On the Come Up DVD review

Feb 06, 2023- Permalink

Paramount Home Entertainment has released On the Come Up on DVD and I had a chance to take a look. The movie, which is actress Sanaa Lathan’s directorial debut, appeared at the 2022 Toronto International Film Festival and has been on the Paramount+ streaming service. It tells the story of Bri (Jamila Gray), a 16-year-old girl who wants to follow in her dad’s footsteps. He was a popular local rapper about to get his big break before he was gunned down. Bri is now managed by her aunt
(Da’Vine Joy Randolph) and though she struggles in her initial rap battles, her later performances catch the eye of Supreme (Method Man), who managed her father. He holds out the promise of fame but Bri must decide whether to follow the advice and persona he has for her or be true to herself.

The movie is based on the novel by Angie Thomas, who also gave us The Hate U Give. Unfortunately, this adaptation is stuck copying the same beats (no pun intended) as other rap films like Hustle & Flow and 8 Mile. Like sports films, music industry stories walk a fine line between telling a familiar story in an original fashion or coming off as a tired retread. On the Come Up falls into the latter category. Though there are some good performances, especially from Da’Vine Joy Randolph, this isn’t a film that will linger in the memory long.

The video presentation looks pretty good with a pleasing, natural colour palette. As it’s a DVD, there isn’t as much detail as there would be in an HD presentation and there is some loss of detail and some minor crushing in darker scenes.

On the audio side, the disc does offer you the choice of an English, French and Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1 tracks. The music comes off well, with a good low end and dialogue is clear and centred.

On the Come Up doesn’t come with a digital code, but there is a lyric music video and a featurette exploring Black female representation.

Though On the Come Up may not find a home in your physical media library, you can always check it out on Paramount+.