You are going to one of the best movies I have seen in awhile, When The Game Stands Tall.
Sony Pictures/Affirm Films brings to the screen an incredibly inspiring story of a High School football coach who chose to teach a generation of young men about character on and off the field. Based on true events, this movie tells the remarkable story of legendary football coach Bob Ladouceur, who took the De La Salle High School Spartans from obscurity to a 151-game winning streak that shattered all records for any American sport."
Now this movie isn't about the climb to winning all those games - instead it focuses on what became of the 2004 team that dropped the ball and lost for the first time in twelve years. Life isn't about being on the top. Character is built when you fall and pick yourself back up. That is the philosophy of this great inspirational movie.
"Don't let a game define who you are. Let the way you live your lives do that."Along with some of the other great movies that have come from the sports arena, like Remember the Titans, Rudy, The Blind Side and of course for Christian movie-goers, Facing the Giants - greatness is not found on a scoreboard. Coach Lad made sure to focus his boys on community, personal bests and the connection and preservation of family. This movie goes for an extra touchdown than some of the other inspirational sports movies have in that Coach Lad reminds everyone it is never about winning.
Of course the first question you might be asking if you aren't a sports fan is how much football is in the movie. My answer ... a lot. But please don't let that deter you. The message of the film penetrates so much deeper than the hits, runs, passes and blocks of high school football. As well, I thought the filming of the game scenes were done well. They're high impact and realistic - from my perspective.
This is the kind of movie that leaves you thinking and pondering long after the credits roll. It is incredibly well-rounded and superbly written. The actors are all fantastic and believable. The scene shots are vivid and eye-catching. I have nothing but praise.
As far as the element of faith goes, this movie is not hard hitting and bible thumping. The story takes place at a Catholic private school in California. The producers did not hide this fact at all - there are scenes of prayer, religious based classes and God is spoken of openly as a part of their lives. Very natural. Coach Lad's faith permeates his life - all the while showing that he is not perfect. In fact, he teaches the boys that you can never be perfect - like have the perfect game or perfect record, but each and every thing you do should be marked by giving:
"A perfect effort from snap to whistle."And isn't that so true of our our faith journeys. You will never live without mistake or failure but don't quit and don't give up. From snap to whistle.
Families will love this movie. The only aspects for families with small children is there is football violence up close and loud, there is a scene of smoking, a scene of partying and a scene of sexual innuendos among teen boys. These are minimal but definitely present. Check out the Focus on the Family's Plugged In review for more information.
And if I could borrow a quote from another fellow's blog posting titled Why you should see When The Game Stands Tall with your Teens
."Check it out! Either visiting your local movie theaters or picking up the DVD in the coming months - DON'T MISS OUT!
For those looking for even a little more information here are a few links of interesting things I discovered in my own research I couldn't resist sharing.
- USA Today article article by the actor Jim Caviezel about Coaches and this role. Excellent!
- Video interview of Jim Caviezel on the Official 700 Club.
- For the very brave - a 40 minute interview of Jim Caviezel, who played Jesus in the Passion of the Christ, in a very powerful, inspirational interview from Rock Church
- Facebook - be sure to like the movie.
- Quotes to tweet and Pin