Detention Deserves Attention
V. A. Smith | New York, New York | 01/25/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The award-winning independent film "Detention," which could be described as an "urban" Breakfast Club is a powerful. Wharton who, wrote, directed, produced and acted in the film, is a considerable filmmaking talent, who seems to have taken notes from fellow Baltimore filmmakers, John Waters and Barry Levinson, by creating a world that takes a refreshing and honest look at Baltimore teanagers. The cast and character development is simply brilliant. Led by Charisse Brown as the strong-willed and determined teacher Mrs. Deakins, who brings together five students on a Friday afternoon because she believes they have potential. At first glance, these high school students seem to have stereotypical personalities, "the thug," the jock," "the militant," "the poet" and "the sex pot," but as the story unfolds Wharton is able to reveal layers to these personalities that don't fit into any mold. The students excellently played by Justin Black as "Black," Kisha Harvin as "Poochie," John Hall as "Tenspeed," Kiatenai as "Acirfa" and Wharton himself as "Langston," come across as truely real and has some raw moments of emotion. Wharton who worked as a substitute teacher and was a Staff Writer for NBC's "Homicide: Life On The Street," has brought to life a film with grace, grit and style rare in a first-time filmmaker. It is easy to see why this film won the "Best Director Award" at the 1998 Urbanworld Film Festival and the "Audience Award" at the 1998 Atlanta Film and Video Festival because it stays with you long after the first viewing. I would highly reccommend this film for any parent, teacher or civic minded person who cares about the problems facing today's young people."
Not for punishment but for enrichment
L. McCollum | Georgia | 04/21/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Mrs. Deakins holds a special detention class that includes Poochie (who has quite a rep with the fellas), Tenspeed (the school's basketball star), Isaiah/Black (the wannabe thug), Langston (the poet), and Acirfa (the militant girl). At first, all of them think that they have the others figured out. We as the audience think that we know what these teens are about. But Mrs. Deakins sees beyond the surface. She knows that each of them is special, each of them is unique, and each of them has more to them that what the eyes can see.
Great storyline, great acting. This is a must-see movie for those who care about the future of our youth. These teens were crying out for help in their own way. All of them just wanted to be rescued."