DRUMLINE

Content -1
Quality
None Light Moderate Heavy
Language        
Violence        
Sex        
Nudity        

Release Date: December 13, 2002

Starring: Nick Cannon, Orlando Jones,
Zoe Saldana, Leonard Roberts,
and GQ

Genre: Drama/Musical

Audience: Teenagers and adults REVIEWER:
Dr. Tom Snyder DRUMLINE is a
pulse-pounding musical drama
about a marching band at a
fictional African-American
college vying to win the
coveted Big Southern Classic,
a contest for show-style
marching bands. Though laced
with some inappropriate foul
language and light sexual
references, the movie is a
definite crowd-pleaser that
may be a sleeper holiday
hit. The story of DRUMLINE
focuses on freshman Devon
Miles, a gifted hip-hop
drummer who wins a full music
scholarship to Atlanta A&T
University. Devon, however,
sports a talent that is both
raw and undisciplined.
Inevitably, sparks fly between
him and senior class band
member, Sean Taylor, who's in
charge of the drumline. When
Sean discovers that Devon
can't read music, he alerts
Dr. Lee, the school's
dedicated, demanding band
director who's under pressure
from the college president to
add more razzle dazzle and
hip-hop music to the band's
repertoire. Devon's selfish
pride and dishonesty threaten
his future at the school and
endanger Dr. Lee's plans for
the heralded Big Southern
Classic, an important regional
contest for show-style
marching bands. The college
president desperately wants
the school band to beat the
award-winning marching band of
the school's cross-town rival,
real-life college Morris
Brown, led by a flashy
conductor who mocks Dr. Lee's
"old-school" style. Also
threatening the unity of Dr.
Lee's band is Sean, who takes
everything that Devon does
personally, instead of looking
out for the band as a whole.
Devon, Sean and even Dr. Lee
have to get over their pride
in order to save the
day. DRUMLINE is a fun,
rousing musical drama
reminiscent of 1999's
excellent REMEMBER THE TITANS,
were it not for DRUMLINE's
humanist worldview. DRUMLINE
lacks the redemptive,
Christian outlook of TITANS.
Consequently, it contains too
many light obscenities, as
well as a few light sexual
references. For instance, in
one scene, Devon helps a white
friend learn how to handle his
bass drum better so that he
can win a position on the
school's drumline. Devon tells
the student that he has to
"make love" to his drum.
Despite these problems, the
movie has an interesting take
on the theme of pride which
drives the storyline. Not only
do Devon and Sean have to
overcome their selfish pride,
but so does Dr. Lee. Although
Dr. Lee appropriately punishes
Devon for being prideful and
for lying, he rewards Devon
when Devon eventually shows
that he can overcome his
pride. He tells Devon that,
because of his good behavior,
Devon can claim a spot on the
band for next year. Even so,
Dr. Lee's own pride endangers
the unity of the band. By
being unwilling to compromise
his commitment to traditional
band music, he refuses to let
the band members add any
current musical, dance styles
to the band's repertoire. It
is only when Dr. Lee sees his
own pride reflected in Sean's
selfish pride that Dr. Lee
decides to combine the old
with the new. He also
discovers that there's no harm
in updating his band's style,
so long as the band maintains
the appropriate discipline to
music that sets his band apart
from the other bands. Because
of these things, Dr. Lee and
his band are able to succeed,
while their rival, the flashy
band director, fails. Thus,
Dr. Lee and his band can let
go of their pride, but the
flashy band director
cannot. The cast of DRUMLINE,
including Nick Cannon as Devon
and especially Orlando Jones
as Dr. Lee, does a good job of
keeping viewers interested.
They lend a good degree of
reality to what is a somewhat
predictable, artificial
storyline. What shines the
most here, however, are the
movie's wonderful, elaborately
staged musical sequences,
produced by Grammy winner
Dallas Austin and technical
advisor Don Roberts, a veteran
high school band director. If
these sequences don't pump you
up, you may want to check your
pulse. In addition to the
light foul language and sexual
references, one other thing
makes DRUMLINE a problematic
piece. At the end, although
Devon, Sean and Dr. Lee have
appropriately managed to
overcome their pride (without
compromising Dr. Lee's
disciplinary standards,
however), there remains an
intense, taunting spirit of
one-upmanship between the two
rival marching bands. This may
sour the display of
competitive spirit in the
movie for caring parents and
other discerning adults. Thus,
many parents might find it
more beneficial to rent
REMEMBER THE TITANS for their
children instead and plan an
exciting movie party at their
home. Please address your
comments to: Peter Chernin,
Chairman & CEO The Fox
Group Tom Rothman & Jim
Gianopulos, Chairmen Fox
Filmed Entertainment 20th
Century Fox Film Corp. A
division of Fox, Inc. & News
Corp. 10201 West Pico
Blvd. Los Angeles, CA
90035 Phone: (310)
369-1000 Website: www.fox.com

Rating: PG-13

Runtime: 119 minutes

Distributor: 20th Century Fox

Director: Charles Stone III

Executive Producer:

Producer: Wendy Finerman, Timothy M.
Bourne and Jody
Gerson EXECUTIVE PRODUCERS:
Dallas Austin and Greg
Mooradian

Writer: Tina Gordon Chism and Shawn
Schepps

Address Comments To:

Content:

(H, BB, LLL, V, S, M) Humanist worldview with some strong moral elements about integrity, pride, fellowship, and how to become a team player while maintaining your individuality; 28 obscenities, including some "s" words and the use of a--; young man trashes his room in one scene and members of two different bands fight after taunting one another; passionate kiss, light suggestive dancing and other light, brief sexual references; female cleavage and sexy dresses; no alcohol or smoking; and, pride and rebellion against authority rebuked.

GENRE: Drama/Musical

H

BB

LLL

V

S

M

Summary:

DRUMLINE is a pulse-pounding musical drama about a young, undisciplined, freshman drummer who tries to fit into a disciplined show-style marching band at a fictional college in Atlanta. DRUMLINE is an interesting, but humanist, exploration of the dangers of pride and contains 28 mostly light obscenities and some brief, but light, sexual references.

Review:

DRUMLINE is a pulse-pounding musical drama about a marching band at a fictional African-American college vying to win the coveted Big Southern Classic, a contest for show-style marching bands. Though laced with some inappropriate foul language and light sexual references, the movie is a definite crowd-pleaser that may be a sleeper holiday hit.

The story of DRUMLINE focuses on freshman Devon Miles, a gifted hip-hop drummer who wins a full music scholarship to Atlanta A&T University. Devon, however, sports a talent that is both raw and undisciplined. Inevitably, sparks fly between him and senior class band member, Sean Taylor, who's in charge of the drumline. When Sean discovers that Devon can't read music, he alerts Dr. Lee, the school's dedicated, demanding band director who's under pressure from the college president to add more razzle dazzle and hip-hop music to the band's repertoire.

Devon's selfish pride and dishonesty threaten his future at the school and endanger Dr. Lee's plans for the heralded Big Southern Classic, an important regional contest for show-style marching bands. The college president desperately wants the school band to beat the award-winning marching band of the school's cross-town rival, real-life college Morris Brown, led by a flashy conductor who mocks Dr. Lee's "old-school" style. Also threatening the unity of Dr. Lee's band is Sean, who takes everything that Devon does personally, instead of looking out for the band as a whole. Devon, Sean and even Dr. Lee have to get over their pride in order to save the day.

DRUMLINE is a fun, rousing musical drama reminiscent of 1999's excellent REMEMBER THE TITANS, were it not for DRUMLINE's humanist worldview. DRUMLINE lacks the redemptive, Christian outlook of TITANS. Consequently, it contains too many light obscenities, as well as a few light sexual references. For instance, in one scene, Devon helps a white friend learn how to handle his bass drum better so that he can win a position on the school's drumline. Devon tells the student that he has to "make love" to his drum.

Despite these problems, the movie has an interesting take on the theme of pride which drives the storyline. Not only do Devon and Sean have to overcome their selfish pride, but so does Dr. Lee. Although Dr. Lee appropriately punishes Devon for being prideful and for lying, he rewards Devon when Devon eventually shows that he can overcome his pride. He tells Devon that, because of his good behavior, Devon can claim a spot on the band for next year. Even so, Dr. Lee's own pride endangers the unity of the band. By being unwilling to compromise his commitment to traditional band music, he refuses to let the band members add any current musical, dance styles to the band's repertoire. It is only when Dr. Lee sees his own pride reflected in Sean's selfish pride that Dr. Lee decides to combine the old with the new. He also discovers that there's no harm in updating his band's style, so long as the band maintains the appropriate discipline to music that sets his band apart from the other bands. Because of these things, Dr. Lee and his band are able to succeed, while their rival, the flashy band director, fails. Thus, Dr. Lee and his band can let go of their pride, but the flashy band director cannot.

The cast of DRUMLINE, including Nick Cannon as Devon and especially Orlando Jones as Dr. Lee, does a good job of keeping viewers interested. They lend a good degree of reality to what is a somewhat predictable, artificial storyline. What shines the most here, however, are the movie's wonderful, elaborately staged musical sequences, produced by Grammy winner Dallas Austin and technical advisor Don Roberts, a veteran high school band director. If these sequences don't pump you up, you may want to check your pulse.

In addition to the light foul language and sexual references, one other thing makes DRUMLINE a problematic piece. At the end, although Devon, Sean and Dr. Lee have appropriately managed to overcome their pride (without compromising Dr. Lee's disciplinary standards, however), there remains an intense, taunting spirit of one-upmanship between the two rival marching bands. This may sour the display of competitive spirit in the movie for caring parents and other discerning adults. Thus, many parents might find it more beneficial to rent REMEMBER THE TITANS for their children instead and plan an exciting movie party at their home.

Please address your comments to:

Peter Chernin, Chairman & CEO

The Fox Group

Tom Rothman & Jim Gianopulos, Chairmen

Fox Filmed Entertainment

20th Century Fox Film Corp.

A division of Fox, Inc. & News Corp.

10201 West Pico Blvd.

Los Angeles, CA 90035

Phone: (310) 369-1000

Website: www.fox.com

In Brief: