Is 'Kicks' this generation's 'Boyz n the Hood?'
I love movies like this because they are such great examples of idea that seems small can really be quite big. Moreover, and this is not sarcasm: this is screenwriting 101. The protagonist has a clear physical goal. His sneakers were stolen and he wants them back. He also has a clear thematic goal. He wants respect. Kicks makes creating a solid hook look easy. Don't believe it! Crafting a story that appears to be simple is one of the hardest parts of screenwriting.
I also love the touches of the surreal in this urban setting. The recurring motif of the astronaut, representing the lead's need for escape but evolving into a kind of spirit animal; it adds a dash of whimsy to a story that has some violent elements.
I'm already charmed by the lead Jahking Guillory, who nails his underdog status with what appears to be a soulful performance. There's a lot to like in the premise, the setting, the characters, which is what a good trailer will sell. There's a lot of buzz about Kicks' writer/director Justing Tipping. I'm really curious how well this is executed as it looks like a powerful little movie.