Monday, July 12, 2010


Clint Eastwood, 2009 (7.5*)

Not one of Clint's best as director, a by-the-numbers sports film which contains little drama or conflict to pull the viewer in. Morgan Freeman, who produced, is excellent as Nelson Mandela, even somewhat resembling him physically, and garnering another best actor Oscar® nomination. Newly elected, his country is still torn apart racially, so he sees the upcoming 1995 rugby World Cup, being held in South Africa, as a potentially unifying event. Their rugby team, though world ranked, is being manhandled by better teams like England.

President Mandala calls in the team's captain, blandly played by Matt Damon, who does little here to convince skeptics that he can act (in spite of a supporting actor Oscar® nomination, where the heck did that come from?) to his office for an inspirational meeting. Damon has little do other than play rugby and tell his players "we can do better for our country". If you don't know this story or the outcome, it may have a little suspense for you, but it seems to be directed as if everyone knows the outcome, here's the 'behind the scenes' inspiration.

Don't expect to learn much about rugby here, but you will learn something more about South African racially motivated politics. All in all, a pleasant but forgettable sports film. Good for soccer junkies disappointed that the 2010 World Cup is now over.

Quote: Soccer is a gentlemen's game played by hooligans, rugby is a hooligan's game played by gentlemen.


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These are the individual film reviews of what I'm considering the best 1000 dvds available, whether they are films, miniseries, or live concerts. Rather than rush out all 1000 at once, I'm doing them over time to allow inclusion of new releases - in fact, 2008 has the most of any year so far, 30 titles in all; that was a very good year for films, one of the best ever.

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