A new football movie relies on some old plot points
When the Game Stands Tall (opening on Aug. 22) dramatizes the true story of De La Salle High (Concord, Calif.), which won a U.S. record 151 straight games from 1992 to 2003. "But our movie begins when the winning stops," says actor Jim Caviezel, who portrays coach Bob Ladouceur. "So you see character growth and a fight for redemption." While Caviezel insists it's not a clichéd high school football movie, you also see a crazed fan base, racial and socioeconomic tension, a training montage and, of course, the big playoff game. Sound familiar?
|FILM STUDY||WHEN THE GAME STANDS TALL||FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS (2004)||REMEMBER THE TITANS (2000)|
|INSPIRATION||2004 De La Salle Spartans (Calif.)||1988 Permian Panthers (Texas)||1971 T.C. WILLIAMS TITANS (VA.)|
|PROTAGONIST COACH||Jim Caviezel as Bob Ladouceur||Billy Bob Thornton as Gary Gaines||Denzel Washington as Herman Boone|
|"IT'S MORE THAN JUST A GAME" PEP TALK||"It ain't about the football. It ain't about the touchdowns...."||"Being perfect is not about that scoreboard out there...."||"I'm not gonna talk to you tonight about winnin' and losin'...."|
|FALLEN HERO||Ladouceur suffers a heart attack; a beloved former player is killed||ACL injury derails career of stud running back||Car crash paralyzes a popular teammate|
|NFL CAMEO||Raiders running back Maurice Jones-Drew, a De La Salle alum, has 60 seconds of screen time||Permian alum and former Cowboys receiver Roy Williams plays an assistant coach at a rival high school||With Denzel, you don't need NFL star power|
|OVERBEARING FATHER||Running back's dad puts immense pressure on his son to break the state scoring record||Fullback's father doesn't think his son is carrying on his legacy||Star defensive back's dad demands more playing time for his son, even calling for a team boycott|
SIGN OF THE APOCALYPSE
Mahiedine Mekhissi-Benabbad of France was disqualified after finishing first in the 3,000-meter steeplechase at the European Championships because he took off his shirt and put it in his mouth as he neared the finish line.