Halftime is party time in this high-energy comedy about a gifted street drummer (Nick Cannon) who snares the top spot in a university marching band - but quickly discovers it takes more than talent to succeed. Featuring a ... more »hip-hop soundtrack and dazzling dance moves, Drumline "shakes, rattles and rolls the house!" (Washington Post)« less
"that's what you'll think when you finish this DVD!It's a great flick! If you've ever been in a marching band, no matter how long ago, it will bring it right back to you. Now, most of us only dreamed of being in bands the caliber of those featured in drumline. They are the cream....I didn't catch the names of the REAL marching bands that participated in the movie (the college names are fictional, I believe)...but they were the stars of this particular show.The filmmakers captured the difficulty and exhuberance of being a part of "one band, one music" and the dedication these young people have to being the best at what they do. The only recognizable actor is intense Orlando Jones, as Mr. Lee...and he is very good at what he does. The plot is pretty typical...boy who is a little different from the crowd has incredible talent, faces adversity, finds love, finds his way back to his dream. The boy is a newcommer named Nick Cannon, who has a real screen persona. He's hard not to like. The real star is the music, and the marching, and the in your face color spectacle of being involved in marching band at the college competition level.For a real feel-good experience, catch Drumline. It's awesome!"
tamara | United States | 12/16/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Definitely feeling the effects of the economy and it's the beginning of a long winter in Chicago. I needed a good movie to get me out of myself and what better way to get away from the doldrums then with some very un-dull drumming. Devin Miles has just arrived from NYC at Atlanta A&T University with a full drumming scholarship. Used to being a stand-out, he's not ready to follow bandleader Aaron Lee's directive to be "One Band, One Sound." He thinks he's too good to follow the rules -- and he just may be. But, as Dr. Lee tells him, "You've got to learn to follow before you can lead." Devin clashes with Dr. Lee and with the drumline's student leader, Sean -- who'd been the best drummer until Devin showed up. But Devin has an undeniably rich and creative spirit. Can he fit in without losing his individuality -- a question we recognize from real life. When does compromising have benefits and when not? Despite Devin's cockiness, he's a very likable guy and wanting to know how he resolves this issue carried me easily through this two hour movie. Orlando Jones also makes the movie fly. As Dr. Lee, he's the personification of principled decency -- in fact, he's awesome and will totally make you forget those 7 Up commercials. In the beginning, a rival bandleader alleges that Dr. Lee has a baton stuck up his ... well, you don't hear it, but he probably didn't say "bass." But, as the story progresses, Dr. Lee reveals himself to be an interesting and complex personality who, despite a propensity for "old time music", does indeed know how to make his band pop. (And, in the end, he comes up with a stylistic triumph that evokes more than those "old time" tunes.)Devin's ups and downs are somewhat predictable, but this is one of those movies with a feel-good factor that made me happy to overlook that completely. The music and moves electrify. Nothing could have peeled me from my seat during the story's culmination in the BET marching band championship. I had to remind myself that I was in a movie theater to keep from cheering from our "stadium" seating. Although the movie is rated PG-13, it's appropriate for most ages. I don't recall any cursing, Devin's scenes with his girlfriend are very chaste and there's a brief scene of non-graphic fisticuffs. If you're a fan of percussion, you'll really love this movie. But even if not, and you're just looking for a seasonal up-lift, well, it can't be ... beat."
A "feel-great" movie that everyone should enjoy!
Bennett Turk | Albany, NY USA | 04/22/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)
"My review of "Drumline" is based on what I saw at the theater, not on home video. First of all, the plot is pure formula, inspired by "An Officer and A Gentleman". Remove that complaint, and it's a great film. The movie is highly original in that it shows, (perhaps for the first time on the screen), what it's really like to be in a marching band in college. This film does an excellent job in showing a real-life school, with real people, in a way that should not offend that many people. There's no real gratutious sex, violence, or bad language. What it has is in keeping with it's PG-13 rating. Nick Cannon graduates from a high school in a lower-income neighborhood in New York City. He was raised by his mother, his father having little to do with either one of them. He gets a musical diploma to a college in Atlanta. He has an attitude; he's a great drummer and he knows it. We later find out he cann't read sheet music, (he lied on his college application), but he has the ability to learn very fast by hearing alone. The fact that Nick was raised by a single parent also contributes to his bad attitude towards the world. Nick does have some good morals, but, it takes some attitude adjustment to bring them out. Orlando Jones, the only big name in the cast, is very believable as the musical director who is stuck on out-of-date music, that while nice to listen to, is not winning the big competition with the other schools. The college pricipal really wants a winning band, much like another pricipal would want a winning football team. The movie shows that being on a marching band means being on time, being part of a team, constant workouts, (just as hard as the football players), and when one person makes a mistake everyone suffers. Also there are four levels in the band from the most talented down to the rookiees. A person on a lower lever can challenge a person on a higher level to a one-on-one musical competition for their seat. The nerve-racking fact that college students, many in their teens or early twenties, have to be near perfect in front of a stadium filled with thousands of people is also shown.I doubt if what it really means to be in a band in college has ever been shown in such detail in a movie before. For the record, I was never in a band in school, but those who were, have said what is shown on the screen is very accurate. "Drumline" does have moments when what the viewer expected to happen does occur, but, it has enough surprises to keep the film-goer engaged. The acting, camera work, music, and location filming are all first rate. This is more than a "fish out of water" film, this is a movie about real people at a real college playing in a real marching band."
One of the Most Fun Movies I've Seen in a While
Ran Walker | Hampton Roads, VA | 03/31/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Let me preface my comments with my bias first: I am a graduate of Morehouse College in Atlanta, GA, so the notion of a movie set on an historically black college campus (A&T-filmed on CAU's beautiful campus) gets points out the gate. This movie, however, managed to do something that its ealier predecessor's failed to do: entertain, educate, and rally the audience all at the same time."Drumline" is your classic story of a highly talented and cocky freshman coming into his own by bumping heads with authority and consequently learning to respect the differences. Where this movie picks up major points is that it takes you directly into the heart of a culture (HBC bands) and helps to preserve on film to some and present to others something that has an awesome legacy in Historically Black Colleges and Universities.There is something incredibly awesome about seeing bands battle on the big screen. The adrenaline gets going and you find yourself cheering during the competitions. When I first saw the trailer for this movie, I knew I would have to see it.Nick Cannon does a wonderful job with the main character, Devin. And less we forget, the extras in this movie were totally on point. I'm so glad that this movie was as well done and well received as it was, and I hope that Hollywood takes note and gives us more movies like this one.Also worth mentioning, excluding some very light profanity, this is pretty much a good movie for anyone to watch, be it families, dates, or just friends hanging out. I know that this DVD will be the highlight of my collection for a while."
Believable and entertaining look at college bands
Patrick L. Randall | Silver Spring, MD | 01/22/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)
"There is no doubt that even the most casually knowledgeable football fan knows the importance of the marching band at historically black colleges. Each year, NBC shows the 'Bayou Classic' football game between rivals Southern University and Grambling State University, where the halftime performances of the two bands is as much a reason for watching as the game itself. "Drumline" is one of the first movies to plow this fertile ground for cinematic plotline, and it does so surprisingly well. I was initially skeptical about seeing this movie because the premise didn't appeal to me and the promotional ads for the film made the lead character, played by actor Nick Cannon, seem like an arrogant, unlikable young man. However, after listening to a number of positive reviews including, surprisingly, one by the curmudgeon of sports talk radio, Tony Kornheiser, I felt compelled to give it a chance. I'm glad I did. With all the garbage that is being passed off as movies these days, it's refreshing to see a movie come along that could very easily be a mess, but is handled so deftly that it is a truly enjoyable viewing experience. First time director, Charles Stone III (known previously for directing and starring in the Budweiser "Whasssupp?" commercials), handles the material well. The potential for clichéd storylines and unrealistic band performances was great and Stone managed to avoid those pitfalls. "Drumline", itself, focuses on the story of young Devon Miles (Cannon), a gifted drummer, who has been recruited to be a member of the prestigious band program at the fictional Atlanta A&T University. Miles is an angry young man who comes from a background with very little money and an absentee father. In fact, had Atlanta A&T's band director, Dr. James Lee (Orlando Jones) not recruited him, Miles would not have gone to college. Director Stone could have played this 'angry young man' theme for all its worth in the movie, but he held back and created a more nuanced character in Miles, whose background explains some of what he does, but doesn't dominate or excuse it. Miles struggles with a jealous drum section leader, Dr. Lee's expectations, a burgeoning romance with an pretty upperclassmen on the dance team, and his own surprisingly inability to read music (he plays it by ear). What makes this movie deeper than it could be is that these other characters have there own struggles that coincide with those of Miles'. The drum section leader can't abide Miles' lack of respect for authority, but is troubled even more by the fact that Miles is a better drummer than he is. Dr. Lee faces pressure from the school administration to improve quality and entertainment of the band performances, but he doesn't want to sacrifice the quality and integrity of the musical and educational process to do that. All of these subplots are intertwined with some of the most energetic band performances ever committed to film. This is where "Drumline" truly shines. As nearly a one-third to half the movie is band performances, it was imperative that the band routines be as authentic as possible or the audience will not believe what they are being told is happening. Fortunately, the performances are electrifying, especially the showdown battles at the BET band competition at the end of the movie. Whether or not these actors were really playing the instruments isn't important. The fact that it looked and sounded like they were was. This is not an Oscar-caliber movie by any stretch. However, in a period of time when most studios are dumping their dreck into local cinemas, it's nice to come across a fun movie that stands out from the pack like this."