Race (Sidenotes: Shaun the Sheep Movie and I Smile Back)

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(SPOILER WARNING!!! This article does contain spoilers, if you haven’t seen the movie, just see the first paragraph to be informed without spoilers!!!)

Race may have started the story very rushed, but once the movie settles down, it tells a great story of how one man and a race can have big political undertones about race!!!

Rating: 4 Stars

I personally don’t remember ever being a movie about the great Jesse Owens. I always thought his story in history was very fascinating. Being a sports fan myself, he has impacted the world by his performance in track and field at the Olympics in Nazi Germany. I was always curious in what he had to endure to not only participate in the Olympics, but how he won it all. To add icing to the cake, he embarrassed Nazi Germany leader Adolph Hitler, who thought his people would win big. Owens really started change in not only America, but for the whole world. So I was happy that they made a movie about him, and I had to see his story on screen. It didn’t disappoint.

What I Like: I thought the acting was great. Actor Stephen James really did Jesse Owens justice with his personality. He was humble when he has to be, and assertive when he has to be too. He balanced his character well. The relationship wit his track coach, Larry Snyder played by Jason Sudeikis, was very genuine. A coach and athlete relationship cannot always be perfect. There will be fights, and the movie showcased it very well. The best part of they movie was the big political moments that lead up to Owens competing in the Olympics in Nazi Germany. How Owens dealt with race issues, and if he should morally compete in Berlin knowing how they treat different people over there. In the end, not only did Owens competed, but won so single handedly, that he embarrassed the country hosting the Olympics thinking they were going to win. I loved the scene of Owens making friends with Nazi German athlete, Luz Long played by David Kross, during their time there, and angering the Nazis even more. I also enjoyed seeing the political problems with the United States Olympic Committee in deciding whether to boycott the Olympics. They sent a representative, Avery Brundage played by Jeremy Irons, to Berlin to make sure everything runs smoothly for the United States and they don’t discriminate athletes competing. I thought director Stephen Hopkins really painted a great picture of Owens’ life during those times. He made watching track and field in the movie interesting and engaging, which is not easy to do. I believe the movie did give the legacy of Jesse Owens justice, and give a clearer understanding of what he had to go through to be a great person in history.

The So So: The beginning of the movie seemed like they were rushing the character development of Jesse Owens, and how he started his career in track and field. Also how Coach Snyder was struggling as a coach in Ohio State University. Their first meet felt forced upon, and it wasn’t genuine. Once the movie settled down, it really started to become more thought provoking and genuine with their relationship and personalities. It also took me a while to get used to the acting of Sudeikis in a drama. I’m so use to him doing comedy, that taking him seriously as a coach, took me a while. (That is coming from a basketball coach.)

What I Didn’t Like: I felt the movie didn’t show true tension with the problems Owens and everybody else endured. They present the problems and solve them like it was that easy. Didn’t show true emotion and anxiety of how some of these problems can take a toll on a person. It needed more of that to make a good movie, to a great movie.

Overall: This movie does give justice to the legacy and story of Jesse Owens. Showing why he is a very important figure in American history. It’s not the perfect movie, but it is a good watch to learn and realize how far we have come not only in this country, but in the world. It may be about track and field, but sports can create a deep impact for the normal people to experience a sense of pride!!!

Rating: 4 Stars

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(Sidenote: Shaun the Sheep Movie- This Oscar nominated animated movie really started off slow for me. I didn’t know much about the cartoon, and didn’t expect it to barely be any dialogue. So it took me a while to engage the movie. However, the movie is pretty funny with their gags, and it actually has a lot of charm to this movie. So in the end, I felt this movie is very decent, and give the Tom and Jerry type of entertainment for kids and adults alike!!!
Rating: 3.5 Stars)

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(Sidenote: I Smile Back- I was very surprised on how great comedian Sarah Silverman did in a serious drama about a woman who had it all, endure mental problems that leads to drug addiction and erratic behavior.I’m surprised Silverman didn’t get any Oscar consideration. The movie may seem slow at times, but the movie was very real. I believe, the movie got to real, and the ending was very, very depressing for my liking. Watch this movie at your own mentally stable risk!!!
Rating: 3 Stars)

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