Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Point/Counterpoint on Michael Oher biopic 'The Blind Side'

Stovall: The trailer for the new film The Blind Side has been released. It stars Sandra Bullock and a litany of other actors.

Icehouse: Based on the book by Michael Lewis of the same name, it appears to be some director's attempt to piggyback the next big thing, which is apparently anything Michael Lewis does (even though Moneyball just got axed).

Stovall: It's the compelling story of a large, socially offputting African-American boy and his struggles on the street. Just spitballing here, but I think he goes to Ole Miss, wrecks house, and gets drafted in the first round, now able to buy thousands and thousands of the beds he could never have afforded growing up.

Icehouse: The book begins with an explanation of the psyches of adults that grew up in unfortunate circumstance. This discussion is based on fears that these men probably did not encounter while devoid of a normal childhood. It then shifts to explain recent trend in the NFL landscape to value defensive ends, and therefore their counterparts, offensive tackles. Essentially, the tackle must counteract the end, thus protecting the quarterback's blindside. Get it? Football begets football in the book.

Apparently, The beginning of this movie is a platinum-bleached half-assed mom who won't clean up after her kids and can't cook for shit.

Stovall: It looks uplifting enough. Maybe not my cup of tea, but I'm pretty sure this might affect some people in a positive way, like Remember the Titans, or Lucas.

Icehouse: They used "How to save a life" by The Fray in their trailer. How lame can you possibly be? They waited for something to be so played out that it is featured on Scrubs, then wait three years, THEN puts it into their movie trailer.

Stovall: I'm not concerned with Sandra Bullock being the star of a film about football. She's a more than capable actress, and pretty easy on the eye's as well. Joan Rivers would be one thing, Meg Ryan even, but I have to think that the romantic interest of Speed could handle the wear and tear of the gridiron.

Icehouse: Bullock's character is a strong person in the book. A central character? Maybe. But this is about how NCAA recruiting has become a business of tracking in human flesh. The coaches see nothing but an enormous prototype that is light on his feet. The entire family (not just the mom, but the younger son and teenage daughter) get to learn Mike Oher's humanity in the process of the journey to stardom.

Stovall: It'll be interesting to see the racial complexities of such a story. Social stigmas being what they are, I think it could translate very well to numerous audiences.

Icehouse: This movie could be an exploration into the problems and inequalities making current conditions and 'stigmas' the way they are. It could bring people together. Instead I think I'm looking at "suburbanite woman's life becomes complete when she finally earns the respect of the country club." It makes me want to vomit.

Stovall: And plus, I love me some football crashes. They big time booms to ever tackle to make it seem harder. When I walked past Gridiron Gang, starring the Rock (want to make it very clear, I walked by, did not go in), it sounded like Pearl Harbor.

Icehouse: Oh, there's football in this movie? That's funny. I didn't notice. I DID see Sandra Bullock on a field surrounded by boys in football pads. HOW FUCKING INTENSE COULD THAT PRACTICE BE?!

Stovall: I'll be very interested to see this film.

Icehouse: I'm currently stockpiling fertilizer, and am planning on driving a Uhaul full of the stuff, fermented into bomb-quality, into the studio on the day of this piece of shit's release. FUCK! FUCK! FUCK YOU!


  1. Problem is the book has so many complex stories and it seems that this film will choose the most Hollywoody and least in depth.

    I agree with Icehouse, class and inequalities are huge portions of the book. Essentially you have what lewis describes as the prototypical left tackle yet in order to get where he is today he needed all the luxuries provided by a upper class lifestyle. Essentially it shits on the traditional notion of the American dream.

    The football history/evolution is also interesting and would it really be too much to ask for a little voice over from L.T? Ogden? Parcells? (all in the book) just so everyone can know why a kid of his size, speed, and agility is coveted by the NFL?!?!

    Now what disturbs me is that the trailer is full of Sandra and her character Leigh Anee Tuohy. Now, dont get me wrong she was a main figure in the book, in fact she was probably the one who did most for Mike, but that entire family/school community was involved. In fact I think the daughter was the first one to actually introduce Mike. (By the way she is hot in real life and whoever is playing her clearly doesn't fit the bill) All of this leads me to believe that it will turn out as Icehouse so aptly put "Suburbinite women becomes complete when she finally earns the respect of the country club."

    Now another interesting note is that the trailer does not show Saban/Fulmer/Ed O. This is disturbing not only because it was a huge part of the book, and it was probably the most controversial. In short: "ohhhh after you figured out this kid was one of the best tackle prospects in the country THEN you adopt him and make sure he's elligible...oh he also ends up going to your alma mater for which you are huge boosters..." now I dont believe that was the Tuohy's intention for one second, but the question did come up, and it was an important one to ask. Personally, the recruiting was one of the better aspects of the book, just to see the way the different coaches interacted with him.

    Another thing that pisses me off is Tim McGraw's character, Sean Tuohy. He's pretty interesting in the book, and I hope he doesn't come off as "ok honey you do your little charity project while I right the checks" because he did a ton for Mike out of his own will. Again many people were involved. On a side note, are you fucking serious with the little brother SJ? If I'm not mistaken this is the same little whiny bastard in FNL (TV) and he in no way represents the real SJ. If I was SJ I'd be going ballistic right now.

    Now will it be as good as the book? no. does it look shitty? yes. I would just hope that they at least examined some of the themes in the book other than white family helps black homeless kid.

    All of that said I'll see it so I can rant again and I'm still holding out that the opening is a clip of Joe Theisman getting his leg snapped from LT. I'd pay $7.50 to see that any day of the week.

  2. Also I agree with Icehouse that lewis goes a little over the top at times. If you look at moneyball, what has Oakland done after they lost the big 3? Another thing that is funny is out of all of these moneyball players maybe two are still above average pros. (Youk/Swisher)

    Ohhh and I forgot, Lewis is good friends with Sean Tuohy. So take that for what it's worth when the book/movie comes out.

  3. but zack is cute!