Drumline Parent Guide
Parent Movie Review
It all sounds fairly typical… two colleges face each other on a football field. Looking eye to eye, these opponents know each other well, and will ultimately meet again at the end of the movie for that final climatic scene. But instead of throwing footballs, these players are blowing tubas and pounding drums in this film about marching band rivalries.
Devon (Nick Cannon) is a Harlem boy who loves the drums more than anything else. Playing in his high school band, he has attracted the attention of the renowned Dr. T. (Orlando Jones), band director at the prestigious (and fictional) Atlanta A&T. Winning a full scholarship to the school, home to of one of the nation’s most recognized marching bands, Devon eagerly packs his bags and his street-smart attitude.
With an uncanny ability to memorize cadences after observing them only one time, Devon feels he’s already a beat ahead of most of his band-mates, but Sean (Leonard Roberts), the militaristic percussion section leader doesn’t appreciate his hotshot style. Combined with Dr. T’s. emphasis of “one band, one sound”, Devon’s selfish tendencies become more juxtaposed with the ensemble’s number one goal.
Meanwhile the Doctor faces his own battle. The college president is putting pressure on him to make the band more contemporary so they may better compete with rival Morris Brown College and appeal to funding alumni. Favoring pieces like “The Flight of the Bumblebee” over hip-hop, Dr. T. struggles to find a middle ground in time for the major annual competition- the outcome of which will determine his continued employment.
Considering the dozens of sports movies based on this same premise (complete with endless choreographed plays), Drumline deserves to be noted simply for marching to a different beat. Even better, it presents a compelling story about putting aside personal pride for the good of the group. And if you like marching bands, this film’s cinematography puts you in the middle of the action.
Mild and moderate profanities along with some sexual innuendo don’t allow us to blow the horn for Drumline as loudly as we would like, yet this movie’s positive message is backed by a good beat.
Starring Nick Cannon, Orlando Jones, Zo0xEB Saldana. Running time: 118 minutes. Theatrical release December 13, 2002. Updated April 17, 2009
Drumline Parents' Guide
Many high schools offer band programs. Besides learning to play a musical instrument, what other things can we learn within a band that are applicable to jobs and other non-musical activities?
The most recent home video release of Drumline movie is January 27, 2008. Here are some details…
DVD Release Date: 29 January 2008
Strike up the band with this Special Edition DVD release of Drumline. Bonus materials marching along include a commentary by director Charles Stone III and deleted scenes (with optional director’s commentary). Featurettes take a deeper look at Half-Time Heroes, The Real Battle of the Bands and the Anatomy of a Drumline. Audio tracks are available in English (Dolby Surround 5.1) as well as Spanish and French (Dolby Surround), with subtitles in English, French and Spanish.
27 January 2009: DRUMLINE SPECIAL EDITION releases on Blu-ray. Including all the bonus materials available on the DVD version, this disc also offers deleted scenes (with optional directors commentary). The movie is presented in widescreen with 5.1 DTS HD Master Audio (English) and 5.1 Dolby Digital (French and Spanish).
Related home video titles:
If school bands are big in your family, make sure to check out Mr. Holland’s Opus.
DVD Notes: Drumline: Special Edition