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Riot (1997)

TV Movie  |  R  |   |  Drama  |  27 April 1997 (USA)
6.4
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Ratings: 6.4/10 from 285 users  
Reviews: 8 user | 2 critic

In April 1992, following the notorious Rodney King verdict, the streets of Los Angeles became a battlefield, the backdrop to four personal intertwined stories. In Gold Mountain, Jeff Lee ... See full summary »

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Title: Riot (TV Movie 1997)

Riot (TV Movie 1997) on IMDb 6.4/10

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Jeff Lee (segment "Gold Mountain")
...
Mrs. Lee (segment "Gold Mountain")
...
Mr. Lee (segment "Gold Mountain")
...
Carlos (segment "Caught in the Fever")
Yelba Osorio ...
Iris (segment "Caught in the Fever")
...
Ciaco (segment "Caught in the Fever")
...
Manuel (segment "Caught in the Fever")
...
...
Chaz (segment "Empty")
...
Turner (segment "Homecoming Day")
...
Vernon (segment "Homecoming Day")
...
Maggie (segment "Homecoming Day")
...
Lyle (segment "Gold Mountain")
Phillip Wong ...
Phil (segment "Gold Mountain") (as Phil Wong)
Ernie Lee Banks ...
Wino (segment "Gold Mountain")
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Storyline

In April 1992, following the notorious Rodney King verdict, the streets of Los Angeles became a battlefield, the backdrop to four personal intertwined stories. In Gold Mountain, Jeff Lee and his parents run Good Neighbor Liquor in South Central L.A. Theirs is an Asian family of "old world" values at odds with a modern world-cultures that are about to clash in ways they never imagined. In Caught in the Fever, a day at the mall for Manuel Alvarado, the eldest son of a poor Hispanic family, and his girlfriend Iris, spirals into a nightmare as they're drawn into the out-of-control frenzy of a violent afternoon. In Homecoming Day, Turner Coates returns to the South Central hood of his youth to visit his mother - a homecoming overshadowed by an inescapable threat. In Empty, Boomer Phillips and his fellow LAPD officers are in a South Central restaurant when Boomer receives the command from his dispatcher to get out of South Central-but the command comes too late. Boomer's already in too deep... Written by Echo Bridge Home Entertainment

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for violence and pervasive strong language
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

27 April 1997 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Riot in the Streets  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Connections

Features Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous (1984) See more »

Soundtracks

Can't Funk Wit It
Written by Tha' D.R.E. and Dray Luv
Performed by Tha' D.R.E.
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User Reviews

 
mostly watchable...
22 March 2009 | by (anaheim, ca) – See all my reviews

Slightly above-average dramatizing of the darkest day in L.A. history, and the various ethnicities it affected. Being a TV movie, there are the expected demerits for one-dimensional music and uneven performances. But a great deal is made up for with the use of a very effective editing device and moments of surprise.

An anthology of sorts, the first "story" depicts the looting and destruction of a Korean family's liquor store. The main focus is a teenage son, who wants desperately to rally against the mayhem, but realizes he's perilous to it. The unfortunate strike against this opener is both many moments of over *and* underacting.

Tale two sweeps up a young Latino male into the fray, and how he originally is against the chaos, but can't help becoming swept up in the benefit of it all. There's a terrific confrontation scene between he and an older brother on the streets amid all the initial excitement.

You had to figure there would be a law enforcement perspective, and that's seen next. Perry finds himself surrounded by both his police brethren, and the angry street mob he's trying to suppress. This is perhaps the weakest of the vignettes, as it takes quite a few liberties with real life. The first instance deals with a cop spouting off at a TV set in the department locker room. Of course, it's in defamation of Rodney King, but the fact that a white officer would be allowed to hurl racist rants at the screen --- with nary a black policeman present --- is ludicrous. There are no black officers at this precinct? Please. This is followed by white cops actually whooping it up at a black coffee shop as the King verdicts are read on a television. Beyond false and stupid.

Things are wrapped up with a black father-to-be trying to protect and evacuate his elderly family members from the flashpoint of unrest. Peebles carries things pretty well, and Cicely Tyson is very compelling as his beleaguered mother who is frozen by the violence. They very wisely intercut her own flashbacks of the 1965 Watts riots as a touchstone for what she's seeing before her in the present day.

As you can tell above, there's a great deal to be absorbed from all this, but also some negative mismash. Plus another element that takes away from the film is that these are not re-enactments, but moreso explorations. They capture what every ethnicity felt that day, but also reek of writer opinion. I mean, the fact that a black shop owner would be hit by a rock from a black rioter seemed a little over the top.

In the end, it was all handled better than I expected, and shed equal light on one of the bigger blights in the country's history.


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