Movie Reviews

DVD Review: “Freedom Writers”

(Paramount. 2007. 1 Disc. Color. Rated PG-13. 122 minutes. Directed by Richard LaGravenese.) Hilary Swank, Scott Glenn, Imelda Staunton, Patrick Dempsey, Mario. Music by Mark Isham and will.i.am.

Based on a true story, Freedom Writers tells the story of Emily Gruwell, a young white teacher who takes a job teaching inner-city kids at a school in post-riots L.A. in the mid-90’s, and teaches them tolerance and how to apply themselves. Sound familiar? It should, because this teacher has had many faces: Michelle Pfeiffer (Dangerous Minds), Sir Sidney Poitier (To Sir With Love), Morgan Freeman (Lean on Me) and Edward James Olmos (Stand and Deliver) to name a few. While it may not be the most original movie out there, and some parts are a bit overly dramatized (I found it hard to believe that the other teachers would be quite that petty and evil, and that her own husband could be so unsupportive), it’s a pretty good entry in the genre. The performances came together very well, and the class had a real warmth to it as time went on. The soundtrack was an interesting mix of hip-hop beats and orchestral strings, highlighting scenes without being obtrusive. The DVD extras include featurettes about the class and Ms. Gruwell, a photo gallery, the production of the movie’s theme song A Dream, some deleted scenes (quite good) and a commentary track by Swank and the director. Not a bad movie, but hey, I’m just a white kid from the suburbs. What do I know about the inner city?

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Jared Counts

Digital Technology Manager

A UH alum, Jared Counts was hired part-time at KUHF Radio in early 2003, bouncing between departments until being hired full-time as a web developer in Febraury 2007. He currently manages the front- and back-end of this website (including the WordPress plugin that runs this staff directory), as well as...

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