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Tuesday, April 7, 2015

When the Game Stands Tall Review

When the Game Stands Tall, a film that follows the famous De La Salle High School football team and their record setting winning streak.

If you know much about football, chances are you have at least heard of De La Salle's 150+ game winning streak. However, many, including myself, do not know much beyond the basics of the streak itself. When the Game Stands Tall focuses mostly on the coach, Bob Ladouceur, and his players, during the events surrounding his record setting streak. 

Even though I am a devout Christian, I have to admit that good faith films are few and far between. There are a few classics like Ben-Hur, but that is just about it. Often, the acting and general filmmaking is low quality, and the movie itself is just plain corny. Thankfully, When the Game Stands Tall is a faith film that actually functions as a competent sports drama, while still having a great message behind it.

Directed by: Thomas Carter
Genre: Sports, Drama, Football,
Release Date: August 22, 2014
Running Time: 115 minutes
MMPA rating: PG

The Good: Jim Caviezel excels in the role, Great message, Mostly strong performances throughout,

The Bad: One really dumb part (that's not based on fact), Some clich├ęd drama,

Plot: 6.0/10- The film's script manages to balance the drama, football action, and the message effectively. The screenplay is certainly not going to win any Oscars, but it never feels like it is forcing the message. As for the sports aspect, it is a solid, albeit somewhat clich├ęd, inspirational sports drama. 
The film's biggest problem is towards the end. While the movie is inspired by the true story, a few fictional players were added to create more drama in the film, and unfortunately, this added drama results in the most frustrating moment in the film. If said aspect happened in real life, there would be no flaw, yet there is a fictionalized event that tries to portray the film's message, but instead makes the audience frustrated, well, at least I was.
Characterization: 6.4/10- Coach Bob Ladouceur is portrayed as a man with strong convictions, but still human with flaws. Most of the supporting cast, like the real life and fictional players, are generally well realized. 

Action: N/A- The film's football action is decent. The director does little to make it more interesting or intense, but it serves its purpose well enough.

Acting: 7.5/10- Jim Caviezel is easily the standout best in the film. His performance as Coach Ladouceur is the core of the film. Aside from two supporting actors, even the younger cast members give decent performances.

Soundtrack: 5.2/10- The licensed music used in the ranges from decent to forgettable, but thankfully it is never annoying.

Humor: N/A- Aside from a few moments, there is little humor.

Entertainment Value: 6.7/10- Thankfully, the pacing is executed well enough so that the film is never boring, although it is never all that engaging either.

Overall: 6.2/10- While not groundbreaking in anyway, When the Game Stands Tall is an above average faith film and solid sports drama that those interested in either genre should consider watching.

Recommended for: Sports fan, Those interested in Christian films,

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4 comments:

  1. My mom just rewatched this the other night and I sat at the table with computer and half watched. It never really grabbed me enough to care so I didn't pay much attention to the last half. XD

    ~Jamie

    ReplyDelete
  2. I'm becoming fonder and fonder of Jim Caviezel. I recently saw his version of The Count of Monte Cristo, thinking I would dislike it, and he made me love it so much! So now I'm kind of interested in finding more of his stuff, and while I don't care much for football, this does sound worth a watch.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The Count of Monte Cristo is where I first saw him (except for the Passion of the Christ), and I agree, the movie was a lot better than expected. Jim Caviezel is a fun actor to watch, especially in Person of Interest (it's a great TV show). Hope you enjoy it if you watch it.

      -James

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