Gimme The Loot

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Hear the title Gimme the Loot and your mind fills with certain expectations -- drugs, crime, hard-edged. But the film is primarily about friendship, as well as the energy and tenacity of youth. The movie starts with teenagers and BFFs Sofia (Tashiana Washington) and Malcolm (Ty Hickson) discovering that someone’s graffitied over their graffiti. Pissed, the pair decide that it’s time to pull the ultimate and seemingly impossible stunt: “bombing” the apple that pops up at Shea Stadium when a homer is hit. A friend of Malcolm’s says he can get them access. For the low, low price of $500. Obviously, the kids don’t have that kind of money, but they spend the next two summer days running around their neighborhood in an attempt to get it -- and their methods aren’t always legal. The humor is low-key and the script heavy on dialogue, but the relatively inexperienced leads turn it into an easy back-and-forth typical of close friends. Another surprise is the soundtrack, filled not with hip-hop or rap but with old-school, soulful, and irresistibly joyful spirituals. It suggests that these teens may not always do the right thing, but their hearts are gold. (TO)