written and directed by Michael Tolajian
by Walter Chaw Michael Tolajian's Bought & Sold is a low-aspiring inner-city fairy tale featuring an Oscar De La Hoya-looking hoodlum protagonist named Ray Ray (Rafael Sardina) who dreams of buying DJ turntables from the local pawn shop while working part-time at a shoe store. He falls in with the wrong crowd, ends up going undercover for a local godfather in the pawn under kindly Armenian storekeeper (Isiah Whitlock Jr.), and gets twitterpated for the pawnshop owner's niece, Ruby (beautiful Marjan Neshat)--all of which unfolds in a herky-jerky kind of way as Tolajian's dialogue too often intrudes on the performances, all better than they probably have any right to be. Boasting of the comfortable familiarity of an old pair of slippers, the picture earns some points for the energy of the cast but fails to do much that's surprising, illuminating, or, ultimately, affecting in any meaningful way. Originally published: October 8, 2003.