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Prison Song (2003)

Q-Tip , Mary J. Blige , Darnell Martin  |  R |  DVD
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (32 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Q-Tip, Mary J. Blige, Elvis Costello, Fat Joe
  • Directors: Darnell Martin
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Anamorphic, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, Full Screen, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround), English (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: New Line Home Video
  • DVD Release Date: February 20, 2007
  • Run Time: 94 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (32 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00007BK2S
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #30,856 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Prison Song" on IMDb

Special Features


Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Prison Song (DVD)

Like Chicago, Prison Song is a musical set behind bars, but there's no dancing and minimal singing. Elijah is a talented 10-year-old photographer. His mother (R&B diva Mary J. Blige) works at a fast food joint and dreams of becoming a lawyer. The sky's the limit until Elijah, his mother, and his mother's boyfriend (Harold Perrineau) are all locked up for various offenses. The story picks up several years later as Elijah (now played by A Tribe Called Quest's Q-Tip) is accepted to college, but ends up in prison after accidentally killing another group home resident (rapper Fat Joe). Prison Song was cowritten and produced by Q-Tip and Darnell Martin (I Like It Like That) and plays like an extended episode of Oz (in which Perrineau played a key role). Blige's "Mom's Song" is the musical highlight, and Elvis Costello appears as Elijah's teacher and lawyer, but does not sing. --Kathleen C. Fennessy

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
4.7 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Movie with a message August 31, 2003
Q-tip, Fat Joe, and Mary J Blige give good performances, especially Q-tip. His character has it all going on in the inside and is very quiet on the outside but I still got completely absorbed in what he was going through. The musical sequences blend well too. Just when you're about to punch a wall because of what's happening to the characters, somebody lets loose with a song that expresses the emotions that the movie is bringing up. Mary J. Blige is the queen of from-the-heart songs, and Fat Joe has a rap cameo that slides seamlessly into the scene.
Aside from the individual elements, the movie takes aim at one of the worst qualities of our society, the lousy deck dealt to black men growing up in urban city neighborhoods. It dramatizes - but not by much - the way that opportunities are systematically stripped from you in a society where you're rarely respected or afforded the benefit of the doubt. Definitely a worthwhile movie.
Only one thing - I missed the first five minutes of the movie, and suspect I was better off for it. The beginning lists some stastics that indicate the direction the plot will eventually take, and lends a more moralizing, heavy tone to the movie. Without the intro, the movie stands well by itself and affects you without telling you how you should be affected.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the Better Examples of a Prison Film February 14, 2003
I saw the edited version of this film which did little justice to the actual film which I found to run like a stage play not to say that this is a bad thing. Prison Song is one of the better examples of films on the "prison" theme. I would say the best one was perhaps the classic Cool Hand Luke, but in post-modern times we have OZ which some of said has lost some of it's focus. Though Prison Song is not as in depth as perhaps OZ is, it's still worth at least a rental. For those who are irritated by musicals, you may want to consider renting before buying. If you do purchase this film, you won't be disappointed.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of The Best January 13, 2004
Format:VHS Tape
The BET movie Prison Song was one of the best movies I've ever seen before. I was wondering, why wasn't the movies put into theatres all across the world, this movie was a huge hit for Bet. This question is for anyone out there who may know the answer, exactly how can I get the soundtrack to Prison Song. I know it's on Tommy Boy records but thats all I know. If someone has any information please contact me via e-mail, Thanks
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Tragically Moving April 13, 2004
By meg
BET's Prison Song offers a look into the life of an inner city teenager, Elijah, (Tip) who gets stuck in the system after his mother is institutionalized. Sent to a private jail after accidentally killing someone (Fat Joe) from his group home, Prison Song follows Elijah as he comes to terms with the harsh realization that even though he is innocent, the only way out is to escape. The tragic ending of this unusually un-musical musical leaves the viewer wanting to break the cycle, but ultimately feeling helpless against it.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Wow, not bad November 30, 2002
When I saw that rappers and singers were in this movie I thought it was gonna be a dud but I was surprised. Q-Tip was focused in his role and did a good job. I LOVED seeing Mary J in this movie (I may be biased because I am a huge fan).
Fat Joe also did a good job a well as the supporting actors.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great movie about today's hood drama May 12, 2003
Format:VHS Tape
This movie gave a very good insight about how crime and prison are destroying many inner city families. I think that Q-Tip, Mary J. Blige, and Fat Joe gave strong dramatic performances. I recommend that this movie be viewed by all those who are interested in inner city life.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 5 stars, a good Samaritan in his ironic life August 30, 2003
By cor'n
Format:VHS Tape
A movie so sad, yet so good. With real reactions from the characters and the harsh effects, this movie touched aspects of life we wish we won't ever go through... I respect the movie for how much reality it had: fears, tears,all things we could be cowards to admit. I respect the movie for its creativeness in songs and situations, but for the most part,for showing me how glamour and fame should be the least thing we should focus on in our lives, after all, we all each just have one life or one death.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Dramaticly Touching Movie December 20, 2004
By T.G.
this movie is a good life explaining movie about a normal african american male whos childhood was troubled by the law...and how so many convicts doesnt have the mentality to survive in prison and how they just have a emontional breakdowns...cuz they want their freedom and that they go through extreme extents just to obtain it even when they face death just to posses that certain freedom they long for..that death may be the only way a convicts freedom will be obtained
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Very good product.
Published 18 days ago by marsha smith
5.0 out of 5 stars Great
Had not seen this in awhile. Great movie
Published 1 month ago by Terry Williams
5.0 out of 5 stars Fav
I use to watch this movie evertime it aired on B.E.T. I just had to add it to my collection. I love the music in it and Mary J Blidge didn't do so bad in this acting role.
Published 6 months ago by Streetlitlover
5.0 out of 5 stars A Good But Sad Song!
This was a perfectly crafted movie. With the exception of a few people in the movie (namely Mary J. Blige and Fat Joe), the acting was superb. Read more
Published 9 months ago by Marcus Langford
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Movie
I have never seen this movie before and was curius about buying it. But I'm glad I did. Keep up the good work by sending good quality movies.
Published 9 months ago by Betty Lou Varnado
4.0 out of 5 stars Long Overdue
Watching this movie through the eye of a cable network was not what it was made for. Darnel Martin and Q-Tip did their thing. The story line and music was very interesting. Read more
Published 13 months ago by D. Marshall
5.0 out of 5 stars super fast delivery
great movie, seen it over and over..finally decided to get it on dvd..old school classic underground movie..must have and must see movie..
Published 16 months ago by Jhermaine
5.0 out of 5 stars " Life after A Mistake, Out Of Fire You Have Ashes "
Very Good Movie Spoke 2 My Heart Need To Be shown To Young Folk ,Work do Pay-Off Nothing come EZ. Well Written Cast Good a Good movie. Many will Purchase This One Or Should. B Nice
Published 17 months ago by John L Williams
5.0 out of 5 stars Mary j. blige ,Q-Tip and Big Joe now that's what i'm talkin about..
I've watch this film three times, streight in a row.Push play 2 finish then push play again. Great songs and wonderful performences..
Published 18 months ago by jhadee
4.0 out of 5 stars good movie
definitly makes you look at how things are for these kids growing up in group homes. its sad and its worth watching...
Published 19 months ago by chasestratus
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