Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Criticwatch - Well done, Ben Lyons

Erik Childress at Criticwatch has a definite advantage over me in discussing At the Movies, which is that he has actually seen all of the movies these guys are talking about while I am just playing catch-up. So when Ben Lyons throws out a quote like this about Rudo y Cursi, Erik is much better than I at realizing how wrong-headed it is:

Lyons: It’s a great little sports movie and what’s really cool about it is often times in sports films the actors can take you out of the moment because they aren’t accomplished athletes. Here they do a nice job of not even really showing the soccer. You don’t even really see it that much. But it’s, it’s really well done.

I heard Lyons say this and all I really got out of it was that the actors don't "take you out of the moment" with their crappy soccer playing. The "not even really showing the soccer" part just went over my head--obviously (I thought) he was saying the soccer they did show was "really well done." My biggest mistake, I suppose, was assuming that this was in fact a soccer movie, since that is what it looks like based on the trailers I have seen. But I guess I should have learned from Lyons' missteps to avoid making any assumptions about a movie based on the trailer, even seemingly benign ones.

Erik catches the real point, as he writes:

The sport in question is soccer and as you can see, according to Benny Boy, you don’t really need to show the sport in order to call it a sports movie. Did Will Ferrell’s lack of skills behind a race car deter in your viewing of Talladega Nights? How about Billy Blanks thumbing his nose at the rules of football by using a loaded pistol on the field of play in The Last Boy Scout? Or would you just simply not call them sports movies? My remembrance of the film, Rudo y Cursi, does include some vague references to the brothers playing soccer, but mostly that the storytelling was so poorly handled I didn’t know how to label it . . .

If Rudo y Cursi is a “great sports movie” then it better damn well either be about the sport in more than just a passing capacity or have some solid footage of the sport being played. Lyons is saying the film does a nice job of not showing the soccer. OK, so they’re covering up the fact that Bernal and Luna can’t play? Why is it “really cool” for a sports movie to not really show the actual sport that much?


There is more this week, including some exclusive info that Erik picked up outside of At the Movies. Click here to read the rest.

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