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*** Official THE BLIND SIDE Review Thread

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#1 of 2 OFFLINE   Patrick Sun

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Posted November 21 2009 - 03:38 AM

Sandra Bulloch, as Leigh Anne Tuohy, headlines this movie about a big high school student given shelter by a family with good intentions.  After seeing Michael and his natural athletic ability, the football coach at the Wingate Christian Academy persuades the administration to give Michael a chance at their school.  Michael is very shy, non-communicative for the most part, but he's a product of the educational system he was stuck in while he bounced from foster home to foster home after a traumatic childhood event resulted in he and his brother becoming wards of the state and taken from their mother, where they just kept passing him through the grade levels, even though his scholastics weren't up to par. Leigh Anne Tuohy and her family take in Michael Oher (most people called him Big Mike for obvious reasons, he is a big guy) after seeing him wander around on a cold night after school.  Slowly, Michael and the Tuohy family (Leigh Anne's husband Sean, their daughter Collins, their son SJ for Sean Jr.) bond into a family, and Michael develops into a fine left offensive tackle for the football team, with Leanne's help in explaining the concept behind his position and value to the team, the family. 

The film's title "The Blind Side" stems from the premiere offensive lineman position: Left Tackle, who is entrusted with protecting the quarterback's blindside (as most right-handed QBs have better field of vision on their right side, and need protection on their blind side, their left side).  This position gets paid handsomely for the truly great left offensive tackles in the NFL game.  The only thing I could have done without is the Joe Theisman footage where he gets tackled by Lawrence Taylor, the result is a compound fracture of the lower leg for Theisman on Monday Night Football in the mid-1980s.  But they have to truly show why left good offensive tackles are worth discovering for NFL teams.  I admit to raising my bag of popcorn so I didn't have to see the footage again, 4 times from replays in the 1980s was more than enough for one's lifetime.

Michael's success in football creates a huge recruiting buzz for his talent in the next level as college football coaches come out of the woodworks to recruit Michael, although Michael has even more academic challenges ahead of him since the NCAA requires a baseline GPA for scholarships to be awarded to recruits to college.

The film plays it straight for the most part, relying on the inherent drama of what Michael's presence means in the Tuohy's lives, and vice-versa.  The character development of the cast of characters is heartwarming and convincing.  SJ provides a lot of comic relief, the kind where you are laughing with him, not at him.  Tim McGraw, as Sean, comes across as husband willing to trust his wife's instincts and be supportive in this new burgeoning family of theirs.  Even Collins finds strength to break from the popularity pack in school and embrace Michael's presence in her life.

There's nothing ground-breaking about this film, it's just a well-told story of 2 worlds meeting and becoming something larger and stronger from their chance encounter.  In the nutshell, the exchange between Leigh Anne and one of her lunch bunch friends encapsulates the film: "You're changing that boy's life." "No, he's changing mine."

I give it 3 stars, or a grade of B.

"Jee-sus, it's like Iwo Jima out there" - Roger Sterling on "Mad Men"
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#2 of 2 ONLINE   Robert Crawford

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Posted November 21 2009 - 11:39 AM

This thread is now the Official Review Thread for "The Blind Side". Please post all HTF member reviews in this thread.

Any other comments, links to other reviews, or discussion items will be deleted from this thread without warning!

If you need to discuss those type of issues then I have designated an
Official Discussion Thread.




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