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neumu
Friday, October 24, 2014 
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Cinematronic by Michael Snyder
Film
cinematronic
  Never Die Alone cinematronic
  director

Ernest R. Dickerson

cast

DMX, David Arquette, Michael Ealy, Clifton Powell, Reagan Gomez-Preston

year

2004

rating rating cinematronic
  It's jarring to watch "Never Die Alone" — a vehicle for charismatic rapper and relative-neophyte actor DMX — show off its arty pretensions by copping narrative and character elements from "Sunset Boulevard." But it's on more familiar turf with its evocation of various thugs-in-tha-hood movies, as well as more than passing nods to "Scarface" and a few film-noir classics, that reveal its unmistakable intentions: a commercial bonanza from inner-city audiences and legions of hip-hop fans. "Never Die Alone," based on a novel by Donald Goines, is about the rise and fall of callous, ghetto-spawned criminal King David (DMX), who sells narcotics, willfully abuses women and displays little remorse at dealing pain. Leaving unpaid debts and a trail of destruction behind him, King David heads for Los Angeles, where he continues his wicked ways. He returns home to settle old scores and seek a measure of redemption. During this mission, his encounter with down-on-his-luck journalist Paul (David Arquette) has an overwhelming effect on both of their lives. The "gangsta" sensibility gets another showcase in "Never Die Alone," although it's couched in the context of a cautionary tale, free of glitz and well directed by Ernest Dickerson. A less clichéd script and deeper performance from DMX would have made it something to remember.  
cinematronic
cinematronic


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