ATL (Full Screen Edition)
Format: DVDFull Screen, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, NTSC, Subtitled
List price: $14.98
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If you've grown weary of gangsta thrillers and violent depictions of thug life, ATL will hit you like a breath of fresh air. Based on a story by Antwone Fisher (writer and subject of the 2003 film that bears his name) and written by Tina Gordon Chism, it's essentially a contemporary African-American riff on American Graffiti, focusing on a group of teenagers on the cusp of adulthood, learning valuable life lessons as they strive to make a better future for themselves and their loved ones. The title refers to the airport designation for Atlanta, and that's where orphaned 17-year-old Rashad (Tip Harris, aka rapper T.I.) lives with his younger brother Anton (Evan Ross) and uncle George (Mykelti Williamson). They're poor like most Southside families, but they're making ends meet, caring for each other and forging life-long friendships with guys like the smart, ambitious Esquire (Jackie Long), transplanted New Yorker Brooklyn (Albert Daniels), and likable homeboy Teddy (Jason Weaver). On Sunday nights they hang at the Cascade roller rink, trying to impress the girls with their latest moves, and director Chris Robinson (veteran of many music videos) captures it all with casual momentum and genuine affection for his characters. A little too casual perhaps (the pacing sometimes lags), but with a lively mix of color and music, ATL manages to be positive and hopeful without sanitizing the harsher realities (including drugs and violence) of modern urban America. There are threats and obstacles to overcome, but ATL is all about potential, striving for goals and accepting responsibility for one's own actions. Between this and Get Rich or Die Tryin', which example would you prefer to follow? --Jeff Shannon
List Price: $14.98
Rating: PG-13 (Parental Guidance Suggested)
Studio: Warner Home Video
Actors: T.I. Lauren London Evan Ross Greg Andrews Monica Arnold
Size: 7.5000" x 5.3000"
Weight: 0.2000 lbs.
Language: English, Spanish, French, English, English