Video Views

“Remember the Titans.” Rated PG. I give it a 5 out of 5.

As I sat and watched “Remember the Titans,” I was thinking that Hollywood had finally come out with a “guy” flick that didn’t involve blowing things up or shooting everything in sight. I mean, football is definitely a guy thing, and this movie is definitely about football.

But, as the plot unfolded, I soon realized this film, though certainly centered on a sports feel-good theme, has much more to offer than grunting and sweating. This is a lesson about life, and viewers don’t necessarily have to know a darn thing about the gridiron to gain joy and inspiration from the best video I’ve seen this year.

“Remember the Titans” stars Denzel Washington as Coach Herman Boone, the man charged with the difficult task of integrating an Alexandria, Va., high school football team in 1971 in a town that wants nothing to do with him, the black players he brings with him or the system that has forced the blending of the Titans.

To make matters worse, Boone has been elevated to head coach, replacing the beloved Bill Yoast (Will Patton), a football god to the locals and state high school hall of fame candidate.

Through a system of tough love, Coach Boone brings the team together in training camp. But, the harmony he has managed to create in preseason isolation turns to discord as the school year opens amid busing, forced integration and racism.

As the players face the turmoil, however, they become stronger and form an unbreakable bond that places them on the brink of a perfect season.

In the center of the storm are Gerry Bertier (Ryan Hurst), the white team captain, and Julius Campbell ( Wood Harris), the angry black anchor of the other end of the line. They finally see eye-to-eye when Coach Boone forces them to have an honest and open exchange of ideas rather than closed exchange of fists.

It is easy to look beyond the football field in “Remember the Titans.” The screenplay by Gregory Allen Howard leads viewers to share the suffering and the joy of the players and coaches, who have the most at stake. They all must lead by example, must see each other as human souls, not just members of a certain race.

It’s a great lesson for all of us, and it comes to us courtesy of Disney without the usual underlying Hollywood message that no film can be good, successful and family-oriented.

Such movies are extremely rare these days, and for that reason, it’s important that we remember how good “Remember the Titans” really is.

Bob Wade is a local video enthusiast. The videos he reviews come courtesy of Radio Shack/Quick Flick, 110 N. Main, Hillsboro.

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