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Click above to purchase "Remember The Titans (Widescreen)" at amazon.com

 

Remember The Titans
(Widescreen)

review by Zach B.

Rated PG

Studio: Disney

Running Time: 114 minutes

Starring Denzel Washington, Will Patton, Donald Faison, Nicole Ari Parker

Written by Gregory Allen Howard

Directed by Boaz Yakin

Retail Price: $29.99

Features: Commentary with Director Boaz Yakin, Writer Gregory Allen Howard and Producer Jerry Bruckheimer, Commentary with Coaches Herman Boone and Bill Yoast, Six Deleted Scenes, "Denzel Becomes Boone" featurette, "Beating The Odds" featurette, "Remember The Titans: An Inspirational Journey Behind The Scenes" ABC Special, Theatrical Trailer

Specs: 2.35:1 Anamorphic Widescreen, English Dolby Digital 5.1, English DTS 5.1, French Dolby Digital 5.1, English Subtitles, Chapter Search (32 Chapters)

Based on a true story, "Remember The Titans" takes place in Alexandria, Virginia in 1971 (while the opening and the closing of the movie takes place ten years later). A white school and African-American school are joined together into one school, that being T.C. Williams High School. Of course, the school has a football team (named the Titans of course) where coach Herman Boone (an intense Denzel Washington) is named head coach, replacing Bill Yoast (a great Will Patton). Most of the town is up and arms about this and integration, but the mixed football players go off to a training camp not liking each other, and end up having great friendships at the end. When they get back, the town is even more insane, and there is a lot of racism and prejuidices they must face. To make matters worse, the school board makes it clear to Boone that if he loses a single game, he'll be fired.

The film opened during September 2000 and was another Bruckheimer smash hit. The movie is a bit different for Bruckheimer, considering his giant summer smashes with tons of action, non-sense violence and far out plotlines. Still, I have to say that this was a good change for him. Yes it made money for him like usual, but it's a family oriented film with a good message about race.

There's a lot to like about "Remember The Titans". What I enjoyed most were the performances. I'm surprised Washington didn't get nominated for any major awards, because he really takes on the larger than life role of Boone. Boone intimidates and humiliates his players, but deep inside, he's soft and wants to bring his players together as one. Will Patton, a Bruckheimer alumni, also gives a great performance as a man who is torn between the people and himself. The rest of the cast, basically the players, are pretty good in their respective roles.

The film also has a lot of scenes showing racism between people, basically whites not accepting African-Americans. I'm pretty sure it was a lot worse in real life, but this being a PG movie, it is pretty tame. There's a bit of rough housing going on, but it doesn't get too wild, but it clearly shows how things were then. This is particulary good for younger kids, so that they can see what went on without things getting too intense for them.

If there's anything wrong with "Remember The Titans", it's just that I felt there could have been more depth to it. I felt like there was something missing from the film to give it a more complete feel. Some may disagree, but when it all comes down to it, you may feel there should have been more tension and more situations. Also, how characters change from hating African-Americans to accepting them... it's that it's never really explained. The characters who change are really small parts and there's little to them in the first place. I'm guessing they just realize through the football team or something. It's just to wrap things up and make it all goody. The film is pretty predictible too, but even if it wasn't based on a true story you know what is going to happen. And when a certain character says "I don't know where I'm going.", you know something bad is bound to happen.

Rest aside what I thought were flaws, this movie is a crowd pleaser. There's no doubt that this movie will be a big seller, and audiences love movies like these. Movies where people get together despite the odds and challanges and succeed. Luckily, Disney has put together a fine package for "Remember The Titans".

"Remember The Titans" is THX-Certified and in the widescreen edition, is presented in it's original theatrical exhibition of the aspect ratio of 2.35:1. It's anamorphic, and Disney has really improved during the past year with their transfers. Colors and black levels are solid, and detail is very good. Still, the transfer is flawed. I doubt anyone will really catch the scratch or bit of grain here and there, some shimmering now and then plus the image is a bit soft at times in the foreground or background but sharp in the background or foreground (one or the other in some scenes). Though flawed, it's an excellent transfer. A full frame version is avaiable seperatley, just in case that's the viewing method you prefer.

Disney continues their trend of releasing dual Dolby Digital and DTS tracks on their DVDs. "Remember The Titans" has both, and they were somewhat disappointing. They're pretty much the same as is, but I felt in the end, the DTS was a bit more active in certain scenes of movie. Don't get me wrong the tracks are quite good, but considering this movies has loud football games and some lively noises, I was expecting more of a punch, more active sounds. Still, what's here is quite good and no one should have a problem with it. A French 5.1 Dolby Digital track is also included, as well as English subtitles.

Due to the movie's success, it's no surprise that Disney has thrown together a bevy of special features to enjoy. Leading the way are two audio commentaries. The first is a Commentary With Boaz Yakin, Jerry Bruckheimer and Gregory Allen Howard. The men are very soft spoken, and the track has some nice clarity. I found the comments pretty insightful and what choices were made. Howard does a lot of talking and gives even more backstory to what actually happened. Bruckheimer, well, he's Bruckheimer. That's a good thing, as he does give some good production info and is very interesting. If you really enjoyed the movie and want to know about desicions and how things were achieved, check this track out.

The second track is a real treat. In case you're wondering about the men behind the movie, the real coaches, then listen to the Commentary With Herman Boone and Bill Yoast. This was a very interesting and pretty insightful track. They talk about what really happened, liberties that were taken the script itself and how the movie got made. They do seem to be very happy about the movie. Like Howard on the first track, they talk about things not directly mentioned in the movie, they give detailed back stories so you know more. However, their comments are not always screen-specific, but if you listen to the track, you won't mind at all. If you liked the movie and/or interested in the history of what really happened, definently listen to this, it won't disappoint, it's very nice to listen to.

Six Deleted Scenes are on the disc, all in anamorphic widescreen and 5.1 Dolby Digital sound (a big plus for me). The scenes are pretty short mostly. While no commentary or intros are with the scene, it's pretty clear why they were cut. A nice addition and a very nice presentation. You have the option to watch seperatley or view them all in a row.

The first of three featurettes is Remember The Titans: An Inspirational Journey Behind The Scenes. It's in full frame and lasts twenty one minutes. It has clips from the movie, interviews from the cast and crew and is hosted by Lynn Swann. It's pretty promotional and I believe this was shown on TV, still, it has some interesting insights and behind the scenes clips. It also has some raw footage of the real Alexandria back in 1971. It's promotional, but it's above average and is a nice diversion.

The second featurette is Denzel Becomes Boone. It has clips from the movie, behind the scenes clips and interviews with Washington, the real Herman Boone, writer Howard, Yakin and Bruckheimer. It's quite interesting how the two men (Washington and Boone) talk about each other, and they do seem to have a mutual respect and admiration for each other. It's a very nice six minute watch.

Finally, the third featurette is Beating The Odds. Running six minutes in length as well, this featurette shows clips from the movies, behind the scenes footage, actual footage of the real Titans playing and a host of interviews. This featurette focuses on Howard more and how studios past on the movie (multiple times even, I bet they're sorry now!). I enjoyed this featurette the most, as it shows a good amount of the movie and its history in a brief time period. Watch this. You can play all the featurettes in a row or seperatley.

Finally, the great Theatrical Trailer is in non-anamorphic widescreen and 5.1 Dolby Digital sound, plus there's sneak previews for the upcoming Disney animated spectacle "Atlantis", and their video releases for "102 Dalmatians", "The Emperor's New Groove" and Disney's The Kid.

Inspirational and a crowd please, "Remember The Titans" is a good movie about integration, but I felt there could have been a bit more to it. It's a good way to introduce young kids about segregation events that occured in the United States in the past few decades, and Disney has delivered a stellar disc for the movie. This should be a big seller, so if you liked it, pick it up for your collection.

(3.5/5 - NOT included in final score)

(4.5/5)

(4/5)

(3/5)

(4/5, NOT an average)

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