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The Education of Sonny Carson [Import]

Rony Clanton , Don Gordon , Michael Campus    R (Restricted)   DVD
3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
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5.0 out of 5 stars "THE SEED" OF STREET LIFE MOVIES July 14 2004
By A Customer
Format:VHS Tape
This movie is the forerunner of the real "street life" movies. When West Side Story did its run there weren't any movies (to my knowledge) that portrayed street life until the Education of Sonny Carson. After Sonny Carson, you had films like the Lords of Flatbush, the Wonderers and the Warriors, Boys in the Hood and then blah, blah, blah. No dis to those films, they were good also but this is "the seed" of real street life as shown on film. It is a "street life" classic. It was filmed right here in Brooklyn using real gang members from the 70s, reenacting what life was on the streets in the 60s. This movie has some rough spots, so get your nerves up: like the killing of little boy and Sonny being beaten up by the cops. The jail scene wasn't pretty either (pre Oz kinda stuff). It is so intense at times that its a "see once in a while" movie for me. I simply got it the first time I saw it as a kid. Because I was in Brooklyn as a youth during the filming of the movie and watched the real gangs of the time (Jollystompers and Tomahawks) march through Crown Heights on they're way to Prospect Park to shoot the rumble scene ... so it has a special place with me.
If your one of those special effects with lots of blood without a plot kind of movie watcher then your simply not in the real world (or from it) and the movie may go over your head. But if your from the streets or have an interest in its history and culture then check out this film. And if your into Hip Hop Culture then its also a must see. Although the movie doesn't show you what Sonny does after his release from the beast (prison) it does show you what he encountered upon his return to the streets. That was a cool tactic ... why? Sonny Carson is a real person and anything you what to know about him is in the open. So the struggle continues.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Average movie... poor quality audio! March 13 2003
By A Customer
Format:DVD
I must admit that I was disappointed with this film. It suffers from some common mistakes made in many blaxploitation films of this time. I feel that given the man's life, the same budget and actors, I could come up with a better film. Why...?
I never saw this movie before I purchased it. I was expecting something like Cooley High. I did not, and still, do not know much about Sonny Carson. The film ends right at the turning point of his life!
If you sat down in the theater in 1973/4 and watched this film, knowing nothing about him, after the film you would have walked out wondering why they made this film at all.
He gets out of prison and finds that all of his friends have either been killed, succumbed to drug addiction, or are incarcerated. The movie ends here.
We see nothing of the positive changes that he made. We don't know why he joined a gain in the first place. What motivated him? His parents seemed loving and he supposedly got good grades in school. It didn't appear that everyone in his school was in a gang either. Another enigma is his girlfriend, who appears to be clean-cut when we first meet her. When he gets out of jail, she's strung out on heroine. How did this happen? No explanations given in this film.
Instead the movie wastes valuable time showing long scenes of people dancing and other scenes of people singing gospel. This appears often in blaxploitation films... why? I don't like watching people dance and sing, it wastes time, and hurts the flow of the movie. If there was some purpose for the gospel singing i.e. Sonny had an apparent interest in church, that would be ok... but he didn't. And have you ever seen a parade where they allow street gangs to march in them?!?!?! Well you'll see it here!
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1.0 out of 5 stars Great Movie, horrible reproduction Jan. 8 2003
Format:DVD
There is something wrong with this DVD at chapter 5 where Sonny takes a hit of weed from 2 pimps at first I thought the echos I was hearing was part of the scene but as soon as the scene continued into the high school scene with his confrontation with the hawks the echoing continued. It ends as soon as chapter 6 starts up with the 1st gang battle between the lords and the hawks. I decided to check the old tape I had of TEO Sonny Carson and the guess what, the echos were not present anywhere in the movie. That means somwhere between the master print and the DVD master somebody forgot to check for audio sync in the transfer. To top it all off all throughout the movie there is video noise on moving edges; I though only amateur/hobbyist of VCD/SVCD/DVD did this. This is a great movie about the tough times that young black Sonny Carson faced in Brooklyn and rose up from. But the production that went into this DVD practically destroys any enjoyable experience one can get from this movie. So my suggestion is to wait for a re-release (not likely) or buy the tape; then you yourself can make a better DVD version of the movie than the guy jonfilms@aol.com did. (jonfilms@aol.com is in the credits for digitizing this movies and I think he is responsible for the error in transfer from master to DVD print). Great movie gone to waste because of carelessnes in the video transposing process.
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