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New Jersey Drive (1995)

R | | Crime, Drama | 19 April 1995 (USA)
Jason and Midget are two young, black teenagers living in Newark,New Jersey, the unofficial car theft capital of the world. Their favourite pastime is that of everybody in their ... See full summary »

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(screenplay), (story) | 1 more credit »
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3 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Jason Petty (as Sharron Corley)
...
Midget
...
Roscoe
...
Rene Petty
Andre Moore ...
Ritchie
...
Tiny Dime (as Donald Adeosun Faison)
Conrad Meertins Jr. ...
P-Nut
Devin Eggleston ...
Jamal
Koran C. Thomas ...
Ronnie
Michele Morgan ...
Coreen
Samantha Brown ...
Jackie Petty
...
Prosecutor
Robert Jason Jackson ...
Lionel Gentry
...
Judge
...
Bo-Kane (as Dwight Errington Myers)
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Storyline

Jason and Midget are two young, black teenagers living in Newark,New Jersey, the unofficial car theft capital of the world. Their favourite pastime is that of everybody in their neighbourhood: stealing cars and joyriding. The trouble starts when they steal a police car and the cops launch a violent offensive that involves beating and even shooting suspects. Written by Robert Zeithammel <zeit@cip.physik.uni-muenchen.de>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The only things that matters is the ride.

Genres:

Crime | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for pervasive strong language and some violence, drugs and drinking | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

19 April 1995 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Mafia de New Jersey  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

$5,000,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

A lot of the cast also appeared in the TV show New York Undercover. See more »

Goofs

A gray early-'80s Honda Accord is stolen, and a joyride chase ensues. In many shots throughout, the gray car is a Toyota Camry. At the end of the scene, it's an Accord again. See more »

Quotes

Judge: Our society tells us that they're criminals, hoodlums, animals. What I see everyday are confused children trying to find their way through a harsh and unforgiving world.
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Connections

Referenced in Century of Black Cinema (2003) See more »

Soundtracks

Emotions
Written by Dr. Butcher (as A. Venable) and M.F. Grimm Reaper
Produced by Dr. Butcher and M.F. Grimm Reaper
Performed by Dr. Butcher and M.F. Grimm Reaper
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User Reviews

 
Bad boys, bad cops, decent movie
5 March 2006 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

This movie brings to mind "Boys 'n the Hood," "Menace to Society," "South Central" and others of its ilk and even shares actors with some of them. The film's "us vs. the law" mentality is underscored by the all-black neighborhood vs. the nearly all-white police force. Here the cops are so bad they seem like caricatures and in one scene they even ambush the boys as they drive by in a car they've just "liberated" from its owner. It's like a bushwhacking from an old Western, but the contemporary setting makes it look all too real.

The story centers on young Jason Petty and his buddies, to whom school is just an inconvenience that takes time away from their "real occupation" of boosting cars. This happens to be Newark, N.J., a rust-belt city low on jobs but notoriously high on crime. In fact the problem is so severe that the cops all have "Car Theft" written on their backs, to show that an entire unit must be devoted to this particular crime.

The boys use a "slim Jim" to gleefully break into cars and go joy-riding, as if it's no big deal. They only run into real trouble when the police ambush them. The vicious, Nazi-like Lt. has a vendetta against the boys, seeing them not as human beings who might be worthy of redemption, but as human targets. In fact, he's a little reminiscent of that sadistic Nazi officer of the Warsaw ghetto, who shot down Jews for pleasure in the film "Schindler's List." When the boys steal a police car in retribution for the ambush, things predictably go downhill fast. They are severely beaten by the cops and Jason finally ends up in prison. Clearly these are "bad boys," who'd steal your car in a minute, but the film wants us to see them as anti-heroes, showing Jason protecting his sister and his friend taking care of his own grandmother. The film left us wondering whose side to take and who to feel sadder for: the boys whose lives are going down the drain, the honest citizens whose cars are being stolen left and right and who could be caught in the crossfire of a shootout at any moment or the city of Newark itself, the spirit of whose law is being betrayed by brutal, soul-dead cops.

In spite of the over-the-top portrayal of the latter, the film offers a realistic-looking rendering of the ghetto, of the protagonists and their families and of the culture of car theft in a city where there appears to be only 2 career paths - law enforcement and crime. Strangely, the entire subject of drugs is never mentioned.

The filmmakers (including producer Spike Lee) are obviously biased against the Newark police, who, we hope, are not as bad they are portrayed here. Nevertheless, they've given us yet another a strong, affecting story about the inner city and black youth gone awry and Sharron Corley is fine as Jason.


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