Son, if you really want something in this life, you have to work for it. Now quiet! They’re about to announce the lottery numbers – Homer Simpson
When Mrs Andy saw this on sale in Tesco for £3, it was promptly thrown my way and I was told I was watching it. Turns out she can pick a not bad wee film.
Ain’t No Mountain High Enough
It’s 1971 in Alexandria, Virginia. Coach Herman Boone has taken up the position of Head Coach at T.C. Williams High School replacing Coach Bill Yoast, who is being considered for the Hall of Fame. This causes a bit of tension, because the City of Alexandria has only recently been desegregated, and Coach Boone is African American. Out of respect for Coach Yoast, Boone offers him a position, which he accepts to stop the white players boycotting the team and losing their chance at a scholarship. Will the players be able to overcome the racial divide and learn to play as a team? Will the town be brought together and racial tension ease through this group of talented young lads? Is that Randy from My Name Is Earl? And have I ever seen a movie with Denzel that I didn’t like?
Based on the true story of the T.C Williams Titans, it is a heart-warming tale about overcoming diversity and prejudice. Denzel plays the role of Coach Boone with his usual Denzelness. I may be a bit biased cos I think he is awesome, but his portrayal of a man not driven by prejudice but by pride, conveniently makes you feel proud. Will Patton plays Coach Yoast, whose role initially reeks of saboteur, but in time reveals himself to be all about the football. Turns out it is Randy from My Name Is Earl, aka Ethan Suplee, who, for me, puts in a hilarious stand-out performance as Louie Lastik, a young lad who doesn’t acknowledge the racial tension and sets an example for the rest of the team.
Seeing Ethan then compared to now also inspires a husky lad like myself to shift a few pounds. If you haven’t seen it then Google (other search engines are available, I like Bing as it gives you a nice wee picture every day) Ethan’s incredible weight loss. Well played fella!
There is a scene in which Denzel gets the players out of bed at about 3 in the morn, to take them for a run through the woods The run is halted as they emerge from the trees on the edge of the battlefield at Gettysburg, and what follows is one of my favourite moments of film ever as Denzel delivers a speech to the team about the effects of hatred. The early morning mist is swirling as his words are spoken and it is a hauntingly beautiful and inspiring scene. I know it has been glorified for cinematic effect but I don’t care and got completely swept up in it, a bit like the “Freedom” speech in Braveheart, my other favourite moment in film.
The irony of that last statement makes me laugh. I am Scottish and proud but I have never felt more Scottish than when I watch an American/Australian with face paint and a terrible interpretation of my homeland’s accent give that speech! I shed a wee tartan tear every time. Good times!
The film shows how insignificant race actually is when you look past it. I don’t care if you are black, white, purple or turquoise, if I think you are a ****, then it’s cos I took the time to get to know you, and came to the realisation that you are a ****. I didn’t base my decision on anything other than that, so trying to understand why some people are so narrow minded as to think that a skin colour or belief is reason enough to hate someone is difficult for me. If you are one of these people then you are a scumbag. It’s the people that you are prejudice against, who shrugged off the hatred and ignorance, and decided to go out and achieve something, that I will tell my kids about to inspire them. Rant over.
Remember The Titans is an inspiring story, made all the better because it’s (mostly) a true one. Its funny yet serious in all the right places and if you don’t find yourself welling up at some point, then you are heartless! Shame on you! If you have not watched it, wait till you are a bit hungover and feeling sorry for yourself, or have just had a crap day. Its message will make you feel better. Society up till that point had taught them they were different, but simply through their love of football, they decided themselves, they were equal.
I may have to retire now as I don’t think I will ever write a better line to sign off with. Although I realise that by pointing it out, I have ruined it. Ah balls!!
Ps I have decided to take on the Harry Potter films and shall post my findings soon. No doubt at the end I will say, that wiz-ard!! Ha that joke was magic! My jokes are just wand-erful! I’m done now.
Catch up with more Andy Finally Watches… entries here.