Remember the Titans (2000)
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In 1971, in Alexandria, Virginia, the town's high school football team, the T.C. Williams Titans, are very popular. T.C. Williams High School current football coach, Coach Yoast (Will Patton), is nominated for high school Hall of Fame. But a few weeks before the start of the school year, a white store owner shoots and kills a black man who was suspected in stealing a product. This causes a racial seperation between blacks and whites in Alexandria. Then just before the start of the football season, Coach Yoast gets demoted to Assistant Coach in place of Coach Boone (Denzel Washington). What's bad is that Boone is black, and Yoast is white. Most of the town's residents are angry, and even some of the players are willing to ruin their football career's to quit the team to make a statement. But at the start of football camp, Coach Boone won't take any racial diversity. Boone treats all of his players equally, he has his football camp practices appear to be a mixture between boot camp and group sessions. If the player misses catching a football, he has to run a mile. If the player doesn't know anything about the person of the opposite color that they are rooming with, they have homework to get to know one another. With this, it creates a special bond between these men. Men who act more mature and humane, unlike most of the residents of Alexandria. But when Coach Boone and Coach Yoast prove that the Titans are a winning team, the issue of race is erased and the true meaning of teamwork is born.
The way to make a great sports movie is to have it be adapted from a true life story. Like PRIDE OF THE YANKEES, HOOSIERS, and RUDY, all are films that show that what appears to be a sport, is the true triumph of the human spirit. I really did enjoy the characters in the film, since they are factual, they have very humanistic qualities. While one loves to hum "Ain't No Mountain High Enough," another gets excited while listening to "Act Naturally." And although you can guess what happens in the end, you don't care. You enjoy and like the character's so much that you are cheering for them.
I highly enjoyed the acting in this film. I think if Denzel Washington should get his long overdue Oscar for Best Actor, it should be for this film. He teaches his team that black or white, these men are a team, and that the only way to win is teamwork. Washington gives a bravura performance, that it will stun the people who think that Washington usually plays "racist" roles. I also enjoyed Will Patton a lot, he's not playing the cliche coach who gets demoted, and wants to ruin the new head coach. Instead, he understands the message that Boone is giving to the team that he helps as much as he can to help the team succeed. I thought Patton's role is the best assistant coach role that I have seen since Dennis Hopper's role in HOOSERS. And the football players are also great, the ones I thought stood out were: Preston Brant (Jerry Buck, the team's captain), Donald Adensun (Petey, the team's running-back), Kip Perdue (Sunshine, the team's quarterback), Craig Kirkwood (Rev, the team's defense player), and Ethan Suplee (Lastik, the team's leading defense, and by his size, he should be!) I was glad to see Suplee change his roles in his career. The last time I remember seeing him, he was the vicious skinhead along with Edward Norton and Patrick Furlong in AMERICAN HISTORY X. In REMEMBER THE TITANS, he's the exact opposite, he's the first white player who makes friends with the black players!!!
Director Boaz Yakin and producer Jerry Bruckheimer should be commended for this film.
I am pleased to see Jerry Bruckheimer made a really enjoyable and intellectual film, which is the complete opposite of the type of films that he's famous for. In fact I think this is the first one intellectual film Bruckheimer has made! The message that it sends out is really powerful, and if it doesn't convince you to change, then you are probably dead. And director Boaz Yakin does a fantastic job with this film, that along with Cameron Crowe, Wolfgang Petersen, and Ridley Scott, he should be nominated best director.
This is quite a film, in fact, I think this is the best football movie that I have ever seen! I really really enjoyed this film, and as I left it led me to believe in the message that this film was sending to it's audience. And this being only "PG" and put out by Walt Disney Pictures, I would love to see both junior high schools and high schools to show this film to it's students. If they did, then chances are, the violence in schools will go down. And it took Jerry Bruckheimer, Boaz Yakin, and Walt Disney Pictures to do it. Great job guys! Don't miss this enjoyable film! ***** (out of five)
Remember the Titans is a powerful film with incredible performances by both Denzel Washington and Will Patton.
Denzel Washington leads a cast that is young, fresh, talented and determined to make this movie a success. "Remember The Titans" is laced with strong performances from Will Patton, Ryan Hurst, Wood Harris, Donald Faison and Greg Alan Williams.
Based on a true story "Remember The Titans" follows the 1971 T.C. Williams High School Titans football team and their struggles with integration. Washington is Herman Boone, who has run up against racism after he has been brought in to coach the Titans. Patton is Bill Yoast, the man Boone replaced as head coach.
Washington and Patton are just two pieces of the puzzle, which makes "Remember The Titans" a real gem. However, the strength and real beauty of "Remember The Titans" does not come from Washington or Patton, but the Titan football players because they are the ones who give the strongest performances in the film.
I must say that the best performance of the whole movie other than Washington and Patton is the young actress who portrayed Bill Yoast's daughter, Hayden Panitierre. In "Remember The Titans" this young actress single handidly made it worth watching this film. Her talent shines through and her presence on screen is as fresh as the daily air; furthermore, every time she is on screen she sparkles. It is so pleasurable to see talent like this being discovered.
I hesitated to see "Remember The Titans" because I didn't want to see another football film, but it is more than just another football film.
"Remember The Titans" is a special film that has special performances and is well worth every dollar you spend to rent this film.
Like "Hoosiers" this is a true story and it is not just a story about sports but a strong story about race. I probably appreciated it more than most because of my background I connected to the movie. During the 1940s I attended schools which were well integrated and students of different races and cultures existed harmoniously. To a large degree, it was because the high school had a very successful football program in which unlike almost all of the other schools, minority athletes were welcome. In my junior year we went undefeated and won the State Championship and the team is still considered the best high school team of all time. The only time the team came close to defeat was in the State final when we played another well integrated team.
Consequently the community while generally middle and upper class except for its minorities was well integrated. As a result although I knew racism existed, I never encountered it in my community. But then I began to see its ugly head. First, the All-American end on our team, a superb athlete, was denied scholarships both to USC and Stanford because neither school accepted minorities. I had always wanted to go to USC but because of what USC did to my friend I turned down its offer of a scholarship the next year as I did to Stanford which I considered a snob school then as I do today.
But my college was cut short when the Korean War began and I was in the service. I was sent to bases in the South and I spent much of the next thirteen years in the South witnessing how bad it was for the blacks and I was involved in the civil rights movement in the South which got me into a lot of trouble with my military superiors.
During my tours in the South I became head coach of a football team at a Southern base. Filled with ex-collegiate stars and some pros, we regularly played Division I colleges and universities. However, because I had black players on my team I couldn't schedule games with any white southern colleges. Instead we scheduled one black college and several state universities in the mid-west.
Some critics have compared the summer camp at which Washington as Coach Boone brought the blacks and whites together as a team as like a Marine Boot Camp but everyone missed the subtlety of this. I went through Boot Camp at a time when the military was just integrating and we had southern blacks and whites as well as a mix of races from other parts of the country in my platoon as well as all classes. It didn't take very long for us to become as one unit. The first part of boot camp is sure hell and the reason for it is that it reduces everyone to the lowest common denominator of misery and you quickly learn that the only way to escape that misery is to work together. This is just the way Coach Boone made it work.
What I liked about this movie is that it showed how all this played out. Most moviegoers today are not really aware of how bad racism was in 1971 but this movie illustrates it well. Even though the movie has a few corny moments and the actors playing the roles as football players look old for high school, these faults are minimal and do not detract from the power of the film.
Quote that i believe defines the movie: "I don't care if you like each other, but you will respect each other. And maybe, I don't know, maybe we can learn to play this game like men."
My personal favorite: "I don't want them to gain another YARD, you blitz all night! They cross the line of scrimmage I swear to God I'm going to take every one of you out. You make sure they remember FOREVER, the night they played the Titans."
***1/2 (out of four)
As is normally the case with films of this ilk, it quickly comes to pass that certain artistic licence has been taken with the truth. In reality the issues of race, integration and the near powder-keg atmosphere portrayed in the picture, were long past their worst in Virginia 1971. However, that should in no way detract from the thematics and truthful aspects of this Disney production. As is told in the film, the Titans did have what became known as the perfect season, whilst the bond formed between the black and white members most definitely existed. All told, the film soars high as an inspirational piece, not only for the mixed race community coming together plot's essential being, but in the crucial tale of one Gerry Bertier.
That this film urged me to seek out the story of Bertier is a testament to the power of film, regardless of any sort of sentimental prodding from the film makers. It's hoped that this film also prompts newcomers to research further the topics within the story.
The cast list is impressive, Denzel Washington and Will Patton find instant chemistry as the head coaches thrust together by outside influences, with both guys beautifully doing credit to the real life friendship that would be born from the situation. Ryan Hurst, Wood Harris, Ethan Suplee, Donald Faison, Kip Pardue, Craig Kirkwood and a pre-fame Ryan Gosling fill out the integrated football team. With two important family roles nicely portrayed by Hayden Panettiere and Nicole Ari Parker. The soundtrack is nicely put together, with the core offering of Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell's thumping rendition of "Ain't No Mountain High Enough" particularly potent and uplifting.
Though not primarily offering up anything new in the pantheon of race and sport related movies, Remember The Titans does have so much good going for it. It's hard to be picky, even churlish about the little faults (are these actors really the age of high schoolers for example?). So hopefully come the end, after the credits roll, you will be suitably inspired, and perhaps a touch more better off for having spent time with this particular football team. 8.5/10
I was hoping for more football scenes, but this actually turned out to be a character drama. Based on a true story, this movie leaves you feeling good and somewhat proud. The most unrealistic thing about this movie to me was the absence of swearing that is usually associated with sports and teenagers. This film comes from the Disney stables and earns all accolades on its own merits.
Many stand outs in the cast featuring: Wood Harris, Kip Pardue, Craig Kirkwood, Donald A. Faison and Ethan Suplee.
What attracted me to the movie was the football, set around the time Joe Nameth took the Jet's through its most glorious season in snatching the Superbowl from the heavily favoured Baltimore Colts. But this is college football. In the movie, in a vital game when the opponents tried a shotgun, someone in the Titans quipped, "Who do they think they are? The New York Jets?" While the movie seems to concentrate on the Titan's defence, it was just a little before the time when the Minnesota Viking's defence, the "purple gang", became legendary. But then the Titans set an example for the NFL to follow, they had a "perfect" season, a feat the Miami Dolphins repeated in the NFL a few years later.
But this is more than football. It is a wonderful movie about racial harmony, uplifting, feel-good and touching. As one commenter so beautifully puts it, let the cynics sit out on the sidelines on this one, and groan about clichés and all that. This is a movie that will warm your heart, and don't let futile vanity cheat you out of enjoying it.
Nor is the movie a fairy tale. It is based on a true story. It is also realistic. The camp is an isolated environment where wonderful things can be made to happen. The kids themselves understand this when the come back to the "real world", as one puts it. But then, through determination and good will, they bring these wonderful things into the real world.
Finally, anything with Denzel Washing in it is worth watching.
All the so-called major sports flicks made in the last 10 years are pretty much formulaic and follow the same recipe: tell the tale of a bunch of downtrodden, undertalented (yet scrappy!) "brothers" who band together to pull off the impossible...win the big game! And I actually think that this film that I'm reviewing REMEMBER THE TITANS (2000) started this new trend of rather formulaic, soft-headed, cheesy sports movies of the last decade, which include WE ARE MARSHALL and GLORY ROAD, all of which were supposed to be "fact-based" movies. The problem with all these movies is that, while they may have gotten the very general details correct (character names, opponent mantres, era costumes, etc.), all these films fail where it really counts: character, dialogue, and story.
Set in a 1971 D.C. suburb and starring Denzel Washington (who really had gotten long in the tooth at this point in his career!) plays yet another typical in-your-face, take-no-junk, proud black man, a hodgepodge of pretty much all the characters he had played up to that point in his career, and it's annoying! Virtually all the characters in REMEMBER THE TITANS (including Washington) are all one-dimensional and cliché. The ever reliable Will Patton does his best to overcome a thankless role as the white assistant coach that Washington's character deposes (and pretty much runs over for the entire movie!); of course Patton's character turns out to be a closet liberal and completely understanding of the man who took HIS job from him! Hayden Pannietierre, as Patton's annoyingly spunky and super-smart daughter certainly shows talent for a child actor (at the time), but what kid in the history of the world has ever acted like this?! Then you have a bunch of nameless, one-note footballers and assistant coaches of both races who somehow learn to LOVE each other! The absolutely most annoying character was that faux-gay transfer surfer dude from California, who is one of the weirdest characters ever to grace the movie screen!
The only tolerable characters in the film are played by Ryan Hurst and Wood Harris as the prospective leaders of the white and black players and help bring them all together. Their personal relationship is actually authentic (thus the extra star!), but everything surrounding them is NOT! In real life (which this movie is supposed to be based on), even post 60s (1971 to be exact), I find it hard to believe that opposite races would have hated each other so vehemently at the start of the film, only to end up getting along so famously by the end of it, especially on a team that was literally FORCED to be together!
To add insult to injury, they changed the name of our team from the Tigers to the "Lions" (because they felt that Tigers was too close to Titans), and they depicted us as backwater hicks... which was laughable, since Groveton served Hollin Hills, the most intellectual and progressive community in the entire DC area, as well as other upper-middle class neighborhoods filled with career government professionals.
The problem, of course, is that Hollywood dreck like this becomes gospel to those who have no knowledge of the actual events. Rather than accept moral responsibility to make a film based on real life events reflect the truth, they purposefully pervert it to satisfy their biased fantasy and obliterate the historical record.
I wish I could give this grossly insulting film a negative rating, to help make up for those who have embraced it as heart-rending "truth", given that they know nothing about the events it claims to document.
This enjoyable tale with classic plot deals about a slice of American history, and is plenty of good feeling,heartfelt,interesting characters and formidable performances.However,sometimes is some sentimental and predictable but is still pretty entertaining.Exceptional Denzel Washington with a first rate acting reaching an important milestone and terrific Will Patton in the role of assistant,they are backed by a phenomenal support cast formed by young actors with future and wide career,as a little girl fine performed by Hayden Panettiere,today well known by ¨Heroes¨.Spectacular and sensible musical score by Trevor Ravin and colorful cinematography by Philippe Rousselot.The story follows the wake of previous sports hits films,like are ¨Rudy and Hoosiers(David Anspaugh)¨.The motion picture is well directed by Boaz Yakin,he's a noted writer(Rookie,Punisher),producer(Hostel I,II) and director(Fresh,Uptown girls).Rating : Better than average,worthwhile seeing.
This film evokes the typical stereotypes of both a sports movie and a free-you-mind flick. The whites and blacks who play for the newly integrated Titans are hostile to each other at first, and then miraculously at football camp they all become friends. They are then met with the same prejudices they once shared when they return home, and the movie chronicles their struggles to remain friends as well as the rest of the communities fight to become more tolerant. It's a great message, but one that has been done before. Furthermore, it is such a formulaic account here that it's hardly worth the initial emotion it evokes.
On the field, the same formula (and this paragraph might be a spoiler, but then again, I'm sure you can already determine the outcome). The Titans face tough opponents but come together to defeat them all, and, on the last play of the game with only a prayer, they somehow manage to score the winning touchdown and take the state championship (gee, haven't we seen that 300,000 times before?).
If you like the emotional roller coaster ride, then this is your movie. If, like me, you tire of seeing the same formula plugged into movies with only the names of the characters different, then avoid this like the plague. All in all, when the emotions subside, I realized that this movie left a bitter aftertaste.
I give it a 3 out of 10.
I could go on, but others have said so much already. It's a good action movie with nice human characters. It just gets a little simplistic at times and it needs to answer for that.
1.) Not all black people break into song every few minutes of their lives.
2.) Not all white people listen to country music.
3.) All state championships are not won on the final play.
4.) A team would not be running the ball with 20 seconds left in a game, risking a fumble. They would have just taken a knee and the game would be over.
5.) There were more than 8 songs released in the 1970's. Apparently, Hollywood never got that memo.
6.) The little girl. Enough said.
7.) The "transformation" of the Gerry character happened way too fast to make it realistic. Over the course of a 2 week football camp, he went from telling the coach he didn't need any of "them" on the defense, to being the main guy who brought the races together.
8.) Even without knowing the real story, you could see the car accident coming light years away.
9.) No football team would ever just throw guys into a game on defense in the 2nd half of the state championship game who had never played on defense previously.
10.) Awesome waste of Kate Bosworth. "Now that you've won some football games with both black and white players, I'm willing to shake your hand Julius." If only she had gone to the training camp. Then she'd understand it all so much better.
11.) Let's throw in a California hippie to show that white people can be discriminated against too. The audience will never see that coming.
12.) We're supposed to believe that the "Sunshine" character would actually doubt whether he should go into the game because he can't throw an option pitch??
13.) Way too many impassioned speeches about being "perfect" and this being "our time". I was afraid they might run out of music to score these scenes.
14.) Love the slow clap and standing ovation for Gerry's mother. Of course, the TV commentators would announce when she enters the stadium as well. By the way, did they really televise high school state championship games in 1971?
15.) Ryan Gosling's character giving up his spot to Petey because "Petey's just better coach".
16.) This whole racism thing is important and all, but I really wanted to make the Virginia high school sports hall of fame. Now that's some big time stuff right there.
17.) Let's use the white coach's trick play on the last play to show just how far these two men have come so they're winners in life as well as on the field.
18.) Apparently, every time a new player comes into a game, he makes a game changing great play within the first two plays that he's in there, propelling the team to an easy victory.
19.) Darn those crazy backup quarterbacks. They'll getcha every time. Can we see a movie where the starting QB gets hurt, and the season goes to hell because the backup QB sucks? There's your reality.
20.) And finally, what a great message the movie gives by showing how winning football games is the solution to all the world's problems. Want to end racism? Just win some football games.
This movies a keeper. I'll probably pull this one out about once a year just to lift my spirits.