Faced with five years in prison or four months in boot camp, a young gangster takes what he thinks will be the easy road. Brutal Marine-style discipline teaches him lessons that change his life - but can he resist temptati... more »on when he's back on the streets? ' 'An experience not to be missed. ' ' (Hollywood Reporter)DVD Features:
"First Time Felon is the true story of Greg Yance, at one time a high-ranking and criminally successful member of the Vice Lords street gang living in inner city Chicago. As one of his gang responsibilities, he oversees a crew of "Westside Chicago" drug dealers. During a police sweep, Yance is arrested and found in possession of heroin. While awaiting trial, he is housed in the infamous Cook County Jail where his "Set" is outnumbered and besieged by rival gang members and he witnesses firsthand, acts of violence that he had never experienced before. After being saddled with an inept and overworked Public Defender, he is plead out "guilty as charged," and owing to the large quantity of narcotics, is sentenced to a mandatory 5 years incarceration in Statesville Prison without the possibility of parole. Due to the fact that this is Yance's first felony arrest (i.e. "First Time Felon") the judge allows him to choose the option of successfully completing a three month boot camp program and probation in lieu of serving the full prison sentence. While in boot camp Yance is subjected to the unaccustomed and rigorous daily ritual of the program, a brutal (and brutally honest) prison guard and a rival gang member who has vowed to, and attempts to kill him. With steely determination Yance overcomes these and other obstacles including a devastating flood, and rehabilitates himself in the process. Once graduated and released from the program, Yance vows never to return, but faces adversity and discrimination in his quest to find employment and stay away from the temptations of his former life. After several years of hardship and many justifications to return to the streets, Yance holds true to his vow, perseveres, and finds a career as a county counselor for at risk youth.
The story demonstrates the dire consequences of life on the street and the severe reality of incarceration. The main focus of the narrative is that no matter what your environment, with dedication, self-discipline and persistence, every person is capable of change and self-improvement, and if you are determined and refuse to accept failure, all goals are achievable.
Although this film demonstrates in graphic detail the stark realities, bleak conditions and hopelessness faced by inner city youth, and at times utilizes coarse language to emphasize a point; the story of Greg Yance has an uplifting and inspirational message for everyone and should be viewed by teachers and students alike. The last quarter of the film details Mr. Yance hitting "rock bottom" despite an exemplary effort to succeed, then in a moment of clarity, avoiding a fatal mistake by recognizing the true principles he discovered during his confinement."
Excellent Movie... You wont be sorry that you spent time wat
D. Crawford | Hoover, AL United States | 08/03/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is a type of movie someone usually looks at on the shelf and then passes it up for something else because they've never heard of it and it isnt one of those highly advertised block busters. If you fall in that category and cant make up your mind about spending a little money and time on this movie... stop thinking and go for it! You wont be sorry. This is a VERY good movie especially if you like heart warming and inspirational themes.
Basically, this movie is about a young adult(Age between 17 and 21) that gets into trouble for selling drugs. He is given the choice of going to jail for five years or going to a military style boot camp for I think three months.... Of course he chooses the bootcamp. The movie shows a great example of how behavioral bootcamps are ran. The bootcamp part of the movie takes up only half of the play time though. The other half shows the struggles of how hard it is to go back to the same problematic environment and use what was learned and how easily it is to fall back into old behaviors due to poverty and lack of opportunity due to being a felon. For example, it shows how hard it is to get a "second chance" in the job market being a ex-convict.
I agree with the past posters that this movie would be great to show in an educational setting especially college.... maybe even a high school psychology/sociology class. With that said dont take that as this movie being like a documentary... its not. With out a doubt this can be watched for just pure entertainment.
So give this a try if you can't make up your mind. Again you wont be sorry. "
BEST EXAMPLE FOR A GANGBANGER TO CLEAN UP THEIR ACT!
CHI-TOWN | LIL BLACK $$$$$ | 04/14/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"OMAR EPPS SHOWS A GREAT PERFORMANCE.I WOULD RECOMMENED THIS MOVIE TO TROUBLED TEENS THAT LIKE TO BE PUNKS,GANGBANGERS,DRUG DEALERS AND SO ON.THIS MOVIE HELPED ME WALK THE RIGHT PATH FOR THE REST OF MY LIFE.I ALSO LIKED THE MOVIE BECAUSE IT TAKES PART IN CHICAGO WHERE I USED TO LIVE.FOR THE PARENTS OUT THERE BUY THIS AND LET YOUR SON OR DAUGHTER SIT DOWN AND WATCH IT BY THEMSELVES MAYBE IT WOULD KNOCK SOME SENSE INTO THEIR THICK SCULLS.ANOTHER THING "TREACH" FROM THE RAP GROUP NAUGHTY BY NATURE PLAYS A HUGE ROLE IN IT."
A dont miss true story
HOKESE | australia | 11/14/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"i seen this movie for the first time about 3 in the morning on cable by the time i was 15 mins into it i was hooked.plus its a true story.basicly a young black male(greg yance) is headed down the wrong track,then he finds himself givin a choice 5 years in the state pen or 4 months in boot camp.i wont tell you the rest.but its a great movie and a must see."
lasher | Space and the Great Beyond | 09/19/2002
(4 out of 5 stars)
"A moving story about Greg Yance(Epps) a young man who is a drug dealer that is busted and thrown into the prison system. He is given a chance at early release in a Military type program. There he is forced to deal with a rival gang member, help build a levy in a town for an upcoming storm, and learn about who he is and what he is made of.Ultimately this is a story about overcoming what obstacles lay before you. There are some very powerful and moving performances by the support cast including Delroy Lindo and Rachel Ticotin. The film has a true and honest feel. It's filled with the bad parts of life and the hope that can shine through even in the darkest of times."