Remember the Titans

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By Mark Ramsey | 2000/09/29

Forget the football rushing down the field – what about the yardage covered by co-star Will Patton’s hair line!

No offense, Will, but those dandruff flakes are battling it out at a fast advancing mane line of scrimmage that’s third down and a few scant yards from those goalposts called ears.

In Remember The Titans, it’s the early 70′s, and high school football is where it’s at in Virginia, just as the state is beginning to awkwardly and violently integrate Whites and Blacks and years away from the invention of Hispanics and Asians.

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Wouldn’t you know it, who replaces the honky “Hall of Fame” coach but Denzel Washington! A fine coach he may be, but Denzel’s way too tan for this redneck of the woods. Denzel moves into the neighborhood and Whitey-town’s Whitey-teeth start gnashing. “It’s the world we live in,” gripes neighbor Ima Rube, “God help us all.”

Will Patton’s 9-year-old daughter, no doubt alarmed at the virility tumbling off dad’s head by the comb-load, has been drinking too much Pacino in her cappucino. She’s a tremendously irritating little creature who may be the poster child for effective family planning.

Now that the studios have been called on the carpet for marketing R-rated fare to kids, it’s ironic to sit through a PG rated story of that most testostrionic of sports: Football. “Why should I give a hoot about you,” shouts one angry player whose mom is warming up the mouth-washing soap as soon as she throws that rock through the Negro’s window.

Thanks to Congress we can look forward to many more gritty sports movies where the players dis each other with expletives like “You fumbled the farking ball, you gosh darned poopoo-head!”

These ball players, White and Black, simply can’t get along. That is, until the magic of Classic 70′s Soul sing-a-longs proves more powerful a unifying force than even the most prejudiced potty-mouthed ball players can resist. It’s not long before these poor tops become righteous brothers!

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Meanwhile, the timer is running on Will’s hair and the final quarter of his scalp is just getting underway. His barber had better call a timeout. The defensive grooming line is crumbling!

Do you like apples, Entertainment Weekly? EW called this movie “treacly and glib.” What? Wanna know what’s treacly and glib? Giving movies a letter-grade, that’s what’s treacly and glib. How do you like them apples, EW?

On my way out, the Disney camera crew was standing by, ready to shoot “spontaneous” reactions to the movie, soon to appear in TV spots near you. I stood there waiting, but it seemed I wasn’t what they wanted. Okay, maybe I was the last thing they wanted. And I had my sound-bite all prepared:

“How was the movie?” she’ll ask.

“Well,” I’d say, “you know how Negroes are sometimes hard to understand? Here you could understand every one!”

Remember The Titans is a crowd pleaser of championship title proportions. It’s another top-shelf performance for the incredible Denzel Washington, and it’s mui macho producer Jerry Bruckheimer’s best movie this year – and I mean that as a compliment, I swear – even if there’s more money spent above Jerry’s waistline than above the budget line.

Touchdown, Titans!


Photos Copyright ©2000 Walt Disney Pictures

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