WHEN THE GAME STANDS TALL
By: John ’Doc’ Strange
Directed by: Thomas Carter
Cast: Jim Caviezel, Alexander Ludwig, Michael Chiklis
MPAA Rating: PG (for thematic material, a scene of violence, and brief smoking)
Selig Rating: FULL PRICE
Runtime: 115 Min.
Texans love football, especially high school football. When the Game Stands Tall tells the story of De La Salle High School Spartans who set the record for the most consecutive wins at 151. That win streak took the school through 12 championships. The fact that they are from California doesn’t make a difference to us.
As with all good things “The Streak” had to eventually come to an end. The next season sees the team’s long-time coach, Bob Ladouceur (Jim Caviezel), suffer a heart attack and the team lose their first two games.
Coach Ladouceur fights to get his life back. Part of that battle is to make it right with the family he has not paid sufficient attention to as he concentrated on the team. His son Danny (Matthew Daddario) is a senior on the team. All Danny wants is for his father to coach him and the team to victory.
Some of the players have hard lives brought on by overbearing parents. Other lives are influenced by economic pressures. The coaches use some really well thought-out methods to help the team gel as a cohesive unit capable of winning. But truth be told, the boys have to find their own reasons to win. This film is the story of a team finding their way out of the dark and back into the light.
This is a film about football and being true to both yourself and the game. It’s about following your heart to the truth. The story is strong reminding me of the best parts of Friday Night Lights and Radio with a touch of Rudy for good measure. The stories all stress that character and sportsmanship can combine with a will to win against long odd to bring victory. They have one other quality in common, they all have a strong thread of religion to them.
I thoroughly enjoyed watching When the Game Stands Tall. It’s a film that warms the hearts of all of the football fans in the audience.
The Selig Rating Scale:
FULL PRICE – Excellent movie, well worth the price
MATINEE – Good movie
DOLLAR – OK movie
CABLE – No need to rush. Save it for a rainy day.
FREEBIE – Good that I saw it on the big screen but wish I hadn't paid for it.
COMMERCIAL TV – Commercials and cutting to the allotted time will not hurt this one.
FORGET IT! – Bad. If you see this one, do yourself a favor and keep it to yourself.
GET YOUR TORCHES – BAD! – Burn the script, the writer, the director and maybe even the actors!