers, how to perceive good druggie contacts, how to lay low and make it work, and where and how to stash the cash. Who knew there were so many important things my education at a Christian University failed to teach me?!?
The movie takes place in the mid-1980s, with a guy narrating about life on the streets of Harlem. One street corner is where all the beautiful, rich black people hang out, flashing their money, cars, and clothes and mingling with the other wealthy, powerful elite. The narrator says, “This was called The Stage. If you were here, you were definitely somebody . . . and I was there.”
Suddenly, the movie focuses on the narrator . . . bloody, on a gurney. He goes on to tell his story . . . how he went from working an honest job as an errand boy for a dry cleaner to gradually entertaining the temptations of the drug world . . . how the need for money and power, combined with the defeatist attitudes of the inner-city black culture eventually led him to become the greatest drug boss in Harlem.
After several things go very, very wrong, however, he chooses to get out of the business, but finds it’s not so easy anymore. His struggle to get out is more difficult than all his efforts to get in! After his girlfriend gets pregnant, some of his buddies get incarcerated or killed, and a little boy he loves gets kidnapped and tortured for drug money. Will he finally find a way to escape the rat race? And stay alive?
PAID IN FULL has dark, fatalistic overtones, and even the “prize” of wealth and fame on the streets is played in a dark, creepy, “I’m not sure I’d want that lifestyle” tone. The language is deplorable, with a recorded 170 foul words, and the African American characters continually call each other the “n” word. What’s up with that?
The detail of the drug life is scary. A novice can watch this movie and come away with semester credits in “Drug Dealing 101.” Because young viewers tend to mimic the acts of violence and illegal activity they see on the silver screen, there is a high “cringe factor” to this film.
The moral of the story is played too lightly, and no alternatives are offered as to hope-filled, honest employment. The black family is portrayed as fatherless, hopeless and immoral, or greedy and mean-spirited. MOVIEGUIDE® truly hopes and prays that black writers and filmmakers will be enlightened and called to start making movies that are hope-filled, healing and redemptive at their core.


In Brief:

In PAID IN FULL, a bloody guy on a gurney tells his story . . . how he went from working an honest job as an errand boy for a dry cleaner to gradually entertaining the temptations of the drug world . . . how the need for money and power, combined with the defeatist attitudes of the inner-city black culture eventually led him to become the greatest drug boss in Harlem. After several things go very, very wrong, however, he chooses to get out of the business, but finds it’s not so easy anymore. His struggle to get out is more difficult than all his efforts to get in! After his girlfriend gets pregnant, some of his buddies get incarcerated or killed, a little boy he loves gets kidnapped and tortured for drug money, will he finally find a way to escape the rat race?
PAID IN FULL has dark, fatalistic overtones, and even the “prize” of wealth and fame on the streets is played in a dark, sinister, “I’m not sure I’d want that lifestyle” tone. The language is deplorable, and the detail of the drug life is downright scary, ranking this movie high on the “cringe factor” scale