|Index||4 reviews in total|
I bought this movie for my daughter who is a big Ryan Merriman fan. We thought it was another of those made for Disney Channel type films but I was personally surprised to learn that its actually a pretty well done film noir. Yeah, there are undertones of coming of age and teen sports movies but this is essentially a twisting and turning dark noir tale. The two primary characters played by Merriman and Osmet find themselves in one heckuva gosh awful mess involving robbery, severed fingers, surprises in the night, betrayal, and violence. The way its all resolved will probably astonish you just a bit. I got to say this film is pretty darn unique. I can't think of anything else like. It may not be a great movie but its definitely worth watching and you don't get much good film noir anymore. However, be advised, this is not a film for young kids who enjoyed Merriman in "The Luck of the Irish", or even "Elevator Girl." There are also some funny scenes to balance out some truly suspenseful stuff. Check it out for something different
Written and Directed by Rusty Gorman and starring Haley Joel Osment
"Home of the Giants' proves to be more than just a basketball movie -
it's a thriller full of suspense and action drama.
Haley Joel Osment is fantastic as 'Gar', Robert Gartland. Osment has successfully made the transition from cute to handsome. In "home of the Giants" he plays the role of a high school journalist who's best friend and 'hero', Matt Morrison (Ryan Merriman) is the school basketball team's star player. Both Osment and Merriman give excellent performances.
The friendship of these best friends is pushed to its limits when they become involved with Matt's criminal brother Keith (Kenneth Mitchell).
This coming-of-age film has plenty of twits and turns and will keep you in suspense right until the very end.
In Riverton, Indiana, Matt is a high school basketball star. At the
start of the movie, his best friend Gar is driving him to the game in a
clunker station wagon complete with fake wood paneling. And they're
late. The coach won't bend the rules, so Matt doesn't get to play,
until the crowd makes it clear they're not happy. And the Giants' long
winning streak might have been broken if the coach hadn't given in.
And the team is soon on their way to a state championship. Meanwhile, Gar is falling for Bridge, a pretty reporter for the school paper who doesn't understand basketball's appeal.
Matt's brother Keith is out of prison. Their abusive father makes it very clear Keith is a disappointment to him, and he's not quite satisfied with Matt, either, despite Matt's star status. But Keith has plans. Those plans could get him sent back to prison, but it doesn't matter. Keith doesn't care.
And Matt wants to support his brother, who convinces him his actions are like those of Robin Hood. No one will get hurt and the only victim will be a drug dealer. Matt drags Gar along.
But things don't go as planned, and someone starts taunting Matt, reminding him, though not in these exact words, "I know what you did." And the taunts become more than that. Matt could be in danger.
Will this affect Matt's play? Will his team win the state championship?
This isn't exactly "Friday Night Lights" of basketball, but the town does seem to have a similar attitude. We do hear commentary about the team on the radio, and the whole town really cares about this team. Of course, a lot of the movie concerns Matt and Gar and their troubles.
This movie is a mix of styles. The first half isn't action and suspense, but the second half certainly provides plenty of both, and I'm not just talking about basketball. There is lots of excitement and one of the final scenes just had me on the edge of my seat.
And while it isn't a comedy, there is comedy here. One of Ryan Merriman's best scenes shows his lack of singing talent while he "auditions" for the school musical.
Haley Joel Osment used to be one of the best actors anywhere in his age group. He doesn't quite show that talent here, but toward the end you can see reminders that he was once one of the greats. At the beginning he is more cat-like. That is what that word meant, right?
Danielle Panabaker is also quite good. I remember her from back in the days when she was a cute little girl being bullied by Hayden Panetierre. How far she has come.
I won't give away the name of the bad guy who harasses Matt and Gar but it's just as well since I don't remember his name anyway. All you need to know he is really intimidating and very talented.
And Kenneth Mitchell is really good at being bad.
Where there is basketball there are also cheerleaders. The Giants have some pretty and talented cheerleaders, including girls who get thrown up in the air. And we get to see them (or at least some of them, since I'm not sure whether this is them or gym class) in the locker room, in underwear or towels.
The sports announcers, whose names I didn't see in the credits, definitely deserve mention. They are as professional as if they were calling a real game.
And, unfortunately, we get a brief glimpse at the great Dick Vitale along with Jay Bilas.
The music, for lack of a better word, seems targeted at kids in high school, which is logical. Still, the young stars like a couple of songs from when rock sounded good (did I say that? I don't even like rock music).
I didn't know part of this movie was filmed in North Carolina until I saw the credits, but certain things told me this was North Carolina, even though it was supposed to be Indiana. But right now I don't remember what those were.
It's a worthwhile effort.
Home of The Giants uses a High School Basketball team and it's star to tell an amazing story, with one hell of a twist. Matt Morrison (Ryan Merriman) is the king of his High School and the beloved star of his High School Basketball team, but not all is as perfect as it seems. Matt's brother has just been released from prison and needs to pay back some dangerous men. Eric enlists the help of his brother to commit a simple robbery, which doesn't go the way they planned. While Basketball is always a part of the story, and has made Matt a local celebrity, this isn't a movie about Basketball, it's about a boy torn between his dreams and his dysfunctional family. Ryan Merriman stars and he just continues to amaze me with his athletic ability. Merriman started as the lovable pudgy kid in the early 90's TV show, the Mommies. Today, the once chubby child star does almost exclusively sports drama and is really impressive. Whether he's a Basketball player here, a Baseball player in 42, or a Football star in the 5th Quarter, Merriman is skillful and more than believable. Imagine getting to live out your sports fantasies, while acting on the big screen, Merriman clearly loves what he does and it shows. In this film he's assisted by the 25 year old screen veteran, Haley Joel Osment, whose still funny looking. Funny looking, but one terrific actor, Osment gives the film a separate dynamic and whole other back story, that just add to the brilliance of this film. Osment was nominated for an Oscar at age 12, and is still going strong, adding another terrific performance to his resume. Home of The Giants really has something for everyone which includes some great sports drama and an intense background story. This film was released independently and fell below the radar, but it is as well written and exciting as anything you'll see on the big screen, I can't recommend it enough.
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