Mini-Review Monday: Coach Carter

Coach CarterRelease: January 14, 2005

Story: Based off the real life story of California’s Richmond High School’s undefeated basketball team that was benched by its coach, Ken Carter, due to poor academic grades, Coach Carter follows the introduction of Carter (played by Samuel L. Jackson) to the team as their new coach as he implements his rigorous practices (the team is losing most games at this point) and his emphasis on good performances in school as well as on the court. The team itself (occupied by actors like Rob Brown, Channing Tatum, and Rick Gonzalez) is initially hesitate to except Carter and his ideas. The school has a terrible success rate and is situated in a neighborhood that often encourages illegal dealings over aspirations to go to college and be legitimately successful. There’s also the high school principal (played by Denise Dowse) and the group of team parents who often doubt the coach’s methods. So Carter has a lot to fight against. But can he get through to everyone and show them the potential he knows these young men possess.

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Mini-Review Monday: The Karate Kid Part III

The Karate KidRelease: June 30, 1989

Story: Mr. Miyagi (Pat Morita) and Daniel (Ralph Macchio) return to the states after the events of the last movie. With the winnings he obtained from Part II, Daniel decides to forgo college in order to open up a bonsai business with Mr. Miyagi, which the latter initially objects to because he wants Daniel to get a good education. Daniel meets and falls for Jessica (played by Robyn Lively). Jessica reveals she has a boyfriend back home in Ohio but the two stay friends. In the meantime, Sensei John Kreese (played Martin Kove) wants revenge for losing the the All-Valley Tournament and being humiliated by Mr. Miyagi in the first movie. While Kreese is recuperating in Tahiti (it’s a magical place), an evil millionaire and former Vietnam War friend of his played by Thomas Ian Griffith enacts the super complicated revenge scheme. The rich friend enlists the help of “Karate’s Bad Boy” Mike Barnes (Sean Kanan) and the three set out to turn Daniel into a psychotic, violent jerk; break up him and Mr. Miyagi; win the All-Valley Tournament; and possibly hurt Daniel and Mr. Miyagi in the process.
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42 PosterI watched the Super Bowl for the first time this year. I was bored to tears for just about the whole game. Why? Because I’m simply not into most sports. I sort of understand them, but it’s rare for them to hold much, if any, excitement for me. Sport movies on the other hand are one of the great pleasures of going to the theater. They have a plot, characters I can root for, and maybe even some historical material that I can learn about if the movie is based on true events. My most recent sports film adventure was 42 (2013), a biopic about famed 1940s and 1950s baseball player Jackie Robinson.
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