Friday, March 1, 2013

MOVIE WEEKEND: UNDEFEATED

Gentle Readers . . . and Maxwell,

I present for your consideration a great documentary entitled Undefeated (2011, available on DVD -- would I see it if it weren't available on DVD? Not bloody well likely).


Undefeated won the Best Documentary Academy Award one year ago, and I'd say the film richly deserved the award.

The filmmakers followed the Manassas Tigers football team in Memphis for an entire season, managing somehow to disappear into the background and not interfere with interactions between coach Bill Courtney and his players.

During the season the film was made, Courtney was in his sixth year of volunteering as the team's coach. That's right. The man volunteered to coach the team. The school was so poor they couldn't even have a football team until Courtney, a business owner, stepped in to help. During Courtney's first two seasons as coach, the team traveled around, getting paid for practice games with other teams and getting their butts kicked. Then when the actual season started, they were exhausted and defeated. The Manassas Tigers didn't win a single game. Courtney ended the debilitating and denigrating practice games by encouraging other business people to donate the money so the school could have a team. He also recruited assistant coaches.

Courtney then encouraged a group of talented junior high students to attend Manassas and work with him. They did, and they developed as players and as men. Finally, during their senior year, they have an undefeated season and go to the playoffs.

I have absolutely no interest in football, but I found myself cheering for these kids. I certainly admire Courtney for volunteering, and I appreciate the sacrifices his wife and four children made so he could help so many young men living in poverty, and for the most part, without positive male role models in their lives.

This isn't a film to watch with young children because of the profanity, but I think you can watch it with kids 13 and older -- you know what your kids can handle better than I do. You might want to warn your teens I will wash out their mouths with soap if they repeat the language in this film, and then you can tell them what a naughty mouth I have and someone can threaten to wash out my cake hole.

I wish Undefeated had been around when Favorite Young Man was a teenager. It's so inspiring to see these kids succeed. The love between Bill Courtney and the young men he coaches is a beautiful thing to see. And getting a picture of the way the players live is an education.

One player has a chance of getting a football scholarship, but he needs to get his grades up and improve his ACT score. The coach wants to get a tutor for him. But the neighborhood in which he resides is so horrible that no tutor will go there.

But, don't worry. The coach solves the problem, just as he solves so many problems.

I cried tears of joy at least three times while watching Undefeated.

Dee, in spite of the profanity, I think you will love this film. A woman as tenderhearted as you are will be moved by the difficulties and the successes of the team.

I think quite a few of you will want to watch this documentary with your teens. Undefeated has The Janie Junebug Highest Seal of Approval.

I hope you all have a beautiful weekend. 

Infinities of love,

Janie Junebug

27 comments:

  1. I can't stand football, but this sounds like somethIng I would love! Will watch!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The football part really isn't important. It's the connection between coach and players that matters. It's rare to see someone as giving as this coach.

      Delete
  2. Sounds very interesting. I hope your weekend is a good one.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, my dear. I know it will be a good weekend because I'm going to meet Elvis Aaron Schwarz's rescued puppy.

      Delete
  3. First: Thank gawd I have no teens.
    Second: I have no DVD player.

    Two strikes and I guess I'm out.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I don't recommend buying a teenager, buy you can get a decent DVD player for about $40, or watch movies on your computer.

      Delete
  4. I'm sure that would be a hit in our house. I rarely see movies in the theater, but I did see Silver Linings Playbook yesterday, and I want to see it again asap.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh, I can't wait to see Silver Linings Playbook. I love Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence. Besides, after being married to Dr. X, anything about mental illness interests me.

      Delete
    2. Bradley Cooper IS the movie if you ask me, even though Jennifer won the big award. The shrink is hilarious. Go see it today!

      Delete
    3. I can't afford to go to the theater. I'll have to wait for netflix.

      Delete
    4. I paid five bucks and skipped the concession.

      Delete
    5. But I live in The Sticks...

      Delete
    6. It's okay! You don't have to justify yourself to me! It's just that when I get movies from netflix, if I watch them immediately and send them right back, my approximate cost per movie is $1. The movie also arrives in my mailbox, and I don't have a movie theater in my area.

      Delete
  5. I just put it on my instant queue on Netflix. Hope to watch it this weekend!!

    ReplyDelete
  6. I know I would love it too. Your review reminds me of something else I saw, but I can't remember it right now. And I have come to look forward to and trust your reviews. Thank you for this.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Inger. It means a lot to me that people trust my reviews.

      Delete
  7. I wish I had more time to watch movies, but I barely manage to keep up with my blog. This sounds like a good one, though.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I can watch movies because I have no life.

      Delete
  8. Sounds like a movie I would enjoy. Thanks Janie.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Then I hope you and Jilda get to watch it, Rick.

      Delete
  9. Hi Janie. What a great review of this documentary. I haven't heard anything about this one but will also take your word for it. I was just thinking today that we ought to be picking up DVD's once again at our favourite video shop in the city. Maybe we'll start up again with this one. Thanks and have a great weekend.
    Jim

    ReplyDelete
  10. I love happy endings! So much crap in movies today, I'm a bit of a documentary junkie.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Elvis Aaron Schwarz, Favorite Young Man, and I love documentaries, too.

      Delete
  11. Wow you watch a lot of movies. I really wish I was able to.
    www.thoughtsofpaps.com

    ReplyDelete

Got your panties in a bunch? Dig 'em out, get comfortable, and let's chat.