Day 95: Me And Earl And The Dying Girl (2015)

me-earl-dying-girl-e1433362488827For today’s film, I wanted to watch something that was a little different than what I was used to and it was kind of a film that I had no idea about. Me And Earl And The Dying Girl was the name of today’s film and it follows high schooler Greg (Thomas Mann), who is a little different than most kids because all he wants to do is make parodies of films with his friend Earl (RJ Cyler) and coast by high school in hopes that no one notices him. All of that is about to be turned upside down on him when his mother forces him to hang out with a girl named Rachel (Olivia Cooke) who just found out she has cancer. While he has his preconceptions about hanging out with her, Greg’s life begins to change for the better as she opens his eyes to the world around him. The film also stars Jon Bernthal (Daredevil) as Mr. McCarthy, Nick Offerman (Parks and Recreation) as Greg’s Dad, Connie Britton (Friday Night Lights) as Greg’s Mom, Molly Shannon (Superstar) as Denise, Matt Bennett (Victorious) as Scott Mayhew, Katherine Hughes (Men, Women, And Children) as Madison, Masem Holden (Elizabethtown) as Ill Will, and the film was directed by Alfonso Gomez-Rejon (The Town That Dreaded Sundown).

me-earl-dying-girlThe film was definitely different than most high school teen flicks than I am used to seeing because it strikes a nerve. It will definitely strike a nerve with anyone who has lost someone to cancer and the struggle that we all see them go through. Besides that, it’s also a touching story because here is a kid that knows he has to tip toe on the line when he first goes to hang out after his mom told him to. It’s also touching due to the fact that he begins to grow up before our very eyes because of how much he cares for her. He’s not willing to share anything with anyone, but she is essentially the first person that he shares his movies with. It was cool to see Jon Bernthal in the film as a very unorthodox history teacher who also helps guide Gregg and Earl along the way. Nick Offerman who is a brilliant and funny man may have a very minor role in the film, but it’s so different than what we are used to seeing him play and that is awesome. Issues like these were held back from us back in the day, but I am glad that kids are seeing it because it’s real life. The film was very artsy at times and I loved the long continuous shot in the beginning of the film that had no cuts. I thought that was a cool touch to the film and the writing was amazing as well. Check it out for yourself, it airs on HBO and it’s available everywhere online. I am going to give the film an A for a final grade because I felt it deserved it.

Day 58: Friday Night Lights (2004)

friday night lightsThis could just be a sign that I miss football season even though it’s only been a couple of weeks or so since the big game. I have always been a fan of the sport and films about the sport of football so it was only natural for me to pick Friday Night Lights as today’s film. The film is based off of the book  Friday Night Lights: A Town, a Team, and a Dream which was by H. G. Bissinger. It tells the tale of a football team from deep in the heart of West Texas in Permian High School. There is a lot of pressure on the team to win a championship as the film focuses on it’s coach Gary Gaines (Billy Bob Thorton) and five of his players Boobie Miles (Derek Luke), Mike Winchell (Lucas Black), Don Billingsley (Garrett Hedlund), Ivory Christian (Lee Jackson), and Brian Chavez (Jay Hernandez) as well as the struggles they all go through with all the pressure. The film also stars Lee Thompson Young (The Famous Jett Jackson) as Comer, Tim McGraw (The Blind Side) as Charles Billingsley, Grover Coulston (The Lone Ranger) as L.V. Miles, Connie Britton (Friday Night Lights-TV Series) as Sharon Gaines, and the film was directed by Peter Berg (Lone Survivor).

aThe guys who wrote Varsity Blues (also based in Texas) must have read this book because they borrow some of the elements. The guy who wrote the script for When The Game Stands Tall must have been watching this film. How do you ask that this could be possible? The star player with all the division one scholarships goes down with a knee injury, does that sound familiar? The father who is so obsessed with football that he literally gives his kid a hard time, does that sound familiar to you? You might be saying no way can Friday Night Lights and When The Game Stands Tall be the same because they are both true stories that took place at different times and different states. I know that, but you probably didn’t know that Alexander Ludwigs character of Chris Ryan was made up. In fact, he is a combination of guys that played for the team. This was an amazing football movie that shows how quickly a team of guys can bond over a season. It also teaches you about brotherhood and what that really means. Now the film isn’t as crazy and over the top as Varsity Blues was, but it had plenty of drama in it. The film was so amazing that it would spawn a television show that Connie Britton stars in as well as the coaches wife once again. If you love football movies, then give this one a shot because it is that good. I am going to give the film an A- for a final grade.