Posts Tagged ‘retro review’

Retro Review – Kill Bill Volume 1

This review originally appeared on brenthanson.net on April 21, 2004

“It was not my intention to do this in front of you. For that I’m sorry. But you can take my word for it, your mother had it comin’. When you grow up, if you still feel raw about it, I’ll be waiting.”

Movie
A long time ago, I heard Quentin Tarantino was finally making another movie. The first time I saw the trailer to Kill Bill, I got a little nervous because it looked a little different than what I expected. Upon seeing the movie for the first time, it was confirmed that Kill Bill was different, but it was most definitely a positive.
Uma Thurman stars as The Bride, who was once a member of a world class assassin team (Deadly Viper Assassination Squad) before Bill decided to leave the business and get married. On the day of her wedding, the other members of the assassin squad, O-Ren Ishii (Lucy Liu), Elle Driver (Darryl Hannah), Budd (Michael Madsen), and Vernita Green (Vivica A. Fox), as well as the boss Bill (David Carradine) attacked her. After killing all the members of her wedding party, Bill shoots The Bride in the head thinking that he left her for dead. Fast forward five years… The Bride has just awaken from a coma. After first teaching herself how to walk, she decides to seek revenge on all the former members of the Deadly Viper Assassination Squad.
Kill Bill isn’t a movie for everybody. The language is nearly as raw as any other of the Quentin Tarantino films. The violence and fighting, though over the top and almost cartoony, is something that probably lasts for at least half the movie. Not to ruin anything for you, but in the restaurant scene alone, the Bride kills 57 people. Basically, if you are easily offended, this probably is not the movie for you. However, if you are a fan of any of Tarantino’s previous movies or a fan of 70’s pop culture, you’re almost committing a crime against yourself by not taking the time to watch this movie.
Tarantino movies are well-liked by the movie community in general for good reason. He has a certain style which has been often imitated, but never quite as well as he does it. In my opinion, he’s the most original, most creative, and most interesting modern day director. I dogged on Andy Patrizio’s (of IGN DVD) review before and I’m going to again. A couple quotes from his review: “Hardly an original idea to be found,” “Tarantino … is simply recycling the same old tricks, his and ’70s filmmakers,” and “I guess the rumors about QT spending the last few years sitting around his house getting stoned and watching movies were true.” It just bothers me because I honestly think that it’s the most original movie I’ve see in the last year, and I think the reviewer just wanted to print a bad review just to get a response.

Video & Sound
Presented in anamorphic widescreen (2:35:1), this dvd has a very wide range of styles. The very shot is a very grainy looking black and white shot. The next scene (at Vernita Green’s house) has very vivid colors making the whole look almost mystical. Later in the movie, they have a beautifully colored blue & silhouetted black scene. Even the anime scene is very well colored. Unfortunately much of the video has a very soft feel to it, however this transfer isn’t too bad as a whole. The audio isn’t as impressive as you’d think it would be, but it is pretty good. Both 5.1 tracks (Dolby Digital and DTS) are pretty similar with my favorite being the DTS track by just a bit.

Extras
This really is the only complaint I have about the whole flick. Much like the other Tarantino DVD releases, a commentary track is very lacking. I think QT would be a great commentator and if you’ve ever seen him on tv, you’d know he loves talking about his movies, old movies, and himself, so I guess I just don’t understand why he doesn’t record a track. The only extra worth watching (barely) is The Making of Kill Bill Vol 1 which runs around 22 minutes. Some of what they have to say is interesting, but really it’s a bit of a fluff piece. They also have two music videos and about six trailers, but that’s it. Word on the street is there may be as many as six releases between this movie and Kill Bill Volume 2 on DVD, so keep your ear close to the street.

Closing Thoughts…
A great movie that shouldn’t be missed. While they will be releasing a special edition in almost no time, I still can’t help but recommend getting this movie a chance. Even if you go to the video store and just rent it now, you should pick it up at sometime. Don’t listen to the negative hype – this IS one of the best movies of 2003.

Ratings (out of 10)
Movie – 9
Video & Sound – 7
Extras – 4
Overall – 8

08

11 2012

Retro Review – The Evil Dead

This review originally appeared on brenthanson.net on February 26, 2004

“We can’t bury Cheryl. She’s our friend.”

Movie
If you looked in Webster’s dictionary under the term “cult classic,” chances are you would find (or at least should) find at least one reference to the Evil Dead trilogy. Filmed in 1979, The Evil Dead is one of the first movies to combine the genre of comedy and horror. If you’re a fan of the original Friday the 13th, Nightmare on Elmstreet, or Halloween movies, do yourself a favor and skip the rest of this review and head on down to the video store right now.
The first thing that must be mentioned about Evil Dead is the “look” of the movie. While it’s hard to explain, there are many shots, camera angles, and other low budget special effects that are rather fresh looking 25 years after the movie was first shot.
The plotline to this movie is rather cheesy, but that should almost be a given when you think about the genre it comes from(80’s horror…) Anyways, five friends go to a cabin in the middle of nowhere. While there, Ash (played by cult classic icon Bruce Campbell) finds the book of the dead and a tape recorder. When playing back a recording by the professor who used to live in the cabin, they awaken the “evil forces in the woods.” One by one, the teens start being turned into zombies known to followers of the movies as “deadites.” Eventually, it is learned that the only way to truly kill one of these deadites is by complete body dismemberment.
Which brings me to my next point… this is definitely one of the bloodiest and goriest movies that I’ve ever seen. While it’s not done in a realistic style a la Saving Private Ryan, it still is either really gross or really funny, depending on what way you look at it.
If you take Evil Dead for what it is, it’s a really enjoyable movie. While Bruce Campbell is never going to nominated for a lifetime achievement award by the Academy, he does a good job of playing the hero Ash. It’s a fun movie to throw in with your friends at 2:00 in the morning. Definitely give this one a chance… especially if you are a horror fan.

Video & Sound
It was shot in 1979 and it was on a tight budget even then, so you know it’s not gonna look prestine. In some ways, though, the old look almost adds to the feeling of the movie. There are a couple short clips that look especially bad, but as a whole, the video is watchable. Definitely not something you’d put in to show off your new hi def tv to your friends, but it works. Surprisingly, the audio is very good especially when you consider it has a Dolby 5.1, DTS 5.1, Dolby 2.0, French Dolby 2.0, and two commentary tracks. While it obviously wasn’t shot in 5.1 surround, it has been remastered mastefully (hehe).

Extras
The most important extras on this DVD are the two commentaries. The first, with director Sam Raimi and producer Rober Tapert, provides quite a bit of background information as to how the movie was shot, where it was shot, what was going on the day of the shoot, who was smoking wacky weed while shooting a particular scene… it’s pretty entertaining and worth a listen. As is often the case, I think the commentaries to low budget movies are the most interesting to listen to some of the shortcuts they had to take. The second commentary features Bruce Campbell who also is quite interesting. He has a few interesting stories about both the making of this film and also how being a bit of a cult icon has affected his career. One interesting story he had was about someone who got a piece of the rock from the cabin which he signed at a film convention. I prefer the Bruce Campbell track myself, but both are worthy of a listen.
Also included on the disc are 18-minutes of behind the scenes footage and outtakes. Many of these are funny and while they won’t add much to the film watching experience, they are at least good for a laugh.
Also included on the disc is a 26 minute featurette about Bruce Campbell. Being that he is a cult hero, many of his fans are a tad bit on the extreme side (think… kinda like Trekkies). His interactions with fans are hilarious as a few of them are a bit akward and a bit too exciting to meet them (think… kinda freaky). It also is nice to see him away from the spotlight because it shows a totally different light. If you’re a fan of the movie, I think this is a must see.

Closing words…
While it’s not the scariest movie I’ve ever seen, it’s a good flick. If you are looking for the version of the dvd that I reviewed, however, beware! Never has a franchise of movies (Evil Dead, Evil Dead 2, and Army of Darkness) been re-released so many times. I counted as many as 4 versions of The Evil Dead, 3 versions of the Evil Dead 2, and as many as 7 (can that be right!?!) versions of Army of Darkness.

Movie – 7
Video & Sound – 6
Extras – 6
Overall – 6

30

10 2012

Retro Review: The Spanish Apartment

This review originally appeared on brenthanson.net on September 22, 2004

Movie
Xavier (Romain Duris) is a graduate student from France who is trying to find his place in life. His parents sort of boss him around and his girlfriend (Amelie’s Audrey Tautou) isn’t the most pleasant towards him. He’s at a crossroads in his life and he’s confused at to what to do next. After taking some of his father’s advice, he decides to move to Barcelona to finish up his economics degree with an emphasis in Spanish.
On his way to the airport, he runs into Jean-Michael (Xavier De Guillebon), a brain surgeon, and his new wife Anne-Sophie (Judith Godrèche). After figuring out he doesn’t want to live with a friend of his mother, he gives Jean-Michael a call and moves in with them temporarily sleeping on the couch.
Eventually, he finds an apartment along with a few other “Erasmus” students all from different countries. Wendy (Kelly Reilly) is a quiet redhead from England. She’s also joined later by her loudmouth brother William (Kevin Bishop). Isabelle (Cécile De France) from Belgium is probably Xavier’s best friend in the house and also is studying economics. Alessandro (Federico D’Anna) doesn’t seem to do a whole lot other than hang around the house, but he’s from Italy nonethless. Rounding out the house is Lars (Christian Pagh), who is from the Netherlands, and Soledad (Cristina Brondo), who is from Spain, are a couple living together.
To be honest, not a whole lot happens in term of plot. The group of people get closer. There are fights, cheating, crushes, and just about everything else that goes along with any good episode of the Real World. Actually, the Real World analogy is almost appropriate for this movie. Much lke the Real World, most of the characters will be forgotten as soon as you turn the movie off, but it still is a cute, fun movie. I found myself relating to Xavier quite often. I’ve oftened found myself questioning if what I’m doing with my life is right. Part of me wishes I would’ve went over to Europe for a full year during college. Think of this movie as a European version of the Breakfast Club. It’s smarter than your average teen movie, but it keeps all the fun of one.

Video & Sound
While it didn’t look unbelievable, the look of this film was good. It actually looks like a well-shot indie film. Both 1:85:1 anamorphic widescreen and 1:33 full screen are available on this flipper. The language is in 5.1 French, but there is also quite a bit of Spanish and English thrown in as most of the characters are bilingual.

Extras
Nothing… not even a trailer.

Closing thoughts…
The movie tries to spit some knowledge on the viewer about how Europe needs to be more unified. In the end, it’s not an unbelievable movie or anything, but it’s better than 95% of movies you’ll see in theaters here on this side of the pond. It reminds me about the memories I have just hanging out with friends not doing much of anything.

Movie – 8
Video & Sound – 7
Extras – 0
Overall – 6

11

10 2012

Retro Review – Boyz N The Hood

This review originally appeared on brenthanson.net on September 14, 2004

“Increase the Peace”

Movie
Boyz N the Hood came out of nowhere and became the buzz movie of 1991. Premiering at Cannes Film Festival, eventually Boyz N the Hood would produce a best director nod for John Singleton who, at the age of 24, was the youngest director ever to be nominated.
Tre Styles (Cuba Gooding, Jr.) is a troublemaker as a young man, so his mother sent him to live with his father in the hood to learn how to be a man. Tre’s father, Furious (Laurence “Larry” Fishburne), is a strong-willed father who doesn’t want his son to end up like so many young men growing up in the slums of LA. Doughboy (Ice Cube or O’Shea Jackson as I like to call him…) and Ricky (Morris Chestnut) are brothers who live with their single mother across the street from Tre. Doughboy is constantly on his way in or out of jail. Ricky, on the other hand, is a star football player who is probably going to get a scholarship to play football and get up out the hood.
The temptations of the streets haunt Tre and his friends. Tre is sick of all the drugs, alcohol, and violence, there really was no way to avoid it. While Tre is sick of all that, Doughboy is caught up in the game… dealing drugs and drinking 40s all day long. Boyz differs from other movies though in showing the realistic side to people who do ill. I’ve come to learn that everyone who gets in trouble with the law isn’t sneaking around town like the Hamburgler. Doughboy has some bad qualities, but he is a likable character.
The ending of this movie is very moving and very intense. If you aren’t crying like I nearly was, you’ll be affected. The whole movie feels real – the characters are based on real people, the places where (and still are) real places. The events may not have happened exactly like that in real life, but they are believable.
The main reason this movie is so believable is because of director John Singleton. In a time when Hollywood was dominated by old, white males, Singleton (a young, black male) brings a very youthful enthusiasm to the sometimes uppity art that is directing. It’s kind of unbelievable that this movie ever got made considering Singleton was only months out of college when it got greenlighted.

Video & Sound
Anamorphic widescreen – always a plus! Boyz N the Hood has a realistic look. Actually, much of the movie seems like a documentary shot like a big budget movie. The video quality could be a little better. The colors are nice but that’s mostly because of the locales and the costumes. This flick definitely looks aged though, which is disappointing because certain movies like the Wizard of Oz are much older yet look a little better. The sound is a little disappointing since it’s Dolby 2.0. I think a movie like this would’ve benefited from a new audio transfer. The music and the ambient noise are something that add a lot to this movie, so I guess I’m kinda bummed.

Extras
The audio commentary features just Singleton, but it’s not disappointing whatsoever. He has a lot to say about the movie since it is very personal to him. His stories are entertaining – listening to this track enhances the viewing of Boyz N the Hood quite a bit. Another gem that’s on on the second disc is Friendly Fire: The Making of an Urban Legend which is a 45-minute documentary which brings almost all of the main characters back to talk about their thoughts on the movie and how it started most of their respective careers.
Also on the disc are two deleted scenes (meh!), two music videos (meh!), and about ten trailers (which I really liked!).

Closing words…
One of the most moving films that I’ve ever seen… I think it’s one of the best films of the 90s even though imdb (my favorite website!) users don’t even have it in the top fifty! Should be top 10 material… top 100 overall. But, anyways, if you are a fan of Menace II Society, which I think is the only comparable movie quality-wise of the same genre, you should check this out. Actually, if you’ve never seen it, you *should* check it out.

Movie – 9
Video & Sound – 6
Extras – 9
Overall – 8

04

10 2012

Retro Review – Blue Chips

I’ve got 100s of movie reviews in the can from. Over the next few weeks, I hope to reintroduce my “Guilty Pleasure Movies” to Motion Artifacts. In the mean time, here’s a review for one of my favorite fantastically terrible movies from 2010

0:01 – One time in my life, I’d love to see a sideline reporter interview a losing coach after the half. She (more than likely) says something along the lines of “Coach… nothing seemed to go right for you in the first half. What did you tell the guys at the half?” I then want the coach to say “…well, have you seen Nick Nolte at the start of the movie Blue Chips?”

0:02 – I’ll argue until I’m blue in the face, but this movie has to be the quintessential Nick Nolte movie. He’s good in other stuff, but if someone 40 years from now asks me “…who’s Nick Nolte?,” I’m mentioning Blue Chips first

0:04 – Someone correct me if I’m wrong, but is Blue Chips the only modern “big time college basketball” movie? He Got Game dabbles in it, but it’s a movie about a kid and his dad – basketball is just the vehicle. Love & Basketball is a hoops movie when a few characters happen to be going through college, but again, basketball is only the vehicle… it’s a chick flick if you strip it down. Glory Road is the only other college hoops film that I can think of, but it’s historic. I can’t believe that college basketball is such a huge entity (ESPN is about to pay a bajillion dollars for the March Madness rights) and there is only one pertinent movie? How’s this possible? By the way, wouldn’t this concept make for a great 13-episode a year tv show. Think Playmakers, only not so over the top, but on Showtime or HBO.

0:05 – It’s funny how the big names in college change, but at the same time don’t. Featured as coaches in Blue Chips: Pitino, Bob Knight, and Jim Boehim. Only other coaches that would be on the modern day Mount Rushmore of college coaching would be Coach K, Roy Williams, and Calipari – all of whom were relevant in 1994 as well.

0:06 – Featured on this Texas Western team – George Lynch, Chris Mills, Ed Stokes, Rex Walters, and Rick Fox.

0:07 – I like that they appear to be playing a real basketball game with real players on a real court. I’ve seen too many flicks where a 5’6” white guy with no real athleticism is rising above the rim to dunk on a eight and a half foot rim (see: One Tree Hill, Hang Time, American History X).

0:08 – I challenge someone to find me a better (non-sappy) sports movie moment than Nolte punting the basketball into the cheap seats. I’d pay big money to see this happen in person someday.

0:10 – “If I assert that you sleep with sheep, then it’s alleged that you sleep with sheep.” This sounds straight out of the Bobby Knight School of Handling Reporters.

0:13 – The only bad part of the movie… a boring storyline between Nolte and his ex-wife. Not as bad as the Affleck-Hartnett-Beckinsale love-triangle in Pearl Harbor, but bad nonetheless.

0:15 – In my entire history of tv watching, I’ve never turned the tv on the exact moment of something that I’d like to see. It’s always a commercial or a show I don’t want to watch or maybe like the third inning of a baseball game. Nolte turns on the tv and within 5 seconds, the tv reporter is talking about Pete Bell (Nolte) in a way that I’ve never heard a local tv guy talk in real life.

0:17 – Ahh… the Bob Cousy shooting free throws scene. As I’m sure everyone knows, he actually made all of the free throws he shot in this scene. By the way, I know this is somewhat sacrilegious to say, but Bob Cousy would stink today. If anyone ever mentions “Bob Cousy” along with the words “best guard ever,” simply look at them and say “…have you ever seen a video clip of Bob Cousy where he cross over and dribbles with his left hand?” He does the right handed spin a la every 5th grade basketball player I know in every video I’ve ever seen of him.

0:19 – Featured on the “Coast” team… Thomas Hill (who I always thought was brothers with Grant, Rodney Rogers, Matt Painter (as in coach of Purdue Matt Painter?!?), Allan Houston, and my favorite Kansas basketball player in the early-90s Adonis Jordan.

0:21 – We just saw the halftime score was 39-30 in favor of Coast. With 17:02 remaining in the second half, the score says 71-50. Meaning, in the last two minutes and 58 seconds, Coast has outscored Western 32-20 meaning one two point basket was scored approximately every 6.8 seconds. Why didn’t they show that? That has to be the single most entertaining three minutes in the history of basketball. Imagine… for a nearly three minute stretch, these two teams were on pace to score over 700 combined points in a game of basketball. Either that or the editor/director messed up.

0:22 – Final score – 88-73. For dramatic effect, we saw every single basket that Coast would’ve scored after 17 minutes in the second half and only one shot by Western. Bell’s got reason to be concerned after giving up 88 points, but they only gave up 17 in the last 17 minutes of the game… you can’t ask much more than that, can you?

0:23 – Hmm… interesting that Pete Bell would wait until after the last game of the season to really start recruiting hard. This year, national signing day for basketball is April 15th. Arli$$ (Robert Wuhl) points out that nobody is worth recruiting other than the top two guys in the country – Butch McRae and Ricky Roe. What do you think would happen if this was 2009? You are the coach from a once great, but now bad college basketball team (think a modern day Indiana or UCLA). You haven’t bothered recruiting all year. You’ve got a bad team, but sometime in late March, you’re going to give John Wall and DeMarcus Cousins (top two players from ’09) a call and say “Hey… I think you should play ball here. We were horrible last year, we don’t have much coming back, and I’m not willing to play under-the-table games. But you really should think about coming here.” Tough sell, huh?

0:24 – This has to be the coolest high school gym in the world. With a little research, I’ve found that I think it’s the “Old Gym” at Mount Carmel High School in Chicago. I’m just guessing this has to be the same gym that was featured in Above the Rim as well.

0:25 – How funny is it that they gave Jerry Tarkanian the line “…I don’t think we can get him in academically.” I promise you this is the only time he’s ever said these words in his life.

0:26 – It’s amazing how much Louis Gossett Jr and Scatman Crothers look like each other.

0:29 – I’ve seen this movie a million times. I never caught that Butch went to St. Josephs which is the same school as Isiah Thomas from the Pistons, numerous botched coaching gigs, and numerous sexual harassment lawsuits and Williams Gates from Hoop Dreams.

0:31 – If I were a fan of UCLA, I’d probably have dubbed this scene with the names “Reggie Bush” or “OJ Mayo” and posted it on YouTube. Kind of like they’ve done with that Hitler video from Downfall.

0:32 – I drove through Indiana once on a baseball trip with my brother in law. Incredibly boring looking state in the north (at least along I-90) but driving through the South part reminded me a lot of what you’d expect from “basketball crazy” Indiana. My claim to fame is that I visited Milan High School which I just happened to remember was the actual high school from the movie Hoosiers.

0:34 – Remember Matt Nover (aka Ricky Roe). He played at Indiana from 88-93. He never played in the NBA but he played overseas until last year (!!!). He’s now a head coach overseas. And he looks like a dead ringer for Luis Scola.

0:38 – Other famous people besides Neon Boudeaux from Algiers, Louisiana… absolutely nobody that I can find. There should be a sign that says “Welcome to Algiers… fictional home of Neon Boudeaux” as you come into town.

0:39 – Hold the phones… I thought we didn’t know New Orleans was poor until Hurricane Katrina in 2005. I’m watching Blue Chips which was made in 1994 and they are running through possibly the poorest neighborhood ever caught on film. And if New Orleans was this poor in 1994 and W didn’t start messing up the country for six years later, how can this all be his fault? He may not like black people, but as his time as owner of the Rangers proves, he seems to love his juiced Hispanic ballplayers. His 1993 team may be one of my favorite juicing teams of all-time – Canseco, Pudge, Juan Gone, and Raffy.

0:40 – One thing I’ve never understood about the streetball part of the film. Why is the rim about 1 inch in circumference?

0:41 – Watching Nick Nolte dance at the church is one of the more underrated 5-seconds if film history. Kind of like in “Finding Forrester” when Sean Connery yells “You’re the man now, dog.”

0:47 – When did they stop having the evil, smarmy (sometimes) rich guy in movies? As a director or writer of a movie, you’ve got an idea when the movie you make is in the same class as The Departed, No Country for Old Men, or The Dark Knight. 90% of movies are made just for money. Please do us all a favor and put a smarmy rich character in there, would you? Let’s say you are making a movie about a grocery store, I want the villain of the movie to be described as “Shooter McGavin of the produce aisle…”

0:48 – Here’s the funny thing about this movie… everything that Happy says is true and I completely agree with. “These athletes generate millions for our University. What do they get? Nothing. You get a multiyear contract. You get a six-figure shoe deal so your team can be a walking billboard. And that is all legal. And then you get another six figures for that lousy tv show. We owe them this money”

0:50 – All of this talk of SAT scores reminds me of one of my favorite cards to play to people much smarter than myself. Many of you are aware that Mensa is a high IQ group for people who have scored in the top 98% of IQ tests. In Spanish, mensa in an adjective that means “foolish” or “stupid.” The only reason I could imagine to join a group like Mensa would be to brag about how smart you are. At the same time, who wants to hear someone talk about how smart they are?

0:51 – Every time I see this movie, I forget how freaking good Penny Hardaway was at basketball. By the way – I was looking up Penny stats and found out that he was on the 1992 USA Basketball Developmental team that played the Dream Team in an exhibition. Other members of the team included Bobby Hurley, Jamal Mashburn, Eric Montross, Rodney Rogers, Chris Webber, and Grant Hill. How insane is it to think that of those guys, four were great NBA players – Mash, C-Webb, Hill, and Penny. Of the four of them, Grant Hill is the only one still playing. Webber had a good but not great NBA career that should’ve included a trip to the Finals (refs be damned!) but 2002-2003 was his last good year. 2002-2003 was the last good year for Mash as well. Penny’s last good year was 1999-2000 although he still wasn’t the player he was in his first four years in the league due to injuries. To think that Grant Hill is still a productive player on a good team 7-10 years AFTER these guys washed out is insane. In his first six seasons in Detroit, he put up point, rebounding, and assist numbers that could only be matched by Larry Bird and Oscar Robertson. He was traded to Orlando and in the next four years, he played 47 total games. Maybe he’s been able to play a little longer because his 37-year old body didn’t get four years worth of NBA punishment, but enough hasn’t been made of the fact that this guy is playing well after his career looked to be done 10 years ago. For the first time in his NBA career, he didn’t miss a game this year!

0:53 – I wonder if Matt Nover practiced the scene in which he asks Nick Nolte for $30,000 in order to come to Western in front of his real life college coach, who also appears later in the movie, Bobby Knight? That would’ve made for the single best DVD extra of all time, no?

0:56 – I thought this song playing in the background was the same song Chris Farley and Brian Dennehy sing before Big Tom Callahan bites the big one in Tommyboy. I was wrong… that song is “What I’d Say” by Ray Charles. This song is “Your Love Gives Me Such a Thrill” by Lee Andrews. Both are black guys with both a first and surname that can be a firstname. Here’s my “holy crap” moment of the day. Lee Andrews had a son who is none other than ?uestlove from the Roots. How is it possible that I didn’t know this?

0:58 – We all have heard about college players that have been “paid” to play. What do you think the average dollar figure is? Did Reggie Bush or OJ Mayo get $10,000 worth of cash/stuff? $100,000? $1 million? None of these dollar figures would surprise me, but I honestly don’t know what the going rate is. By the way, one of my ten favorite pictures on the internet is of Reggie Bush during the state high school track meet. You’ll have to click on the link to find out why it’s so funny.

1:00 – Who do you think went to more class in the second semester of their freshman year? Fictional Neon Boudeaux or the real life DeMarcus Cousins? Fictional Butch McRae or the real John Wall?

1:01 – Second question… pound for pound, who’s gained more weight since this movie has been released – Ed O’Neil or Shaq?

1:03 – Over an hour into the movie and it still hasn’t been explained why Coach Bell and his ex-wife get together all the time. Other than Larry King, Pamela Anderson, and Liz Taylor, do you know of any situations not involving kids where a couple of divorcees would willingly get together for any reason?

1:04 – I’m going to go out on a limb and saying that doing the “I’m going to roll a basketball and you two guys slide and go get it” is a drill you see 100 times more often in high school than you do at high level division 1 basketball. By the time these guys get to the NBA, they won’t even dive after a ball unless it’s a playoff game.

1:05 – Coach Bell speaks a few words that Kurt Rambis said exactly zero times all season. “Play the two man game.”

1:07 – Butch McRae asks if his mom will lose her house and job if he leaves school. It’s quite an interesting scene… definitely one of Penny’s toughest scenes in the movie. If he would’ve tried to film this scene just five years later, he probably would’ve sprained an MCL following around Coach Bell.

1:10 – Why are we supposed to care that the ex-wife of a disgruntled college coach isn’t happy with the way he’s doing things?

1:15 – I blame scenes like this scene where Coach Bell goes up to Tony’s dorm room for the two most disappointing things about my college experience. First, every college dorm room looks like the size of the most expensive suite a typical Marriot has to offer. The more realistic size is somewhere between a large walk-in closet and a small storage room. Second, I just assumed that everyone in college hung out in the hallways of dorms blaring loud music. People blared loud music, but never was it music that you wanted to hear. I woke up to Saliva or Rammstein or something similar.

1:18 – Why is Pete Bell going to his ex-wife’s house? This makes absolutely no sense. Can’t he go get a drink with the boys like they do in other movies? I’m missing the emotional impact of this. A divorced wife is disappointed into her ex-husband. And he feels sorry. What is the point?

1:20 – You almost forget that Indiana was once a powerhouse, don’t you? Tom Crean definitely has the potential to bring them back, but it’s almost funny to think they were top dog not that long ago.

1:22 – How is it possible that 16 years ago, at the age of 56, Dick Vitale looked 62. Present day (16 years later at the age of 70), he still looks 62. Do we have any pictures or video of when Dick Vitale didn’t look 62 years old? Amazingly enough, Bobby Knight is 69 years old. 14 years ago, he looked about 62 years old as well. Right now… would you guess he still looks about 62 years old? What are the chances?

1:23 – Somewhere on my bucket list would be watching Blue Chips in a room alone with John Calipari… just to see if he squirms a little bit.

1:24 – Of the teams we’ve seen play, Indiana is definitely the one that had the least real life talent. They had Calbert Chaney, Bobby Hurley, and not much else. The only other guys that are recognizable are Eric Riley (the best non-freshman on the Fab Five Michigan teams) and Keith Smart who made the game-clinching shot on the 1987 Indiana national championship team.

1:25 – What are the odds that Bobby Knight actually sounds like a better coach than Nick Nolte? The stuff Knight is saying actually makes sense… Nolte is just using lingo but it doesn’t make a ton of sense.

1:26 – Another classic “whoops” basketball moment. Bobby Knight calls for one shot which is typically something a coach is going to do at the end of a half. You look up and there is 3 minutes and 11 seconds to go on the clock. Whoops.

1:26 – Before the Shaq-era, someone would’ve watched these basketball scenes and said that they look realistic, but there are too many dunks. Then Shaq came around and you realized that’s really where a majority of his points came from much like Dwight Howard today.

1:27 – This play call is complete BS. Coach Bell draws up four passes and a handback with no screen to get an open free throw line jumper off the dribble. There’s no way without a screen that a college coach is going to call that play. What’s the point? A play like that is more of a read.

1:29 – If Coach Bell’s ex-wife is so disgusted in him, why is she at this game?

1:32 – Missed opportunity here. Instead of having a locker room scene, they should’ve shown a fake press conference of Bobby Knight losing. In fact, they should release a director’s cut where they splice in some press conferences like here, here, or here. Or you could just go to YouTube and type in Bobby Knight Golf Video (caution… the language is that of which you’d expect from Bobby Knight).

1:36 – This has to be one of the worst lines in movie history. Ed O’Neil asks Nolte if the rumor was true that he bought Neon a car. Nolte says Neon didn’t even want it. Then he asked the “Friend of the Program” Happy if the car was fully loaded. Happy responds by saying “No… no… coach. It was a nuclear surfboard.” Nuclear surfboard? Nuclear surfboard?!?! That’s the best line we could come up with there. I’ve never heard a worse line and that’s counting every anime cartoon I’ve ever seen? What’s worse, is why does everyone laugh at the line?

1:38 – This is definitely an era before YouTube. If this movie is shot right now, Happy gets a million and a half hits in one day for going off on Coach Bell and that scene somehow makes the movie.

1:41 – Why is such a big scene made when Pete Bell says “I quit.” Didn’t he essentially get himself fired with everything he said over the past five minutes? This is like every movie I’ve ever seen where one guy says “…you’re fired” and another guy retorts “…you can fire me because I QUIT.” It’s always seemed like a ridiculous movie cliché.

1:42 – We saw the game was tipping off at 8 PM. Most college basketball games last right around 2 and half hours. Then coach Bell had a press conference. We can safely assume it’s at least 11 PM and more likely 11:30 PM or later. So when Coach walks out of the press conference (and, by the way, none of the press follow him), he goes by an inner-city park (we can tell it’s an intercity park by the graffiti and ripped down signs all over the place) where there are approximately 25 kids between the ages of 8-15 are playing pickup games. Because we are assume at 11 PM at night in November (first game of the year, right), most kids are playing pickup basketball outside with no adult supervision.

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09 2012