Remember the Titans
WHAT'S IT ABOUT?
Denzel Washington is my kind of actor. The guy has a knack for generally avoiding bad movies (Iíll forgive him for the BONE COLLECTOR) and somehow always ending up in some pretty incredible roles. Couple that with the fact that in the countless interviews Iíve seen with the man, he seems like a genuinely stand up guy whoís still humble after all these years. His latest movie, Remember the Titans, gets the deluxe treatment in its recently released DVD.
Set in 1971, the movie revolves around a recently integrated high school in Alexandria, Virginia. Amidst the new changes, the school board decides to hire a black head coach (Denzel Washington) for their varsity football team. Parents and students protest the decision as the team must find a way to cooperate and overcome their racial differences.
IS IT A GOOD MOVIE?
Given my previous track record for avoiding most Disney related movies, this one caught me completely off guard. Simply put, it was one of the best feel-good all over movies that Iíve seen in a long time. Despite its sugar coated, cliched and painfully predictable plot, I bought this one hook, line and sinker! Denzel "the Man" Washington turns in yet another great performance as the hard nosed bastard of a coach you canít help but love. If youíve ever played a sport in high school, youíll definitely see some of your old coaches in him. The ensemble cast of mostly young men, like their leading co-star, were very solid and despite the movieís often touchy subject matter, delivered very "real" performances. It was nice to see that the movie incorporated believable characters and chose to avoid the cardboard cut outs weíve come to generally expect from Hollywood.
What I truly dug about the movie was the absolutely soulful soundtrack which basically put the icing on the cake. Classic helpings from the likes of Marvin Gaye and The Temptations, among other Motown veterans, helped really tie the movie and characters together. The movie also managed to inject just the right touches of humor here and there, which in tandem with some serious moments of drama, left me one happy camper. Iím gonna take my hat off to the folks over at Disney for creating a fun, inspirational flick which everyone in the family can probably appreciate. Good job, guys.
The DVD also does an adequate job of squeezing in some worthwhile added extras. First up is "An Inspirational Journey Behind The Scenes", a 21-minute documentary styled featurette. Hosted by former NFL great Lynn Swann, itís a solid look at the real events which formed the basis for the actual movie. It was cool to see many of the young actors interacting with the actual actors they portrayed. Itís an informative piece but comes off as a bit "fluffy" at times. Next is "Denzel Becomes Boone", a 6-minute look at the actorís transformation into the hard headed inspirational coach. Through interviews with the people behind the movie, you get the feeling that they couldnít have made the movie without Denzelís talents.
Next is "Beating The Odds" (6 minutes) which through interviews with director Yakin and writer Allen Howard, we learn that every major studio rejected the movie before Disney decided to take a chance on Remember The Titans. For those thinking about getting into the scriptwriting game, itís a hard reminder that getting into the business is one hell of a difficult task. Given how good the movie was, I canít understand how studios managed to pass on this one. Weird. 6 short deleted scenes, running close to 9 minutes finish up the extras. One scene in particular, where the players return to a racist restaurant, is definitely worth checking out and itís a shame they didnít leave it in the movie. The movieís original theatrical trailer is also included.
After checking out this disc from top to bottom, Iím going to have to give my thumbs up to this kick ass DVD. Thereís nothing really to complain about, given that you get a great little movie, THX level audio/video and plenty of supplemental material to keep viewers happy. With that having been said, all movie viewers young and old can appreciate this flick and itís a good "get the family together" type flick (Iím not married and I donít have kids, so take my word for it). Worth the cash.