The Blind Side

It’s been hard for us to put a movie into the DVD player lately for fear of it sucking.   My wife has been busy grading school papers after we’ve put the kids to bed.  My work is non-stop.  We do our best to make time for the kids to get outside, et cetera.  When The Blind Sidecame from Netflix, I was squeamish.  It was that same monotonous feeling I’ve been having about how I can’t afford to waste time on movies that suck.  My watch/return ratio (i.e. the number of movies I watch to the number of movies that don’t suck) is somewhere around 5 to 1 and that is with a lot of upfront diligence on reading reviews, talking to friends, and listening to opinions on the radio.  And, I’ve only written a handful of movie reviews and I usually only write about the ones that really strike me; this is one of those movies.

Was the movie trite?  No.  Was it predictable? Yes.   The word tritekept occurring to me again and again throughout this movie.   I enjoyed the movie right from the beginning and I knew exactly how the story was going to go.  I had an inkling of what the movie was about with regard to Michael Oher’s story and the fact this movie was based on that true story.  Yet, even if it wasn’t, you would have been able to guess exactly what was going to happen.   This story was a just a real life example of a 100 year old tried and true Hollywood formula.  But, and this is a big but, it didn’t matter.  The story was brilliant.   I suppose this is why the word trite kept popping in my head.  How can a story so realistic (forget about the Hollywood dramatizations – the story in general) be trite?  How can human compassion for others in need be trite?  How can this story be considered trite?  It can’t.  It isn’t.  And, it’s dismissive to think so.

The acting by Quinton Aaron is great in a different sort of way.  He didn’t have to push too many emotions other than seeming indifference yet he did a terrific job.  His role was obviously key to the movie and had he sucked, Sandra Bullock would not have won an Oscar.  I’m curious to check out some more of his work as it looks like he’s been a busy fellow:  he starred in 5 movies between 2008-2009.

I’m not going to go on and on about the details of this movie or even give a synopsis of it.  I’m just going to suffice it to say that are many powerful scenes in this movie that I haven’t seen the likes of since Good Will Hunting.   If this movie doesn’t make your eyes glass over a couple times you may be a sociopath or in some other way devoid of human emotion.

A couple notes about a couple of the other actors in this movie and I’ll give it a rest:

Tim McGrawdid a great job but he is very dangerously close to being so type-cast that he’s in jeopardy of becoming like Courtney Love.  He needs to do a break out movie role of something 180 degrees different than the good husband.  He should do a serial killer or drug addict or something or people are going to get bored of him.  I say this with no disrespect because I think he’s a very good actor and did a good job in this movie.  I say this as a brutally honest critic with his best interests in mind.  He has a chance of being a great actor if he’s willing to make the leap and actually have his agent find a role that will: let him do something he’s never done, something risky, and something that forces him work hard to find the character outside of his normal comfort zone.  That’s of course if that’s what he wants to do in his life.  The guy doesn’t have to do anything.

Lily Collins is a super cute new comer and I liked her.  She has a small role but this is a giant film; I look for her to land a few more roles because of this film.  There’s a lot to readon the internet about her eyebrows which are being well maintained these days and she’s blossoming into a pretty woman.  This question will remain about her until we can see her in a more dynamic role: Can she act?

Jae Headis the kind of actor that gives me concern.  Not so much because I don’t think he’s bright or talented.  It’s just that whenever I see I kid like that I fear his childhood is being stolen.  I think of Miley Cyrus, Michael Jackson, Tiger Woods, The Olsen Twins, et cetera.  Without doing any research, I feel like I could peg a pretty good guess about his parents.  I see a child like that and imagine a zealous parent pushing their child in front of a camera or into sports.   What we have learned as a society about the developmental psychology of a child’s brain is not voodoo.  These children need to time to be children.   If you childhood is robbed, trampled, or traumatized, the effects can be devastating.  When I see this boy, I immediately think of Jonathon Lipnicki from Jerry McGuire who has been busy in the film industry from such an early age.  There is a 1 in 100 chance that children like this are going to wind up like Clint Eastwood or Ron Howard.  There is a 99 in 100 chance that children like this are going to wind up in trouble.

The bottom line on this flick is that it’s worth the money.

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