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Every weekend moviegoers flock to the theatres and video stores alike to catch a ride on one of society's most entertaining elements. Action films are a rush to some enthusiasts such as myself. It doesn't take long before we find ourselves on the edge of our seats frantically munching popcorn as our mind is flooded with stimuli. The box office as well as the population were shaken to the core with the releases of two new hit action movies, Friday Night Lights and V for Vendetta. Whether you enjoy the realistic on-edge action of Friday Night Lights or the poetic elocution of a historical hero in V for Vendetta this analysis is for you.
Friday Night Lights is based on the book by Buzz Bissinger and was directed by Bissenger's cousin Peter Berg. Berg uses his all-star cast to produce one of the most realistic sports films ever. Expectations are high for the 1988 football team at Permian "MOJO" High School in the blue-collar, football-crazy town of Odessa, Texas. MOJO is a traditional powerhouse in Texas high school football, and the community lets coach Gaines know in many not-so-subtle ways that nothing short of a state championship is a failure. But when the team loses its star tailback in the first game of the season, hopes seems to fade, and MOJO goes into an early tailspin. Everyone is ready to hang coach Gaines, and the team is left for dead. But miraculously, coach Gaines pulls the team together, and MOJO makes a now-unlikely run into the state playoffs. Friday Night Lights is one of my favorite movies to date and two specific scenes send it over the top
The first kick-off of the season is between Odessa-Permian and Marshall on September 2, 1988. After a brief but moving locker scene MOJO takes the field. Within seconds you are following star running back Booby Miles to a Run DMC beat as he jukes and spins his way to MOJO's first touchdown of the game. His movement is breathtakingly realistic and a lot of this realness can be contributed to the excellent camera work. Short clips of shots compiled together give you a feeling of excitement as the game progresses. The crowd roars in the background as we join the fans for eye-line shots of the field. The announcer takes you through the play-by-play to give the experience an added touch of authenticity.
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The second scene of my series takes place in the Houston Astrodome for the state championship between Odessa-Permian and powerhouse Dallas Carter. Prior to the game Berg illustrates just how tough Dallas Carter is with a series of playoff game clips in which they destroy the competition. As the game progresses the setting gives a professional feel for an amateur team, as the panthers suit up in the top quality field of the Astrodome. The lighting in this scene differs from the previous games in quality. The low-budget, home town lighting of Permian's high school field is out classed by the grand lighting of the Astrodome. This scene pushes the barriers of excitement as the camera scans the thousands of pumped up fans to the beat of New Noise by Refused. As the game comes to an end we see a another compilation of clips which adds to the come back suspense. Permian loses a heartbreaker. This scene puts me on the verge of tears every time a watch it; this scene represents everything it is to be a football player. I relate to this scene at the end of every game when my body starts to quit and I have to use my mind to get through. Football is a struggle between body and mind, and this film illustrated the idea flawlessly.
V for Vendetta was another movie I enjoyed very much. This film is set against the futuristic landscape of totalitarian Britain; V For Vendetta tells the story of a mild-mannered young woman named Evey who is rescued from a life-and-death situation by a
masked vigilante known only as "V." Incomparably charismatic and ferociously skilled in the art of combat and deception, V ignites a revolution when he detonates two London landmarks and takes over the government-controlled airwaves, urging his fellow citizens to rise up against tyranny and oppression. As Evey uncovers the truth about V's mysterious background, she also discovers the truth about herself - and emerges as his unlikely ally in his plot to bring freedom and justice back to a society filled with cruelty and corruption.
The scene is dark and gloomy as is the rest of this amazing film. Long shots emphasize the sheer numbers of V's supporters as they march to parliament masked as V. With V already dead and only Evey with her hand on the detonator the suspense is breathtaking. Classical music overtakes the city via loudspeaker as Evey sends the explosives by train into Parliament. Thousands of V supporters look on as Parliament is destroyed in a succession of brilliant explosions. The effects in this scene are amazing as the building is almost systematically blasted away as the explosives spread throughout the building. The tremendous quality of effects in the explosion are followed by V's trademark fireworks display which he incorporates into his demolitions. Parliament and the destruction of it seem so real it is hard to imagine it could be fake. V for Vendetta is a marvel in the filmmaking world. Gorgeous effects are not the only thing this film has to offer but an amazing plot based on real history is what makes it such a success. I absolutely love this movie for evolving a somewhat simplistic theme. It not only ties in a sense of history but takes an alternative standpoint on the future. V for Vendetta raised the bar for action movies to come." Remember, Remember the fifth of November."
As far as movies go both of these films have made a significant impact on my life. After seeing Friday Night Lights I went immediately to run laps and lift weights in order to make myself a better football player. This movie opened my eyes, and after seeing it two years ago I still think about it when practice gets hard or I lose sight of dedication. To me this film inspires me to have the strength to persevere on and off the field. I watch Friday Night Lights every Thursday night before a game. V for Vendetta impacted me as well; it fortified my political views and encouraged an interest in history in myself. After seeing V for Vendetta I have a new found interest in politics and history, I find myself researching interesting points in history regularly and keeping up to date with politics. With that said I highly recommend both of these films not only as entertainment, but also as a mind-broadening experience. Kudos to the action genre for evolving from simplistic films like Die Hard, to the inspiration of Friday Night Lights and the intricacy of V for Vendetta.