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The Corner


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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

A family living in a Baltimore ghetto struggle for normalcy in a place surrounded by illicit drugs and behaviour.
Genre: Feature Film Urban Drama
Rating: UN
Release Date: 22-JUL-2003
Media Type: DVD

Amazon.com

The bleak reality of drug addiction is captured with unflinching authenticity in The Corner, an excellent, reality-based HBO miniseries. Having lived on the streets of West Baltimore, Maryland, where this compelling drama takes place, actor-director Charles S. Dutton knows the territory, physically, socially, and emotionally, and his compassionate approach is vital to the series' success. Dutton cares for his characters deeply enough to give them a realistic shred of hope, even when hope is consistently dashed by the ravages of addiction. This is, at its root, a family tragedy, focusing on errant father Gary (T.K. Carter, in a heartbreaking performance) a once-successful investor trapped in a tailspin of heroin dependency. His estranged wife Fran (Khandi Alexander) was the first to get hooked, and she's struggling to get clean, while their 15-year-old son DeAndre (Sean Nelson, from the indie hit Fresh) deals drugs, temporarily avoiding their deadly allure while facing the challenge of premature fatherhood.

Through revealing flashbacks and numerous local characters, we see the explicit fallout of addiction, and while violence occasionally erupts, its constant threat is secondary to Dutton's dramatic vision, which remains steadfastly alert to the humanity and neglected potential of these lost and searching souls. The Corner is, essentially, the civilian flipside of HBO's equally laudable series The Wire, which approaches a similar neighborhood from a police-squad perspective. Performances are uniformly superb, details are uncannily perfect, and for all of its human horror, The Corner is riveting, not depressing. A closing interview with the characters' real-life counterparts bears witness to the fact that these lives--with inevitable exceptions--need not be lost forever. --Jeff Shannon


Special Features

  • All six episodes on two discs

Product Details

  • Actors: T.K. Carter, Khandi Alexander, Sean Nelson, Clarke Peters, Glenn Plummer
  • Format: Box set, Closed-captioned, Color, Dubbed, Subtitled, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround), Spanish (Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround)
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish, French
  • Dubbed: Spanish
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Rated: Unrated
  • Studio: Hbo Home Video
  • DVD Release Date: July 22, 2003
  • Run Time: 360 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (148 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00009ATJZ
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #78,611 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "The Corner" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

58 of 58 people found the following review helpful By Phil T. Miller on July 31, 2003
Format: DVD
Seldom do you find a film that makes you feel as close to the characters as this one does. If I could put into words the range of emotion you will feel when viewing this series, you would purchase this set without hesitation.
Though it is true that this is not for everyone, those who can deal with the harshest realities of life will be blown away by the gritty "in your face" approach of this Mini-Series. You will find yourself hoping with all your heart that Gary or Fran will "straighten up" and get it together, only to realize that they are not pillars of strength and are sometimes doomed to fail, even before they start. The most disappointing thing about the series is that it ends. As you progress through the episodes you will gradually begin to dread the inevitable end, and it will leave you hungry for more.
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87 of 94 people found the following review helpful By Birdman on October 8, 2006
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Before viewing this miniseries, I had only read the book (of the same name) by David Simon and Edward Burns published in 1997. Still, the world of decaying neighborhoods, the havoc of street drugs and hopelessness among the disadvantaged has deepened in the Bush era. It took an ingenious director like Charles Dutton to recount one family's troubled history gripping miniseries that doesn't miss a beat. And he's selected a cast of relative unknowns who assume their roles with dead-on realism

The film follows a year in the life of one impoverished family against the backdrop of their neighborhood during the 1990's a drug-ridden quarter-mile from Baltimore's Inner Harbor. Dutton, like Simon and Burns, dwells on the humanity of his cxharacters and the universal themes of their day-to-day struggles. You needn't have been an alcoholic or drug addict to enter the hearts of these people or understand how they swing between hope and hopelessness.

As political commentary, THE CORNER couldn't be more timely, especially in its grasp of urban education, inner city commmunties, underage pareenthood and America's Dickensian juvenile justice system. Viewing what these potentially gifted people endure, viewers may ask how many good people we discard because of our cultural myopia, institutional racism and apathy.

The core performance here is T.K. Dutton's "Gary" -- the father of his broken family. The ways in which he struggles to overcome present shame in light of past success is something most of us will recognize -- race aside -- if not today, then tomorrow.

There is no score to speak of except for Corey Harris's blues track which occurs on splash screens and during the credits for each of six episodes.
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35 of 37 people found the following review helpful By Tanisha Ross on June 18, 2003
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Like others reviewing this film I have been waiting a long time for this to be released and to have it come out on dvd is a real treat.This is the best depiction of in the hood drug addiction I have ever seen.It's real and not commercialized like Hollywood urban films are.It's not about gangs and thugs shooting each other up. It's about going against the odds and making the best out of the life that was given to us.I see this as an important document that makes you think and feel what it is like to be bound by addiction in more ways than one.Masterfully directed, there's something here for everyone to relate to.You don't have to be Black,you don't have to live in the hood, being human is enough to understand everything that goes on in this film.Very entertaining.
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23 of 25 people found the following review helpful By Shawn Severse on September 10, 2005
Format: DVD
As a certified Substance abuse counselor, I show THE CORNER once a year to the 70+ teenagers that I work with. In the three years I've been showing it I have not had a single teen who wasn't moved by and impressed with it. It's the only film i show that they want to see over and over again.

As a recovering addict I can attest to the film's accuracy. It's gritty, it's painful, it's the reality of many inner city neighborhoods and the real end result to addiction.

As a tool for working with substance using teens, this film provides a plethora of topics to process and discuss.

I cannot speak too highly of it.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By A reader on January 13, 2006
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I always look to HBO to deliver the finest in TV drama. Sometimes HBO misses, but most of the time, they are right on the money.

When "The Corner" debuted a few years ago, it came around with little fan fair, so much so, I only discovered it by channel surfing one day (A real crime, if you asked me). But once I started watching, I could not stop. As the series came to an end, I eagerly awaited for all the awards shows to herald this monumental piece of work. There is no doubt that Charles S. Dutton deserved his Emmy. T.K. Carter and Khandi Alexander should have been received theirs too. The whole cast was on point. They all deserved praise. And Toy Connor (played DeAndre's girlfriend), well, all I can say is you blew me away...

Since BET is now carrying the series, my interest in the series has been sparked. So instead of watching it with commercial interuptions and blotted out scenes, I decided to purchase the DVD and share it with my teenage son.

Every now and then a movie/series comes along that rocks your very foundation with it's truth, validity and raw beauty. Well "The Corner" is one of those. It has spawned one of the best acclaimed series on HBO "The Wire" (another of my favorites). Bravo Mr. Dutton, Ms. ALexander and Mr. Carter. Bravo...
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Topic From this Discussion
song in closing credits
I don't know (never saw the series) but for future ref. use Soundhound to ID and song. The app is free for ipod/ipad, and maybe others. Works great.
Aug 11, 2011 by Writes Novels |  See all 2 posts
the funk song
I just received this great miniseries, and came here to add to the discussion when I saw your post. Although I hate reviving a 4 year old discussion I saw no way to send you a personal message to answer your question. The song that you're referring to is a funk classic by The Brothers Johnson... Read More
Jul 5, 2011 by Slaughter |  See all 2 posts
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