Inspired by a true story, WHEN THE GAME STANDS TALL tells the remarkable journey of legendary football coach Bob Ladouceur (Jim Caviezel), who took the De La Salle High School Spartans from obscurity to a 151-game winning streak that shattered all records for any American sport. Written by
Sony Pictures Entertainment
Jim Caviezel attended the 2012 California Open Division football championship when De La Salle played Centennial and filmed footage of Coach Bob Ladouceur to prepare for his role in the film. See more »
(at around 1h 35 mins) The Stanford letterhead shows a misspelled date for January. The date shown is "11 Januaray 2004". See more »
First, let me say, I LOVE sports movies--any sport, even if I'm not a fan. Pro, College, High School--even "The Sandlot" (a GREAT movie, by the way). Having lived in the Bay Area during "The Streak," and seeing the previews a few times, I was REALLY looking forward to seeing this film and went with a pocketful of Kleenex.
I am beginning to wonder if filmmakers put TOO much of the good stuff in their trailers. There weren't many other big moments in this movie that I hadn't seen in the weeks prior. It's a GREAT story, but just a good movie. I don't agree with some others that it's "too preachy." This is a Catholic High School, where kids are required to take religion classes. They aren't always about scripture, but about morals and ethics and leading a good life (regardless of your religion or no religion). Without this element, I don't think Coach Lad would have been as successful as he was. (And yeah, he probably "recruited" a bit, too).
The football scenes were very well done and exciting--not sure how much creative license was given there to create the nail biting finishes. I just felt the family dynamics and the player comraderie could have been delved into a little more deeply. Why tease us with bits and pieces and then not follow through? I also enjoy, at the end of such "real life" movies, to find out "where are they now?" It would have been nice to see what some of boys-who-became-men-through-football are up to now.
Out of curiosity, I did a bit more research and found that 2 of the main character/players were composites, which bothered me not because of the creative process, but because the most unlikable kid in the film is black. It bothered me when I watched the film, but I thought, OK, that's a real person. But it isn't. We don't need Hollywood to fuel racial bigotry.
So go see it--you'll come out of the theater a little bit better of a person. It's no "Brian's Song" or "Field of Dreams," but it's not The Bad News Bears" either.
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