Riot (TV Movie 1997) Poster

(1997 TV Movie)

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disturbing, but very good.
ajason9135614 July 2004
I just watched this movie and I found it very disturbing, but at the same time loved it. I especially enjoyed the performance of the Asian actor Dante Basco, and the chemistry between he and his parents. Where most young male characters playing the, "angry youth" role tend to play it one dimensional, Dante was colorful, emotional, and In the words of Bill Clinton, "I could feel his pain." The most heartfelt scene in the movie, was when the Asian Father Played by Mako, held his son telling him to stand by his side, they are about to lose everything. The second and third short was not as compelling as the first, But the forth and last short made up for the lack of the middle two. It was great how each short interlooped with each other, and the added actual news footage of the riots. I could watch this movie time and time again.
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10/10
Presents all views of the riots
Taz75028 December 1998
It was a very good film in the way that it showed how the riots affected people from every perspective... the police officers being under fear of losing their life, the chinese boy afraid of losing the market store for which his family worked so hard, the poor latino boy who is carried away by the urge to provide his family with luxuries and the black man who is trying to survive the racial tensions. It's a very good movie and takes no side but rather shows how each race and each person in the situation suffered
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8/10
Excellent merging of characters
*Prometheus*31 December 1998
This movie is about the L.A. riots stemming from the Rodney King incident. The movie is about how the four predominate races interact with each other during these riots. The whites, blacks, hispanics, and asians are the races involved. The way the director mingles the characters together at certain times is outstanding. For example in one scene you see 3 hispanics arguing, and in the background you see a police officer being surrounded by many people, and he is defending himself. Later, on the police officer's skit at the end he is in the same scene. A must see.
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6/10
mostly watchable...
mcfly-3122 March 2009
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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8/10
Tries very hard and pretty much succeeds.
bse-13 July 2003
This film tries its hardest to deal with the LA Riots from all sides. it

kind of fails a bit but mostly it's a great film. It's got Melvin Van

Peebles in it, what mroe do you want? A proper late night TV film that I have now seen 3 times just by

chance. Mario Van P is his usual SUPERHAM self and Luke Perry

puts in a good performance as a "cop/Vanilla Ice from Cool as Ice

lookalike" and it's all good fun in a hard hitting issues based film

kind of way. I like the way they incorporated news footage. That works.

The latino quarter of the film is the weakest cos the main kid sucks

the proverbials in a major way.

Watch it, it's good.
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1/10
garbage
Illifornia7717 October 2006
Warning: Spoilers
This film was a waste of energy, time and money. In a sense, this movie is interesting, but mostly intense. The four quarters of the film did a so and so job. The one I find the most disturbing is the part where a group of Hispanic youths decide to loot (a disgrace to Hispanics everywhere), along with all other riot scenes and junk. I find it hard to believe that one of the Latino kids would thank and praise Rodney King for this (looting). King didn't want this and he didn't say to riot. MLK Jr. would turn over in his grave. I can't try hard enough to understand this garbage (racism and riot). To Bse-1, it's OK to say your opinion, but try not to be racist you twit, OK. The Latino boy didn't suck, though he played the looter. I can't believe I wasted my time posting this, though it stinks. Some junk for your head.
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2/10
Heat Wave (1990) (TV) is more entertaining and far more enlightening
chazekua26 October 2000
Heat Wave, TNT's movie about the 1965 Watts Riots is a far better film than Riot and handles many similar themes far more successfully. Riot, on the hand does a lot of yakking but little is really talked about. In trying to say "everything" about the causes and concerns that lead to the L.A. Riots, it ends up becoming totally unfocused and rather tedious. This is too important a subject to be given such short shrift and lack of real insight.
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