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|Index||14 reviews in total|
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I am torn right down the middle with this big screen adaptation of That
Championship Season. So let me divide the good and the bad.
THE GOOD: The cast, for the most part, is really impressive and give strong performances. Exspecially Paul Sorvino, Stacy Keatch, and Bruce Dern. They make the most out of their characters and i was very impressed by the way they approached them. Additionally, the dialouge is captivating and there are a number of powerhouse scenes that really capture the essence of this story.
THE BAD: I hate to say it but you can really see the poor production value of this movie, which is the Hallmark of Golan-Globus, and Jason Miller who wrote the original play and directs as well, just doesn't have the knack for excecuting a full length feature film. Maybe the biggest flaw is the fact that this is a Brilliant play that just doesn't make it as a movie. It happens, not every play makes a great movie. All of this culminates in really handicapping the movie.
All in all, i just think its a fair version of a marvelous play.
Being I am from Scranton PA originally, I loved the film. I bought it twice. I remember allot of this actually happening and I met Jason Miller because he was a friend of Jack Churilla, credited at the end of the film. The events with the elephant falling actually happened and I remember it well. My Dad worked for the city of Scranton and spent time with the elephants the city had. We were devastated when the elephant died. The film is so powerful especially if you were from Scranton. The scenes that show the city and the mayors house are real. It made me relive allot of my childhood. And I love the 5 characters who played the parts. All excellent. Bravo to Jason Miller for telling it all.
I went back to this after 25 years. I read an article about Robert Mitchum and it reminded me of his performance in That Championship Season, which wasn't even mentioned in the article. I bought it and re discovered 5 excellent acting performances. The best performance? Stacy Keach (James Daley). He is as pathetic as any self-disappointed middle aged man could get in his grandiosity and self pity. My favorite Character is Phil Romano, played by Paul Sorvino. Rich, degenerate, and one election away from financial ruin. In one of the first scenes, when the group shows up at the emergency City Council meeting to discuss a political disappointment, his swagger walking in and walking out of the room was elegant arrogance. The writing is superb, and the backdrop in economically depressed Scranton captured the atmosphere of Rustbelt economic desperation (which nicely parallels the personal and professional desperation of each of the characters) perfectly. Worth seeing.
If ever a play made a wonderful movie, than this is it. The characters were portrayed beautifully by the fine actors in the cast (excluding Robert Mitchum who I think seemed ill-prepared or something....I'm not quite sure why he wasn't right). I loved this movie for it's intense angles on life and it's often colorful, but at times very dark, humor. I thought Jason Miller did a fine job directing. The interaction between the "boys" (as the coach calls them) was at times pathetic and at other times very tender and dear. I come from a family of seven brothers and it kind of reminded me of how love can ebb and flow with so many undercurrents of anguish and hostility. I thought it was also interesting that it was filmed in Scranton (the director's home town). It had that real small town tone to it which was perfect for this movie. Too bad it never really received much attention. I think I read somewhere that when it opened, it was in competition with several other highly successful films. Great entertainment and quite thought provoking.
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