The cathartic moment in "Slam" occurs in an alley as Ray Joshua (Saul Williams), biding time between being released on bail and his trial, argues with Lauren (Sonja Sohn) about whether it would be best to admit to possession of marijuana and take a two-year sentence or hold out for a trial and take his chances at being incarcerated for up to ten.
The exchange between the two is very heated, so heated in fact that Ray's head thrashes around wildly as he rebuts Lauren's empathy. The problem here is that Ray has one of those Rastafarian doos and it's hard to pay attention because he looks like a mop head tossing about in a hurricane. I wondered how Lauren could resist the urge to grab Ray by the feet, turn him upside-down, and go on a crazed hunt for some dirty linoleum. Ray's not exactly a meaty guy, so picking him up wouldn't be a big deal.
Ray and Lauren get into this problem because Ray, a budding slam poet, stands in the middle of the prison playground after his arrest and gets himself out of a huge mess by going off on a couple of prison factions with his gift for slamming (sort of a combination between poetry and rap). This is all nice and good if you're making a movie where your main character needs to give a self-assuring slam-reading so he can rediscover the beauty of his inner child and inspire the prison's alpha criminal to make his bail. Unfortunately, in real life, Ray would pay for his prison poetry-boy act by spending spend the rest of his life wearing Depends undergarments and avoiding bar stools any smaller than six inches in radius.
Odds are, one would then need to change the title of this film from "Slam" to "Leak."
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