Lite’s Review Room – Weekend Movies: “Undefeated” “Project X” “Dr. Suess’ The Lorax”

This weekend is a perfect time to take the family to see a movie.  Especially considering the Oscars were last weekend, and everyone is still on their Cinema high..

Julie Fisk, our Queen of the Silver Screen and member of the DFW Film Critics Association, took a look at our first movie for this weekend.

“Undefeated” is about an inner-city high school football team that is trying to make it to the play-offs for the first time in its schools history. It just won the Oscar for Best Documentary. It’s hard for us in North Texas to imagine a high school football team that has NO funding from its school. Even harder for us to imagine team coaches who aren’t paid a dime, but that’s the reality in Manassas, Tennessee.

The team has never won a play-off game since the school was founding in 1899. The town itself has fallen into desperation since closing its last manufacturing plant. Enter volunteer Coach Bill Courtney who wants to build a winning football team and more importantly, give these young men something to aspire to. Comparisons to “The Blind Side” are inevitable once the Coach takes in one of the players to help keep his grades up.

I watched “Undefeated” knowing it had already won an Oscar and I spent the first half hour being a little underwhelmed. By the end of the movie though, I had a knot in my stomach & tears pouring down my face. “Undefeated” is a slow build but it ultimately pulls you in with its honesty and Coach Courtney’s awesome pregame speeches and that’s why I’m giving it an A-. Because it asks the question, what DOES happen to these guys if Sandra Bullock doesn’t show up to watch over them till they go pro. What happens if they’re side-lined by injury or even worse, by their own personal demons? NOTHING happens to them.

A whole lot of NOTHING and that’s the specter that hangs over the Manassas Tigers football field, along with those Friday night lights.


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