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Fruitvale Station [Blu-ray]

4.4 out of 5 stars 556 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Filmmaker Ryan Coogler makes his feature directorial debut with this drama centered on the tragic shooting of Oscar Grant (Michael B. Jordan), a vibrant 22-year-old Bay Area father who was senselessly gunned down by BART officers on New Year's Day in 2009, and whose murder sent shockwaves through the nation after being captured on camera by his fellow passengers. Academy Award® winner Octavia Spencer, Melonie Diaz, and Kevin Durand co-star.

Review

Winner of both the Grand Jury Prize for dramatic feature and the Audience Award for U.S. dramatic film at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival, director Ryan Coogler’s FRUITVALE STATION follows the true story of Oscar Grant (Michael B. Jordan), a 22-year-old Bay Area resident who wakes up on the morning of December 31, 2008 and feels something in the air. Not sure what it is, he takes it as a sign to get a head start on his resolutions: being a better son to his mother (Octavia Spencer), whose birthday falls on New Year’s Eve, being a better partner to his girlfriend Sophina (Melonie Diaz), who he hasn’t been completely honest with as of late, and being a better father to Tatiana (Ariana Neal), their beautiful four year-old daughter. Crossing paths with friends, family, and strangers, Oscar starts out well, but as the day goes on, he realizes that change is not going to come easily. His resolve takes a tragic turn, however, when BART officers shoot him in cold blood at the Fruitvale subway stop on New Year’s Day. Oscar’s life and tragic death would shake the Bay Area – and the entire nation – to its very core.

Product Details

  • Actors: Michael B. Jordan, Octavia Spencer, Kevin Durand, Melonie Diaz, Chad Michael Murray
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Blu-ray, Color, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region A/1 (Read more about DVD/Blu-ray formats.)
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Rated:
    R
    Restricted
  • Studio: ANCHOR BAY
  • DVD Release Date: January 14, 2014
  • Run Time: 85 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (556 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00E1LQRWY
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #19,649 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD Verified Purchase
This film was hard to watch because I knew the horrible conclusion. It is heartbreaking, but Michael B Jordan somehow makes it more so with his performance as the flawed hero. He and the director brought to life a young man struggling to overcome his own mistakes and the obstacles our society places in front of young black men from the inner city. I am not one of those young men but this film briefly brought their world to life for me.
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Format: Amazon Video Verified Purchase
This film was incredible. Very moving. It has a bit of a student-film feel to it in parts, but the story is so intensely told that you can over look that. And I am appalled that the young leading man did not get any nods for this role - Oscar or Golden Globe. He was amazing. You have to see this film - just bring tissues.
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Format: DVD
An independent film written and directed with stunning effectiveness by newcomer Ryan Coogler, Fruitvale Station is based on a true story, and even though its story of an unarmed black male who is shot on New Year's Day, is pulled from national headlines, the film is a character study of the choices in life and how a cruel twist of fate intervenes. It lingers in the heart and mind long after the end, and as such is one of the best films of the year.

We witness video footage of police rounding up black youths at a transit train station, and while the suspects are on the ground and restrained, a gun goes off striking one of them in full view of witnesses. What follows is a flashback account of the final day of Oscar Grant's life and the events leading up to New Year's Day 2009. Amid the backdrop of the Oakland Bay area, Oscar (Michael B. Jordan in a breakout performance) is a young black man whose background is a mix of prison, drug dealing, and failed jobs amid a serious relationship with his girlfriend, Sophina (Melonie Diaz), and their little daughter. He loves his family especially his mother (Octavia Spencer is rock solid) and vows to make a better life for them. It is New Year's Eve, and he helps to prepare his mother's birthday celebration. Just as he is on the brink of a new start, fate intervenes at a transit station and a deadly encounter with police.

Oscar is a man who has a conscience and a sense of responsibility. On the one hand he is portrayed as a devoted father, a passionate lover to his girlfriend, and loving son to his mom, and yet he lies to his loved ones and is in constant turmoil. It is affecting to see that he genuinely wants to leave behind his broken life and get a second chance.
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Format: DVD
Living in the Bay area one could not have avoided the story of Oscar Grant, and his totally unnecessary tragedy.

The story of him being shot by a BART police officer while face down on the ground at an Oakland BART station, on New Years day 2009 sparked a series of riots there.

Happily, a movie has been made which brings the situation more fully to light, and it raises questions about, for example, profiling, civil rights for black people, and the simple issue of justice. Around the same time the movie was released the George Zimmerman trial was in progress and decided. The acquittal of George Zimmerman on the grounds of self defense in the slaying of Trayvon Martin sparked outrage, and national protest. Unfortunately, one of those protests was in Oakland where there was property damage and injuries inflicted on innocent people.

May I say, the movie does not start out promising, it is low budget, and looks it, however as it went along I was totally transported by it knowing its dreadful end. Some of the storytelling elements are clunky and obviously manipulative. Undoubtedly, this was done to make the character look more sympathetic, but the story could have achieved the same effect with less manipulation.

Told in a non linear fashion we are not always sure where we are in the scheme of things. Oscars has faults, and the movie does not attempt to hide them. If it played up only those faults, there would be a danger of stereotyping. Go too far the other way and it's manipulative. Yes, he had substance issues, yes he did time, yes he lost his job because he was unreliable. But these are not the only things that define a character.
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Format: Amazon Video
What if the last words you said to a loved one who was murdered were angry ones? Or perhaps equally bad, what if they were meant as helpful advice, which as a result, may have contributed to the death? That's the plight that Oscar Grant's mother finds herself in when she suggests that her son and his friends take the train on New Year's Eve when they go out for a night on the town, rather than drive. As a result, the twentysomething Oscar, an African American man who is trying to put his life back together after being released from jail, is brutally beaten by the police in a train station altercation and dies as a result. "Fruitvale Station," starring Michael B. Jordan as Oscar, focuses on his day and the events leading up to that fateful hour. We see him drop his young daughter off at day care, assist a young woman at the fish counter who is planning a dinner for her friend, witness the death of a stray dog, and try to get his job back (the loss of which he has kept from his nearest and dearest). We see how his past mistakes affect his relationship with his mother and girlfriend. Though his family relations are sometimes strained, it is clear through witnessing the birthday party preceding the tragedy, that there is clearly love and warmth there, too, making what ultimately happens even more brutal.

Also starring Octavia Spencer and Melonie Diaz, "Fruitvale Station," is based on a real life killing. I've read several articles that believe it should have received at least one Oscar nomination, and I have to agree (surely, there's room for more than one African American centered movie in the lineup?). However, it's worth seeing anyway.
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