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53 out of 72 people found the following review useful:
The Real Varsity Blues, 9 February 2005

This is a very dark sports movie. It's about fanaticism, the great weight of importance certain people place on sports. Sports fans often regard their teams as extensions of themselves. In "Friday Night Lights," the entire town of Odessa, Texas collectively puts their town's reputation on the shoulders of a high school football team. It's basically the same exact plot as "Varsity Blues," except a serious version of high school football in small town Texas.

One thing the movie does extremely well is taking hackneyed plots of the individual players (because it's all been done before) and putting them all in the background. So the plots play out not in a cheesy, inspirational, in-your-face way. Instead, they are just there with only as much attention as the viewer wants to put on them. The great aspects of sports are enough to keep us interested and makes the movie incredibly real.

The only character whose plot is really focused on is Boobie, the cocky running back who is injured and tries to defy his own injury. This is a plot in sports movies that has been focused on somewhat - the injured player. But never before has the pain been so real and so powerful.

This movie is heart-wrenching. Sports movies usually have so many moments of redemption and cheesy happiness that often feel false. This movie only has one such moment and it is incredibly powerful. Nothing about this movie is Hollywood. Billy Bob Thorton gives a great, understated performance as the coach, a man who is simply internal, who can do nothing but sit back and watch events unfold, knowing full well the impact that each game has on himself and his family. All the actors playing the football players do a good job, especially the guy who plays Boobie.

Don't expect this movie to uplift you. But it will show you an interesting side of sports you may have never considered. And, in the end, it shows exactly what is great about sports, and it has nothing to do with winning or making a career out of the game. It's about giving all you have for a teammate.

Crumb (1994)
5 out of 6 people found the following review useful:
Great Look at Artistic Process, 9 February 2005

This documentary explores two aspects of Crumb's life: His family life and his sexual interests. The man is an incredible artist and his works are pure art, even if they are comics. To defend this position, we hear from a British art critic who praises Crumb's work, no matter what the offensive subject matter is. On the other side, we see women - past girlfriends, fellow artists, and others who admit that Crumb is a great illustrator but are extremely wary of the sexist and racist messages Crumb's comics contain. Is Crumb really a sexist and racist or is he commenting on the world? The answer is hard to determine but, after seeing this movie, I think that its both. It's amazing how Crumb, this skinny, ugly, fake-toothed weirdo is so incredibly tapped in to the crazy male id and its sexual desires and racist beliefs.

And, at the same time, he's barely able to function in society. He just blends into the crowd and doesn't really understand the world around him. A lot of Crumb's observations on the changing world are used by Terry Zwigoff, who directed this film, in his next movie, "Ghost World." That movie is also an adaptation of a comic book so maybe it was there that Crumb's influence was made. Either way, he's the comic book version of John Waters - ahead of his time in grossness, incredibly influential, and not yet surpassed.

As for Crumb's family life, the amazing part is that he's the most normal member of his family. His brothers are also great artists but are even worse at functioning in the world. Maybe it's genetics. Maybe it's the torment of being an artist. Seeing Crumb's family humanizes him. Then we see his comics. And we can decide for ourselves if we can separate the artist from the art but, more importantly, we have to decide if we can separate ourselves from the art. Can we laugh at sexism and racism and not be sexists or racists? Does the fact that we find it so offensive mean that we hate sexism and racism or that we are afraid to face our own beliefs (or the beliefs of those close to us)? Bringing out these questions is the greatness of this movie.

2 out of 7 people found the following review useful:
There's a job there. A good job. An editor's position., 9 February 2005

This is a romance disguised as a sports movie. And the romance part sucks. Also the sports parts suck.

Before I delve into my reasons for hating this movie, I want to mention something: The original title for this movie was, "For the Love of the Game" Why? Because that's how the phrase goes. Simple logic there. But, for some reason, they took the first "the" out of the title. Why? To make the title shorter. Why? Who freaking knows? Because some fat lady in a focus group likes short titles. I hate Hollywood.

Anyway, this movie is about a baseball player played by Kevin Costner who is pitching a perfect game on what might be the last game of his career. While he pitches, he has flashbacks. Some of his flashbacks involve his romance with a woman played by Kelly Preston. Preston, who I usually like because of her uber-hotness, plays one of the most annoying female characters of all time. Basically, her thing is, "I love you but I'm scared and slightly mental so I'll push you away over and over again." Very endearing. Plus her acting stinks in this movie. Other flashbacks involve Costner's character interacting with his teammates. This where the movie tries to pull at some manly heartstrings. It fails here too but manages to lay down some foreshadowing that would allow any idiot to predict what happens to the characters later in the movie. There are many other reasons why this movie sucks. The attempts at humor fall flat. The "inspirational" dialogue is cheesy. It has none of Sam Raimi's usual great touches. Costner cries. I could go all day.

Please- skip this. If you want to see a movie that is both about sports and romance and actually manages to do both well, see Jerry Maguire. If you've already seen it - see it again. It's very rewatchable. And Kelly Preston is way better (and hotter) in it.

MP Da Last Don (1998) (V)
1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:
Baby. . . You Was Havin A Baby?, 7 February 2005

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

This is one of the most accidentally funny movies of all time. If you like watching crap movies and making fun of them then you need to watch this. There's Master P making claims of cleaning up the community. There's Master P using a Cuban accent to symbolize his plunge into the Mafia life-style, involving the constant use of the word "ma-" (instead of man). There's gratuitous strip club scenes where there is a buck-nekked woman in every shot. There's the fact that this movie has not one, not two, not three, but FOUR different endings (one was too many). Trust me - this movie is hilarious. I leave you with the same tip Master P, as a basketball coach, tells his players: "This is my world. You ain't nothing' but a squirrel."