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Drumline is a comedy-ish movie about a young man from Harlem (Nick Cannon) recruited to play snare drum in the fictional Atlanta A&T University's marching band. Of course, there's an upcoming competition against a bigger, flashier band, of course, the dude has an attitude but huge talent, of course there's a girl, of course there's a rival.

The movie is the definition of "by the numbers." It's entertaining, and I do give props to the way that it shows Devin's (Cannon) growth over the movie. He starts out arrogant, cocky and can't-be-arsed, and when people try to give him free rides because of his talent, it's objectively the wrong thing to do in the context of the story. Over the course of the movie he romances a girl from a rich family (pre-Avatar Zoe Saldana), makes his peace with the band director (Orlando Jones, in one of his two movie roles - we'll get to "E" eventually), and makes friends with his rival, Sean (Leonard Roberts).

The movie has some good depictions of the harsh training that marching bands go through, but I was never in marching band, so my empathy is limited. Likewise, I enjoy watching these shows (my parents were big fans of the Phantom Regiment, which is drum & bugle corps and I'm sure there's some important difference but I don't really know it - I just know lots of people marching on a football field playing music looks cool), but it really loses something to watch it on screen.

Also, the greenscreen special effects have not aged well. The shots of fans of the two schools next to each other in separate bleachers is really obviously stitched together, and it's kind of laughable.

All in all, not bad, but nothing I'm in a hurry to see again.

My grade: B-
Rewatch value: Low

Next up: Dune

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January 2013

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