Friday, April 11, 2008


What do Burt Reynolds, Keanu Reeves, Adam Sandler and George Clooney have in common?

They all played the lead in comedies based on football.

What do Burt Reynolds, Adam Sandler and George Clooney have in common?

Keanu Reeves did it better.

The Replacements (2000) had better football and better jokes than either version of The Longest Yard. Looking up at the much-maligned pinnacle of comic football movies did not keep Clooney from taking a run at it in Leatherheads (2008), the epic story of Dodge Connelly (Goerge Clooney) trying to legitimize professional football so he can keep playing.

To do so he hires college star/war hero Carter "Bullet" Rutherford (John Krasinsky) to play for the Duluth Bulldogs. When the Chicago team hires him away the two teams meet in an epic(ally boring) big game where Dodge is prohibited from his normal style of play and the game devolves into a muddy slugfest. In the end Dodge must choose between having fun while winning the game...or keeping his career.

Along the way we are given a bunch of old jokes. This movie is like one giant rip-off of 40s radio routines. You can see the hands of Abbott and Costello, Jack Benny, Milton Berle, George Burns & Gracie is a tour de force of some of the greatest comedians the U.S. has seen. On the dark side...the jokes are all retreads. On the bright side...they are still some pretty funny jokes.

The music is also pretty solid, with a bright, bouncy feel that very much fits the time period. Overall it is an entertaining experience that is an easy way to pass a couple of hours pounding popcorn.

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