Hitting the Ground

Soon, however, Howard is stalked and brutalized by the power-hungry This is the kind of film where students are never seenin the classroom. Most of it is set outdoors on the grass, where Howard takes refuge and "entertains" various visitors and friends, like his zany, loyal comrade Jillie (Anney Giobbe). Amid his deep personal crisis, Howard forgets his problems and pursues a beautiful student (Daintry Jensen).

Soon, however, Howard is stalked and brutalized by the power-hungry This is the kind of film where students are never seenin the classroom. Most of it is set outdoors on the grass, where Howard takes refuge and “entertains” various visitors and friends, like his zany, loyal comrade Jillie (Anney Giobbe). Amid his deep personal crisis, Howard forgets his problems and pursues a beautiful student (Daintry Jensen).

Like John Singleton’s “Higher Learning,” which was far more absorbing but also messy, “Hitting the Ground” is a failed effort to provide sharp commentary on the political divisiveness of American colleges today and the negative role of the news media. Sporadically, the story comes to life, as in the scenes with Jamie (scripter Paul Mullin), the rowdy campus philosopher who predicts gloom and doom and threatens to burn himself in imitation of the celebrated monk in Vietnam. But the movie is so blatant in delivering its points that as soon as editor Alex is introduced as a well-groomed, chain-smoking yuppie, it’s clear that he’s the villain of the piece.

Moore, an NYU Film School grad, shows some talent for building tension in routine dialogue, but his film is encased in a cocoon of somber pompousness. Tech credits are mediocre, particularly Louis Bertini and Moore’s awkward editing, which inserts flashbacks from Howard’s youth in an unsubtle, often jarring manner.

Pic’s most impressive element is a radiant new score by Gordon Gano of the Violent Femmes, and vocals by the likes of Lou Reed, John Cale, P.J. Harvey, Linda Perry and Mary Lou Lord.

Hitting the Ground

(Drama -- Color)

Production: A Living Pictures production. Produced by H. Dennis Moore, Des Garrison, David P. Moore. #Directed by David P. Moore. Screenplay, Paul Mullin. Camera (color), Alfred Padilla; editors, Louis Bertini, David P. Moore; music, Gordon Gano; production design, Joe Taylor; sound (Ultra-stereo), William Kaplan; associate producer, Susan Bell. Reviewed at Palm Springs Film Festival, Jan. 7, 1996. Running time: 98 min. Howard Jaworski ... Neal Huff Jillie ... Anney Giobbe Alex ... Rik Walter Allison ... Daintry Jensen Malcolm ... Mark Douglas Jamie ... Paul Mullin David P. Moore's directorial debut, "Hitting the Ground," is a misconceived film about the moral and ethical issues besetting an American college campus and its newspaper. Though dealing with a potentially interesting and timely problem, pic's pretentious aura and rambling narrative should relegate it to the regional fest circuit. Howard Jaworski (Neal Huff) is a 22-year-old photojournalist who happens to observe and photograph a student as she jumps to her death from a high-rise dormitory. Instead of reporting the case, he decides to conceal the coveted footage from selfish newspaper editor Alex (Rik Walter).

Crew: Editor, who's determined to advance his career at the expense of all moral and professional standards. When the photos are finally published, they trigger a violent chain-reaction of serial suicides, racial confrontations and chaos that requires police interference.

More Film

  • Chad Stahelski Analog

    'John Wick's' Chad Stahelski to Direct Sci-Fi Movie 'Analog' for Lionsgate

    Soon, however, Howard is stalked and brutalized by the power-hungry This is the kind of film where students are never seenin the classroom. Most of it is set outdoors on the grass, where Howard takes refuge and “entertains” various visitors and friends, like his zany, loyal comrade Jillie (Anney Giobbe). Amid his deep personal crisis, […]

  • moviepass card

    MoviePass Parent's Stock Slides Again on Cash Shortage Fears

    Soon, however, Howard is stalked and brutalized by the power-hungry This is the kind of film where students are never seenin the classroom. Most of it is set outdoors on the grass, where Howard takes refuge and “entertains” various visitors and friends, like his zany, loyal comrade Jillie (Anney Giobbe). Amid his deep personal crisis, […]

  • solo a star wars story

    Box Office Preview: 'Solo: A Star Wars Story' to Blast Off to Huge Holiday Weekend

    Soon, however, Howard is stalked and brutalized by the power-hungry This is the kind of film where students are never seenin the classroom. Most of it is set outdoors on the grass, where Howard takes refuge and “entertains” various visitors and friends, like his zany, loyal comrade Jillie (Anney Giobbe). Amid his deep personal crisis, […]

  • BAFTA 2018 Student Film Awards Finalists

    BAFTA Announces Finalists for 2018 Student Film Awards

    Soon, however, Howard is stalked and brutalized by the power-hungry This is the kind of film where students are never seenin the classroom. Most of it is set outdoors on the grass, where Howard takes refuge and “entertains” various visitors and friends, like his zany, loyal comrade Jillie (Anney Giobbe). Amid his deep personal crisis, […]

  • A Quiet Place

    'A Quiet Place' Tops $300 Million at Worldwide Box Office

    Soon, however, Howard is stalked and brutalized by the power-hungry This is the kind of film where students are never seenin the classroom. Most of it is set outdoors on the grass, where Howard takes refuge and “entertains” various visitors and friends, like his zany, loyal comrade Jillie (Anney Giobbe). Amid his deep personal crisis, […]

  • Michael Bay Ryan Reynolds

    Ryan Reynolds, Michael Bay Team for Netflix's 'Six Underground'

    Soon, however, Howard is stalked and brutalized by the power-hungry This is the kind of film where students are never seenin the classroom. Most of it is set outdoors on the grass, where Howard takes refuge and “entertains” various visitors and friends, like his zany, loyal comrade Jillie (Anney Giobbe). Amid his deep personal crisis, […]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content