You Got to Be Kidding Me!

From the Department of Really Late Movie Reviews…

Posted in Entertainment by Stacy McMahon on September 30, 2006

Back when I had HBO I used it to seek out the old or obscure movies that I tend to prefer. I don’t have HBO anymore but Netflix fills the gap nicely, especially since going to the theater is so expensive now that I really only do it for social occasions.

Anyway, though I’m not a big sports fan I remembered liking Varsity Blues, so when Friday Night Lights showed up on my recommendations I decided to try it. Am I ever glad I did! What a great movie. It starts off a little slow and disjointed, but you soon realize that’s because they’re introducing the main characters, who don’t necessarily hang out in one group. Character development–imagine that. And you wouldn’t expect Hollywood to choreograph a football game worth anything but this looked great to me, especially since a lot of the camera angles seemed designed to mimic the way TV covers a game. People who know more about football than I do (almost everyone) might find stuff to criticize there, but it looked brilliant to me. The cast is an ensemble and I didn’t recognize most of the faces, so they apparantly haven’t gone on to great things yet, but Billy Bob Thornton does his usual great job, in this case as the coach balancing small-town political pressure to win against his personal responsibility to the players, who after all still kids. And all done with near-zero melodrama and no obvious plot formulas. Of course it’s a coming-of-age movie so there are formulas all over the place, but as in Top Gun they’re used wisely and advance the plot without distracting. I’m not really a football fan, but I think it’s safe to say Friday Night Lights is a football movie for football fans. You can never assume that in these PC times…

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