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Gridiron Gang (2006)

Director: Phil Joanou     Starring: Jade Yorker
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Learn more about Gridiron Gang:

Format: DVD
Sku: 203450570
UPC: 043396148468
UPC 14: 00043396148468
Rating: Game Rating Code
See more in Family & Kids
Based on a True Story.
Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson stars in this gritty and inspirational movie based on a true story of a group of teenage delinquents given a second chance to redeem themselves by playing football. Sean Porter (Johnson) is a frustrated juvenile probation officer. Most of the kids in his detention camp are either sent back to prison once they leave or meet a violent end when they return to the streets. Desperately looking for a way to make a difference, he and his co-worker Malcolm Moore (Xzibit, TV's Pimp My Ride) devise a plan to teach discipline and responsibility through the game of football. But with only four weeks before the start of the season, Porter must overcome insurmountable odds to put together a competitive team. It's a season that will test their minds, spirit, and bodies as Porter teaches his players the principles of good character, strength through resiliency, and genuine respect for one another.

"Great message...  Carrie Rickey, Philadelphia Inquirer
"...a throwback to every sports and teacher-mentors-troublesome-kids inspirational melodrama...  Nick Schager, Slant Magazine
"[Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson] is engaging, affable and wholly believable...  USA Today

Editor's Note
In 1990, coaches Sean Porter and Malcolm Moore took the Kilpatrick Mustangs--a football team of hard-core juvenile offenders from California's Camp Kilpatrick juvenile detention center--through their inaugural season, in which they reached the regional championships. In 1993, an Emmy-winning documentary, GRIDIRON GANG, aired on U.S. television. In this fictionalized version of the same name, Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson stars as Porter, the coach who uses sports as a means to instill self-esteem into a group or boys for whom crime is a way of life.

A former troubled youth who used football as a means to stay off of the streets, Porter, along with Malcolm Moore (Xibit) now presides over Camp Kilpatrick, where the inmates are gang members, murderers, and drug dealers. Among them are Willie Weathers (Jade York), a gang member doing time for a botched act of revenge. Showing that old rivalries hold true even away from the streets, fellow inmate and rival gang member Calvin Owens (David Thomas) won't let Willie forget that they are sworn enemies. But once Porter introduces football as an outlet, the common goal of winning unites them in ways that no one expected. Sports films are not known for harboring O-Henry-like twists at their conclusions, and GRIDIRON GANG is no exception, but director Phil Joanou (STATE OF GRACE) keeps the proceedings gritty (especially for a PG-13 rating), giving us not only the uplifting and exciting football sequences, but also a handful of heart-pounding--and somewhat graphic--scenes of gang violence, and former Yes member Trevor Rabin's effective score is a nice alternative to the typical pop soundtrack. Not all sweetness and light, GRIDIRON GANG is fine addition to the realm of cinematic sports, leavening the sap with a copious counter-dose of realism.


Video Features DVD, Widescreen, Aspect Ratio 2.40:1, Dolby Digital (5.1), Dolby Surround Sound, English, Subtitled, French, Dubbed & Subtitled

Technical Info

Release Information
Video Mfg Name Studio: Sony
Video Release Date Release Date: 9/2/2008
Video Play Time Running Time: 125 minutes
Video Release Year Original Release Date: 2006
Video CategoryId Catalog ID: 14846
Video UPC UPC: 00043396148468
Video Number of Discs Number of Discs: 1

Audio & Video
Video Original Language Original Language: English
Video Audio Spec Available Audio Tracks: English [CC], English, French Dubbed
Video Subtitle Available Subtitles: English, French
Video Color Spec Video: Color

Aspect Ratio
Video Aspect Ratio Anamorphic Widescreen  2.40:1
Entertainment Reviews
Expert Review Gridiron Gang - DVD
By: Sean O'Connell DVD Reviews
Published on: 1/12/2007 5:00 PM
Wanna know why sports movies are criticized for being too cliché? Because sports, as a whole, are too cliché. We’ve been trained to root for the underdog, though it's conventional when that come-from-behind victory is shown on screen. Teams are expected to win games on last-play drives. How is a filmmaker supposed to wring suspense from such a scenario when it happens every night on SportsCenter? the full review
Expert Review Gridiron Gang - DVD
By: Edward Perkis Cinema Blend DVD Reviews
Published on: 1/22/2007 10:47 PM
Gridiron Gang is the story of a drunken pool cleaner who takes a ragged team of misfits and turns them into near-champion ballplayers with the help of a girl pitcher and a.......Wait, that's not right. It's actually the story of a former pro-football player thrown into prison leading a ragged team of misfit prisoners against the guards.......Dang, that's not right the full review

Cast & Crew

Video Cast Info Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson
Video Cast Info L. Scott Caldwell
Video Cast Info Leon Rippy
Video Cast Info Xzibit
Video Cast Info Jac Flanders - Based On Film By
Video Cast Info Jeff Cutter - Cinematographer
Video Cast Info Jeff Maguire - Screenplay
Video Cast Info Joel Negron - Editor
Video Cast Info Neal H. Moritz - Producer
Video Cast Info Phil Joanou - Director
Video Cast Info Ryan Kavanaugh - Executive Producer
Video Cast Info Trevor Rabin - Original Music By

Professional Reviews

New York Times
"GRIDIRON GANG gains significant momentum from Jeff Cutter's amped-up photography, most notably on the gridiron itself." 09/15/2006 p.E10

Sight and Sound
"[The Rock's] committed performance is mostly external....But there is also introspection..." 03/01/2007 p.60-61

San Francisco Chronicle 8 of 10
A savage beat-down or a revenge killing never seems very far away in "Gridiron Gang," a sports movie that's nearly as bleak as it is uplifting. Maybe that's because it was filmed on a field a few yards away from real-life incarcerated teens at Camp Kilpatrick in Los Angeles...Audiences expecting another "Remember the Titans" or "Glory Road" will find this football story more challenging, but also more rewarding. With a tone that combines "Friday Night Lights" and "Stand and Deliver," the movie succeeds as a crowd-pleaser without glossing over the complicated roots of gang violence. - Peter Hartlaub 6 of 10
This week's inspirational, based-on-a-true-story sports flick, Gridiron Gang, basically reduces the potentially compelling narrative about a juvenile-detention-camp football team to a 120-minute locker room pep talk. Serviceable at best, Phil Joanou's film, based on an Emmy-winning 1993 documentary of the same name, relies so heavily on clichŽd sports-themed platitudes, which are delivered by The Rock in virtually every scene, that the net effect borders on comical - and it's more than a little wearying. The film's few, scattered moments of honest grit and pathos are nearly drowned out by composer Trevor Rabin's incessantly syrupy score, which sounds calculated for maximum emotional uplift, just like almost everything else about Gridiron Gang. - Tim Knight

Product Attributes

Product attributeActor:   Rock
Product attributeLabel:   Columbia/tri-Star
Product attributeMusic Format:   DVD
Product attributeVideo Format:   DVD
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