The Passion of high school football

Karon Parrish

Friday Night Lights
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   The adaptation of H.G. Bissinger’s book “Friday Night Lights” opened Oct. 10. This powerful film teaches high school football players that sometimes being perfect isn’t being the winner. It sometimes takes losing to be perfect.

   Not exactly what some coaches and administrators want to hear, but it gets rave reviews from teens and parents, especially moms.

   After sitting on the bookshelves for more than 10 years, Hollywood director Peter Berg decided to turn Bissinger’s book into a screenplay. Bissinger happens to be Berg’s cousin.

   The true story set off sparks of hatred toward Bissinger while he was living in Odessa, Texas, collecting details about small-town football. The film stars Billy Bob Thornton, Derek Luke, Garrett Hedlund, Jay Hernandez, Lucas Black and country music star, Tim McGraw. Thornton plays the quiet but firm coach Gary Gaines. He wants a perfect season for himself, the players, the town and the administration that is always breathing down his neck for an undefeated season. His coaching demeanor is one of touch love. He knows when to yell and when not to.

   Luke plays the cocky star player Boobie Miles who has to deal with some very painful issues. The viewer will be surprised at the end of how he handles his situation. This performance was as good as his role in Antoine Fisher.

   Black plays Mike Winchell who is not only coping with his senior year of high school and the pressure to win the state championship, but also a sick mother. His character grows before your eyes as you see him become a strong leader.

   Although McGraw does not have a starring role in this film, many viewers will want to see the film just to see if he can act. He does a good job playing the role of a dad who was one of those past state champs and expects the same out of his son. He is an alcoholic and there is a great deal of violence toward his son in this film. But the events were real and make the film more powerful.

   The film is worth seeing as a family but only older teens due to language, some sexual content, teen drinking and rough sports action.

Grade: A-

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