Thursday, December 9, 2010

You Haven't Seen That Yet??? - Friday Night Lights

Synopsis: Odessa, Texas, is a small, town in Texas. Racially divided and economically dying, there is one night that gives the town something to live for: Friday Night. The Permian Panthers have a big winning tradition in Texas high school football, led by QB Mike Winchell and superstar tailback Boobie Miles, but all is not well, as Boobie suffers a career-ending injury in the first game of the season. Hope is lost among citizens in Odessa, and for the team, but Coach Gary Gaines, who believes that "Perfection is being able to look your friends in the eye and know you did everything you could not to let them down", is somehow able to help the team rise up from the ashes and make a huge season comeback. Now on their way to state, the Panthers must go out and be perfect, because they may never matter this much for the rest of their lives.

Matt's Rating: A-

Why Matt is Appalled Nicole Has Never Seen It: In my opinion this is easily one of the top 3 football movies ever made. Rudy and Remember the Titans round off that short list. No other football movie truly captures the camaraderie that FNL does. Billy Bob Thorton delivers an electric performance and the kid that plays Boobie Miles is fantastic. From the first documentary style frames to the last championship game it had me pinned to my seat. What truly drives the movie is the individual characters and their at home struggles. Plus, what makes this sports film unique is that there are very few cheesy moments and plenty of real/raw moments. Plus, I have always liked the hand held Peter Berg style of film making. My one real complaint is I feel some of the other kids that portray the football players are a little weak, emphasis on "a little." But in the end it's a movie that reminds me of not what it was like to play football but rather what it was like to be a part of a true team.

Nicole's Rating: B- (on the cusp of a C+)

Nicole's Review: It seems that everything Matt loved is everything I hated. My first problem was with whoever decided to cast Billy Bob Thorton. He's just awful and I hated having to watch him and his swagger for however long this movie was. Secondly, I thought that the back stories of each of the characters was poorly pieced together and not at all memorable. I like football, but I really needed their home lives to carry the movie for me so that I could feel something for each of the characters. I really didn't feel much for any of them. I couldn't figure out if Mike Winchell wanted to get out of Odessa or not, because of his mother. There wasn't much depth to his character beyond the situation with his mother. The other kid who I don't even remember the name of, the one with the drunk father... I'll admit that the scene where the father tapes the football to his hands is really powerful. But then the dad is like, you don't understand that all I want is for you to have this time that you'll remember because you'll never be this important again and then at the end they hug on the field like he wasn't a drunk abusive asshole the entire movie? And the actor who played Boobie Miles annoyed the shit out of me. I think the only character I felt something for was Boobie's uncle. The scene in the car where Boobie cries because he can't do anything else except for play football was extremely moving, but for me it came too late in the game. Pun intended.

And then they lose?! And then we find out that hardly any of them did anything with their lives just like the drunk dad said? And then Mike Winchell throws a football to some young kids and it's symbolic because soon this horrible life is going to be their lives too? And then they all say goodbye like they are never going to see each other again, except ... wait. I think they have a test on Monday. I'm just not really sure why we had to make a movie about this town and this particular team.

Anyway, sorry. I didn't completely hate the movie. It was good-ish. I absolutely loved the style in which it was filmed. Every frame was beautiful. And that's about all I got. Remember the Titans is better.

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