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American EXPRESS -- The Race Card. Don't Leave Home Without It.
I saw the movie "The Express."
Now, my friends complain that I don't like any movie. Which isn't true. I just don't like crappy movies. Which basically means, yeah, I don't like most movies.
I saw The Express, and wasn't expecting much. Those sports movies are all formula...underdog wins, racial tension, relationships, etc.
Dennis Quaid played a football coach, who had Jim Brown (arguably the best running back to ever play the NFL), who didn't win the Heisman trophy (which goes to the best college football player), probably because of his skin color (this was the late 50s).
The next year, Quaid, with the help of Brown, visit this great high school running back. He's also African-American. He does end up winning the Heisman. The first African-American to do so.
I really enjoyed the movie. Now, the last time I saw a picture that dealt with real life subjects and race, in a sports setting...I can't remember the title. But it was a white basketball coach. He was the first to have all five of his starters in a college game, that were African-American. I loved that movie until I found out they made stuff up in it (like the scene where they get to their hotel, and racial slurs are painted all over the walls). They also conveniently left out facts like...there were a few other teams that were playing 4 of their 5 starters, that were African-American. They made it look like most teams only used one black player, and four white players. Until this coach came along.
It also took him about 3 or 4 years to win a championship. The movie, not wanting to saddle itself down with facts, has him win the championship that first season.
If a real life story isn't interesting enough to make into a movie without all that, don't make the movie. Or don't put "Based on a true story," because it really isn't. Or, write "Very loosely based on a true story."
I assume everything in The Express is accurate. And, I was disappointed to see it didn't get great reviews across the board.
I was more disappointed when I saw a writer for the Washington Post, knock the film. The writer asks why we have to know so much about the white coach.
Well, because it's about both the player winning the Heisman, and the white coach, who has to deal with his bosses, and rowdy fans that yell out the "n word". This is a guy that stormed the beach at Normandy!
Yet, this writer seems to imply that Hollywood won't make a film with just a black star, and a story about a black athlete. Or that audiences need a white character, and that blacks can only get ahead with the help of a nice, white man.
Give me a break.
Why do African-Americans so often jump to the race card? If this movie wasn't made, this writer would complain. It is made, and done well, and showed Ernie Davis (the running back called The Express), in a great light. I'd be willing to bet Davis wasn't even as nice as the movie portrayed. The same way The Buddy Holly Story and Dennis Quaid bio-pic on Jerry Lee Lewis, sugar-coated (or didn't show at all), the amount of groupies they slept with. That's something Hollywood DOES do. They want you to have 100% sympathy for these characters, and showing some demons, doesn't help.
I then heard on The View, the women (mostly Whoopi), complaining that people are asking if Colin Powell is supporting Obama because of his race. Well...it's a legitimate question. Powell is a Republican. And, a Republican that many wanted to run as VP years ago. People like him. If he's going to "the other side," people wonder why.
Whoopi then asked why people didn't ask this about Joe Lieberman. Well, they did. But that was years ago, when he switched sides. And, is it really that hard to wonder -- if it was Hillary Clinton running against McCain, would Powell still have come out, two weeks before the election, and supported Clinton? I seriously doubt it.
Yet, for some reason, African-Americans can bring up race issues, but not Caucasians. Let's just drop the race card already. It's played way to often.
I heard on the news, that at my old high school (Mira Mesa), one of the teachers got on Jeopardy! It was his life long dream. I meant to catch it, but wasn't home.
He ended up winning $30,000 and got a second appearance.
When the news was interviewing him, he was wearing a shirt that said "White & Nerdy." And, I can't say I was offended. People use the word "offended" way too much. But, I was bothered.
I know Mira Mesa High. And, there's a large Asian population. We have a good mix of all races, really. I would guess that Caucasians are the minority, or close to it. No problem with that. But...I'm guessing some of the students made this shirt for him. And, that's where I have the problem.
If there was some high school athlete, that was breaking school records. Let's say, an Ernie Davis type. Would he be wearing a shirt that said "Black & Fast," while doing interviews?
It reminded me of when the great sports movie "White Men Can't Jump" came out. Part of me wanted to say (to the black people behind me that wouldn't shut up)..."Can they do a movie called 'Black People Can't Sit Quietly in a Movie Theatre'?"
I heard a comedian joke about it, saying "Wouldn't people be outraged if there was a movie that came out called 'Black People Can't Swim'?"
Anyway, I was going to write a letter to this paper in Washington, and tell him how insane the writer was. I was going to talk about how Spike Lee complained when he went over budget making Malcolm X, and complained it was racism (even though the studio originally had another big name director, Norman Jewison, who was white, set to direct; until Lee complained to everyone that would listen).
The studio gave him a few more millions, and he still complained he couldn't get it finished (Cosby and Oprah came in and paid the rest, if memory serves).
Now, Spike Lee has his war movie flop. He was recently dropped from his PR firm (or he dropped them, not sure which).
It's only a matter of time until Spike comes out and says that Eastwood war movies are successful, and his aren't, because of race.
He won't talk about all the problems his movie had...how it was edited, how it was too long, how the music was mixed horribly, etc.
Nope. It'll be racists, that were all out to sink his movie.