Kevin Costner, is trying something new!!! He’s become an actor!!! He’s ameliorated his craft, and has now found a rhythm to communicating with his audience. No more is he, just saying his lines and expecting us to like it. So it’s not painful to watch him on-screen as it once was.
Perhaps it’s because audiences expect more from actors now, than in the past. For instance, if you’re an actor now, you have to squeeze out a few tears if it’s a cry scene. If you’re angry in a scene, your face should show it, and if you’re in a sleep scene, don’t have a glob of makeup on when you wake up, (this one is especially true for women). Because none of that’s believable and Kevin finally is getting it right, where he wasn’t before.
The Premise: Sonny Weaver, Costner, is the general manager of the Cleveland Browns football team and it’s draft season. And for some reason all the player must be on this team. As he muddles over some star draft picks he’s in a quandary about a quarterback and other key positioned players. His boss, Frank Langella, is pressuring him, his coach, Dennis Leary, is pressuring him, and almost everyone else in the league not to mention his mother, Ellen Burstyn. Which makes him question himself, and the character of some of the football players he’s considering.
This story is reminiscent of Moneyball, with Brad Pitt, but football instead of baseball. As, it was a bit predictable because of Moneyball, but interesting. What made it so, is for anyone watching who knows little about the sport, being a football buff wasn’t required. As it showed how impersonal the NFL draft is, and since it’s such big business, football players are like cattle, or horses at an auction. It’s a sad commentary on the politics behind the game. Although, it did try to show the human side of the wheeling and dealing, but with too little character development on the draft picks. The film did attempt to show the main character in a sensitive light, as he appeared to care about the draft picks.
The dialog was good and fast paced, and didn’t seem preachy but had a silly side story. With the time-worn theme, of an older man chasing after a woman, Jennifer Garner, young enough to have fathered, it’s shallow, and disturbing, especially since she probably has daddy issues and co dependency problems. It’s puzzling, why writers can’t fathom a woman of middle age being attractive and desirable to a man the same age? What’s really going on with this tired storyline/stereotype? It just perpetuates the thinking, that ALL middle-aged men are in a persistent mid-life crisis, with no choice in the matter. In Costner’s case, it’s unfortunate that art mirrors life, as for divorcing his wife, and marrying a younger woman, the same age as the character in the movie, and it’s still a dumb cliché. Come to think of it, this role wasn’t a stretch for him at all.
The Sum Up: With good dialog, fast paced story, and Costner’s biography on-screen (exaggerating a little), this movie get’s a B, for see it on dvd or in theaters, but see it. I couldn’t give it a A because of the underdeveloped storylines of the draft picks, or silly romantic side story, sheesh, that nearly made me angry. With some language and a dubious relationship, I have to give this flick a ***Safety Alert.*** This movie is not for children under 14, Pg 13. ~ Musings&Rants