This page has moved to a new address.

< $BlogItemTitle$>

The Cinematic Katzenjammer: May 9: The Winning Season


May 9: The Winning Season

"A comedy centered on a has-been coach who is given a shot at redemption when he's asked to run his local high school's girls basketball team."

The Winning Season is the same old underdog sports story about a little team from a little town, with little talent going big places. It's a movie you have seen one hundred times before (The Big Green, The Mighty Ducks, Little Giants, Angels in the Outfield). Sure, all these movies are fun, but they're all the same, and The Winning Season is the older, more vulgar big brother to them. It has just enough of a blend of heart, comedy, and drama to get by and is really only saved by the performance of Sam Rockwell. 

He could play a potato and I'd be mesmerized... he's that good. 

Moving past the awful "photoshop"... The Winning Season tells the story of an out on his luck and drunk former basketball coach, Bill (Rockwell), who's asked to come in and coach the varsity girl's basketball team of a local high school. Of course he's vulgar, washed up, and clearly not fit for the job, but he is still allowed to be put in charge of a bunch of high school girls. As the film progresses, he has to work out his own problems while turning a really bad team into something much greater, and everyone learns something through the whole experience. Although cliche, the story does try to inject new life into it, but towards the end the entire film just gives up on itself and saps out an ending. 

The film also stars Emma Roberts, who we all know came into existence when Julia Robert's smile fell off her face and became aware of itself

The Winning Season's script never escalates to amazing, and any time it feels it's getting close, a very crappy scene pops up reminding you it never will.  My biggest complaint about the script is that the majority of the cast, being female teenagers, don't act or talk like teenagers would. I don't know if its at the fault of the actors or by writer/director James C. Strouse, a nerdy guy who, I can only assume, has had no real conversation with a woman, let alone a teenage girl. I found it really distracting and the couple of scenes focusing on just the girls, say at the lunch table, lack any energy and realism. Each of these scenes feel out of place and act almost as filler to the movie, because they don't add any depth to the characters or the film (not that there really is a lot to begin with). 

Apparently Strouse also believed lesbian subplots would make the film more interesting... and profound?

Even with everything bad I say about the film, I would still recommend The Winning Season. It's worth the watch for Rockwell alone. The guy can act and continues to show his talent in everything he's in and like I said, I would watch him in anything. I just hope that he can bring his skills to bigger and better films and show more people how good he is. There's only so many The Winning Season's I can forgive in one man's career.

The Good:
Sam Rockwell.
The Bad:
a script that's weakest when the majority of the cast (the teenage girls) are talking
The Ugly:
a film that has a chance to be different than every other similar movie, and gives up at the end

Overall: 6.0/10


Labels: , , ,


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home