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10/10
Wow
3 April 2010
As a basketball fan and knowing that HBO does an excellent job with documentaries, I had high expectations for this, and it certainly didn't disappoint.

Born in 1981, I never fully appreciated the rivalry as it was happening, but this certainly put it in perspective. It covers every intricacy of both the rivalry and the two men as individuals. After viewing it I'm not sure that there is any story in the history of sports that's as unique and special as Bird and Magic.

It started in 1979 with the NCAA championship and continued on to the NBA for several years.

On one hand you have Bird, the introverted type-A personality from Indiana; on the other you have Magic, the happy-go-lucky extrovert. The two men couldn't be more different personality-wise. So naturally in the early stages of the rivalry they had every reason to dislike each other. Yet as things progressed and as they found out more about each other, the relationship softened. For all their differences, they were eerily similar on the court and because of that there was a deep-rooted respect. Things really started to change when they got together to shoot a commercial for Converse at Bird's home in Indiana. And when Magic first announced he had HIV, Bird was one of the first people to reach out to him. It's obvious how much that meant to Magic.

I believe that every professional athlete can learn so much from both of these guys. The respect they have for the game and for each other represents the greatness of sports. It's really what it's all about and this documentary captures it like nothing else I've ever seen. Brilliantly done.

I also found it amazing how much pain Bird was in during the latter stages of his career. Yet he kept toughing it out game after game, season after season. You'd be hard pressed to find any one who'd do that in today's game.
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Stay (I) (2005)
10/10
'Stay' is a masterpiece
7 February 2009
I am hesitant to use the word 'masterpiece' to describe anything, but I can't think of a better word when it comes to this movie. The cinematography, the score, the acting ... all of it is beautiful and unforgettable.

Granted, this is not your conventional movie where everything is spelled out for you with a succinct plot. And I've read some reviews on here from people who disliked the movie, didn't understand it, or both.

In the simplest explanation, this movie captures the inner-workings of the subconscious mind. It is a snapshot. The feel of it is like a dream with scattered emotions of love, hurt, confusion, and longing throughout. It's not tightly held together and it's not supposed to be.

In order to truly appreciate this, you have to sit back with an open mind and simply enjoy it without trying to figure every little thing out. It's not meant for that. It's more like a beautiful piece of art. (In this case, art in motion.) A masterpiece of cinema.
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8/10
About more than just football
22 July 2007
This movie is not so much about football as it is a small, economically depressed town in west Texas and its relationship with a high school football team.

In short, the team is all the town has. It's all that they know. Local stores close shop to attend the games, the kids walk around emulating the players and wearing their jerseys, and talk radio revolves around high school football. Life is good when the team wins, and not so good when it loses. Every facet of the town is effected by it.

Being a football fan, though, in order for a 'football movie' to be truly great it must at least make sense when it comes to the technical stuff. And this movie sure does. The terminology, the equipment, the coaches, the fans -- all of it looks and feels real.

As far as the acting, Billy Bob Thornton turned in a solid performance as Coach Gaines. To me, though, the scene stealer was Tim McGraw. It was amazing to see his relationship with his son come full circle the way it did.

Finally, what pushes this movie into category of one of the finest sports movies of all time is its score. Great ambient music by 'Explosions in the Sky' perfectly captured the bittersweet euphoria and pain of the story.

Highly recommended and not just solely for football fans.
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The Believer (2001)
9/10
This blows "American History X" away...
3 June 2003
Brilliant, thought-provoking film with a first-rate performance by Ryan Gosling. Gosling is a star in the making, and I relate this performance to a young DeNiro who was just coming to age in "Taxi Driver."

Beyond the particular religion that this film centers on (Judaism)... to me this represents how explosive and obscure man's relationship with God can be. Look what is happening all over in the modern world today -- terrorism fueled by religious ideology -- and you don't have to question why this film was so dramatic.

Danny held many of the Judaic principles to be sacred, but he was disgusted at how weak and passive the Jews have been throughout time when facing oppression. (The emotional scene with the Holocaust survivors was brilliant. "Kill your enemies!")

His way of dealing with the disgust he had was to rebel against his own people by rationalizing ways to hate them. To fulfill this, he turned to Nazism. And because of his logic and wit he was admired profusely by fellow Nazis -- even those who probably knew he was a Jew.

But in the end, Nazism was not the answer. Hate is not the answer. We see the conflicting emotions running through his mind throughout the film, and it was done beautifully.

Unlike "American History X" the brilliance of this movie is that it does not preach to you. It simply shows you how man can become so frail and so driven in the name of God and/or religion. It is truly thought-provoking and very alarming. You draw your own conclusions.

It makes you think about faith. It can be a very sad world without any faith, and a very sad world when you push faith too far.

I can't speak any higher of Gosling's performance. Remarkable.
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Scary Movie 2 (2001)
Why...why...why???
1 May 2003
Why... why... why???

This is movie is an absolute piece garbage. I have no idea what kind of people find this sort of thing to be funny. Not only is it excruciatingly unfunny, it is also extremely profane. How many times can you listen to a parrot say the word f*ck? How is this even remotely funny?

These movie contains nothing but a group of third-rate, horribly untalented actors who should be on their hands and knees every night thanking God that they receive a paycheck. The script was also equally as execrable. You can find better ideas for stories by looking into a second grader's journal.

Not only did I not laugh, I didn't even crack a smile. A funeral would put me in a better mood than this disgusting, offensive, worthless piece of filth. While watching this, the word "why" flashed across my head atleast a dozen times -- why are millions of dollars spent on production costs for these types of movies while people are starving in Africa? Why would ANYONE in ANY type of environment under ANY circumstance EVER find this type of movie entertaining? Why was this movie allowed to be made TWICE? WHY? WHY? WHY?

Please, stop going to the movies and paying for these types of movies. It is ANTI-entertainment. We're taking steps backwards with these movies. Don't waste your time. You would be better off flushing the $3.99 down a toilet than shelling it out to rent this.
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