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Glory Road
DVD disk
06.16.2006 By: Sturdy
Glory Road order
Director:
James Gartner

Actors:
Josh Lucas
Derek Luke
Jon Voight

Rating:
Movie:
Extras:
Overall:

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WHAT'S IT ABOUT?
A womenís high school basketball coach gets the job of a lifetime when heís offered the chance to coach Division I Menís basketball at Texas Western University. He quickly runs out his welcome when he recruits seven African-American players for the team.
IS IT A GOOD MOVIE?
I know Iíve said this before about other movies, but itís worth repeating because itís becoming a huge problem; youíve seen this movie before. The first time you saw it, it was called REMEMBER THE TITANS, FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS, COACH CARTER, etc. Sports movies of this nature are a dime a dozen and GLORY ROAD is no exception.

An underdog team beats the odds and fights the racial issues to prove their critics and the world wrong. The problem, of course, is that we donít get enough time to care about any particular character. We get bits and pieces of each player and coach, but nothing to keep us interested. Sports fans know how this one ends, so the filmmakers had the responsibility to give us something else to care about, and they didnít.

I was also very disappointed in Josh Lucas. I really like the guy and I think heís going to have a long and successful career, but he just didnít cut it here. I just didnít believe he was a basketball coach because his performance didnít have the level of authority that it should have. The other performances were mediocre because they borrowed performances from other recent sports movies. I can honestly say that had it not been for the sport and uniforms, I wouldnít have been able to tell you if this was an original movie, or many other movies spliced together.

Maybe Iím being too hard on it, but Iím just sick of these cookie-cutter movies getting churned out by the Hollywood machine. If youíve seen a couple of sports movies in your day, then this one wonít offer anything new.
THE EXTRAS
Commentary by James Gartner and Jerry Bruckheimer: Yes, Mr. Gartner, people do listen to commentaries. Although judging by the contributions from Mr. Bruckheimer, Iím not sure he was listening. Anyway, Mr. Gartner knows his subject matter and is clearly a fan of Don Haskins (the coach). He does a really good job keeping the commentary rolling and he still has the passion since it was his first movie.

Commentary by Chris Cleveland and Bettina Gilois: Writer commentaries need someone else in the room to keep them talking. Because thatís what writers do, they write. These guys have some good stories about the subject matter and it was interesting to hear them talk about that instead of the film itself. However, the slow parts made it a difficult listen

Deleted Scenes (5:59): The meat of these scenes involve Adolph Rupp (Jon Voight). I had issues with his character and Iím glad these scenes were cut. Overall though, these were pretty worthless and deserved their place on the cutting room floor.

Legacy of the Bear (12:36): Too many movie clips for such a short featurette. I liked seeing the real Don Haskins though and I enjoyed hearing from his friends and colleagues. A decent view if you dig Texas Western or the story.

In Their own Words: Remembering 1966 (22:00): I really like to see actual people talk about a movie based on their lives or experiences and this one fits the bill. Pat Riley himself shows up to talk about his experiences. I enjoyed this one, but it didnít tell us any of the gritty, behind the scenes details of the team. This is the one to watch if youíre a sports fan and youíre interested in what the players are up to today.

Surviving Practice (4:26): I remember Tim Hardaway when he was running with the Miami Heat. And now heís hosting featurettes about Don Haskins. This one had the best potential to be really interesting, but of course, itís the shortest and falls shy of reaching its potential. Tim takes us through a typical Haskins practice with clips of Haskins coaching sprinkled throughout.

Thereís also a Music video some Previews.
FINAL DIAGNOSIS
So you mightíve guessed by now that I wasnít a fan. The best I can do is recommend this to the younginís out there that enjoy sports and havenít heard the story before. Otherwise, skip this one and wait for an original (or at least original telling) sports movie.
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