The Blind Side

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.
blind side

Sandra Bullock ditches the romantic comedies, and might snag an Oscar nomination.

I had to wait for football season to end before writing about The Blind Side.

And I felt so bad during the season, when I’d catch a Baltimore game and hear the announcers talk endlessly about Michael Oher, the real life player the film is “loosely” based on.

After a discussion about drive-ins and their disappearance, I decided to see Blind Side at the one left in Santee. Imagine my shock when the sign said “No dogs” and my girlfriend and I had to throw a blanket over our pooch as if we were guys in those 50s films smuggling in their friends via the car trunk.

I was a bit surprised at the price, too. It was only a couple dollars less than a regular theatre. I guess now that you can hear the film perfectly on a radio station in the comfort of your own car and without buying an $8 popcorn, they’ve got to make their money somehow.

Now, my first instincts after seeing a film based on a real character, is to Google. I officially ended that practice after loving Cinderella Man so much, and finding out a lot of bogus stuff the movie included (you can always count on Ron Howard for that).

I saw a Disney film about the first all-black starting college basketball team that I enjoyed a year later. I was able to refrain from Googling, but happened to read a Sports Illustrated article that talked about all the things made up for the film.

One well-known critic who I’ve argued with before (his name rhymes with “Dodger Alert”), mentioned in a book on the 100 greatest films (a great read, by the way), that the movie JFK doesn’t have to be real because it’s a movie. I feel that’s completely wrong. If you want to do that, write a movie like The Rose. People might be reminded of Janis Joplin, but it’s a fictional character, so you can do what you want with it.

Going blindly into The Blind Side, I already knew it would have a happy ending. That doesn’t mean you don’t enjoy the ride, no matter how clichéd a sports film it becomes. You’d have to have a heart of stone (no Roberto Duran reference intended) to not get misty eyed.

It’s nice to see Sandra Bullock make a good film. And please, don’t try to argue that Crash was good. It was okay at best.

I know Tim McGraw, her husband in the movie, is a country singer. I don’t know anything about his music, but was a fan of his dad Tug — the man with the worst name in baseball history.

It’s a shame that Bullock will win the Oscar for this role. It’s a bit schmaltzy. But then, maybe the Academy just can’t wrap their minds around a rich, Republican from Texas helping out a poor kid.

The script has a few fumbles along the way and was almost in danger of looking like a polished up after-school special or Lifetime movie of the week.

It’s a shame, too, that the few times I was really getting into a scene, there were distractions from the drive-in crowd.

One person started high beaming the screen. Another time, a car alarm went off for four minutes; the equivalent of a cell phone going off in a regular theatre.

It’s strange that some are hailing this the best movie of the year. I can name 100 better sports movies, and at least 15 better football movies. One from this year called The Express, starring Dennis Quaid (he also did a football film called Everybody’s All-American that easily surpassed Blind Side).

Although this was the conventional sports drama you expect (do sports films even need trailers?), the performances all worked. And sure, I felt like pulling an Elvis and shooting the screen when I saw the words “based on a true story.” I felt like shooting the screen a second time when I saw a weak opening sequence on what should’ve been a powerful scene (Bullock talking about the importance of linemen and the gruesome career-ending injury of Joe Theismann).

Mike Ochs struggled in school, but his story on film pulled a B-.

Sandra Bullock will pull the Oscar win for this. I’d just love to see a baseball card with her movie credits listed on the back like statistics. It wouldn’t be the pretty picture you see on the flip side.

Notice: you are using an outdated browser. Microsoft does not recommend using IE as your default browser. Some features on this website, like video and images, might not work properly. For the best experience, please upgrade your browser.