‘Coach Carter’ Film Review: More Than an Athlete

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“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. Your playing small does not serve the world.”

Doing what you know is right sometimes can be the most laborious task. Ken Carter (Samuel L. Jackson) knows this all too well when he must return to his old high school to coach an undisciplined, insubordinate, and obstreperous group of young men. 

Kobe Tribute

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The world of basketball was changed forever a few days ago in the shocking death of Kobe Bryant. While the film does not directly relate to the man, it does not change the fact that his life meant so much to the game and so many people around the planet. You will be sincerely missed.

Real-Life Issues

It’s easy to watch this film and judge the basketball team harshly. The way that they act can be rude without a doubt. However, you don’t know whatever these teenagers have been through. The world that these kids live in is not easy.

Kenyon Stone, one of the few level headed players on the basketball team, even has his own struggles. With a pregnant girlfriend in high school, along with having the chance to play college basketball, he has to decide what’s worth more to him.

Even if you can’t relate to their stories and backgrounds personally, you feel some of the pain that they experience. You know, even though some of the boys have a rough exterior that these teenagers are not bad people that they’ve just had harsh lives.

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Feels Real

An aspect of the film that I love is the language used. High school films often feel very outdated no matter when they were released. People just don’t talk like movies assume high schoolers talk. While this film was released over 15 years ago, the slang, along with the sayings, are still used today.

Clothing styles in the film feel a little dated but that’s what people wore during the time the film took place. 

Basketball is being Played

When you have spent a vast amount of time dedicated to a specific activity, it can be scary to see it played out in a film. Because it’s hard to enjoy a movie that doesn’t go through the effort of making the situation look real. If you love basketball, then you’ll immediately love the scenes concerning basketball.

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From the games to the scrimmages it feels like actual basketball players are out there playing. Instead of some guys that don’t know about the sport. It’s honestly refreshing getting both good actors that can also at least appear to play basketball well.

Samuel L Jackson Steals the Show!

I don’t think I’ve seen a movie that had Samuel L. Jackson in it, and I didn’t enjoy his performance. Regardless if I liked the film or not, he always stands out. Here especially, it shows that he can take a serious role and perform very well.

Jackson is a coach who doesn’t act like basketball is the only thing that matters. The parents of the children who play on the basketball team have already spent their lives telling them that this sport will be the best part of their lives. So the only thing that matters to many of these kids is basketball.

Ambitions outside of that aren’t too lofty, and Coach Carter doesn’t want that to remain true. The basketball players are student-athletes, which means they should go to class and learn not just play basketball until they can’t anymore.

I truly felt that Jackson cared about the future of the teenagers that he coached. It’s a beautiful thing, and he feels so genuine.

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Conclusion

Coach Carter succeeds at one of the most challenging things for films to do, correctly and it’s to cast accurately for a movie that takes place in high school. Everything feels right from the dialogue to the clothes that the teenagers wear. Those may seem minimalistic, but it’s one of the easiest ways to get disconnected from a film.

The serious themes that the picture tackles are also grounded in realism. It may seem astonishing to some how life is for people in impoverished areas. Not everyone was born in the suburbs and had a pretty easy life. Most people don’t know what it’s like to be aware you have a baby on the way in high school, but that’s a serious issue that some must face.

Outside of that, there’s constant gang violence and it’s pretty much unavoidable depending on where you live. I really do appreciate the film for diving deep into these harsher themes.

From major to minor characters the acting is very believable. In my opinion, Samuel L. Jackson outperforms the rest of the cast simply because he crushes his role. I simply don’t know how his performance could’ve been improved.

Verdict 9.5 out of 10 Stars

‘Spider-Man: Far From Home’ Film Review: Tom Holland’s Best Outing Yet!

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After the conclusion of Endgame, I didn’t know really what to expect from the MCU (Marvel Cinematic Universe). I had hoped that the following movies would live up to amazing titles such as Avengers: Infinity War or Thor: Ragnarok. It’s astonishing to think that Spider-Man: Far From Home exceeds every expectation and gave me one of the best movie experiences I’ve had in quite a while.

Following the devastating events of Avengers: Endgame Spider-Man will have to learn how to protect a world that has been changed forever.

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Nice Change of Scenery

From Wakanda to space Spider-Man has been everywhere. What changes this time around is that Spider-Man isn’t the one who’s far away from home it’s Peter Parker. With his class, they explore various stunning locations.

The locales are beautiful, breath-taking even with great camera work to boot. During action scenes, it can be difficult to show off the terrain and make a fight worth watching. This film proves that it’s possible to do both and I love it.

No One Overstays Their Welcome

At times when a film attempts to give screen time to 12 or more actors/actresses, it can make the product suffer. To make all of those characters enjoyable and give them time to shine during the movie is a true skill.

There are characters I do not like in this film, but that doesn’t mean they were not enjoyable. For instance, a minor antagonist of Peter makes me wanna just beat him up myself. However, for a film to make me feel so strongly about something is a win in itself.

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Some characters whose only role was to be comedic relief accomplished their mission. I don’t think 20 minutes went by ever where I did not laugh. An attempt at comedy at the wrong time can really leave a bad taste in the mouth of the viewer. With that being said the timing of the jokes was great and never came at a time where it was inappropriate. While a few jokes did not land they were inoffensive.

The Action

Without giving much away this film possesses arguably one of the best fight scenes throughout the entire MCU. You’ll know soon after it starts exactly the moment I’m talking about. It is so creative and uses CGI in a phenomenal way.

You don’t see much of the typical Spider-Man action this time around. No saving civilians from robbers or thieves. Instead, he’s dealing with much bigger threats. While some believe it hurts the film I don’t think we need to see our friendly neighborhood Spider-Man knocking out some random thug in every movie.

A Love Interest Worth Our Time

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Most movies fall into the realm of clichés at some point. Most things have been done before so it’s quite difficult to do something no other film has. However, Mary Jane or MJ for short is one of my favorite love interests in a long time.

This MJ isn’t like every other girl the protagonist is after. She’s quirky and weird. She’s a quiet girl and Zendaya truly makes the character her own. Something crazy will come out of her mouth and she won’t bat an eye.

Her delivery is so good and believable. I hope this will encourage other filmmakers that they don’t have to play so safe with the love interest of the protagonist.

Conclusion

While I had worried about the future of the MCU this film proved I had no reason to fear. An interesting plot along with amazing scenery and standout characters makes good a great flick on its own.

The action is superb and gives us something new in the Spider-Man universe. This movie is no slouch in comedy either and I can’t keep track of how many times I busted out laughing.

The cast is great I can’t imagine any of the main characters being replaced. Tom Holland remains a terrific Spider-Man and Peter Parker. He was born to play the role.

Finally, Mary Jane is fantastic and Zendaya crushed my expectations. I can’t wait until our friendly neighborhood Spider-Man makes his way back to the movie theater.

Verdict 9 out of 10 Stars

The Best Sequel Yet!

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As the lights dimmed soon after the film began I see Woody and the gang back together and my inner child wanted to leap out. This is a very different Toy Story from what we are used to. Not only plot-wise but even the tone at times. Hours after watching the film I’m still thinking about the rush of emotions I felt throughout this wonderful adventure.

Woody, Buzz Lightyear and the rest of the group have been given to a little girl named Bonnie and they join her on a road trip with her family and a brand new toy, Forky. Along their journey, both familiar faces and newcomers are met.

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Everyone Laughs

Making jokes for both adults and children is not an easy task. Not only does Toy Story 4 accomplish its goal for being comical for all ages. It surpasses all of the past films with its comedic genius.

While it can be argued that some jokes went on for too long. Personally, I enjoyed the majority of them and the jokes that didn’t fall for me were inoffensive.

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Emotional Rollercoaster

Throughout this series, I’ve never felt this many emotions from one particular film. One moment you’ll be happy seeing some of your favorite characters from your childhood. Then the next you’ll feel heartbroken. Admittedly I did cry twice during the movie and for a bunch of toys to make me feel such a strong emotion must be commended.

Missed Opportunity

I can’t think of anything terrible in this film. The worst that I can think of is just missed opportunities. The main focus of this story is on Woody and a character thought to be forgotten. While having a focused story did benefit the plot it made the huge collection of toys who have been important throughout the series feel wasted.

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New Additions Are Welcomed

I was concerned about Forky during the promotions he just didn’t seem like an interesting character. I’m overjoyed to say that I was wrong and he’s one of the best parts of the film. With his addition, It is my belief that it made the film stand out from past entries.

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Conclusion

While a fourth film wasn’t necessary for this series Pixar made it work. There’s a story to be told here and they weren’t just capitalizing off of everyone’s nostalgia. This film made me laugh, cry, and reminded me why I love movies.

Visually it looks perfect so crisp and so clean. The lengths that the animators went to just to make this film look as beautiful as it does must be appreciated.

While it is my belief that some characters have wasted potential it doesn’t make the film worse. Not to mention the new characters easily pick up the slack. Regardless of age, I recommend this film wholeheartedly it is a fantastic watch.

Verdict 9 out of 10 Stars