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Leatherheads
DVD disk
Oct 14, 2008 By: Sturdy
Leatherheads order
Director:
George Clooney

Actors:
George Clooney
Renee Zellweger
John Krasinski

Rating:
Movie:
Extras:
Overall:

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WHAT'S IT ABOUT?
In the early 20’s, professional football was a far cry from the phenomenon it was today. Struggling with keeping his favorite game alive, an aging pro football player hatches a plan to get a famous college player and war hero to go pro. But when a beautiful reporter shows up to ruin the plan and take down the war hero, things get out of hand.
IS IT A GOOD MOVIE?
I love that George Clooney has such an appreciation for old films. He showed it with the great GOOD NIGHT AND GOOD LUCK, but takes a more lighthearted approach with LEATHERHEADS. However, mixed in with all the homage’s to old time films was a cute, romantic movie full of witty dialogue and football. It did run a little long, and I think some of the scenes dragged a bit, but overall it was a fun time.

But “cute” is the best way to describe the film. It wasn’t great and didn’t do anything spectacular, but it flowed nicely and was upbeat enough to hold the audience’s attention. I loved the love triangle between the three main stars and it worked very nicely as a counter to the football drama. There was a scene on a train between Clooney and Zellweger that was straight out of a Billy Wilder film. In another film, I’d say it was “stolen”, but in this one, it was clear from the beginning that Clooney wanted to pay homage to those great films and I think he did a fine job of doing just that.

I was concerned that John Kasinski wouldn’t be able to hold his own alongside Clooney and Zellweger, but I was pleasantly surprised to see that he was up to the challenge. As a director, Clooney was careful not to put him in a situation he couldn’t handle and for the most part, he managed to get the most out of his young star. Of course, it didn’t hurt that he was surrounded by talent. If anything, I found Clooney to be the weakest point and at times I thought he tried too hard to be funny by making funny faces and over exaggerating his mannerisms.
THE EXTRAS
Commentary with George Clooney and Grant Heslov: Clooney can make even a boring commentary interesting and he’s the only thing that saved this one. It felt like they didn’t have much to talk about, but managed to throw in enough interesting tidbits to make it worthwhile. It does start off kind of slow, but they pick it up about a quarter of the way into it.

Football’s Beginning (6:16): This is advertised as a “making-of” featurette, but it was actually a lot more. They talked more about the era of the 20’s and the lengths they went through in order to recreate it as accurately as possible. It was interesting and short enough to keep your attention.

No Pads, No Fear (9:13): This one focused entirely on football and the differences in the game over the past 90 years or so. They actually hired a historian to recreate some of the plays and they tried to stay true to the game as much as they could. I’m a huge football fan, so I enjoyed this one.

George Clooney; A Leatherheaded Prankster (3:30): I want to tell you what Clooney did, but if I do, it will ruin it. So all I’ll say is that this is worth the watch. It turns out to be pretty funny.

Deleted Scenes (7:56): These fall into the category of good, but not important. I’m glad they were cut because I felt the film was a little long, but I liked these scenes and I’m glad they were included on the DVD.

There are also some Previews
FINAL DIAGNOSIS
This is an easy film to enjoy and appreciate. It doesn’t take itself too seriously, but it was made so well that you have to appreciate it. I think most people will find something to like about it, so consider this a safe rental.
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