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|Index||445 reviews in total|
As icky sweet as it is cliché-ridden, this real-life story of an unlikely mother and son proved devoid of any real tension. This is one of those premises that sounds too odd to be true on the page, but once on the screen doesn't go anywhere. Even the last-minute inquiries into the family's motivations for adopting Big Mike prove too little too late. As for Ms. Bullock, even her post-Oscar scandal seems more interesting than this slight narrative. Her performance here screams Kathy Lee Gifford on Lifetime, not Oscar winner. In fact, even Kathy Bates is in low gear here. Only the brilliant Adriane Lennox proves really memorable. Perhaps the young actor playing SJ had some moments, but they, too, seemed way to over-orchestrated and (ironically) lacking reality.
The fact that this is based on real events made it inevitable that
there was a movie. Unfortunately, after an interesting beginning they
fell lock, stock, and barrel into a completely predictable Hollywood
formula. The directing is heavy handed and pretty bad - nothing subtle
about anything in this film. The acting is even worse. We won't name
names but you know who I am talking about. Character development is
terrible and people are only one-dimensional caricatures. I also felt
that the movie only used worn out, negative stereotypes of white
Southerners (racists) and blacks (gang bangers, militant NAACP people).
Why this movie is even mentioned in the same sentence as the word
"Oscar" I will never know.
If you want a good football movie with good acting, try _Rudy_. If you want a better talented-black-kid-gets-into-lily-white-prep-school movie with much better acting, try _Finding Forrester_. This one is not worth your time.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Some have described this as a sports film. It's not. Only the last half
of the film has any sport in it, and it's really not about that.
Overall the film is about a family helping another child. The sport
could have been anything, and was irrelevant to the film.
I found the pace of the film to be dreadfully slow. Probably 30 minutes could have been cut from it, without losing anything. Part of the problem can't be solved by editing. The leaden acting, from everyone including the two leads, and boring directing even make necessary scenes drag on and on. The writing is that of an after-school special or TV movie of the week.
The film is also presented as a true story. But key parts of the film are fabrications.
The presentation of how Oher learned football is false. Oher did not need to be taught football by his mom or brother. He was an aggressive player. Still, he did not throw an opposing player over a fence. The film was not improved by these fabrications, so you have to wonder why they are in the film.
The film notably omits the facts that Oher didn't raise his GPA through normal means, but instead took 10-day internet courses from BYU. All that each course required students to do was to read a few brief passages from famous works or speeches and then answer five questions. These courses provided the A's to replace his F's in English. I know this makes people seem less angelic and heroic, but this is what was reported elsewhere, and should have been in the film. Complex characters and stories make film interesting.
Regarding the airbag scene, I believe the film depicts it as the family does in real life, however it simply isn't credible. Sure, it's a nice explanation to make everyone feel better about what happened, but come on. Most likely Oher was instinctively bracing for impact, or to try to restrain SJ from hitting the dashboard from the impact he saw coming, and his arm happened to be where the airbag later deployed. If you see any video (slowed-down or not) of an airbag deployment, you know how ludicrous the claim is that Oher (a) knew it might deploy on this low speed impact, (b) knew airbag deployment would be dangerous for someone of SJ's size, (c) had time to decide to stop it rather than stopping the vehicle, and (d) was able to move in any way in time to deflect the airbag's deployment. Those bags are only inflated for a fraction of a second, and then deflate to provide cushioning, so hitting it even slightly before or after deployment is just pushing air around. I think hitting an airbag may increase or decrease the pressure in the bag at the time the protected person's face hits it, resulting in more injury to the person. It would be interesting to get Mythbusters' take on it.
Now let's talk bias. Once again, we have a movie where a white family saves a black child. This story has been told to death. There are other families in the US, and their stories need to be told, for once. But if we insist on these stories, can't we at least tell them from the child's point of view? Instead, they make this one about about Leigh Anne. The story by itself is not racist, but when you consider the context of Hollywood film over the years, things start to look pretty bad.
Last, the propaganda angle. This is quite overtly a Christian propaganda film, as opposed to a film with Christian characters. I found the repeated use of the phrase "good Christian" to be particularly offensive because it's designed to suggest that being good equals or requires being Christian, or that there is something somehow uniquely Christian about the behaviour shown. These are people who have done a good thing. Maybe they even had ulterior motives, but they did it. That's good enough without the propaganda. Similarly, the repeated focus on the phrase "with men this is possible, but with god all things are possible". This is a mis-quote of the actual phrase from Matthew 19:26 "With man this is impossible ...". It's just more propaganda, not to mention provably false. Humans deserve credit for what we do, even when we do the right thing. Last, the film ends with Leigh Anne thanking her god that some other kid died instead of hers. It's a line clearly meant to inspire, but when you think about it, is actually pretty revolting. A god that permits these deaths is not deserving of thanks.
I do give filmmakers credit for correctly quoting the oft-mis-quoted line from Charge of the Light Brigade ("do and die").
In Memphis, when Coach Burt Cotton (Ray McKinnon) sees the athletic
potential of the homeless Afro-American teenager Michael Oher (Quinton
Aaron), he convinces the other teachers of the Wingate Christian School
to accept his application. However, the outcast Michael has serious
trauma with his abused childhood and his grades are not enough to join
the Crusaders football team of the school. When the wealthy Caucasian
Leigh Anne Tuohy (Sandra Bullock) sees the youngster walking alone of
the cold road, she easily convinces her husband Sean Tuohy (Tim McGraw)
to lodge him home. The Tuohy family welcomes Michael that becomes part
of the family and close to the boy S.J. (Jae Head) and his teenage
sister Collins (Lily Collins) that helps him against the prejudice and
intolerance of their mates in the private school. Leigh Anne and her
family adopt Michael and help him to improve his education and their
lives change for better. Michael joins the Crusaders and distinguishes
in the championship, being invited to join several universities.
However he needs get better grades to join Ole Miss where Leigh Anne
and Sean had studied and are sponsors. Leigh Anne hires Miss Sue (Kathy
Bates) to work as tutor, giving private classes to Michael to improve
his grades and be successful in life.
"The Blind Side" is the wonderful heartwarming true story of a lonely homeless teenager that moves to the house of a Caucasion Christian family that follows the principles of their religion helping the others. The screenplay is magnificent and the top-notch performance of Sandra Bullock is helped by the powerful and enlightened character Leigh Anne and the stunning chemistry with Tim McGraw. This uplifting movie is highly recommended to make the viewer believe that still there are good people in this wild world and a great family entertainment. My vote is nine.
Title (Brazil): "Um Sonho Possível" ("A Possible Dream")
words really cannot convey the sheer awfulness of this film ....... i went along with very low expectations which were met in spades ...... where to begin ? ...... sandra bullock won an Oscar for playing pretty much the same character she plays in all of her other films except with a southern twang ...... the soundtrack was poured on like treacle ...... lots of single note piano figures and gloopy strings ....... the performance of the younger son was the stuff of nightmares ....... a shoe -in for most unappealing performance by a child ...... and did i actually see him mime a rap number with the black kid ? ....... at this point i had to close my eyes and stick my fingers in my ears ........ i suspect this would play better in the states ... well mississippi anyway ... than in the uk ....... i may have nightmares.
I made the decision to watch this film for two reasons: One, because I
am a football fan, and two, because I like film dramas. Though I
thoroughly enjoyed this film and would recommended to anyone, it
focuses much more on the "human drama" angle and very little on the
For a basic plot summary, "The Blind Side" tells the story of Michael Oher (Quinton Aaron), who is adopted by Leigh Anne & Sean Tuohy (Sandra Bullock; Tim McGraw) and given a respite from life in "the projects". A giant of a boy, Michael shows an aptitude for football, learning, and family values under the guidance of the Tuohys, and eventually obtains both a college education and a shot at football's biggest stage--the NFL.
Because this is a movie based on a true story, it is tough to know how much of it is actually true. As a sports fan who closely follows the NFL, I know that Mr. Oher himself is uncomfortable talking about the film (or, more specifically, his portrayal in it), so perhaps some liberties were indeed taken to make for a juicier storyline.
That being said, this production (for better or worse) is a strong, emotional, human-interest drama that will both warm your heart and make you think. Though the basic concepts and characters are "vanilla" enough for even younger children to grasp, the more over-arching themes can easily be picked out by adults and thought upon. The acting also helps accomplish this goal, as the entire cast shines in their respective roles.
About the only thing that prevents me from giving this film the full five stars is that I felt it could have devoted a bit more time to the "football side" of things (ala the Michael Lewis book). If done correctly, this movie could have been a sort of "Social Network", but for the NFL. Instead, to create a more family-friendly film, the production eschews all but a few mentions of actual football.
Overall, this is a charming film that is appropriate for anyone. Though not quite "gritty" enough to be an outright classic, there is something to be said for its saccharine approach to film- making. View with confidence knowing that you won't be looking at your watch throughout or shaking your head at the end.
What we have is a young black kid at the age of seventeen yrs. old with
a large body who grew up in the projects in Memphis, Tenn. He left his
mother; because, she was a drug addicted, and he slept wherever he laid
his head down; because, he did not want to be around that entire
negative environment. With Michael's homeless circumstances, Tony
Hamilton, Omar Dorsey like a father figure let him stay with his
family. One day Tony introduced his son Steven, and Michael Ora,
Quinton Araon to football Coach Burt Cotton, Ray McKinnon from Wingate
Christian School a private school that may benefit the school's
football program; because, of Michael's sizes, and moves. With a
GPA.0.6 Michael was accepted to the school, and Michael started going
to classes at Wingate. The teachers said, Michael Oher was unteachable,
but there was this science teacher, Mrs. Boswell, Kim Dicken who
believed in Michael, and needed a special tutor to help him get through
school. There was this lady Mrs. Tuohy, Sandra Bullock mother of two
kids one named Collins, Lily Collins, and S.J., Jae Head, and her
husband name was Mr. Tuohy Tim McGraw the owner of a many Taco Bells
who took Michael in has a family member to stay one night, but that one
night turned out to be a lot of extra days, to weeks, months, and years
of love, and emotions for both. This was an investment; because, Mrs.
Tuohy was very patience with Michael as a young teenage so he could
fulfill his dream as a human being, and a pro football player the left
tackle for Wingate's football team. With Michael's academic problems in
the way would prohibit extra activities; because, of his learning
abilities, and his life beyond school, and he may not be able to play
football. The People around town were asking questions to all the
Tuohy's family members why they brought Michael Oher into their family.
The theme that I like when the Tuohy family took to kindness; because,
this family was friendly to people, help the poor, help other students
giving Michael a place of growing up in a positive environment. The
Tuohy family helped Michael Oher get his life on track when they
noticed he was having problems in school. The Tuohy family proceeded
giving him attention, and to get him a special patience tutors that
helped him in the long term to graduate. This story of Michael Oher a
17yrs old boy who was homeless, and came from a broken home, and needed
some guidance in the right direction to become a NFL draft pick behind
love, kindness, and care coming from Mrs. Tuohy, and the family. In my
opinion the acting was graces; especially Michael Oher, Quinton Araon
acting the age of a 17 yr. old boy being that big with those
basketball, and football moves, and taking his time using that graces
acting role with a learning disability. What a way to act, being
patience, and the way he talk the script, and moving his body language
slow in certain scenes.
The movie Miracle on ice is one of those family movies that the whole family can enjoy. The themes in this movie are just like the movie Blind Side where there is teamwork involved, leadership, and Mrs. Tuohy family dynamics; between Coach Burton, and the teachers who tutored him. They all helped him avoid negative language, and any bad behaviors to become a Michael Oher miracle for the Tuohy family; especially Mrs. Tuohy. Miracle, and Blind side, these two movies show what awesome things ordinary human beings can achieve when they believe in one self. With the juxtaposition close, long, mid, and full shots of Michael's neighborhood this gave the audience a feel of Michael's world living in the hood of Memphis, Tenn. The camera shots angles are used to show Michael's life in the hood and a complete full circle of his life being turned around, and being able to adapt to a wealthy family. These kinds of camera angles for example panning and tracking shots, show a group of black youngsters hanging out in the hood on the steps, faces full of hate, and lust like gangster faces; especially when Mrs. Tuohy Sandra Bullock pays a visit to Michael's hood. In my opinion it was the scene In Blind Side first movie where Coach Burton kept telling or yelling at Michael Oher no do not pick up that offensive player, and carry him, and Coach Burton kept going over the plays with the team, again, again, again; especially with the balloons in the air, and everybody stop, and looked at them; while, Coach Burton was yelling they are just balloons, back to practice over, and over repeatedly. This was the same theme as Miracle, Again, Again, Again trailer where you showed us in class two weeks ago a repeatedly motifs where Kurt Russel the coach kept telling his team again, again, again on the ice sprints. Courage can be like pulling at rabbit out of a top hat casting a magical spell telling it what to do wishing there was a rabbit in that hat. Any ordinary person can be brave, but have honor, that is life you make it happen or you do not make it happen. You hope for a Miracle again, again, again, and have the courage, honor to believe in oneself to win a Michael Oher, and the miracle on ice back in 1980.
The Blind Side rode sentimental appeal, a star performance, and a
respectable box office draw to an Oscar nomination for Best Picture.
The film tells the true story of Michael Oher, a homeless teenager who
became an NFL player and college graduate with the help of a loving
family (played by Sandra Bullock and Tim McGraw).
The story runs into the same problem as another 2009 film, Invictus, in the sense that by being true to the events as they happened, there is a lack of conflict.
In the real-life counterpart Blind Side, I might have expected, due to the fact that the story takes place in Central Tennessee and a white family is taking in a black teenager that it would be story largely about racism. In real life, however, Leigh Ann Tuohy was remarkably colorblind and so was her husband and the movie doesn't dare contradict that. A couple confused relatives and a suspicious NCAA infractions investigator is about all we get for a reminder of racial tension in the deep south, but hey, it's the post-racial era, what can we expect?
In spite of that, this is a picture that works. The drama is authentic but it also engages because it's centered around a struggle that takes many forms and stages: the central figure has to learn to open himself up, to trust, to succeed on the field and in the classroom, etc.
As for the acting, Sandra Bullock has a strong consistency to the way she approaches the character. The real-life woman is somewhat of an enigma in her motivations and Bullock makes it believable.
Quinton Aaron is amazing and had as much of a role in carrying the movie as Bullock. He has such presence (partially because of his size) but appears so uncomfortable with that presence at first and gradually transform into it.
Kathy Bates shouldn't be so heavily advertised because her role basically amounts to a cameo.
Version I saw: Amazon Prime rental (Bluray)
Photography/visual style: 6/10
The Blind Side presents as part sports film, part family melodrama, but there is actually more to it than that. Of course, it is about the rise of sports star Michael Oher, but in that story we see a lot of social commentary, and two really fantastic acting performances. Quinton Aaron is great as Oher, but it is Sandra Bullock who rightly got the attention of the Oscars committee for her role as well-to-do teacher and mother Leigh Anne Tuohy, who takes in a vulnerable black boy and then realizes his potential.
The American football scenes are actually remarkably sparse, which is good, because I know very little about handegg. There is also a very good voice-over explanation by Bullock at the very beginning, which told me pretty much everything you need to know for the purposes of the story. There is more a bit later, and I have to admit that I wasn't following the subtleties, but I got more than enough to go forward with.
The film does rather lead you by the hand emotionally, but I am happy to accept that from a film as long as it is done well. The social commentary, illustrated in the contrast between 'Big Mike's lack of ambition and the Tuohy family's assumption that the best is available to them, is nothing new either, but the point here is empathy, and the film delivers that in spades.
The pace is fairly gentle throughout, which I think is director John Lee Hancock's forte. When he tried thrills and action in The Alamo, he came badly unstuck and ended up with an expensive, boring flop. He excels in writing, and slowly developing themes.
The subtext is not perfect, certainly. I detected a couple of missteps, or at least sidesteps, but crucially, I could see mitigating circumstances for each decision the screenwriters made. All round, it doesn't put a foot far wrong.
If you are a bloke, and doubt you would like a film this soppy, or you are a woman and doubt you would be too interested in a sports film, I suggest you give this movie a try. I think it will surprise you.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Please be aware that this is a spoiler of sorts as it gives the outcome
of the movie. The Blind Side is a very good movie starring Sandra
Bullock as Leigh Anne Tuohy, Quinton Aaron as Michael Oher, and Tim
McGraw as Sean Tuohy. Michael Oher is a black kid who was raised very
poor and his mother was a drug addict. He was not attending school and
was homeless. Michael Crosses paths with Leigh Anne Tuohy. She takes
him to her home and they all started bonding. Eventually, the Tuohy's
adopted Michael, he started doing well in school from all of the help
he was receiving. He also excelled very well in football. Michael has
the natural instinct of protection so this served him well as an
offensive lineman. The Tuohy's saved Michael and he turned his life
completely around. He was drafted by the Baltimore Ravens and is
currently the starting left tackle for the Carolina Panthers.
The theme of this movie is overcoming the odds. Michael was setup to fail his entire life until the Tuohy's gave him a reason to fight and stand up for himself. They gave him the drive and the confidence to be better, to overcome the terrible situation that his mom put him in. A good example of this is when Michael is struggling at football practice and Leigh Anne explains to him how to use his protective instinct and that the other football players are his family. Another film that has a similar theme would be We are Marshal. They are overcoming to odds after a horrific plane crash.
The film angle ties in with the theme. Often times, at the beginning of the film, the angle is focused down onto Michael as to portray how low Michael's life is at that moment. By the end of the film you see that the angle is more looking up to him. This is a testament to what Michael has accomplished and overcome. Another aspect that helps with the theme throughout the movie is lighting. You will notice that in the darkest of times of Michael's life that the scenes are much more dark and dull. On the contrary, when everything is going right and Michael is happy, the color and lighting is brighter. It is all about overcoming the odds for Michael Oher and he overcame his terrible odds in a very big way.
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