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Pride
DVD disk
Jul 20, 2007 By: Mathew Plale
Pride order
Director:
Sunu Gonera

Actors:
Terrence Howard
Bernie Mac
Tom Arnold

Rating:
Movie:
Extras:
Overall:

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WHAT'S IT ABOUT?
In 1970s Philadelphia, Jim Ellis (Howard) teaches a group of teenagers the importance of overcoming the odds in a world where the white man reigns in swimming.
IS IT A GOOD MOVIE?
Debut director Sunu Gonera has studied the ingredients: discrimination, urbania, any sport, and chiefly, a true story in the loosest sense of the term. The uninspired Pride tells the inspirational tale of a group of black urban Philadelphians who, in hopes of keeping out of trouble, form a swim team with Jim Ellis (Howard) and, as the story goes, overcome the odds. Wake up!, I dont write this for my own enjoyment

Ellis himself faced discrimination in his collegiate days on the swim squad. But, like most PG-13 reach-your-potential-in-urban-neighborhood movies (ahem, Freedom Writers), the filmmakers are too gentle with the material. The worst put upon Ellis at a meet is, Boo! followed by Yeah, boo! Were not expecting to see a Klan rally in the gymnasium, but a little realism to 1950s racism would have been adequate. The neighborhood, according to one character, is a nesting ground for drugs, thugs, and the lowest common denominator, though the only evidence of this is a few snarly hoods jamming to the radio in a playground. The dreck-ridden script (scrambled together by a staggering four writers) gives us no reason to truly respect it as it handles the text as an after-school special, topped off with literally every clich in the gamebook.

Pride isnt so much an inspiration as it is a reminder that all white people are evil and that some things never change. The script (which Ill remind you again was penned by FOUR writers!) takes the highdive straight into the shallow end. And when the text takes a breather from being too obvious, the formulaic sounds of Express Yourself, Love Train, and Oh Happy Day come in handy to walk us through the characters feelings.

Watch any of the following modern inspirational/based on a true story sports movies: Cinderella Man, Coach Carter, Cool Runnings, Friday Night Lights Hoosiers, A League of Their Own, Remember the Titans, The Rookie, Rudyhell, watch Radio! Whatever you do, pretend youve been discriminated from seeing this movie.
THE EXTRAS
Director Commentary: Sit and listen as director Sunu Gonera describes everything youre watching on the screen! Leap over this one.

A Deleted Scene (4:21) has Bernie Mac bonding with the female teammate in a motel room (not as sleazy as Ive made it sound). The Extended Swim Meet (25:42) scenes dont add a whole lot to the movie, either, despite their running time.

The 3 Music Montages (4:50) are an interesting addition that only fans will find watchable.
FINAL DIAGNOSIS
Pride is one of the most generic movies you'll see in 2007 or any year in the future. You have seen literally everything that Pride offers at least a half dozen times before.
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