*** Official FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS Review Thread

Discussion in 'Movies' started by David Galindo, Oct 8, 2004.

  1. David Galindo

    David Galindo Screenwriter

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    Just saw it...very great movie. Really good...I enjoyed it [​IMG]

    Certainly shows what Odessa was all about back then (and still is, to some degree).
     
  2. Chris

    Chris Lead Actor

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    Very good. I felt some of the elements within the book were not present. But on the whole, it managed to address them to some extent - including radio callers "I think they educate them too much".

    I was somewhat offended by the negotiations with the Dallas Carter school, which portrayed the other school district as being the racists against white persons, which, considering the book, bothered me a good deal.

    Since this is now the review thread, I have to broaden on my original posting.

    The acting within the film is solid, but as I've had time to think of it, very few characters spring out of the story. Billy Bob does an excellent job as a convoluted coach - which is far closer to reality then the stereotypical "all bad guy" "all good guy" he's just someone who will do what it takes to win, and has some polish along with the rust.

    The film, however, has too many moments that I felt were at odds with the book, history. I found the negotations with Dallas-Carter to be a slap in the face of the book, and at that point, I largely wrote the movie off.

    [​IMG] [​IMG] 1/2 / [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  3. Justin_S

    Justin_S Producer

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    Just like the book, I absolutely loved it! The best sports movie ever made as far as I'm concerned. Some may disagree, but to a former Odessan like myself, it couldn't be more true. It is mostly faithful to the actual events, though there were a few changes, like the aforementioned negotiations between Dallas Carter and Odessa Permian, as well as the exact events with Boobie Miles, among others. Despite the changes, I still couldn't help but adore the film. The racism issues were in the film, but definitely not as explored as they are in the book. Seeing Odessa again was just great, and the film, with its fitting camera work and flawless recreation of the games, is quite an experience. Just like when I was back at some of the games in Odessa, this film gave me the chills as I watched it unfold.

    The acting is wonderful from all involved, and they pulled off the more touching aspects of the events well. Thornton gives one of his absolute best performances as Odessan legend, Coach Gaines, and his speeches make for some truly great moments. Tim McGraw gives a fantastic performance as well, which is a nice surprise. Derek Luke and Lucas Black were the standouts among the players. Both pulled off their troubled roles magnificently.

    The score in the film is also quite good, and I may pick up the soundtrack.

    The crowd was really into the film as well, though I'd expect no less from a crowd here in Texas with this type of film. Just like the book, just like the actual experience, this film is amazing.
     
  4. David Tolsky

    David Tolsky Supporting Actor

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    Does this film deserve to be called "one of the greatest sports movies ever made"? I saw it last Friday. I saw in print that "you don't have to like football to like this movie..." I disagree. The movie is about football and high school football's importance to a small town in Texas. There virtually is no character development in this movie. No character background whatsoever. It's one-dimensional.
    Being a sports fan and football fan in particular, it didn't bother me so much. I still think Rudy is a better movie and Return of the Titans as well. The other thing is the movie looked to be 100% hand-held camera. If you are not used to this style it can literally make you dizzy and naucious. I thought there could have been a nice balance between hand-held and dolly-mounted as in Rudy. I think Rudy is my best sports movie of all time.
     
  5. Robert Crawford

    Robert Crawford Moderator
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    This thread is now the Official Review Thread for "Friday Night Lights". 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.



    Crawdaddy
     
  6. Dome Vongvises

    Dome Vongvises Lead Actor

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    B+

    Really good movie.
     
  7. mike_frontier

    mike_frontier Supporting Actor

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    Movie was good. Kind of emmotional. Made me want to join the football team here [​IMG]
     
  8. Elizabeth S

    Elizabeth S Producer

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    I'm not at all a football fan and never watch the game (I'm a diehard college basketball fan.) However, within the confines of a movie, it can be extremely exciting, and I really enjoyed the movie. Peter Berg has filmed the game sequences with a lot of visceral energy (though he goes a bit overboard with the shaky camera/fast edit bit off the field). Berg has developed into a great director, but I hope he keeps acting as well.

    The team/games were a poignant microcosm of the town's hopes, dreams, and disappointments. It wasn't so much about the game to me, but about responsibility, overcoming obstacles, and growing up beyond the ecstatic but fleeting moments on the field.

    It was nice seeing the now grown up Lucas Black reteam with Billy Bob, 8 years after "Sling Blade". I loved Coach Gaines' speech to the team, delivered with such intensity and conviction. Thornton is such a versatile, talented actor.

    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] (out of 4)
     
  9. Dave Hackman

    Dave Hackman Stunt Coordinator

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    The only character that I felt anything for was Boobie. His story should be required viewing for all promising young men dreaming of a professional career in sports. You better have a backup plan because your body and ability can dissipate quickly.

    This isn’t a pretty movie with clean good looks or awesome slow-mo close ups but more of a Woodstock cut and paste montage.

    The music is pretty lame with numerous Public Enemy songs that seem out of place for the bumpkins of Odessa Texas. Yeah boyeeeeeeeee give da ball to Boobie, it takes a nation of millions to stop him. Terminator exit.

    I felt like I was watching this with the fast forward setting engaged on my DVD player because everything was just rapidly moving along with no moment to reflect on what had been shown.

    I want to say this movie stinks but I can’t. It doesn’t have much going for it and isn’t something I would be proud to show others but it’s viewable, preferably on cable or satellite and easily forgettable. I wouldn’t go to the theater to see this, (like I did) and definitely wouldn’t blind buy.

    Now what I think should have been added is after the final game the 2 diehards in the corvette, do a Back to the Future reenactment of the 88 mph dash and close line the coach and Boobie’s uncle. The police arrive to find a drunken man passed out in a car with what appears to be kicked out windows mumbling something about holding on to the ball. This man is arrested and at his hearing the camera zooms in on a championship ring, which resides on the judges hand. All charges are dropped and all is well in Texas.


    C-
     
  10. Brook K

    Brook K Lead Actor

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    Friday Night Lights - One of the best sports films in recent memory, it is best at capturing the mood of the small town who's life revolves around their football team and the way our expectations as fans overwhelm the humanity of the players on the field. The film is great at portraying the sportstalk/chat room mentality where players are heroes and coaches geniuses when they win, and the next week those heroes and geniuses suck and have forgotten everything they seemingly knew because of a different outcome in the game.

    The film is spotted with fine performances, Derek Luke as the heartbreaking Boobie Miles, Lucas Black as the conflicted quarterback, Billy Bob Thorton's nuanced Coach Gaines, who understands the political games he has to play, but doesn't let it effect who he is. The ultra creepy character played by Tim McGraw, trying to live through the son he is constantly disappointed by, because his own life never shown brighter than when he was 18 years old.

    Director Peter Berg makes a nice switch from the usual in-your-face hyper editing of recent football films with a handheld, documentary style reminiscent of the gritty style of behind the scenes football programs on ESPN and NFL Network. The football scenes are very well done and realistically portray the energy and ability to absorb pain that playing football requires. Like any good sports movie, he generates legitimate emotion and "chill scenes" on the field.

    His only mistakes are in casting too wide a net in his adaptation. He tries to include too many players, as if he felt he had to identify somebody to follow on the defense, but was unwilling to commit the time to really tell us anything about them. The script alludes to several things that could have made interesting subplots, the QB's golddigger girlfriend, racism in the town, college recruiting, or the boosters, but these are things we see briefly and are left undeveloped. Also, Berg can't quite resist some of the hoary sports movie cliches during the end of the film (post "big game) that he managed to avoid for most of the running time.

    Very good, one of the best Hollywood films I've seen so far this year, but doesn't reach the pantheon of classic sports movies like Rudy or The Natural. B+
     
  11. Bob Graz

    Bob Graz Supporting Actor

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    I thought the movie was good but not great. I was not enthralled with the hand held camera. I didn't think the characters were developed enough. To me it just doesn't match a movie like Hoosiers, which I felt was significantly better. I'd give it a B-.
     
  12. Casey Trowbridg

    Casey Trowbridg Lead Actor

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    I give this film an A minus.

    I don't make many trips to the theater, the last movie I saw before this in the theater was Finding Nemo, and yet when I saw a commercial for this film I just knew I had to go see it.

    I wasn't disappointed.

    I thought the tone of the movie was tremendous, it showed me at least just how serious high school football can be down in Texas. Yet, I also found a few moments of humor in the film, especially when one caller on the radio said something to the effect of "Maybe they do too much learning at that school."

    The character that stood out the most to me was the Tim McGraw character. I told a friend as we were driving home that he was a character where you sit and you say to yourself, man there is no way anyone could be like that, while at the same time you understand that there are people exactly like that in this world.

    I really liked the musical score, and thought that some of the sound effects were really good as well, you could really hear some of the big hits.
     
  13. Patrick Sun

    Patrick Sun Moderator
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    Finally got a chance to see this film, and I was glad I didn't read the book, or any plot details, because I got hooked into what would develop for this high school football team given the setbacks it faced, and how luck plays a part in the game of life, not just in football.

    How fleeting is the moment in time to create lasting high school sport memories? The film captures that aspect very well, and in spite of giving one's all in that moment, life lessons, large and small, are imparted with the speed of a blitzing linebacker meeting a running back in the backfield.

    A common criticism of the film is the lack of character development, but I think the team development was emphasized more, while also addressing the different types of self-doubt and issues from these high school football players. For its running time, I think the film was cut down to basics to focus on 4 main players and how their home life shaped their play on the field.

    I recommend it for fans of sports films, and especially football films.

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

    Tim Glover Lead Actor

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    Just saw this tonight. Found myself more captivated as the movie went on. And the more I could like the Coach Gaines, the more I liked the film. I was horrified when the coach doesn't defend his player from his drunk dad at the first practice. What was up with that?!

    At times, Tim McGraw pulled me out of the film, but I learned to deal with it. Thought the kids acting was really top notch.

    Well made and yet difficult to really cheer for Permian, but I did.

    3.5/5
     

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