The Home of Steven Barnes
Author, Teacher, Screenwriter

Thursday, June 09, 2005

The Longest Yard (2005)

It says something that, three days after seeing this movie, I couldn't remember what it was I'd seen, and had to look in the newspaper to see what was playing that day.  I don't think it's just my fading memory, but rather that, despite being a lot of fun in the initial watching, this Adam Sandler vehicle about a former quarterback forced to coach a team of inmates for a game against the guards really offers nothing the orginal film lacked.  You know, I'm not against remakes, any more than I'm against films made from television shows, plays, comic books, or novels.  The only question is: is it good?  I kinda like Sandler.  He has an easy, relaxed way in front of the camera that works quite well.  Chris Rock (on a roll here after "Madagascar") does some very good work as well--possibly the film role that best captures his sense of humor.  Playing the "I can get it" guy in prison (the Morgan Freeman role, one might say.  Where would black actors be without prison films?) He sparkles whenever he's on screen.  James Cromwell, as the corrupt warden, looks as if he's forgotten all about Babe, and the Rap Star Nelly displays an almost astonishing athleticism--Wow~!  Yet and still, there's nothing new here.  It's just a paycheck (nothing wrong with that!  People have to pay bills) but ultimately forgettable.  So...while I sat in the theater, it was a "B".  After three days, it's a "C."  Go figure.

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