Posted on 7/24/10 01:48 PM
Run this way. No, that way. Now run over there. Ah, the game of the damned seems to be ostracized for tomorrow and then tomorrow. Some think of it as backwards football, just a wee bit more tame, played by cleaner aristocrats. The other half thinks of a reason why the slower international soccer would never get as much recognition as it intended to get. Just as you thought that rugby would rise high, it slumbers way deep, 12 ft. yonder the European silverware. After all, not a lot of Americans put rugby as holy as the most dangerous game, majestic football - or even thriving tennis. Thing is, rugby isn?t a rubbish excuse for more sweat, couple of ripples on your triceps. Heck, even Mr. Nelson Mandela, President of South Africa, played these games during smacking law school. He?s like 80. And half of his life was slammed into a squished up jail for a hellish 27 (let?s round up to 30!) painful years.
Nelson?s a fanboy. Apparently, this powerhouse politician loves rugby so much, he?s bequeathing important files and a half bagful of sealed papers. Treaty with some other country can wait. Crime rates are so yesteryear. AIDS is a cliche. OK, maybe he?s not that tangled up with scoreboards and tall men with short convos. But a tad level-three for this workaholic to let go of mammoth coffee sprees, political plane plights should be on the NY Times most confuzled moments. The controversy squabbling over a black man?s cloud leading South Africa into a nicer waterfront reminds us of a Barack Obama lighthouse, center stage. We don?t understand how he won the Nobel Peace Prize! But we do have some idea of how a little dude named Nelson received that prestige. We know lots.
The voice of wisdom still leads a country of ruins. It?s a no-brainer for South Africa?s land to embody some kind of defect even after a smart guy jumps on the same boat. The last thing we heard from our middle school teachers was the policy of apartheid, something that carves out the living detergent out of reps. While crime rates went all the way to kingdom come, Nelson was nearer to the ground, where kids on the left played dirty soccer with raggedy, leftover New Balance shoes, while on the right, the lads showered in Gatorade for rugby. After a whole whopping three decades behind a 2 cm. cell, how could a guy be so calm, laid-back, and yes, a zaftig Confucius? The last thing Africa?s survivors wanted to hear was ?Pride in our country! Play sports! Hurray for that team!? crap. It all seemed like this is coming from an ADHD blobject radio-looking thing.
THE BLIND SIDE
So it turns out (a game of rugby) is the answer. The ?One Team, One Country? campaign sounded like ?Change Can Happen.? Nelson digs up the lamest thing from a meager hole that needed more shovels. With white fear, black hatred and fishy pasts, an uber-shallow Connon O?Brien would?ve steer cleared from poking fun at Africa?s deep line. A ?He can win an election, but can he run a country?? newspaper headline sparked iffy jelly, something Mandela could care less. Ahem. Doesn?t that remind you of Obama?s 2008 triumph? Still, not a lot of countries takes a wonky trail to just make every single damn organism smile. Nelson drank one full Red Bull gallon and shook a triple zipline. A dead nation meeting a revived sport is something far more live-saving that a health-care plan, solving water problems, improving home life, etc, believe it or not. (We don?t believe it.)
To bad the sports genre is already bad bait. With hooks. And blood. You don?t have to be as trippy as Lance Armstrong to notice a rink and a jean chair ain?t some Tour de France. ?80?s action pecks thrived that match with a ?Rocky? that?s tame, cute and all, vs. the real rollin? dirty Scorsese ?Raging Bull.? Between there are the Disney-wanna-be kids? 2PM scrimmage: the 10 other ?Karate Kid? straights, balloon-y skiing sequels, detention-free after school specials, and, ugh, even ?Sandlot? brouhahas. Now, that is the reason why basketball and a nifty camera kills the cat with a nippier and court. But Dirty Harry takes the chance. (One?s gotta know that this man takes no ?no?s? for an answer.) Historical maestro - who wouldn?t think of him as one?!! - Clint Eastwood may be over the hill. But he can still don a bad ass (defeating Viet gangs) and a fur coat (all touchy, mushy with patriotism.) So why can?t he host a game of football - er, uhm, rugby? The South African accents have to be more welcoming than corrupted mayors and neck spikes.
Maybe it?s too crazy. It?s a pretty darn sad excuse, but it would?ve bombed with worst results without the A-list stars. Use the guy with a voice from God (Morgan Freeman! And the surprisingly doppelganger look of you know who...) and for the other, Jason Bourne biceps (Matt Damon). (Shh. Morgan is a ton better than Matt!) Sure this is already sounding like the Yellow Book of sorry win-lose games. And it is. Eastwood?s ?Invictus? doesn?t just illustrate the ever more intense European?d 1995 World Cup match. More like tea time with the president than the 4:00pm beer showdown at the bar! Literally, Mr. Clint drew a storyboard that?s taped with the already stitched events. His almost too didactic screenplay dabbles the lines of a somewhat more pro tactic. Based on John Carlin?s sporty book, ?Playing the Enemy: Nelson Mandela and the Game That Made a Nation,? (is it just me or does every athletic book have to have that coffee book look?!) retraces the Cup with a philosophical Pup.
This is quite a frumpish mouthful. The underdog team goes all the way up to the skies, tries to stabilize defying gravity, yadda, yadda. But like Mr. Clint?s one-line title, this one?s straight-forward all the way to the other field, a ?Yes sir? order. Surely there can?t be any surprises here whatsoever in its game plan. Rugby captain, Francois Piennar (Damon, blondie) really should retrieve another job; all he can do here is chase his own tail, round and round. In other words, his rugby team stinks up like five year-old mustard. The Springboks, a team with haters and Axis powers behind ?em, still dons that green-gold fab. The faux is a fancy term for apartheid laws, nasty oppression policies. Oh, no. With released Mandela (Freeman) on the front seat, we wouldn?t like to see his unlocked wrists finally burst steam.
Thankfully, his tea his too warm. Francois raises a flag, receives help and remembers why a big-hearted country is as valuable as winning a big ass trophy. It sounds real mature, eh? But with Nelson?s wisecracking Godfather postures, South Africa definitely attempts to open a bucket of stirred paint. With Damon?s squished, squirrley attempt on constructing an African accent, it seems like he?s strangely cutting holes into his outline. We don?t really have any time to understand his hair comb within 2 hrs 14 min of throwing footballs, tackling with short shorts, coded politics. His team starts training for the Cup for a whole year. Sir Clint wants us to learn more of Mandela?s fierce, a kind of MLK marathon. We get it, as if we didn?t even know the Nobel king?s title. But an overnight miracle, and a few homey gym workouts, doesn?t enroll an emotional bandanna. Sure Francois? team are pressured into a foaming spa of stress balls and terse shoulders. But this isn?t a miracle worker?s thing! This is supposed to be that docudrama about a suckish team sweating 360 buckets of long-hard crunches! With the President!
Oh, there?s nothing worst than worrying about that snitch. Here?s a making of a half-score: a lesser than versatile performance by Morgan. Good thing he?s born with the faucet of a grandeur, fatherly voice. You should cover your eyes and open your ears and pretend your listening to MLK?s famous speech on a lil? radio. Unlike the bookworm, supporters at first thought that Nelson was a bit over his head for thinking rugby?s the new peacemaking pinky unwrapped by saint Gandhi. Then over there, we see his diverse bodyguards (more whites than of blacks) playing a sweet game of catch together. Aww, so cooey and croony. Things like that should deserve a spanking from a village of PO?d right-wings. There isn?t any time to confirm a Morgan development. Obviously, there?s time for energy-sucking campaigns. Really, a (sporty) biopic should open the blinds, a story that depicts a dude with messy problems and messier games. There?s a reason why that guy has bruises all over his legs.
Sadly, that?s what refs love to hear these days. Clint, being all dared and ?60?s mad man of all, tries a bit too aggressively with the ?more-than-a-flick? charm. It actually vandalizes the freaking point. You don?t see enough of Mandela?s caricature! Morgan though sure does hatches a PC term for good game. But the rest is a rushed, scarce showdown with hullabaloo cheers. A script that only covers itself with a novel that bite sizes its own lame game, converses the mediocre wonder-dog to a pathetic piece of plastic. How can a bum not know what?ll happen to Francois and his posse? It was a trump real time, now it?s just time to Twitter more spoon-fed nostalgia.
Rugby isn?t all too hunky dory. Besides that it gives us conscience to work our flabs more (sorely, the guys there run every second in the Cups? finale), a Joe should feel - aha! - somewhat good. Clint?s fit enough to realize we?re sick of karate chops and last second touchdowns. Even more to wipe off that really long title into William Ernest Henley?s brooding poem, a hefty hairspray all nifty for Francois? mirror. (I have not winced nor cried aloud/ My head is bloody and unbowed) You gotta admit. Harry would get stumped by.
Clint?s proud like quibble. The lone cowboy, ladies man, gritty dude from your worst nightmare, directs harder than a mytho fob. ?Letters from Iwo Jima,? ?Flags of our Fathers? and even ?Gran Torino? snaps a paycheck full of ceremonial civil care. This one wears an Oscar-look and the ?if I don?t win, go off the plank fool!? puppy-eye look. It looks prettiful. It?s actually mediocre grumble-rumble, technical errors, too. Yeah, there?s some nice camera shots with the player?s magic kingdom and all. But a bird?s eye view makes the indie go all BBQ?d and the dramatic a too cellulite-y slow-mo. Clint is still the real old man. Gladly put him up there with Tom Hanks, another grandiose wrinkly but still flairy actor with books behind his spine and an aging face: a wise, kind power. Go ahead, make his day.