Gridiron Gang

Gridiron Gang

4.1 7
Director: Phil Joanou

Cast: Phil Joanou, The Rock, Jade Yorker, Xzibit

     
 

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The true story of the football team that proved sometimes second chances can make a difference comes to the screen in director Phil Joanou's tale of self-respect and social responsibility on the gridiron. Sean Porter (The Rock) is a detention camp probation officer who oversees the inmates at Camp Kilpatrick in…  See more details below

Overview

The true story of the football team that proved sometimes second chances can make a difference comes to the screen in director Phil Joanou's tale of self-respect and social responsibility on the gridiron. Sean Porter (The Rock) is a detention camp probation officer who oversees the inmates at Camp Kilpatrick in Los Angeles and isn't willing to simply write off the violent offenders who have been placed in his care. Though their prospects for the future are decidedly bleak, Porter is convinced that if he can just get through to his adolescent inmates they may finally be able to turn their lives around and make amends for the mistakes of their past. When Porter's proposal of forming a high-school-level football team at Camp Kilpatrick meets with skepticism and resistance in the highest ranks, the determined coach puts his career on the line to prove that even convicted criminals can acquire the tools needed to build a brighter future when given the proper motivation and the means of doing so. Inspired by filmmaker Jac Flanders' 1993 documentary of the same name, Gridiron Gang features a screenplay penned by In the Line of Fire scribe Jeff Maguire, and features a supporting cast that includes Leon Rippy, Kevin Dunn, and Detroit-born rapper-turned-actor Xzibit.

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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Ed Hulse
Los Angeles gang-bangers trade street violence for mayhem on the football field in this uplifting, inspirational drama featuring former wrestling superstar Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson. His reality-based character, Sean Porter, works at a juvenile correction center with an abnormally high recidivism rate. Trying to curb or at least harness the violent impulses of his youthful charges, Porter decides to put together a football team -- even though the center’s budget doesn’t allow for adequate facilities, uniforms, or support from personnel. What’s more, the kids don’t seem especially interested. Still, Porter gradually wins the respect of his pugnacious players. Director Phil Joanou employs the Rock’s charismatic presence to good effect, and supporting players Jade Yorker and David Thomas are excellent as opposing gang members who eventually put their differences aside to make the team cohere. Erstwhile hip-hop star Xzibit also scores as Porter’s assistant, giving a surprisingly measured and skillful performance. Action is plentiful both inside the center and out, and the omnipresent threat of violence lends considerable suspense to this tense yet ultimately satisfying inner-city saga.

Product Details

Release Date:
01/16/2007
UPC:
0043396148468
Original Release:
2006
Rating:
PG-13
Source:
Sony Pictures
Region Code:
1
Presentation:
[Wide Screen]
Sound:
[Dolby AC-3 Surround Sound]
Time:
2:05:00
Sales rank:
41,828

Special Features

Deleted scenes; Commentary with writer and director ; Gridiron Gang football training; Phil Joanou profile; The Rock takes the field; Multi-angle: Football scene

Related Subjects

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Rock Sean Porter
Jade Yorker Willie Weathers
Xzibit Malcolm Moore
Leon Rippy Paul Higa
Kevin Dunn Dexter
David Thomas Calvin Owens
Trevor O'Brien Kenny Bates
Setu Taase Junior Palaita
Brandon Mychal Smith Bug
Maurice McRae Leon Hayes
James Earl Donald Madlock
Jamal Mixon Evans
Vanessa Ferlito Actor

Technical Credits
Phil Joanou Director
Floyd Albee Production Designer
J. Stephan Buck Asst. Director
Aric Cheng Set Decoration/Design
Amanda Cohen Co-producer
Jeff Cutter Cinematographer
Sarah Halley Finn Casting
Sanja Milkovic Hays Costumes/Costume Designer
Randi Hiller Casting
Ryan Kavanaugh Executive Producer
Jeff Maguire Screenwriter
Kenneth McLaughlin Sound/Sound Designer
Neal H. Moritz Producer
Joel Negron Editor
Trevor Rabin Score Composer
Michael Rachmil Executive Producer
Lynwood Spinks Executive Producer
Lee Stanley Producer
Shane Stanley Executive Producer

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Gridiron Gang 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 8 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Good movie. If you are into sports movies with a true story background, then this is the movie to watch. There is some minor violence in it with a couple shootings and a hit and run , and they use the "N" word a lot, but it is a gang related movie. Overall, i would give this movie an 8 out of 10 for quality, only because of the above mentioned reasons.
Guest More than 1 year ago
It seems like the past few years have seen a run on sports films that demonstrate the power of learning sportsmanship on a team level can alter the lives of the misbegotten youths suffering from the angst of society's perceptions. We've been through soccer, baseball, tennis, dance, track and football: GRIDIRON GANG uses football as the pivotal point, but due to the presence of a fine script by Jeff Maguire who adapted Jac Flanders documentary film, and cohesive poignant direction by Phil Joanou who knows how to move a large cast around and keep it personal, and most of all due to the overpoweringly fine performance by Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson this film is so honest and uplifting that it doesn't leave a dry eye in the audience. The story is well known: Probation Officer Sean Porter (Johnson) is frustrated that the boys in his camp for young criminals when released to the streets show 75% returning and a large number dying in gang related violence. He sees this trend as being due to the lack of self-esteem in kids whose lives outside are demeaning and encourage failure. He gathers support from his fellow workers Malcolm Moore (Xzibit), Paul Higa (Leon Rippy) and Ted Dexter (Kevin Dunn) and gradually builds confidence in his project to organize a football team of his inmates. We wisely get to know the background of a few of the more difficult incarcerated boys, a fact that makes the project more full of tension and understanding of the problems to be resolved. Though most of the cast are unknowns, they are fine actors in this film: Jade Yorker, David V. Thomas, Setu Taase, Mo, James Earl, Trever O'Brien, Brandon Mychal Smith, Danny Martinez, Joe Seo, and Joey Lucero. Through the team's growth as a unit they confront and manage to cope with problems and grow into goal-driven, good spirited young men. The presence of Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson is stunningly underplayed and all the more powerful for it. This is a sensitive performance that places Johnson in an all new category of respect as an actor. The film is overly long (120 minutes) due to repeated games the team plays and for devotees of Football that will be a positive aspect. But far more important than the games is the quiet growing of trust and faith that shows in the faces of this fine cast. Recommended viewing, especially for those who think they have seen too many sports related do-good films! Grady Harp
Guest More than 1 year ago
Pros: I saw the preview for this movie and turned away with disinterest. I'm not into sports, and I usually don't get into these athletic movies. The usual formula is a bunch of people down on their luck who start a team, build a bond, and then with seconds on the scoreboard, they win (or sometimes lose). The End. But not this movie. This movie immediately caught my attention because it didn't give what Hollywood and mainstream media likes to believe are the way gangsters act. This movie showcased realistic young men who had to choose between their own family, friends, and a lifestyle of gang violence and loyalty. Even when coming out of a bad situation in juvi, they were placed back on these same streets to deal with the same issues they dealt with beforehand. In the midst of that, one young man ends up in juvi by making the wrong decision. A probations officer is fed up with the boys fighting, threatening, and having self-pity on themselves. Sean Porter (played by ridiculously gorgeous Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson) takes on this opportunity to introduce a football team to a slew of young men who need something productive in their lives. Not only does becoming a team build leadership, loyalty, and teamwork, but it also bridges the gap due to some members being from different gangs and hating each other for simple things like tattoos and neighborhoods. With the opportunity to play outside teams, these young men deal with a small amount of racism and a lot of skepticism because of their pasts. In the end, whether they win or lose, a bond is made. I loved this movie. Not only because it gave such a realistic view of what it is like for so many young (especially Black) men living in areas that are heavily influenced by gangs, but because it got me back to researching the Jena 6. Because those young men were also football players, trying to have a future, and dealing with adversity from racism and people not believing they could succeed based on idiotic things like skin color, environment, and stereotypes, it made me sad to watch this movie, but I was happy to do so. I won't go into a speech about the Jena 6, but I did make a connection between this movie and them, and I hope Mychal Bell gets his opportunity at football and a better future without having to spend it in a detention center the way these guys in the movie did. Either way, excellent film. Five stars! Favorite Scenes: 17. Pushing and 20. Trouble. I could watch those two scenes all day long and replayed them so many times I'm surprised I didn't mess up the DVD. Cons: Never even occurred to me to look for any nor are there any to find.
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