I’ll always remember the first time I visited New York City. After our hailed cab driver was arrested we hopped on board a bus instead. Little did we know that it was about to drive us right through the Boroughs.
Being the only five white people on the entire ride was actually a lot of fun. My dad made quick friends and eventually we made our way to Manhattan. The other reason I’ll never forget this trip was when we made our way on foot through Chinatown to the Fulton Fish Market. On our way we realized that the streets were deserted and there sure seemed to be a lot of bars on the windows. Yup, we had just walked straight through the Bronx projects.
The reason I tell this story is because over the past two months I have relived this surreal experience twice. Once, while watching Home Alone 2: Lost in New York (a title that seems to sum all of that up nicely), then again while sitting in a screening of The Inevitable Defeat of Mister and Pete at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival. Filmed on location to give it the sense of realism it deserves sure brought back a lot of memories. And I have to say, that if the street action down there is anything like it is throughout the movie, we seemed to have had luck on our side as we tromped our way through the snow.
Mister and Pete are our titular heroes as they survive a sweltering summer abandoned in their Brooklyn apartment. Mister (Skylan Brooks) is put in charge of watching over Pete (Ethan Dizon) because his mother Gloria (Jennifer Hudson) is busy working for her pimp Kris (Anthony Mackie), when she’s not shooting up in the bedroom. Mister has it bad at school as well with his teacher giving him an F and now he has to repeat eighth grade. His only real friend seems to be Alice (Jordin Sparks), a nice girl making good, on her way out of the hood. Soon enough, Gloria goes missing leaving Mister and Pete to fend for themselves from starvation, abusive corner store clerks, a bully nicknamed Dip Stick (Julito McCullum), the police, an untimely heatwave, and just trying to make it to August 7 to audition for a casting call to make it big and move to Hollywood.