Tuesday, March 22, 2005
Friday Night Lights
There was only one movie I wanted to see after work today; as for the others, I either didn't want to see 'em or I had already seen 'em. I stalled as long as I could before leaving work, what a strange thing to do! Not so: it was raining outside and I didn't have an umbrella. I went eventually, and got half soaked on the way to the movie house. When I got there, I had some time to kill so I went up and sat on the floor against a wall and read my book. Unsurprisingly, it wasn't long before some cinema employees came up and asked me to move, they had to put a fence up so they could form an orderly line with the moviegoers. I got up and went to the opposite wall and stood there for a while, looking at the people in line. I was over by the wall, by myself. I felt pretty good.
Then it was time to go in to watch the movie, Friday Night Lights. Why was I going to see a goddam sports movie? Because Billy Bob Thornton was in it, that's why. Billy Bob wouldn't put himself in a movie that sucked, and if he put himself in a sports movie, there must be something damn good about it, and I was about to find out what that was.
The movie is based on a book, Friday Night Lights: A Town, a Team, and a Dream by H.G. Bissinger. This all happened in 1988 in a small town called Odessa, in Texas. The local high school football team has a new coach, played by Billy Bob Thornton, and he does his best to get them through to the end of the season in order to win the state finals, blah blah blah. Sounds boring doesn't it? Well it sure ain't, because not only is Billy Bob at the top of his game (*UGH!*), but this is a sports movie for people who couldn't care less about sports, or, in this case, American football.
I've been itching to get to this, so here it is: the music in this movie is surprising and awesome. No wait, it is SURPRISING and AWESOME. Early in the movie a Public Enemy track is heard blasting from some car. Of course, this is 1988, when Public Enemy were the most insane shit around. Chuck D and his intelligent and hypnotic ryhymes, Flavor Flav and his spazzy rhymes and big clock and moves, Professor Griff and his S1Ws and their comical serious military moves, and those kettles boiling over and over and over. BRING THE NOISE. But what the hell is this music doing in a sports movie? Jocks never listened to this stuff, did they? There is something going on here...
Another song in the movie is New Noise by a band called Refused. I only know this band, and this song, from the music video which I have seen several times, and goddam it is something else. The lead singer must come pretty close to exploding, there is so much energy running through his mad, jerking frame. And the song is a corker.
And still! there was this other music throughout the movie: instrumental, no voices, lonesome epic guitars, melodic and heartbreakingly beautiful. Was it Godspeed You Black Emperor! ? No sir, it was not. Staying back to watch the credits roll right through, I found out that this music was made by a band called Explosions in the Sky. Ah! What a perfect name! What perfect music! And in a sports movie! A sports movie with perfect non-sports music!
Friday Night Lights! Recommended!