Friday Night Lights
Saw this last night. I'd read the book when it came out years ago, and it translated to the screen pretty well. Not the totally typical sports movie with the little guy overcoming the odds to win in the end. There weren't any actors I recognized besides Billy Bob Thornton, but everybody did a good job.
Not going to see this, but the trailer sure has played in front of every movie in the world this year.
The part where the guy says, "Years from now, when you look back on this...I dare you to beat it" always sounds really sad to me. Peaking at 17 doesn't sound like a great plan to me.
Well, in all fairness, your halftime speech should be rousing and non-mincing. But yeah, you could do such with a bit less gravitas. However, I'm sure a lot of guys who went on to have successful careers in the NFL were told something like that. And hey - it's just a dare!
Originally Posted by MattKeil
Anyway, just remember James van der Beek in Varsity Blues telling his boys "Tonight, we have a chance to PLAY LIKE GODS!" Shit, I'll take a dare over a mandate to play like an omniscient.
Oh yeah, I get that, but the line sounded more like it was being said by one of the other players just talking to one of the other players in casual conversation or something.
Originally Posted by Bill Dungsroman
Being a product of the Texas education system, and a player too...this movie/book are sadly too true. Many players from my high school were walking gods at 17 and damn near owned the town. But that is small town Texas for you.
Small town PA, too. I don't feel the need to revisit via the film, but I did like the book.
Originally Posted by Greg Williams
I am going to see this as soon as is feasible. The idea of football being anything more than something parents watch on weekends is fascinating to me. I honestly don't even know the name of the local team, or how good they are, nor do I know the name of any highschooler.
The soundtrack is done by Explosions in the Sky, a post-prog whatever band that is pretty cool, very similar to GYBE or Mogwai.
The movie itself pretty good, it's a lot different than most football movies, and a lot more subtle as far as the characters go. Some other people that one might recognize are Jay Hernandez and Tim McGraw (Who turns in an excellent performance, especially given the general disdain in these circles for country musicians). Also, it features Derek Luke, who has a huge part in the movie, and wil probably turn out to be one of the better young character actors.
The thing I liked best about the movie is that the coach seems to understand that football is only a game. He understands why there is pressure to dominate, but at the same time isn't driven to destroy the opposition himself. I think I like this approach better than the "metaphor for life" approach or the "winning is everything" approach a lot of football movies take.
Anyway, I'd recoomend this, it is certainly worth a rental, and if you are going to the theater this week, it is a great choice.
Oh yes, re: the peaking at 17 comment, that is one of the themes of the movie. For a lot of the kids in this backward small town in Texas, they ARE peaking at 17. Tim McGraw's character is the example of this. A lot of the kids understand this, and the movie doesn't treat it as a good thing, just a truth. There is a bit of serious social commentary going on in the background, and in the foreground too with Derek Luke's character. Don't skip this movie just because you're afraid it's going to glorify the guys who stole your girlfriend in high school.
Great movie, they did a good job pulling from the book. If you get a chance to read the book, I highly recommend it.
They didn't really touch on some stuff as much as I hoped, but it makes sense.
There's a disdain for country musicians as actors? Also, the coach kinda sold his sold to the devil. He knew full well what was going on but chose to do nothing and eventually was forced into a situation where he made yet another bad decision.
I'm talking about the TV show, not the movie, but this was the easiest thread to locate.
The pilot is fucking great. The next 10 episodes (all I've watched so far) are, at the very least, really good. There is nobody in the world who cares less about football than I do, but I've been really impressed. As I think was mentioned in the Netflix thread, both seasons of the show are available for streaming to the 360 (which is how I'm watching them). Even if you're not interested in investing in 40 episodes of a TV show, go watch the pilot and stop there, if you want to. It's worth it.
The entire first season is quite good; the second is not all that great, and the third returns a bit of it, but still doesn't rate as high as the first.
I concur with Alan's assessment. Two thumbs up.
I'm revising my earlier assessment to say that season 1 of this show is probably my all-time favorite season of a drama series. It's pretty incredible.
Probably one of the most believable married couples in TV history.
Outstanding TV show, great first season. My only complaint... SPOILARZ!!!
The star QB gets injured way too fast for my taste. I barely know the character before everything happens. Wish we had a few episodes first.
I think this show captures 1) a married couple wonderfully 2) small town poverty perfectly and 3) a religious community perfectly without mocking them.
There was a thread fairly recently on Qt3 (that I can't find anymore) about really good TV shows to watch, and someone made a detailed list of some great shows, and this was one of them.
Since I recently caught up with Netflix's showing of Breaking Bad, I decided to give his a go.
Wow, this is pretty riveting television. The show manages an atmosphere and a feel that I've never gotten before from a TV show, only from books. That's an incredible achievement.
One thing that did scare me in the pilot was the shakey-cam. The only other show I watched like that was one episode of Homicide, and that almost made me throw up. But luckily, the shakey-cam in FNLights is much less severe than in Homicide. It's subtle.
Also, I'm about 8 episodes in now, and I'm really loving this coach. My only real exposure to coaching lately has been Jerry Sandusky, so I'm not used to thinking of the Coach as a mentor and someone who actually cares and helps the kids in his charge not only be better players, but better human beings.
All I can say is: Lucky You. Also, the first half of the Red Dawn trailer looks like it could be for a FNL movie.
Well, the first season of FNL is pretty much magic. One of those rare shows that nails it out of the gate and would have been pretty much perfect if it had ended there.
The second season slumped, but you can blame that one on the writer's strike, which caused a lot of uncertainty at the time, and cut the season short. But there's also one subplot that has the network's fingerprints all over it. You could tell that once it was dead and buried, they never, ever, ever mentioned it again.
The later seasons improved, but it's good they ended when they did, because there are only so many stories they could tell before they started recycling everything again. And, try as they might to keep retconning their ages (*cough* Landry *cough*), eventually all of the core characters had to graduate and move on.
Oops, looks like I resurrected the wrong thread. Apparently there was a movie with the same name? I only read awdougherty's post, and that was about the TV show. Sorry about that.
'sokay, the movie wasn't nearly as good as the show.
Originally Posted by Rock8man
Woolen pretty much nailed it. The show is wonderful network comfort food and occasionally even rivals the HBO heavyweights. Such a great cast, terrific atmosphere, and a distinctive style anchored in the Taylors' marriage and the Texas-ness of it all. I also love how the show doesn't forget to include religion as a major part of these characters' lives.
The later seasons are a master class in how to wrap up and send-off key characters, introduce new ones, and let the early characters come back for satisfying mini-arcs or guest appearances. It all comes off a lot more real than network TV usually feels.
Oh, and Best Pilot Ever? If not, it's way up the list.
I have to give that award to Breaking Bad. The pilot was better than the majority of major films released.
Originally Posted by rrmorton
I'm almost near the end of the first season now, and there have been so many times when I've tried to express just how much I love this show, and why, and always come up short. But I think that sentence of yours pretty much nails it. It's pretty much magic.
Originally Posted by Woolen Horde
I said in my last post that it feels like a book, and I have to say that it has continued to feel that way. I've never seen any TV show or movie before that has this kind of a feel; only books.
One thing I have to comment on is just how much I miss the South suddenly after seeing this show. There's just a certain way of talking in the South that I miss. John Stewart kind of nailed it when he was interview Eric Cantor where he was saying Eric could say the nastiest thing in the world and make it sound charming with that Southern accent. But what I'm talking about goes deeper than that. The conversations I had with coworkers when I used to work down in Birmingham, Alabama were deeper, more involved conversation about anything and everything. There just seems to be less of a barrier there, and more feelings laid bare. I disagreed with so many issues from people, like gun control, abortion and other issues, but I could talk about them so freely and everyone was so expressive but in a non-offensive way.
Coming back to an example of that on this show is when Jason Street confronts Layla Garrety's father about why he set her up on a date with another guy, and he's able to come clean about it and just lay out the truth for Jason in that Southern way where the truth is laid bare in simple terms so that even Jason has to empathize with him. And similarly when Jason's father explains to coach why he's suing him and the school.
And finally I just want to mention the acting. When I'm watching this show, these people are the characters. I don't even think about the actors. The actors completely disappear and the characters come through more than any other show I've seen except for maybe the Wire.
I don't care if this is the movie thread: I love hearing about other people enjoying this show. I just *adored* the show when my wife and I watched it, and the reason almost entirely comes down to Kyle Chandler and Connie Britton and their characters' relationship. If you read interviews about the show, these two actors had instant chemistry from the very beginning and Peter Berg's style of direction was to let the actors drive the story. And while there are some characters and plotlines that were less successful than others, they never made a false move with those two.
I'm kind of blown away by Kyle Chandler. I'm so familiar with him from several seasons of Early Edition (I watched them all, live, with commercials, there was no DVR back then), and several movies in which he basically plays that same guy: an earnest decent guy who just wants to do the right thing. He's a pretty boring character overall.
But in Friday Night Lights? Chandler is someone transformed. When he's turning on the intensity and giving orders as the Coach? Holy shit, you'd better obey him. And when he's showing compassion? So good. And you're right Nightgaunt, his relationship with his wife is so pitch perfect. They are the heart and soul of the show. I didn't know Chandler had it in him. Kudos for landing such a great role and really showing what he can do.
He got a much-deserved Emmy for season 5!