Monday, February 22, 2010

Sean Connery Sunday: Finding Forrester

Ok, apparently I am incapable of posting before midnight. Oh well, I cannot be bothered to keep normal hours like some sort of regularly functioning human being. Anwyays, today was uneventful, I managed to accomplish nothing but did buy another 1$ foam sword and this one had a cutlass-style handle so let it be known now that I have two foam swords, none may enter my room until they face me in single combat.

Oh, I'm sorry, did you want to ask me something? This needs to happen first.

So, for the first Sean Connery movie review I'm doing Finding Forrester in honor of the recently deceased JD Salinger, because it was pretty obvious that the movie about the reclusive author who wrote one wildly popular book and then decided to shun the world is based on Salinger. This has been admitted, I'm not just pulling it out of my butt. So, here's my review of Finding Forrester:

Sadly, it is not about Sean Connery kicking that kid's ass at basketball

The story centers on inner-city-genius-basketball prodigy Jamal, played by Rob Brown who went on to do such movies as...Take The Lead, that shitty movie about inner city kids dancing with Antonio Banderas and the guy who does Zuko's voice on Avatar...and yeah. I mention this because when this movie came out people wouldn't shut up about how natural a talent he was, and to his credit, he's really good in this movie. So what happened? Another story for another day, I suppose. Anyway, Jamal is a typical black kid in one of these sorts of movies: super smart but continually condescended to and patronized by old white dudes. This seriously happens like ten times. Old white guy makes condescending racial remark, Jamal shows off how smarty-pants he is. He lives in a cruddy apartment with his mom and Busta Rhymes and one day on a dare he breaks into the apartment of the Mysterious Old Shut-In who lives above the basketball court. He gets spooked by Sean Connery (and who wouldn't?) and leaves his backpack behind with all his little journal writings in it. Forrester, Sean Connery's character, is shocked that some punk kid can write such good stuff and the two become Unlikely Pals, Forrester showing Jamal how to hone his talents and follow his dreams, Jamal getting Forrester to utter such internet-famous lines such as "you're the man now, dog" (shudder).

Anyway, they bond and meanwhile Jamal's brainyness and basketball skills get him into a prep school where he meets Rogue from X-men and they have a cute little romance CHARGED WITH RACIAL TENSION. Also he has an english class with the Alpha Condescending White Guy, played by F. Murray Abraham, who has made a career playing pretentious assholes. He's in fine form here, playing a teacher who is unable to accept that Jamal can string two sentences together, let alone know anything about literature. They clash and it ends predictably, with Jamal showing his ass up with the help of Forrester and his Scottishness. In the end, Jamal learns to be ok with himself, basketball playing, book-writing and all, and Forrester has learned not to be such a crusty old shut-in. The ending is a cornyish tear-jerky and that is that.

Overall, it is cheesy and predictable story of unlikely buddies (he's old, white and ornery! He's young, black and hopeful!) The racial issues are handled pretty much as clumsily as I'm making them out to be and Forrester and Jamal are the only characters that aren't paper-thin. That being said, Rob Brown really IS talented and he and Connery have great back-and-forth in scenes that make writing look way more exciting than it actually is. It's a harmless feel-good film that certainly isn't the worst Sean Connery movie I'll review (wait for Highlander 2), and I would say is worth a rental. Two and a half catapults out of five.

That's it for this week's review! Next week: Entrapment or "feeling uncomfortable with Sean Connery and Catherine Zeta Jones"

Jamal: "I was wondering if I could bring you more of my stuff. Or maybe I could write something else"
Forrester: "How about 5,000 words on why you should stay the fuck out of my house!"

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