Friday Night Lights

Back in 2006 when I took a look at the upcoming fall TV season, I said:

Friday Night Lights? Didn’t enjoy the movie, I’ll probably not enjoy the show.

At the time, that was accurate.  I’d seen the movie and while “didn’t enjoy” might have been a tad harsh, the movie was decent but it didn’t blow me away.  I certainly didn’t see why it would be turned into a TV show.  Later on, people would tell me how good of a show it was, but I still avoided watching it.  I didn’t want to watch a show about football.

Thanks to Netflix’s Instant streaming service and my Xbox 360, I’ve caught up on 4 seasons of the show and am now watching season 5.

Surprised is just too small a word to describe my reaction to Friday Night Lights.  I was naive to have dismissed the show as being “about football” when football is just the backdrop for this story about people living in a small town.  The drama depicted here is just so well done, so deftly written and played out, I’m kicking myself for having waited so long.

And it isn’t just the story or the writing, the performances by the actors here is amazing.  I suppose it helps that many of them are people I don’t recognize.  Outside of Kyle Chandler (who I know from various places including Early Edition) and Connie Britton (from Spin City), I don’t think I’d seen any of them before, and if I did it was clearly not enough for me to remember them.  But each of them clearly understands their characters and their scenes play out so naturally, so real.

The main reason I write about the show now though is that this season, the fifth, is going to be the last.  And it will be missed.  If you have the opportunity, I highly recommend watching Friday Night Lights.

Movie Round-Up: August 21st, 2009

Inglourious Basterds:

I’m on the fence about this film.  As such, I probably won’t pay $10 to see it.  It just looks like it might be a tad too over the top. *shrug* I’ll wait for DVD.

Post Grad:

I got to see a screening of this, and I’m glad, because now I don’t have to pay to see it.  I’m not saying the movie is bad, it is just not great.  It is about a girl who goes to college and dreams of being a book editor, only she doesn’t get the job she was after, followed by not getting any job in her field, and now she’s at home again trying to figure out what her next move is.  Alexis Bledel does a fine job as this girl, but she just doesn’t stand out.  And the plot really isn’t a mystery… from the very beginning you, the audience, know what she’s supposed to do and the journey to her finding out isn’t all that exciting.  Overall, I thought it would be funnier.


I really had no idea what to expect with this film.  I knew it was a kid’s movie, and I knew it was a Robert Rodriguez film (a director who keeps jumping back and forth from very adult to very kid movies), and I knew it was about a wishing rock.  I probably spent a good 70% of the movie laughing.  The movie has everything little boys could possibly want in a 90 minute story.  Some parents might object to the fart noises, the boogers, and the boys being boys, but it really is a safe family friendly movie.  Thumbs up!

Henry Poole is Here

9 out of 13 nots.
for being about faith without being preachy

Technically, this movie opened yesterday, and I should have put up the review then.  But I already had two reviews set to go up, and three posts in one day seemed a tad crowded to me.  Besides, I don’t think many people are going to rush off and see Henry Poole is Here on a Friday night.  It is more of a lazy Sunday morning movie.

Henry Poole is dying.  Although, we never learn from what, he does say he won’t be around long.  But he’s gone back to his childhood home… or at least he tried.  Instead, he bought the house down the street.  He has a Hispanic neighbor who used to date the man who previously owned the house (who died of a heart attack in the kitchen).  He also has a neighbor whose husband ran out on her and their child, a daughter who hasn’t spoken in a year.  And he’s got a water stain in the shape of Jesus in his stucco.

Its that last thing that causes the most problems.

Henry Poole is Here is a movie about faith, about belief in something greater, but at no point does it come out and shove any particular religion down your throat.  It also never says anything remotely close to people who don’t believe going to Hell or anything.  It is more a message of, “Having hope is better than having no hope.”

I enjoyed it.  Not the greatest film ever made, but far from the worst.  I can think of plenty of worse ways to spend an hour and a half.