Friday, August 22, 2014

When The Game...Provides Movie Material


    Sports movies come around pretty frequently. Some are really good and others fail to live up to the ones that come before. When The Game Stands Tall is the latest to take on football. In this case, high school football. It's the story of legendary football coach Bob Ladouceur, who took the De La Salle High School Spartans from obscurity to a 151-game winning streak that shattered all records for any American sport. He has a different style of coaching and surprisingly doesn't preach the streak, but attempts to teach his players about life. When the streak ends his players must discover where the important things in life begin. 

    The movie has it's share of drama and emotional moments. Jim Caviezel is solid as the coach who is so committed to the team that his family takes a backseat. He is joined by Michael Chiklis who looks like he was born to play some form of football coach.  The film does a great job of demonstrating the power of the legendary win streak. If you have seen Friday Night Lights, then you're aware of how big high school football is in places around the country. Kids in some programs become local celebrities before they graduate.

    The film balances football with the drama that the players deal with. Father and sons collide in moral battles. Pressure to get beyond where you live. Violence that takes people too soon and pressure to live up to the incredible winning streak.

     The football is fun to watch and the film has it's share of dramatic moments. I don't think it will ever be Remember The Titans or Friday Night Lights, but it doesn't have to be. It is a different story. A legendary streak from a coach who set out to teach his players more than the game of football. A guy who tried to create men who knew what it meant to give back to their team and there community. It's not a big summer blockbuster. It will draw plenty of comparison to similar movies, but it in the end it does stand tall enough.

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