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Freedomland [Blu-ray]

83 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Average Customer Review: 2.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (83 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0024FAG3K
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #871,669 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Chris Pandolfi on February 17, 2006
The way I see it, a good movie has to have a sturdy structure in order to support the weight of its characters and plot. If this idea falls through, then all you'll have is an incoherent mess. "Freedomland," unfortunately, falls into this category. It had so many missing pieces that its structure pretty much collapsed the moment it started. No, that's actually too limiting: the pieces were never together to begin with. Everything about this film was out of place and chaotic, a haphazardly strewn together story that only resulted in a jumbled mass of wrongfully conceived ideas.

The movie begins in the streets of an urban housing project in Dempsy, New Jersey. There we meet Lorenzo Council (Samuel L. Jackson), a police detective who seems to know everyone in the neighborhood but isn't exactly up to speed on all of its problems. One of the women continually nags him to do something about her abusive boyfriend, and Council continually tells her that he'll take care of it as soon as he can. Right from the start, he seems burned out and detached, something that other officers have picked up on. They were noticeably standoffish and haughty. Obviously, some would rather not work with him. Exactly why is never really explained, a fact that only serves to make the many moments of mounting tension and hostility seem ill fitting.

Council is thrown into a web of mystery when Brenda Martin (Julianne Moore) walks into Dempsy Medical Center. Her hands are covered in blood, and she's mentally cut off from the world. Council is called in to question her. For a while she's evasive, and occasionally seems to be rambling. Eventually, she says that, while taking a shortcut through the park next to the housing project, she was carjacked by a black man.
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26 of 33 people found the following review helpful By Kcorn TOP 500 REVIEWER on February 17, 2006
This is a muddled mess of a movie, although it seems promising at first. A mother is dragged from a car and her young son is left behind, to be driven off in the car by the hijackers.

Unfortunately, everything goes downhill from here. There are plot lines that go nowhere and long pieces of the story that don't seem to connect to other parts. Even worse, the mother isn't treated in a believable way by the police. She may be in danger but they actually leave her alone at certain points.

Anyway, it was just a jumbled hodge podge of a movie. Deeply regretted seeing it. Liked the book, though.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Robert Beveridge HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on August 14, 2006
Format: DVD
Freedomland (Joe Roth, 2006)

I have spent the past few years studiously avoiding blaming Spike Lee for the confused mess that was Clockers (though his subsequent movies have caused me to think he does deserve a good portion of the blame). I always shifted it to Richard Price, who wrote the original novel. Now we get another film adaptation of another Richard Price novel, where Price once again adapted the screenplay, and instead of a guy like Spike Lee-- who may be in a bumpy patch of his career, but man, the guy can nail the hide to the wall when he's on his game-- we get Joe Roth, responsible for such deathless cinematic fare as Revenge of the Nerds II and Christmas with the Kranks? Is there any way this film was not going to be a disaster?

Okay, so we cast Julianne Moore as a mother with a missing kid (hmm, there's a huge stretch) and Samuel L. Jackson as a cop (whoa, what casting bravery!). And that's pretty much your movie-- white woman gets carjacked in black area with kid in back of car, black cop doesn't quite buy it but is willing to go the extra mile anyway. Do you see the big twist coming?

The problem is that the big twist takes forever to get coming. Did we really need a full hour of explication to get that there's racial tension building, and that it's liable to explode at any moment? (Short answer: no.) I'm sure that in the novel, there's a wonderful parallel between the missing kid and the racial tension. It does not exist in the film, which treats when as two entirely separate, if overlapping, storylines for most of its length. The scenes where they do coincide seem extraneous at best and profoundly uncomfortable at worst.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By T. Lamar Terrell on February 19, 2006
I went to this movie solely for the performances of Sam Jackson and Julianne Moore...And with the hope that the movie would be amazingly written and soar high above it's TV movie premise. Nope.

Every stereotype of every movie and TV crime drama that you've seen dealing with a race, crime and an angry black community versus police is right here... with no deviation. Or elevation.

The thing that bothered me about the other reviews on this movie was that they'd mention Freedomland's 'commentary on race' without adding the neccesary "stale" before the word "commentary". If you've seen movies that deal with the subject matter in this movie and you think you know what is going to happen in this movie...YOU ARE EXACTLY RIGHT. Every cliche and stereotype you can think of with the themes of ' poor black community versus the cops' is right here:

Angry, abusive young black men who are like children, angry bitter black women who are more like mothers than mates to their lovers, the angry ghetto citizens versus the cops, Angry riot scene, the angry brother cop, an almost monolithic angry black community who move as one (like the Borg in Star Trek) and incompetent superiors in the police department...

And Sam Jackson...Angry as usual. Though less so than past performances. He's mellowed. I liked him and his performance, but he isn't breaking any ground or giving a "balls to the walll" performance here.

Also, if you think you know who's responsible for the boy's dissapearance from the first two minutes of the movie (during the opening credits, no less), then you're right in that assumption, too.

Julianne Moore..was annoying. But I blame the writers.
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