Odessa, Texas, is a small, town in Texas. Racially divided and economically dying, there is one night that gives the town something to live for: Friday Night. The Permian Panthers have a big winning tradition in Texas high school football, led by QB Mike Winchell and superstar tailback Boobie Miles, but all is not well, as Boobie suffers a career-ending injury in the first game of the season. Hope is lost among citizens in Odessa, and for the team, but Coach Gary Gaines, who believes that "Perfection is being able to look your friends in the eye and know you did everything you could not to let them down", is somehow able to help the team rise up from the ashes and make a huge season comeback. Now on their way to state, the Panthers must go out and be perfect, because they may never matter this much for the rest of their lives. Written by
The state trooper who pulls up next to Chavez and Billingsley outside of the 7-11 is driving a special police package Ford Mustang that was made from the early 1980s to 1993, and Texas DPS did indeed use these cars at the time. See more »
At the beginning of the Permian vs. Midland Lee game, the scoreboard from previous week's game (against Abilene) is shown. See more »
Coach Gary Gaines:
[to quarterback Mike Winchell]
You're playing like the village idiot! You want people to think of you as the village idiot?
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When I first heard of this movie, I immediately let it go under my radar because I am not a big fan of sports movies. However, I am a huge fan of the Texas band Explosions in the Sky and when I heard a few months ago that they scored most of the soundtrack for Friday Night Lights, it was compulsory that I check it out.
It turns out that I freaking love this movie. The cinematography is nicely done, comprising wide, sweeping shots of Texas plains, oil-rigs, and football fields. The colors come through nicely (the white and black of the jerseys is particularly nice). As I already mentioned, I am not a big sports fan, but from what I could tell, the football sequences were well done and quite intense.
The acting is superbly executed by most in the film. However, there are still one or two times when one of the players' lines is delivered with that all-too-well-known teen-acting cheesiness that almost makes me cringe a little. Those times aside, the acting works wonderfully.
As I already mentioned, the reason why I initially watched this movie, was because Explosions in the Sky did the score. In my opinion, every song that they wrote (or adapted from previously written songs) for this movie lends beautifully to the content. Their lush soundscapes play nicely alongside the beautiful fields of Texas (no surprise, since TX is their home). Their crescendo-laden rock happens also to fit perfectly with slow-motion sequences (which there are plenty of in Friday Night Lights).
I am sure that almost all of the other reviews here have touched on the fact that this football movie does not play like other football movies (with all of the regular sport movie clichés). Because of this, I won't go into that. My thoughts are, if you like football (and also enjoy genuinely good cinema) OR if you aren't really a big fan of football (and also enjoy genuinely good cinema), you will probably dig Friday Night Lights.
So go and buy the DVD; and while you are at the store, pick up an Explosions in the Sky CD.
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