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Drumline More at IMDbPro »

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This Movie Was Half Real, Half Fake

Author: leighabc123 from Portsmouth, Virginia
19 April 2003

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

A Bunch OF SPOILERS Ahead!!!

First, let's go to the beginning of the movie. Devon went to his father's job to disrespect him after his graduation. I know many students who disrespect their fathers for being crummy and don't invite them to their graduation. But after this scene, there is a hole in the plot of the movie. Where were the boys coming from when they were on the bus in Atlanta? This was the scene where all the boys first met each other and said what instruments they played. This was the scene where the bus driver talks about how good Morris Brown's band was and disrespects Dr. Lee. Shouldn't they have known each other before the bus ride if they were coming from the same location?

It was so funny seeing Orlando Jones play a serious role. Marching band directors are really perfectionists just like Dr. Lee portrays in the movie. Band practices are really torture and students are really really competitive! I played in the band for a while and I was in the orchestra for five years.

But Devon getting a full band scholarship and not knowing how to read music is a made up lie! In my city, you can't even make the 7th grade band squad without knowing how to read music. A college band student on a full band scholarship not knowing how to read music is like a college student on an academic scholarship not knowing how to read books! How can someone fool anyone like that for four years in high school?

While I am on that subject, when in was found out that Devin couldn't read music, he should have been sent to the next plane home to NYC! When Devin was actually cut from the band, he was still allowed to stay at the college. In real life, he would have lost every dime of his scholarship, and he would have to clean out his room and sent on the next plane back home. No argument!

The anger, disrespect, stuck up attitudes, and competition were the only realistic things in this entire movie!

This movie had such a predictable ending! Everyone should have known that Atlanta A&T would have won the band competition. The main group always win competitons in all movies.

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Awesome movie. Great script & music.

Author: miniandcindy from Kentucky
17 April 2003

This was a great movie. It kept our attention the entire time. No boring spots. It was funny and it gets you movin'. Again, great script and awesome music. Good movie, whether you were in band or not. If you weren' may make you wish you had. LOL.A MUST SEE!!!!

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Excellent show band style!!!

Author: Heather from North Carolina, US
17 April 2003

I am a fan of drum corps. However, that's not what I was expecting so I thoroughly enjoyed this movie. This style of marching band took me back to high school. It's nothing like the precision of the drum corps. The sound was amazing, although I agree that I was upset to hear the sound track songs during the band's rehearsals. The actors really worked hard and made it look like they had always been in a marching band. I just bought it on DVD Tuesday and I've watched it 3 times (can't wait for football season!!!!!)

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This movie is realistic...and a darn good one.

Author: sir_tal from California
16 April 2003

I'd like to start out by saying that if fans will recognize this film for what it is, a movie that consciously tries to be realistic, while throwing out a few bones to those who want the gratituous love story, etc, then they will be a great deal more likely to enjoy it.

This movie was very realistic. I never marched in college, but I marched all 4 years of high school, and down to the militaristic band director who wants to stay true to real music, this movie hit the nail on the head. A non-band-geek won't believe how in-your-face and competetive the marching band can be, but it is almost exactly like this movie shows.

With the killer performances, the reactions of the crowd, and even the fraternity that I became a part of, this movie really brought back the memories.

One more word about the fraternity. Kappa Kappa Psi is an actual fraternity. The National Honorary Band Fraternity exists all over the United States, and was portrayed very well in this movie, down to using the flag and everything. I am an alumni member of the Zeta Rho chapter of Kappa Kappa Psi.

To the brothers, please continue to Strive for the Highest in all that you do.

In the Bond, AEA. -Chris

To everyone this movie with the knowledge that it's true to life, and a great movie.


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Great Movie!

Author: capjoy from USA
18 March 2003

This is a fantastic movie! Best I've seen in a long, long time. It reminds me of my high school and college days at the football games. (I'm 46). It brings back lots of memories! I would suggest that everyone watches this movie. I chose it because my daughter has a drum set and hasn't played in a while and when we saw the movie, she was quite influenced and wants to pick up her drums again. I intend to see it with my friend and my boyfriend (separately)!

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This was a very energizing movie!

Author: Darlene (darbruing) from Indiana
27 February 2003

I'm really glad that I decided to see this movie. The drumming absolutely blew me away! The cast was very entertaining and enjoyable, and the moral lessons being taught were very well presented. Kudos to all of those involved in bringing this to the theater!

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A real let-down for drumline fans

Author: Adam Mackler from Seattle
23 January 2003

As an alumnus of a drum line this movie was a real disappointment. Considering the possibilities this subject matter offered it was a combination of bad direction, bad cinematography, and especially bad sound editing. The scenes of marching and playing used a lot of close-ups and fast cutting so it was impossible to see what the band-members were doing. The biggest crime is that there are several montages where we see musicians playing but instead of hearing the drumline we hear songs from the cheezeball soundtrack--unforgivable!

Of course the story was lame, but I was expecting that.

For those seeking a realistic portrayal of college marching band experience, well I don't know about the school in this movie, but based on my experience, for one thing with ten or a dozen snares anyone with the attitude of this main character would have spent all of band camp doing cymbal laps--not to mention learning how to stand at attention. Also in a marching band with hundreds of members I can't imagine the band director knowing any freshman personally--there are no stars or solos...who's going to hear you in a colliseum!! And the freshmen in this film had it easy. No indication of spending an entire semester being hazed by every upperclassman in the band. I would have forgiven these minor transgressions if at least there had been some good music properly engineered (like so we can hear the bass drums), but there wasn't. I will say this, though: at least they were driving it: UCLA SUCKS!

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A wonderful surprise

Author: Mitchell Harvick from Ashland, Oregon
19 January 2003

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

This is a wonderful movie with high morals that is mostly vacant from todays movies. I enjoyed everything about this movie. The band scenes were wonderful. I went into the movie expecting to like it and it was way better then I thought. I was surprised by how little they referred to sex in the movie. I am so use to being bombarded with sex, sex, sex now a days, that when I don't get it, it's kind of weird. This is a wonderful family movie, and you get a whole other side to marching bands that you would have never thought about. The chemistry between Nick and Zoe's character was very believable and then end sequence is an intense *~small spoiler~* drum off that that leaves you amazed. A wonderful piece of work that teaches you a good message about team work and values. I would definitely give this movie *** or of ****.

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very good.

Author: kittyKAt234 from Cville, virginia
12 January 2003

When i saw these trailers this movie seemed like a last choice/bored saturday night flick-pick. I knew the actor Nick Cannon from his days on the nick show All That... So his acting was not notable. When i did end up seeing it after being pressured by friends, i really enjoyed it. It was funny, and there was a lot of truth in the plot. I definately liked it.

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Entertaining formula film in a neat new setting

Author: David S. Rose from New York, NY
11 January 2003

I must admit to being surprised by the extreme feelings about this film reflected in the other comments here. To my mind, this is neither the worst movie ever made, nor is it Casablanca. Instead, it is a highly predictable formula film in a setting-with-a-twist, that of the halftime bands in the HBCU (Historically Black Colleges and Universities) environment. The drumming is quite good, and will likely be an eye-opener to the majority of people who are not familiar with drum corps, HBCUs or band in general. It is not, however, the best-of-the-best that one could have hoped for (see Blast!, or the annual real-life competitions for those). The acting is solid, with Orlando Jones being a real standout. Newcomer Nick Canon exudes a fair bit of charm, and is appropriately cast.

All in all, this film will be revered by past and present band-members, HBCU grads, percussion fans, and middle class urban audiences. Its point will be completely missed by blue-collar conservatives, inner-city gangstas, and people who have no idea of (nor interest in) HBCUs, drum corps and modern Black cinema. If you fall into the former category, by all means go and see it before it leaves the theaters (those drumlines are great on the big screen). If the latter, you should probably save your money. As a percussionist myself, I give it an 8 out of 10 [grin].

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