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Case Number 12790

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Feel The Noise

Sony // 2007 // 89 Minutes // Rated PG-13
Reviewed by Judge David Johnson // January 22nd, 2008

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All Rise...

Judge David Johnson feels the noise on a daily basis. He's taking horse tranquilizers to dull the pain.

The Charge

It's your life. Don't miss a beat.

Opening Statement

Truth be told, I have a difficult time tracking all of these generically-titled urban coming-of-age-mixed-with-singing-and-dancing stories. This one didn't suck hard though.

Facts of the Case

On the hard streets of the Bronx, wannabe rapper Rob (Omarion Grandberry—awesome name!) messes with the wrong crowd when he steals a set of rims from a big time street tough and that leads to gunfire and a brief prison stay for Rob. To escape this tumult, Rob heads to Puerto Rico to hang with his estranged father.

While there, Rob and his father's stepson realize they share a common love of music and the two immediately strike out as a DJ/emcee combo. While they search for the elusive sound that may land them a shot at stardom, Rob makes the googly eyes with a local dancer who encourage his artistic expression. Unfortunately she's got a jealous Puerto Rican ex-boyfriend with a short temper that's willing to beat up grown women and, well, we've all been there, right?

With his dope lyrics in tow and a funky fresh new sound Rob and company are out to set the hip-hop world on hire, oh, by the way, feel the noise!

The Evidence

Feel the Noise isn't horrible so there's that. It's fairly slow-paced and rife with clichés, but the acting is decent and the music is nifty.

That last one is probably the biggest selling point for the film and, fortunately, it's catchy and kinetic. It's got a name, too: Reggaeton, which sounds like it's a vowel short of being a tasty Italian dish. Basically, Reggaeton is a speedier version of hip-hop with reggae beats mixed in. There's a deeper history about it and Jamaicans were involved somehow, but I forgot (it's outlined nicely in one of the special features). Bottom line, it's cool and serves the film well.

Omarion Grandberry (again, terrific name) does the most heavy-lifting, acting-wise, and he's up to it. It's not a fiery performance as he does his thing in a subdued manner, but the guy has a strong screen presence and knows his way around hip-hop styles.

The weakest element of the film, however, is the story. Yes, that's a biggie, and the good news is that the plot isn't necessarily bad, just familiar and a bit on the contrived side. Answer these questions for me: 1) Do you think Rob and his father will eventually move past their differences in a wildly emotional manner? 2) Is the record executive sleazy and wanting to get into Rob's girlfriend's pants? 3) Is the big-time producer looking to change Rob's music to make it more commercial and totally @#$% things up? 4) Is Rob unwilling to compromise his artistic integrity and wants to make it on his own terms? If you answered yes to these questions then there's an excellent chance you've seen movies like this before, just like the Feel the Noise filmmakers!

That's all I've got for you on this one. If you dig this kind of film, I think you'll likely dig Feel the Noise. The genre's not my bag, but I wasn't hating my life or anything. And at least "Noise" wasn't spelled with a Z.

The 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen transfer is solid, highlighted by the lush Puerto Rican scenery and the trippy lighting of the various night club venues. For sound, the 5.1 Dolby Digital surround makes the noise felt just fine and dandy. Two extras on the disc: a making-of documentary and a featurette on Reggaeton.

Closing Statement

Not too bad, but fans of films of this particular breed will enjoy it more.

The Verdict

Consider the noise felt. I'm out.

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Scales of Justice

Video: 90
Audio: 90
Extras: 80
Acting: 70
Story: 80
Judgment: 77

Perp Profile

Studio: Sony
Video Formats:
• 1.85:1 Anamorphic
Audio Formats:
• Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround (English)
• English
• French
• Spanish
Running Time: 89 Minutes
Release Year: 2007
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13
• Concerts and Musicals
• Drama

Distinguishing Marks

• Making-of Documentary
• Reggaeton Feature


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