Gridiron Gang - quick review

Discussion in 'Movies' started by Patrick Sun, Sep 16, 2006.

  1. Patrick Sun

    Patrick Sun Moderator
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    I found myself quite engaged in this film, which was based on the creation of a football team made up of juvenile deliquents at the Kilpatrick Detention Center, spearheaded by Sean Porter (played by The Rock) who felt that by giving the deliquent teens a reason to see beyond their neighborhood/ethnic affiliations and to coalesce into an achievement-oriented team would help their chances on the outside where the odds were stacked against them without such a team concept to improve their self-esteem and self-worth, equipped to handle themselves without returning to their lives in gangs, or a life of criminal activity.

    I must be getting to be a softie, but the film struck just the right notes to get some tears welling in the my eyes at different points in the film, and The Rock turns in a very good performance, balancing his detention center duties with attention paid to his ailing mother who continues to inspire his efforts to reach the kids and give them a better than 1/4 chance of making something of themselves.

    I give it 3 stars, or a grade of B.
     
  2. Seth=L

    Seth=L Screenwriter

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    Preview looked good, now I will be forced to watch it, regardless of wether I really wanted to or not.
     
  3. ChrisBEA

    ChrisBEA Screenwriter

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    I thought it was quite well done. It is a little formulaic, but it did it well. Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson did an excellent job. I doubt he will ever be an Oscar winner, but I have enjoyed his roles, he has great screen presence, good comic timing, and can do action. I would like to see him become a big action star.

    I did think the movie had some strange tonal shifts, but it still worked.
     
  4. Josh.C

    Josh.C Second Unit

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    I caught this one Saturday, and really liked it.

    IMO the greatest thing about this film is that it combines a "feel good" story, with some "in your face" situations. It doesn't candy coat the hard lives of the kids depicted in the movie. It has a very rough edge to it, but I found it to be believable. I work with several "at-risk" teens, so it really had significant meaning for me.

    9/10, which is a new record for a movie with "The Rock" in it.

    I strongly recommend

    P.S. This one isn't for young children. It has much more bad language than your typical feel good movie, along with gang violence, and some very rough situations.
     
  5. Josh.C

    Josh.C Second Unit

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    Wow, from the lack of discussion on this thread, it looks like not many of you have checked it out, or maybe didn't dig it like I did. Anyone else see this movie?
     
  6. James Lee

    James Lee Stunt Coordinator

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    I saw it today and thought it was excellent. Sure, the story was cliche at times, but the performances by The Rock and the young actors really propelled this movie beyond total corniness. For me, the performance by The Rock was well worth the price of admission alone. I'm a fan of him even from his WWF days and I thought he was good as an action hero. Gridiron Gang was a real jump in acting ability for him and he really shined. So much so that I hope he gets some consideration for an Oscar. I thought he was that good. The cinematography and editing of the football scenes were really well done but still looked realistic and not over the top like some other football movies. The musical score was good during the football scenes but overall was almost too overbearing.

    As mentioned previously, the lives of the kids were not sugarcoated. It felt more or less real in terms of the endless cycle of gang violence and poverty. I like the fact that at the end, The Rock did a voiceover narration of what happened with each kid after the football season, several of which did not end up with a happy ending, but most did turn their lives around to break the cycle of violence. Also, it was important to stay during the end credits as they showed scenes from a documentary about the real coach and the real kids. I was surprised that a lot of the important dialogue in many scenes were repeated almost verbatim from the real coach and kids as shown in the documentary. At the end you realize that a lot of the movie is very accurate to the real people and events. I hope that with the eventual DVD release, it will include the documentary.

    Anyhow, I really enjoyed Gridiron Gang and I really, really liked The Rock in the movie. I give it a 9 out of 10 as well.
     
  7. Mike~Sileck

    Mike~Sileck Supporting Actor

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    I saw it yesterday ..

    Loved it, thought it was very well done

    Reminded me a great deal of Coach Carter, but football (Obviously)

    The Sports Guy on ESPN.com has an interesting article up about this movie and the recent string of "feel good sports movies" You can read the article here:

    http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/page2...simmons/060920


    I'd give it a solid 8 / 10

    It makes you feel good, but it ignores a great deal of things that it must ignore in order to work.

    Mike
     
  8. James Lee

    James Lee Stunt Coordinator

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    Interesting article, although I'm not sure I agree with some of it. Most people go to movies to be entertained and to escape. Why is it such a bad thing to want to see a "feel good movie"? It's okay not to feel guilty about it. Of course, a story like Gridiron Gang would have to be Hollywood-ized in order to appeal to the mainstream movie audience, but who doesn't realize that these days? There have been so many of these kind of movies over the years it's pretty difficult to come up with something that doesn't have cliches in them.

    Sometimes to me it feels like a lot of movie reviewers are so jaded from watching countless numbers of films that they forget about the fact that not everyone goes to the theater to gain deep analysis of society's ills.

    Oh well, to each his/her own I guess. I'm not afraid to admit that I really liked Gridiron Gang. Yes, it does ignore a lot of reality, but that's okay. It's heart is in the right place.
     
  9. Andy Sheets

    Andy Sheets Cinematographer

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    I think there's a place for feel-good sports movies, but I won't deny that I think there's a lot of room for sports movies that don't rigidly adhere to the formula of "rag-tag misfits learn the value of teamwork and ultimately defeat the Squad of Lucifer". Or the variation of "They come up just short but win everyone's respect". Sports can be an interesting and varied setting but Hollywood has little incentive to take advantage of that.
     
  10. Josh.C

    Josh.C Second Unit

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    I also liked the extra's at the end of the movie. This could definitely be put in the "feel good" movie genre. But it had a little different feel to me. It was much more harsh and real than movies like Rudy, the Rookie, and Glory Road. not that they needed to be harsh and real. This was like "Boys n tha Hood" meets "Remember the Titans" meets "the Bad News Bears". I'm not much for pointless foul language in movies, but it worked in this one, and was not pointless at all. The kids communicated like I would assume they do in real life (probably much worse in real life, but you get my point). Like James said, they didn't try to candy coat the outcomes of the kids lives, and stated that some wound up dead or in jail.

    Still a "feel good" movie, but much more edgy than most I have seen to memmory.

    JC
     
  11. Greg S

    Greg S Supporting Actor

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    Saw this Friday with the wife. Loved it. Anyone who says "The Rock" has no acting ability needs to see this movie. While I know its got its flaws it was still an excellent 2 hours. It had plenty of emotion and some pretty decent football action as well. Sure this was formulaic and "hollywood" but it was well done. I will be happy to purchase the DVD when it comes out .. I just hope they give a little more of the real story on it (like the closing credits). That stuff is always nice to see.

    Greg
     

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