This 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).
The 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.
While all of us who are fans of comic book movies wait for Ryan Reynolds (Waiting) to star in Deadpool (which comes out in February), I figured I would review the last film he made to date. The name of the film is Self/less and it was directed by Tarsem Singh (Mirror Mirror) and the film looks at a topic that all of us may have wondered about. What if we possessed the ability to take the brilliant men of the world who are old and about to die and transported them into new bodies? It brings up the idea of immortality and man’s ability to play God. That was the question that was raised to New York real estate tycoon Damien (Ben Kingsley) as he was slowly dying of Cancer. He was lead to believe that the bodies that were available were created in a lab and so he makes the jump. Unfortunately as he gets used to his new body (Ryan Reynolds), he begins to discover that maybe these bodies belonged to people who had souls of their own. As soon as he discovers this, he is on the run and he has to protect the family of the man who once occupied the body. The film also stars Natalie Martinez (Death Proof) as Madeline, Matthew Goode (Watchmen) as Albright, Victor Garber (Argo) as Martin, Derek Luke (Captain America: The First Avenger) as Anton, Melora Hardin (Hot Chick) as Judy, and Michelle Dockery (Non-Stop) as Claire.
Ryan Reynolds takes a lot of crap for some of the roles he chooses where people feel he can only play a certain part, but I beg to differ. We know that the film didn’t do as well in the box office as the studio had hoped, but I feel like people should given the film a chance. It was definitely a cool and new concept for a Sci-Fi thriller like this. It gives you an insight into what the possibilities could be and what the side effects can be by taking over a new body. Ben Kinglsey is an amazing actor to begin with and he plays a bitter old man who has always appreciated the money first over the real joys of life. Ryan Reynolds is kind of the coming of age part of the film where he begins to realize that he loved all the wrong things in life and decides to make up for it. I really enjoyed the acting from Matthew Goode, he does an amazing job play a manipulative man hell bent on perfecting his research and will do anything to achieve it. There’s plenty of action, suspense, and mystery to please any fan and I love the special effects in the film. Now I pose this question to all of you. Would you sell your body to save someone you loved even if it meant never seeing them again? Would you take over a body knowing that a real soul once possessed it and is still kind of there? Check out the film and answer that for yourself. I am giving the movie an B+ for a final grade.