Monday, March 29, 2010
The Blind Side...
But not for me. Here is why (and please keep in mind that I am a sports junkie. Sports nuances very rarely escape my grasp):
I tend to be a bit of a hypocrite while evaluating movies. For some films, I am able to suspend reality and enjoy the movie for what it is, but not very often. I try really hard to not get caught up in the "spot the imdb goofs" mindset that is pretty prevalent out there. On the other hand, a plot hole or detail that has been blatantly overlooked will ruin the entire film for me. A good example is Avatar...I liked the film overall, but you can't tell me that single person (the over-amped jerk played by Giovanni Ribisi) has the authority or the gumption to commit genocide on a race of natives. The film made it look like it was his decision and his alone, and I didn't think that made one lick of sense....but I digress.
As good as the story of The Blind Side was, the scene where Michael Oher plays his first football game was the most over-produced, Hollywoodized piece of schlock I have ever laid eyes on. Best example is when Michael gets beat on the very first play by the defensive end, and the redneck white boy hoots and hollers, calling him "fat ass" and completely strips him down in front of everyone. There is NO WAY, and I repeat this, there is NO WAY that kind of behavior would have been tolerated, and would have at minimum drawn a 15-yard flag for unsportsmanlike conduct. Hell, that was happening when I was in high school, before this whole culture of "you aren't supposed to talk trash" really got going. Then, to make matters worse, the head coach of Oher's team gets flagged 15 yards for yelling at the line judge. So, I am supposed to believe that a coach gets penalized for trying to protect his players, but an overaggressive peice of white trash crap doesn't even get a cross ways look for verbally destroying a player in the field? Don't believe it, not for a second.
It is little details like that which make me instantly dislike the movie, because it was completely dumbed down for the audience. Like we needed another reason to cheer for this boy who had nothing...but Hollywood decided that we were too stupid for that, and gave us something to hate, and it made me not like the movie.
Now, I have not read the book...I am going to. I don't know how much of the movie is true vs. how much was made up to make the film more interesting. I can't believe for a second that there is an 8 year old kid out there who is like the boy in the movie...but he was entertaining. I did think that Sandra Bullock did a very good job in her role, but I did have a hard time believing the NCAA investigator dragging a high-school kid into a sterile conference room and GRILLING him about the perceived impropriety of their actions.
Overall, I believe it is a failure of the director in the case. In an attempt to put too much in his movie, he didn't just let the movie be what it could have been....a great story about a good kid in a bad situation. This movie was probably focus-grouped to hell and back, and it shows because it tried to be everything when all it had to be was its own.
This movie could have been a strong 9 in my book, but the poor script choices moved it down to more of a 7 or so.