Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Can Leatherheads succeed?

Today I finally saw the Leatherheads trailer, and for the most part I liked what I saw, but I still have some reservations.

Now, I've wanted to see a modern take on old-timey football in film form for a while now... after all, think about how many movies have been made about baseball in the 1920's and 1930's. And there are a lot of stories to tell from that era, including the rise of Notre Dame from a little obscure Catholic institution to a powerhouse, the story of Fordham's Seven Blocks of Granite and a whole lot of individual athletic stories as well.

But I don't know if taking a page out of Slapshot was the way to go this time around. Yes, it may very well be funny, and George Clooney is an accomplished comedic actor who took a lot of cues from the screwball comedies of the era, but there is just something that makes me feel uneasy about this movie for some reason.

Maybe it is the fact that John Krasinski is playing a college football stud who also fought in World War I, when the movie takes place in 1925, meaning he certainly is no rookie playing on the same team as a 46 year old Clooney. Now, I know that people were tougher back then, but come on, there are very few George Blandas out there. (I should also note that quite a few people died playing football in those days as well).

And the fact that the third part of the purported love triangle is a female sports reporter played by Renee Zellweger. In 1925. Yeah, I am sure that was going to fly. And since Zellweger and Clooney dated in the past, well, I am sure they will have a little more chemistry on screen.

However I must admit that 1925 is a pivotal year in football history, as it is the year Red Grange was signed by the Chicago Bears, but in actuality, I somehow think that the basis of the basic plot points of this movie are going to be centered around the 1926 Duluth Eskimos who signed a fullback from Stanford to rival Grange, and many of the elements of that real life story seem to be mirrored in the trailer, so aside from a female sports reporter and a few other relative anachronisms, perhaps there will be some good period football yet. I just hope those involved keep in mind that while the forward pass was legal in 1925, it wasn't the most popular way of winning a game at the time.

I guess my only consolation if this movie ends up being terrible and horribly inaccurate is that it will still be better than The Comebacks. Though really, there are better Ed Wood movies than The Comebacks.


Semaj said...

The trailer was good, but I don't think this movie will make any cash, mainly because the young crowd will see as an 'old movie' type.

But you're right that it's good to see a movie set during that time period.

Then there's Renee Zellweger and that expression she has on her face most of the time that annoys me.

MC said...

It is the true roots of smashmouth football... though I don't think either Clooney or Krasinski will lose teeth for through effects for realism.

Chris said...

Accurate or not, I will probably see this because of 1) my love of football and 2) my man-crush on George Clooney.

MC said...

In the past, I've expressed the sentiment that I'd love to be George Clooney. I'm just saying.