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Friday Night Lights [Blu-ray]
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'Tis a sport that offers the purest microcosm of life: Play as a team--succeed; play as individuals--fail. Those of us who have strapped on the pads and grunted and groaned in the trenches know this incontrovertible truth all too well. A single unit is much greater than the sum of all its individual parts, and this stellar truism is manifested magnificently in Peter Berg's sensational film FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS.
Again, I love football, and I particularly enjoy football movies that capture the grit and dark hubris of the sport, but this film stands alone in its overwhelming ability to portray a game, a west Texas town, its residents, its players, and its shameless addiction to the gridiron to a degree that transcends every single facet of human existence. In a community intoxicated with football, in a culture intoxicated with football, in an infrastructure that lives, eats, breaths, and sleeps football, the 1988 Odessa Permian Panthers are about to embark on a spectacular odyssey that will catapult and devour them at the same time: a magical, mystical season taking the coaches and players up and down the peaks and valleys of high school sports nirvana.
This is a film that garners attention to itself for infinite reasons. A great story, based on a bestselling book. Cinematography second to none, thanks to Tobias A. Schliessler, that gives the movie its gritty, handheld, "documentary" feel. A fast-paced, action-packed, totally believable series of scenes, augmented by an absolute killer soundtrack. And acting--oh yes, some very convincing, authentic, been-there-done-that acting.Read more ›
Director Peter Berg has finally done it, with FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS!
Based on H. G. Bissinger's best-selling tale of the 1988 season of the Odessa (Texas) 'Permian Panthers', the film unflinchingly paints a vivid canvas of a school and community obsessed with winning, as football provides the only release from poverty and desperation. While the concept is reminiscent of Tom Cruise's earlier ALL THE RIGHT MOVES, Berg doesn't glamorize the hero or tie things up, neatly, at the climax; in real life, while victories are savored, they are, at best, a temporary 'high'...while defeats can drive rational people into irrational frenzies. The Panthers' fortunes are such a crutch to Odessa's emotional well-being, that each game becomes a narcotic 'fix' for the entire community...a situation potentially dangerous for the players, and their coaches.
While Billy Bob Thornton has received the bulk of media attention, as the stern but fair head coach (with glowing reviews for BAD SANTA, and THE ALAMO, Thornton is having a career-defining year!), the film is really an ensemble work, with stand-out performances by Lucas Black, Derek Luke, Garrett Hedlund, and, surprisingly, singer Tim McGraw (as Hedlund's 'reliving past glories' father). The entire cast is exceptional, avoiding the easy pitfalls of simply playing stereotypes.Read more ›
Director Peter Berg's film version of "Friday Night Lights" is based on the true story of the Odessa-Permian Panthers and their 1988 season. What "true" means in this case is that the name of the coach and the key players are accurate, as are the number of losses the Panthers had that year (although the scores are different, as is one of the opponents).Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This is a great football movie and a great story-in-general.Published 8 days ago by Jeannie Shelton
TV show was better (5 stars) - though it may be because I saw the show first.Published 15 days ago by Amazon Customer
It's only ok, got more attention for the story rather than the quality of the film.Published 2 months ago by Morgan McKinley
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