The Kingston High

"Very Good"

The Kingston High Review


Stephen Townsend's The Kingston High is a low budget gem that manages to do the near-impossible: Though I'm hardly representative of the urban youths on display in the film, Kingston really made me relive my own high school experience... all in 90 quick minutes.

Kingston takes place during prom night at a South L.A. high school, and centers on misfit Sketch (Jeramie Gladman), a harmless and lovable outcast whose hobbies run to drawing and smoking dope. He skipped the prom but he's up for the parties, especially if it means a chance to talk to the girl he's been pining for since freshman year, Trina (Nicole Pulliam). Will they hook up? Will his friends get in the way? After all, there's 100 bucks in it for the first guy to get laid tonight. Or will Trina's ex-boyfriend pop a cap in Sketch's ass?

What sounds like a bad melange of American Pie, Can't Hardly Wait, and Boyz N the Hood is actually a refreshingly realistic spin on the high school romance, filled with surprisingly natural and believable performances and some excellent dialogue as well. Shot for "virtually no budget" on miniDV, the film is rarely a photographic beauty but it doesn't detract as much as you might think. A bigger problem is the last 10 minutes of the movie, which feel rushed and mixed up in editing, a likely casualty of the no-budget filmmaking process.

But this doesn't detract from the whole, and I'm comfortable saying that, dollar for dollar, Kingston High is one of the best value indies going. Give Townsend some money, Hollywood, and cut the guy loose!

Now on DVD, you not only get a commentary from Townsend, you get a blurb from this very review on the cover. Now that's value!

The new Destiny's Child.



Facts and Figures

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 3.5 / 5

Cast & Crew

Producer: Mary E. Glynn

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