Ryan Hurst

Remember the Titans

Year: 2000
Directed By: Boaz Yakin
Written By: Gregory Allen Howard


I sometimes find myself in the oddest of situations in life. Just so happens this time I’ve found myself all alone in a house that literally sits atop a mountain in the Appalachians. What did I bring with me to assist in occupying time on this getaway? Well Halloween is approaching so I bring all the horror movies we have set aside for the month with me. So, I’m on a mountain, desolate area, completely alone and on my own watching a series of movies where people in this exact situation I myself am in get haunted or traumatized. Well after three in a row I found myself in need of a feel good movie. Fortunately I brought a couple of our “R” movies and this feel good movie just happened to be up next. Can’t think of a better pick me up right now.

I don’t generally go for these feel good movies because they are all the same. This one came out when I was in high school though and it left an impression on me. Aside from Any Given Sunday there are no other football based movies we own save for this one. I am a fanatical NFL fan who loves football at all levels but I don’t usually like movies about football. Granted, like any normal guy, I cry my eyes out during Brian’s Song but as of yet that one isn’t part of our collection, though it should be. This is a rare exception to my standing idea of football movies because of how its release correlated with my own age. It is a good movie though.

This movie is also against the grain for me because I hate the racial content. Racism is the product of ignorance and it’s an ugly thing to watch. I find this feel good vibe to it off putting as well because things just aren’t that simple. It troubles me to no end that in the year 2015 things not only aren’t getting better but they literally seem to be getting worse. We learn nothing from the past and as a society in general we lack understanding of one another.

My tone is all off in this post. I do like this movie but frankly I’m just pissed off at it now. Here I tried to use it as a pick me up and all it has done is made me cry for the last thirty minutes. Damn this Disney football film with its Brian’s Song moments.

The cast of this film is very strong, even though I think Denzel Washington and Will Patton both overdo it a bit now and again. The young Hayden Panettiere is adorable and awesome. I like the chemistry Wood Harris and Ryan Hurst had on screen. Both have managed nominal success as actors but honestly back when this came out I expected more out of both of them. I like Will Patton an awful lot and I think he fits this role well. I think Denzel is great as Coach Boone but as I said earlier I think both actors overact in this one. They both lay it on a little think too when it comes to either choosing sides or being understanding of one another. I feel like what they do in this movie pretty much amounts to a dick measuring contest neither is willing to back down from.

In my efforts to achieve a pick me up with this movie I hopelessly failed. I wanted to lift the gloom of so many scary films back to back but only found a gloom of different sorts. I wanted good vibes but only got the tear jerking moments of people dealing with adversity and overcoming personal differences to work together. So this movie did nothing but piss me off this time around. If you’ve seen one of these typical Disney movies about sports then you have missed nothing. If you like these type of movies then it’s one you should definitely see it. Otherwise I wouldn’t call it worth anybody’s time. I like it because it got me at the right time and place 15 years ago but I’d have most likely never seen it had that not been the case.

NEXT MOVIE: Reservoir Dogs (1992)

The Ladykillers

Year: 2004
Directed By: Joel and Ethan Coen
Written By: Joel and Ethan Coen (screenplay), William Rose (original film)


Ah, the Coen Brothers.  Those genius filmmakers that can’t help but do something special each and every time they get behind the camera.  They have a range with no limits.  They can make the dynamic award winning films that prove they are masters of their art and then on the flipside they can make silly films that make us laugh with witty dialogue and intelligent jokes. With this movie about an elaborate heist they brought together an incredible cast of interesting characters and wrote an outstanding script for them to perform.

The cast as much as anything makes this film awesome.  Tom Hanks was still at the height of his career in 2004 although his star was beginning to fall.  In this movie he plays one of the most bizarre characters he ever has and delivered an incredible performance. He looks like Colonel Sanders and speaks with a great southern draw that comes across quite eloquently   He has very unique dialogue that is loaded with whit.   He has a very deep vocabulary and Hanks delivers these lines flawlessly.  It is probably one of my all-time favorite roles from Hanks.  I think the next greatest role has to go to J.K. Simmons, hands down.  Simmons has an incredibly funny quality about him and brings humor to everything he is in.  The Coen brothers recognize this talent and have used him multiple times.  He was great as the CIA director in Burn After Reading. I have always loved him in the role of Pancake, the man who “brought his bitch to the Waffle Hut.” I have always liked Marlon Wayans too but usually dislike most of his movies.  I thought he was awesome in this movie as the “proverbial inside man.” The rest of this ensemble is just as great.  The little known Tzi Ma barely needs to say anything at all in the film and still manages to be a badass.  I love when he is “even now exercising every effort” to catch that sneaky cat Pickles when it escapes again.  I have always been a big fan of Ryan Hurst but he plays the weakest role in this movie. It’s not his fault though, that is just the way the character was written.

The ensemble might be made up of terrific characters but it doesn’t stop there in the film.  Irma P. Hall is terrific and on point for the whole film.  Is there anything more intimidating in the world than an elderly strong minded black woman set in her ways? I love the scene that opens the film with her complaining about rap music and I also love when she continually slaps Marlon Wayans for his profanity, “sometimes it’s the only way.” Stephen Root is also on hand in this film and as I have said before, the man is simply incredible.  Root can literally do anything and I think he brings something great to each and every role he plays.  Also, I don’t know who plays the part and don’t think it is important enough to look up but the man who plays the choir leader in the church is awesome.  The suit, the hair, and the expression on his face as he directs the music is just too funny.  The Coen’s have quite a knack for finding actors like him to fill into small roles and it always serves them well.

This is not the greatest of the Coen Brothers’ movies and I don’t even know if it is one of their better ones but like all Coen Brother movies it offers unforgettable and incredible scenes that make it worth wild.  I absolutely love when the two gangsters try to rob the donut shop and get nowhere.  The General just stands there expressionless and smoking as these guys threaten him and demand “that donut money.” With a movement so quick the camera barely catches it he has incapacitated the one standing in front of him and their reaction to the action is hilarious.  One of the greatest intros to a character I have ever seen hands down. I love the scene in the Waffle Hut all around from Tom Hanks demanding waffles from the waitress to J.K. Simmons bringing “his bitch to the Waffle Hut.” They always write terrific scripts and I will say again that I think nearly everything Hanks says in the film is solid gold. I loved his response to the notion that Pancake would have a pretty good lawsuit if he decided to sue them over his finger. He takes a serious tone and different demeanor as a character to explain that they are part of a criminal enterprise and not subject to typical rules and regulations.

While I do love this movie and think that it is awesome I can’t even say it qualifies as one of the Coen Brothers better movies.  I have always felt it started to come apart in the end somehow.  After Pancake is dispatched the movie starts to lose my interest a bit.  It still has its moments afterwards but it just seems to lose that captivating quality and closes kind of poorly in my opinion.  However everything that comes before makes the movie worth wild.

This movie offers some of the funniest scenes I have ever seen in a movie and I enjoy it each and every time I watch it.  I think anything the Coen Brothers do is worth the time of every movie fan out there and that includes this one.  Yes this is not their best film but this is still a good film and there is plenty to appreciate and enjoy about it.  If you get the opportunity to see it I strongly encourage anyone to give it a shot.  This movie is without doubt worth your time to see.


This is not my favorite Coen Brothers film. It’s funny and interesting, but some of the actors parts fall flat and I think they could have been a little better. The point of the story is awesome, and I support anything that these guys do. It is worth seeing.


This is a great example of how to include multiple characters into one poster. I love the scene and that you can’t see the lady’s face. The typography is really nice as well. I think the designer did a good job a offsetting it and making it look off in a really nice way. Sometimes, it can get out of control. Overall, really successful poster.

NEXT MOVIE: Land of the Lost (2009)