Monday, October 22, 2012

Coach Carter (2005)

Synopsis: It’s Hoosiers in the ‘hood!

Blurb From the DVD Jacket: “Based on an incredible true story, Coach Carter is the inspirational account of controversial coach Ken Carter (Academy Award nominee SAMUEL L. JACKSON), who received both high praise and staunch criticism when he made national news for a gymnasium ‘lockout’ of his entire undefeated team for poor academic performance.”

What Did I Learn?: High school teachers apparently have nothing better to do with their free time than to hang around in a gym for days on end for big, group tutoring sessions.

Really?: 1) Ok, take a drink every time Carter gets the last word against the angry high school principal, or one of the basketball players yells: “this is bullshit” and storms out of the gym. 2) So wait, the basketball coach decides on his own to forfeit games, and the principal doesn’t simply fire his ass on the spot? 3) Assigning 2000 push-ups as punishment might be realistic for the Marine Corps, but for high school students? And sure, I can understand punishing kids for tardiness and impertinence, but it seems a bit much to assign push-ups for a bit of bragging. 4) What’s the point of having Carter’s son switch schools to play on his basketball team? He seems to blend seamlessly into the basketball clique, and he never really “talks” to his Dad after he makes the move.

Rating: Borrowing heavily from Hoosiers and Lean On Me, Coach Carter is a pretty formulaic, by-the-numbers drama about a middle-aged role model who whips some young punks into shape with a combination of push-ups and a lot of yelling. Samuel L. Jackson does a decent job with a lacklustre script. 6/10 stars.

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