Directed By: Hype Williams

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on 1/17/2013

Hype makes a spectacular transistion from the genre of filming amazing music videos to his own feature length film- belly... fusing hip-hop/r&b culture to this gritty street drama, the influences of music can be seen and add much emotional depth to the film. overall, spectacular.

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Product Overview

From acclaimed director Hype Williams comes this realistic urban drama highlighted by an all-star hip-hop cast, visually dazzling cinematography and a pulsing rap soundtrack.


Studio Lions Gate
SKU 40233464
UPC 012236148258
UPC 14 00012236148258
Format DVD
Release Date 1/20/2004
Rating Rating
Rap Artists
Rap Music
Theatrical Release
Urban Crime
Urban Violence
Editors Note
Note A stylish urban drama about two childhood friends who stand on opposite sides of the law. A visually stunning, brutally honest film from critically acclaimed music video director Hype Williams. Rappers Nas and DMX make their big screen debuts.
Sight and Sound "...Gorgeous hues, surreal fish-eyed perspectives and pulsating varispeed camerawork..." 08/??/1999 p.40-1
USA Today "...Hype Williams makes his big-screen debut with a gritty tale of trust, betrayal and redemption that plays like a 90-minute version of the music video director's specialty..." 11/20/1998 p.6E
Box Office "...An impressive feature film debut....BELLY nicely showcases some new acting talent crossing over from the music world, and conveys its message effectively..." 12/01/1998 p.44
Los Angeles Times "...It builds refreshingly and unexpectedly to a spirit of redemption and responsibility....BELLY looks great..." 11/04/1998 p.C2
Hype Williams
Name Dmx
Link Search Link
Cast & Crew
David Leonard - Editor
Earl "DMX" Simmons - Actor
Hassan Johnson - Actor
Hype Williams - Screenplay
Hype Williams - Director
Hype Williams, et al. - Producer
Malik Hassan Sayeed - Director of Photography
Method Man - Actor
Nasir "Nas" Jones - Actor
Taral Hicks - Actor
Tionne "T-Boz" Watkins - Actor
Technical Info
Original Release Date 1998
Catalog ID 14825
UPC 00012236148258
Number of Discs 1
Running Time 95 minutes
Color Color
Original Language English
Available Subtitles Spanish
Available Audio Tracks English
Aspect Ratio
Widescreen  1.85:1
Independent Spirit (1999) Malik Hassan Sayeed, Nominee, Best Cinematography
ReviewSource New York Times
Review In Belly, Williams, a graduate of music videos making his feature-film debut as writer and di
Reviewer Lawrence Van Gelder
ReviewRating 6
ReviewSource Orlando Weekly
Review Hype Williams, an acclaimed video director who has worked with Sean "Puffy" Combs, LL Cool J and oth
Reviewer Phillip Booth
ReviewRating 7
ReviewSource San Francisco Chronicle
Review Hype Williams is a video director making his feature debut, and he knows how to combine sound and moving images. Over an a cappella chorus, we see a group of young men getting together and going off to a nightclub. The eerie music suggests that this is not an ordinary visit. So do the guns and silencers...When the credits end, all hell breaks loose -- onscreen and artistically, too. Williams has a visual flair, and he films individual scenes with a certain vitality. But he has no idea how to tell a story onscreen. ``Belly,'' which opens today, is desperately clumsy. The clumsiness seems like sincerity for about a half hour, then it's merely amateurish...The picture stars two rap performers, Nas and DMX, as gangsta buddies Sincere and Tommy, whose criminal success has given them upper-middle-class lifestyles...Things keep happening, but it's all hard to follow. The reason for the title, ``Belly,'' is never explained...The heart of the picture has to do with the heroes realizing the error of their ways and finding redemption, but it takes a lot for an audience to forgive two murderers. ``Belly'' comes up short...The film acts as though Tommy and Sincere's lives of slaughter and mayhem were not things to atone for -- spiritually and legally -- but simply steps along the path to enlightenment.
Reviewer Mick LaSalle
ReviewRating 5
ReviewSource The Onion A.V. Club
Review Something strange happens about 90 minutes into Belly, the big-screen debut by influential hip-hop video director Hype Williams: The film starts to make sense, and even gets interesting. Somehow, the writer/director manages, in Belly's last 20 minutes, to concoct a sort of fever-dream mini-narrative composed of blatant appropriations from Malcolm X, A Clockwork Orange, and Strange Days. Unfortunately, though, those 20 engagingly bats*** minutes don't seem to have anything to do with what preceded them. Part incomprehensible GoodFellas rip-off and part feature-length music video, Belly is a millennial head film that subscribes to the sort of logic usually found only in acid trips, nightmares, and big-budget music videos. It does, however, deserve recognition as quite possibly the only major film in cinematic history to star two novice actors with three-letter names. Those two neophytes are rappers Nas and DMX, who star as a pair of drug-addled superthugs who have some sort of vague ambition to market a synthetic superdrug. It's difficult to tell what the hell is going on, thanks to the film's contempt for coherent narrative structure and almost impenetrable immersion into the farthest regions of street dialect. What is for certain, however, is that a whole lot of people get killed in Belly.
Reviewer Nathan Rabin
ReviewRating 6
DVD, Special Edition
Product Attributes
Actor Dmx
Label Artisan Entertainment
Music Format DVD
Video Format DVD
Orange County Register ...the most technically polished hip-hop film to date...
Phillip Booth, Orlando Weekly A grim and poignant debut.
Box Office Magazine impressive feature film debut...Belly nicely showcases some new acting talent crossing over from the music world...
Sight and Sound ...gorgeous hues, surreal fish-eyed perspectives and pulsating varispeed camerawork...
USA Today ...Williams makes his big-screen debut with a gritty tale of trust, betrayal and redemption...

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back to reality on Jan 17, 2013