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Gridiron Gang Trailer


Gridiron Gang
Trailer

Continue: Gridiron Gang Trailer

Gridiron Gang Review


Good

Wanna know why sports movies are criticized for being too cliché? Because sports, as a whole, are too cliché. We've been trained to root for the underdog, though it's conventional when that come-from-behind victory is shown on screen. Teams are expected to win games on last-play drives. How is a filmmaker supposed to wring suspense from such a scenario when it happens every night on SportsCenter?

For a sports film to succeed on its own terms, audiences must be able to look beyond the requisite storytelling crutches that bolster this limited genre and find something else worth discussing. In Gridiron Gang, that extra something else is heart, which this flick has in spades.

Gang follows the biographical story of Sean Porter to the letter - footage of the real coach played alongside the end credits shows him barking actual lines we heard minutes before in the film. Charismatically intimidating Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson personifies Porter, a juvenile correctional facilities counselor who uses football as a means to unite his divided charges.

Gang plays as a junior varsity Longest Yard, with hardened teenage criminals learning to shelve their street-bred differences and play together as a team. It shows these kids at rock bottom so we can best appreciate how Porter and his program brings them back up.

Instead of one game against the guards, these kids shoulder a full season against polished private squads. Rock wears many hats both on the field and off - counselor, coach, bouncer, mentor, friend - and each one fits him like a glove. The wrestler continues to find projects that utilize his physical assets, as well as his rugged charm.

The underdog formula gets the better of director Phil Joanou (State of Grace), who pushes our buttons hard but manages to motivate without fully manipulating. He could stand to trust his audience more than he does. Most can figure when to stand and cheer without obvious cues from Trevor Rabin's desperate score. Also, Joanou adores slow-motion photography for his in-game shots. Not one or two shots, but every single frame of football action. If these sequences were played at full speed, Gang would be 30 minutes shorter, and the reduction in running time would help.

As it stands, the gritty Gang delivers last-second heroics, surprising amounts of humor, and the beating heart of an unexpected champion. Let's put it into football terms. This motivational cheerer isn't a flashy wide receiver or a star quarterback. It's the stocky, reliable running back who drops his shoulder, breaks a few tackles, and picks up tough yards on the way to a moral victory.

The DVD includes deleted scenes, commentary track, making-of featurettes, and a multi-angle feature.

He will rock you.

Gridiron Gang Review


Good

Wanna know why sports movies are criticized for being too cliché? Because sports, as a whole, are too cliché. We've been trained to root for the underdog, though it's conventional when that come-from-behind victory is shown on screen. Teams are expected to win games on last-play drives. How is a filmmaker supposed to wring suspense from such a scenario when it happens every night on SportsCenter?

For a sports film to succeed on its own terms, audiences must be able to look beyond the requisite storytelling crutches that bolster this limited genre and find something else worth discussing. In Gridiron Gang, that extra something else is heart, which this flick has in spades.

Gang follows the biographical story of Sean Porter to the letter - footage of the real coach played alongside the end credits shows him barking actual lines we heard minutes before in the film. Charismatically intimidating Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson personifies Porter, a juvenile correctional facilities counselor who uses football as a means to unite his divided charges.

Continue reading: Gridiron Gang Review

Bomb The System Review


Good
The tagline for this movie, "Graffiti Can Be A Powerful Weapon" doesn't get it right. What this glimpse into the life of public wall-covering artists -- taggers, if you will -- really seems to be saying is that this nocturnal habit is a ticket to public loathing, constant fear of arrest, immersion into a degrading existence, and, possibly, an early and violent end.

Twenty-three year old debuting writer-director Adam Bhala Lough amps up the life of a graffiti bomber in a visual style generated on the cutting table. And, while some might call a technique of overlapped time cuts, freeze frames that thaw, jump frames and general image deviltry a daring adventure in underground cinema, others may see it as too much hip stylization.

Continue reading: Bomb The System Review

Snow Day Review


Very Good
It's tough for a Texas boy to relate to the concept of a snow day. We had the occasional sleet day or hurricane day, sure, but snow? Whether you live in the tundra or not, I'm sure everyone can relate to the real story of Snow Day, the tale of a boy who pines for the school beauty, a girl far above his station with whom he never has a shot.

Maybe we can relate a little too well. This story has literally been done to death (it feels practically like a remake of 1995's Angus), but at least Snow Day is reasonably funny along the way. Thanks to the movie's "fresh new stars," Snow Day feels newer than it should. And thanks to leading kids Mark Webber (Drive Me Crazy) and Schuyler Fisk (daughter of Sissy Spacek), the movie has a lot of charm and heart.

Continue reading: Snow Day Review

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Jade Yorker Movies

Gridiron Gang Trailer

Gridiron Gang Trailer

Gridiron Gang Trailer Columbia Pictures' Gridiron Gang tells the gritty and powerfully emotional story of...

Gridiron Gang Movie Review

Gridiron Gang Movie Review

Wanna know why sports movies are criticized for being too cliché? Because sports, as a...

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Gridiron Gang Movie Review

Gridiron Gang Movie Review

Wanna know why sports movies are criticized for being too cliché? Because sports, as a...

Snow Day Movie Review

Snow Day Movie Review

It's tough for a Texas boy to relate to the concept of a snow day....

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