Dedication shows through
Ray Newland | Olivehurst, California United States | 05/02/2002
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This film is based on actual events at Lindhurst High School in Olivehurst, California, May 1, 1992. The local community strongly resisted and resented the making of this film, but they tuned in just the same, and those of us involved agreed that the film is a powerfully, even disturbingly, truthful presentation of the events of a shooting spree followed by an eight hour standoff and hostage negotiation.
I was a technical adviser for this film, and so had the priviledge of visiting the set to see some of the filming, and to meet the cast and crew. Everyone involved with the project invested themselves very heavily in this project, were happy to be working with the director Michael Watkins (a real talent), and showed genuine interest in portraying reality as closely as possible. Their dedication really shows in the final product. Obviously, liberties have to be taken to keep a desensitized television audience enrapt, but truth be known, the portrayals in this film are very close to the reality of the situation, at least from the perspectives of the character portrayed by Freddie Prinze Jr. Henry Winkler's character is based on the story of another technical advisor to the production, and I suspect that this is also very close to reality. In fact, much of the script is taken from transcripts of tapes the police made of the event with hidden microphones. Producer Steve Natt and his associates worked for nearly three years to get this movie off the ground and have it done right.
Ten years ago, I lost a beloved teacher and three beloved classmates to a gunman whose own life had spiralled down into hopelessness and dispair. His pain and anguish led him to cause inflict pain and anguish on others about which the local paper still runs articles. The top-notch performances by the writer, the actors, the director, and every member of the crew made this an extraordinarily watchable, yet true-to-life portrayal of a tragedy that torments many lives still today.
The truth is always worth telling, and this film does it."
Much better than expected !
Mian Sukiman | Jakarta Indonesia | 11/24/2001
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I never heard of this movie before, so I decided to gamble as it has Rick Schroeder, who played Jon Voight's little boy in the 1979 The Champ. And this movie really exciting as it keeps you glued to the screen for its 90 mins running time.The story is about a high school Drop out (Rick Schroeder) who got fired from his job because he has no high school diploma. So he came back to his old high school and started shooting at teachers and students and held the entire school hostage. It is said to be based on a true story but didn't say when it took place. Henry Winkler is great as the role of hostage negotiator. Freddie Prinze Jr co star as one of the student hostages.The DVD is OK. The full screen picture is bright and clear and the sound is not too bad considering a made for TV movie. Overall this DVD is worth at least a rental."
VERY REAL... IN EVERY DETAIL!!!
Eric W. Barton | 07/16/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I was a senior at Lindhurst High School the day of the shooting in 1992, and this movie, which the story was based, has done its homework. There is not a day that goes by that I am not, in some way, reminded or affected by the horrific events of that May 1 day. I was 19 at the time of the shooting when I lost my first period teacher, which this film portrays. He was more like a lifelong family friend than just my Civics Instructor. He was a true mentor to me and an inspiration to everyone who knew him. He will continue to be missed and never forgotten. This true-to-life epic recaptures the raw terror and horror of the siege. I very highly recommend this movie to everyone."
Good film but awful situation
Eric W. Barton | 12/17/2001
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I love true-to-life movies and I just finished watching it without realizing what was in store for me. First off, I wanted to add that the DVD provides a commentary track with the actor Henry Winkler and director Steve Natt. The director Steve Natt really does mention where the film was done and where the story originated from. This film was based on a true story from Northern California and was filmed in Utah. The incident took place in May 1, 1992(during the week of the L.A. rioting) and the film began to take shape four years later. I think the director Michael Watkins did a remarkable job with this film by bringing the small town to life before our eyes. The struggle between the emotions and the urgency at hand were protrayed remarkably. Also, all those who worked on the music did a great job. Over all the acting is really good, but the story is not very appealing to many who rather see something more joyful."