Glory Road Review

Glory Road is tiring. It has nothing to do with dramatic content or excitement level. It has everything to do with its cookie cutter approach from its script to its content that moviegoers are continually given at least once a year. There’s nothing refreshing or interesting about it, and it’s even worse if you know this saga.

In 1966, in the small college of Texas Western, coach Don Haskins led this group of no-name players to the National Championship. However, he also started five black players, unheard of for the time. The opposition and treatment of both Haskins and his players is unrelenting, just like it was in Remember the Titans or Pride.

Yes, the story is inspirational. Yes, there’s a strong message against the idiocy of racism. Yes, the performances are fine (especially Josh Lucas). Yes, the basketball scenes are directed well.

However…

No, the story isn’t new. No, the message isn’t delivered any differently. No, the performances aren’t as good (Lucas is no Denzel). No, the basketball scenes don’t offer enough of a change from the football scenes.

How many times will sports fans need to sit through the scenes in which the coach pulls aside the troubled player and pushes him? How many last-second, inspirational speeches do we need? If you want to know the details of the story, Google it. Everything you’ll view here can be imagined if you think back to Remember the Titans and replace an oblong-shaped ball with a round one.

While both are based on true stories, this formula has run its course. Add in some classic music from era and voila, and you have a crowd favorite. If a no name team made it from zero to heroes as often as it does in Hollywood, it wouldn’t be special anymore. This is a pedestrian effort from a first time director, and Glory Road isn’t that exciting for this and numerous other reasons.

Movie ★★☆☆☆ 

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A heavy grain filter sits over many scenes and can be distracting. It’s obviously intentional to set the time period, but it can obscure details or even make things hard to see. The overall sharpness of the transfer is standard for Disney discs, as is the wonderful color saturation. Detail is excellent aside from the stylized scenes, and contrast is stable. While uneven, this is a solid piece of HD content.

Video ★★★☆☆ 

Game scenes offer phenomenal immersion, surrounding the viewer with crowd chants or band music. The soundtrack delivers the bass, as do slow motion dunks to enhance the effect. Non-action scenes can occasionally offer something, such as the squeak of shoes during a practice echoing in the empty stadium.

Audio ★★★★☆ 

Two commentaries are included, the first led by Jerry Bruckheimer and director James Gartner. The second is from the screenwriters and is the more interesting as they point out necessary changes to the true story. Surviving Practice is the sole featurette lasting less than five minutes. Former NBA player Tim Hardaway discusses being coached under the real life Don Haskins, and then proceeds with footage of Haskins coaching the actors before taking on their roles.

Extras ★★★☆☆ 


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