23 August 2014 | blufrog49
Good, Not Great
First, let me say, I LOVE sports movies--any sport, even if I'm not a fan. Pro, College, High School--even "The Sandlot" (a GREAT movie, by the way). Having lived in the Bay Area during "The Streak," and seeing the previews a few times, I was REALLY looking forward to seeing this film and went with a pocketful of Kleenex.
I am beginning to wonder if filmmakers put TOO much of the good stuff in their trailers. There weren't many other big moments in this movie that I hadn't seen in the weeks prior. It's a GREAT story, but just a good movie. I don't agree with some others that it's "too preachy." This is a Catholic High School, where kids are required to take religion classes. They aren't always about scripture, but about morals and ethics and leading a good life (regardless of your religion or no religion). Without this element, I don't think Coach Lad would have been as successful as he was. (And yeah, he probably "recruited" a bit, too).
The football scenes were very well done and exciting--not sure how much creative license was given there to create the nail biting finishes. I just felt the family dynamics and the player comraderie could have been delved into a little more deeply. Why tease us with bits and pieces and then not follow through? I also enjoy, at the end of such "real life" movies, to find out "where are they now?" It would have been nice to see what some of boys-who-became-men-through-football are up to now.
Out of curiosity, I did a bit more research and found that 2 of the main character/players were composites, which bothered me not because of the creative process, but because the most unlikable kid in the film is black. It bothered me when I watched the film, but I thought, OK, that's a real person. But it isn't. We don't need Hollywood to fuel racial bigotry.
So go see it--you'll come out of the theater a little bit better of a person. It's no "Brian's Song" or "Field of Dreams," but it's not The Bad News Bears" either.