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‘Lights’ is too fast for me

Kimberly Nicoletti

“Friday Night Lights” presents a compelling case as to why football games – and, apparently, movies about football – need commercials.The movie’s dizzying and tightly edited plays pumped my adrenal glands faster than any 20-seconds-to-go-and-John-Elway-has-the-ball game I’ve ever witnessed. I longed for a commercial where fancy Clydesdales trot gracefully through a valley – or where some guy lunges for beer and ends up sliding out the bedroom window across satin sheets. Anything to release the stress built up by a depiction of people who take football way too seriously.For football fans, watching “Friday Night Lights” is to smoking crack as watching a Sunday game is to sipping decaffeinated coffee.

While some critics have lauded “Friday Night Lights” as the best sports movie ever made, “Miracle” – about the 1980 Olympic hockey gold medalists – is more my speed.”Miracle,” a feel-good movie, skates along at a comfortable pace. “Friday Night Lights” is like getting shot out of a cannon. Both capture the surrounding tension – “Miracle” portrays the international political climate that made U.S.A.’s win so significant, and “Friday Night Lights” captures the tension of an economically depressed town in Texas with nothing better to do than pin its hopes on high school football. Both convey the pain and pressure of being an athlete and the turmoil coaches endure.But “Miracle” glides along with an overall bright feeling, whereas “Friday Night Lights” pushes its way down the field with a gritty, desperate feeling. Jarred shots taken with hand-held cameras zoom in and out, creating a sense of urgency with no time outs.

While Dan criticized “Miracle” for teetering between telling the coach’s story and the players’ stories and in the end, told neither, I thought “Friday Night Lights” did exactly that.I would have liked to delve into Boobie Miles’ (Derek Luke) life after a knee injury shattered his dreams. Barring that, I would have liked to see the character development between an alcoholic father and butterfingers son (played by country star Tim McGraw and newcomer Garrett Hedlund, respectively) rather than be force fed a sudden turn. I would have liked to get a better feel for quarterback and mamma’s boy Mike Winchell (Lucas Black). Instead, I got a smattering of the coach’s problems (for sale signs on his lawn after losing a game), a rah-rah speech at halftime, a mysterious player I named Silent Bob (inspired from “Clerks”) who suddenly speaks, random sexual encounters and dialogue like, “After football, it’s just babies and memories” interspersed with high-adrenaline game footage.

Speaking of sexual encounters, I definitely wouldn’t want my 13-year-old (if I had one) to see this rated PG-13 movie. It makes hooking up at drunken parties look like the thing to do. I don’t even know if I’d want 16-year-olds seeing it.I guess “Friday Night” is just a little too fast for me.Tonight, Kimberly Nicoletti will leave a friend’s party early because, apparently, anything having to do with Friday night is just too fast and wild for her.


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