Jamie Kennedy's favorite movie review site
Home Reviews  Articles  Release Dates Coming Soon  DVD  Top 20s Criticwatch  Search
Public Forums  Festival Coverage  Contests About 

Overall Rating

Awesome: 20%
Worth A Look80%
Just Average: 0%
Pretty Crappy: 0%
Sucks: 0%

1 review, 4 user ratings

Latest Reviews

Transference: A Love Story by Erik Childress

Thunder Force by Peter Sobczynski

Voyagers by Peter Sobczynski

Flaming Brothers by Jay Seaver

French Exit by Lybarger

Perdita Durango by Jay Seaver

Godzilla vs. Kong by Peter Sobczynski

Charlatan by Jay Seaver

Nobody (2021) by Lybarger

Raya and the Last Dragon by Jay Seaver

subscribe to this feed

OT: Our Town
[AllPosters.com] Buy posters from this movie
by The Ultimate Dancing Machine

"Straight Outta Compton"
4 stars

A briskly edited, fast-moving documentary, OT: OUR TOWN craftily positions itself as an "inspirational" film from practically the opening frame. You've seen this kind of movie before, and in this particular case the uplift it provides viewers is rather modest. Even so, it is an absorbing, poignant piece of work that achieves its effects honestly.

OT: OUR TOWN takes place in the rough and tumble section of L.A. known as Compton, which is best known--almost exclusively known, in fact--as the breeding ground for gangsta rap and pro basketball players. In a terribly underfunded high school in the midst of this humble environment, English teacher Catherine Borek attempts to mount of production of Thornton Wilder's classic play OUR TOWN, with the cast taken from the student body. It is a rather formidable challenge: the school has not put on a play in some twenty years, and Borek faces a huge wall of apathy from both the students (many of them poor, demoralized kids from broken homes) and the board (which seems to care about little except the school basketball team).

Director Kennedy, who fills the soundtrack with bouncy pop/rap tunes, keeps the pace swift, zeroing in on each of the student actors only long enough to let us get a grip on his or her basic personality. The film, therefore, lacks depth; but he does manage to bring the kids' grimy neighborhood to life--the students may be only briefly glimpsed as individuals, but you do get a sense of their collective consciousness, their shared pain. Kennedy also hit on an ingenious framing device: he intercuts the kids' rehearsals with scenes from the 1977 Hal Holbrook TV production of OUR TOWN; it's a simple but effective way of maintaining coherency.

As I've suggested, the film is "inspiration" at a fairly low level; the kids don't really achieve anything except put on an less-than-professional-level production of the play in front of their fellow students. But the experience seems to have done them a lot of good.

It's a bit like ROCKY: they may not have won the big fight, but they earned self-respect--and what else reallly matters?

link directly to this review at https://www.hollywoodbitchslap.com/review.php?movie=7986&reviewer=223
originally posted: 07/11/03 17:19:29
[printer] printer-friendly format  
OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2003 Palm Springs Film Festival. For more in the 2003 Palm Springs Film Festival series, click here.
OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2003 Santa Monica Film Festival. For more in the 2003 Santa Monica Film Festival series, click here.

User Comments

8/30/07 Carol Baker This is what I like to see remakes of movies. Paul Newman did a terriffic acting job 4 stars
5/24/06 amanda phillips it was a good mive it is just like the town i live in everyone knows everyone, and its good 4 stars
8/17/03 Curran The most worthwhile documentary I've seen in years 5 stars
8/17/03 John Fox I guess I'm a simpleton, but I really love this movie. 5 stars
Note: Duplicate, 'planted,' or other obviously improper comments
will be deleted at our discretion. So don't bother posting 'em. Thanks!
Your Name:
Your Comments:
Your Location: (state/province/country)
Your Rating:

Discuss this movie in our forum

  11-Sep-2002 (NR)



Home Reviews  Articles  Release Dates Coming Soon  DVD  Top 20s Criticwatch  Search
Public Forums  Festival Coverage  Contests About 
Privacy Policy | | HBS Inc. |   
All data and site design copyright 1997-2017, HBS Entertainment, Inc.
Search for
reviews features movie title writer/director/cast