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Friday Night Lights (Inspirational Movie Monday)

Apologies for not writing one of these types of reviews for a while, I took some time off to relax my brain and take control of my life a little more. But I am back! and hopefully I am better than I was before. I found new inspiration, I found a couple new films to me that I thought would be great for some Inspirational Movie Monday posts. So lets dive back in.

“Perfection is being able to look your friends in the eye and know you did everything you could not to let them down”

Theatrical Release: October 8th, 2004

Genre: Action, Drama, Sport

MPAA Rating: PG

Sport movies are all about the inspiration. They always have been, they probably always will be. Some a better constructed story wise than other similar films, but they apply to all aspects of life whether you’re an athlete or not. Friday Night Lights is one of those films, that ever since I watched in my first year of university (2009), has been a film I try to watch once a year, its just a really well made, football flick.

Friday Night Lights is a Action, Drama and Sport film based on a book by H.G. Bissinger’s book, which focused on the economically depressed town of Odessa, Texas and their heroic high school football team, the Permian High Panthers.

Friday Night Lights is directed by Peter Berg. Peter Berg’s director filmography consists of The Rundown (2003), The Kingdom (2007), Lone Survivor (2013), Deepwater Horizon (2016), and Patriots Day (2017). Peter Berg is quickly becoming one of my directors to look out for, I loved his collaborations with Mark Whalberg in Lone Survivor, Deepwater Horizon and Patriots Day, and I’m definitely intrigued to see what he will direct next. I honestly forgot that he directed this movie until I IMDB’d him after watching and writing a review for Deepwater Horizon and Patriots Day. It make sense though, Peter Berg has a very distinct use of camera techniques to build tension. He can place his camera in these really specific positions, and by his subtle movements of the camera and how he writes the script it creates a lot of tension for the film. Its interesting to me to go back so far in his career to see how he has really honed his skills as a director.

Friday Night Lights is written by Peter Berg and David Aaron Cohen. Peter Berg’s writing filmography consists of The Losers (2010), Friday Night Lights {TV Series} (2006-2011), Lone Survivor (2013) and Patriots Day (2017). David Aaron Cohen’s writing filmography is short, I have only seen this movie of his and he hasn’t done much since this movie came out so I can not comment much about his style. Peter Berg is really good as I said at writing and creating tension and his mix of that and his work with directing does a really great job creating tension. I don’t find football movies very tense, except when theres “the big game” or you have that gut feeling that something will happen to a member of the team and the team will therefore have something more to overcome off the field and on the field. But Peter Berg and David Aaron Cohen do a great job of just tension throughout. I thought this film was pretty well written, there were some scenes that didn’t really need to be in there and the pacing suffered a bit because of it, but I liked the writing of this movie.

Friday Night Lights stars Billy Bob Thornton as Coach Gary Gaines, Jay Hernandez as Brian Chavez, Derek Luke as Booby Miles, Lucas Black as Mike Winchell, and Garrett Hedlund as Don Billingsley.

Billy Bob Thornton’s filmography consists of Armageddon (1998), Love Actually (2003), Bad Santa (2003), Bad News Bears (2005), Eagle Eye (2008), Entourage (2015), and Fargo {TV Series{ (Season 1 -2014). My favourite role Thornton has done movie wise was Friday Night Lights, but my favourite role he’s done in general was his work in the F/X Series Fargo. I think that Billy Bob Thornton is a good actor, I haven’t seen a lot of really stand out performances, but I also think I started at the pentacle of his filmography with Friday Night Lights. I thought he did an amazing job playing Coach Gaines in this movie, he was inspirational in his own right, I always have his speech come to mind whenever I think of this film.

Jay Hernandez’s filmography consists of Joy Ride (2001), The Rookie (2002), Hostel (2005), World Trade Centre (2006), Quarantine (2008), Bad Moms (2016) and unfortunately the second worst film of last year Suicide Squad (2016). I honestly didn’t think I would know many of his films until I looked him up. I really enjoyed him in Bad Moms (2016), it was nice to see a different genre role for him. I don’t remember much of him in the other films, except he was a stand out in Suicide Squad playing Diablo (one of the very few positive aspects of that film). Friday Night Lights though, I thought he did a good job, no complaints with his acting.

Derek Luke’s filmography consists of Glory Road (2006), Definitely, Maybe (2008), Notorious (2009), Seeking A Friend For The End Of The World (2012), and 13 Reasons Why {Netflix Original Show} (2017). I honestly didn’t even know the actors name until I looked up the IMDB page, I also didn’t expect to see a lot that he has done. It didn’t even click with me when I read that he was in 13 Reasons Why until I thought back on the show and I had one of those “AHA” moments. He is a really good actor, I have liked him in all of these movies. But I think he was one of the standout performances of a young actor in Friday Night Lights, and I thought he played the role with raw emotion, and power.

Lucas Black’s filmography consists of The X Files (1998), All The Pretty Horses (2000), Jarhead (2005), The Fast And the Furious: Tokyo Drift (2006), Legion (2010), and Furious Seven (2015). I am not familiar with his work really minus him being the main character in Tokyo Drift and being the Quarterback in Friday Night Lights. I think that his best role (so far) is Friday Night Lights, I thought he played the role well and I really enjoyed watching him on screen.

Garrett Hedlund’s filmography consists of Four Brothers (2005), Death Sentence (2007), Tron (2010), and Inside Llewyn Davis (2013). I think this guy is underrated as an actor, every movie I’ve seen him in I’ve enjoyed on some level, whether he’s in the entire film or just there for a small period of time. I thought he did a good job in Friday Night Lights especially for being his second film. His character annoyed me in parts though, even after watching it after a little bit of time.

I would be doing this film a disservice by not mentioning the wonderful soundtrack. The soundtrack was composed by a really brilliant band called Explosions In The Sky. The soundtrack is absolutely beautiful as is most of their music, its this instrumental brilliance that is something I listen to on a semi-regular basis. Your Hand In Mine (w/ Strings) is definitely a standout track in the movie. I highly recommend checking out their stuff, if you watch the movie or not.

This movie inspires me in many different ways, it shows the strength of a family that is not really a family. Its a team of brothers, basically. Having a brother of my own, having friends I consider family, it helps me to understand and appreciate the bond of a family even more. Being there for one another, even when you hate them you can’t help but love them. This is a bond that grows and strengthens over time. I also see a lot myself in the character of Booby Miles, who will stop at nothing to succeed in his passion for football. I have a passion for a lot of things and I sometimes get sidetracked in my passions, or sidetracked in what I wish to achieve in life, but the fire is still there and burning. This movie is one of those Don’t let anyone tell you, that you can’t do something films. When sometime tells you that you can’t, keep your head down and just keep trying, if you want it enough, you can achieve anything.

Friday Night Lights gets a 4/5 from me.

Until Next Time, Stay Inspired!


**This was a bit longer than I anticipated, but it’s nice to be writing again. Hopefully the readers enjoy it!**

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