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Prison Song

4.7 out of 5 stars 46 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Prison Song (DVD)

Mary J. Blige and Q-Tip, two of hip-hop's hottest recording artists, star in this heart-wrenching family drama about an innocent man's struggle to live and survive behind bars.

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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

Special Features

None.

Product Details

  • Actors: Q-Tip, Mary J. Blige, Harold Perrineau
  • Directors: Darnell Martin
  • Writers: Q-Tip, Darnell Martin
  • Producers: Darnell Martin, Robert De Niro, Brad Epstein, Jane Rosenthal
  • 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 (46 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00007BK2S
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #19,835 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Prison Song" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
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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Format: DVD
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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By A Customer on 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, Chung220@aol.com. Thanks
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I love this film. It gives a real picture if what's happening today. It does a very good job of describing a community that is struggling with multiple social ills on a daily basis. Miseducation, weak community relations, poor health care, inadequate youth intervention, disrespectful and inhumane community policing, drug abuse and a criminal justice system that ignores the fact that victim and offender my both be victims.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
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. Q-Tip did a great job at portraying a young black male who made a decision in defense, who becomes defenseless against the system that imprisons him. All of his dreams, talents, and aspirations are lost to the system-indeed a sad story. At the end of the movie, you also get a better appreciation just how destructive and non-conducive the prison "business" is.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
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. The tale is not unfamiliar at all, though, the execution is. This film gets to the point very quickly. In it's depiction of environment and mentality. The message is one of responsibility and regret. It's all about choices.
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Format: DVD
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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Format: DVD
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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