3D Image


By Merle Bertrand | February 13, 2001

A naive, wannabe rapper gets suckered by the Man in director Pete Chatmon’s somewhat muddled urban dramedy, “3D.”
Reg Roc’s the rapper; a middling talent at best who thinks he’s a lot hotter than he really is. So do I when I sing in the shower. That doesn’t mean I’d believe it if a slickly dressed, smooth-talking record producer like Jeff Sellers came up to me out of the blue and offered me a contract on the spot.
I’d be especially suspicious if that same snake was hitting on my girlfriend Angie like some skinny cross between Luther Vandross and Barry White.
Yet, that’s essentially Reg’s situation…and he’s prepared to swallow it hook, line, sinker, and pole. This is despite Angie’s skeptical wariness and the dire predictions of a street-smart homeless man, a wise one-man Greek Chorus warning of the dangers to come.
There is a decent cautionary tale lurking somewhere at the heart of Chatmon’s film. Unfortunately, it can’t quite escape from the confusing background noise surrounding it. The story just isn’t quite clear enough, at least upon a single viewing, to follow. Then too, while I realize there are a lot of gullible people out there, P.T. Barnum’s famous quote about suckers being born every minute holding true to this day, it’s still difficult to imagine that someone like Reg would sign a record contract, not only without consulting a lawyer, but without even reading the thing. Granted, this is a short film and not Court TV, but still.
“3D” looks great, creating an atmosphere that’s as mundane as it is ripe for diversion and excitement. There’s plenty of the latter by film’s end, as scuffling and police action abounds.
I’m just not sure why.

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