New Castle News

News Bloggers

March 19, 2014

The Couch Potato: Don’t like ‘Bagger Vance?’ You may need a Mulligan

NEW CASTLE — The thing about art is that it's subjective. Something that one person loves, another hates. 

Obviously, that holds true with entertainment, as there are countless examples of television shows and movies that are adored and hated alike.  The Couch Potato's prime example will always be "The Big Bang Theory," which is my number one most hated show of all time, and yet it always leads the way in ratings.

Seriously, I have tried watching that show many times, always thinking something will jump out at me and I'll finally understand why people laugh at it. And then they start talking, spewing the most simplistic, obvious jokes ever written with that “nerd” delivery and I immediately start puking all over myself. OK, that's an exaggeration, but you get my point.

OK, I'm done talking about "The Big Bang Theory," but it does help illustrate my point about art.  I was thinking about all of this over the weekend because I randomly caught one of my favorite movies of all time last Thursday on, of all places, the Golf Channel.

I was flipping through the guide and there it was: "The Legend of Bagger Vance." 

Now the reason I bring up all that stuff up about art and subjectiveness, is because over the years, I've never met one other person who liked this movie or read one review that portrayed it in a positive light. I may be the only person on the planet who likes "The Legend of Bagger Vance."

So let me break it down and see if I can figure out why that is.

Like with any good sports movie, the plot doesn't get too far off from what one would expect. A golfer, broken from having gone to war, has to regain his swing to defeat the best golfers in the world. I won't spoil it for you, but you can expect redemption for this tortured soul. Who has a problem with someone overcoming long odds to be successful? No one should. 

The cast is not the problem. Will Smith is both supremely funny and deeply dramatic in the role of Bagger Vance, acting as a caddy carrying the bag of the former hometown golf hero, broken from participating in World War I. Matt Damon plays that broken golfer, Rannulph Junuh, mixing the solace of remembering the past, with the pain of the present. Charlize Theron rounds out the headliners as Adel Invergorden, playing the host of the local golf tournament, as well as Junuh's former lover. Neither of these three, along with the supporting cast, are an issue.

The directing of "Bagger Vance" was in fine hands with the great Robert Redford.  He does a magnificent job of telling a story, using his actors' talents and capturing the beautiful imagery of golf.  I know this is weird, but there are breathtaking shots of nature, of people and even just the grass swaying in the wind. I found Redford's direction perfect for the story being told, a little artsy, but perfect nonetheless.

Finally, the music. Set in the 1930s, the movie makes use of some period pieces by the likes of Duke Ellington and others, but the orchestral score by Rachel Portman is one of the best I have ever heard.  Now again, I may be alone in that opinion because I have bought not one, but two copies of the score on CD from Amazon for the low, low price of $50 each, but I only did that because the CD is out of print.  And because I lost the first copy.

So what's the problem here, people? We have a great story, with great performances, from a great director, all set to a great score. I don't know why I'm the only person in the world who likes this movie, but you know what, sometimes it's nice to be in the minority. 

Just like I am with the "The Big Bang Theory."

 

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
News Bloggers
  • Question-mark-scratch-head.jpg Tim Kolodziej: We’re swimming in information — and uncertainty

    “Who can you believe anymore?” I wish I had a nickel for every time someone has asked me that question. Let’s face it, there are no longer two sides to every story. In some cases, there are hundreds, if not thousands.
     

    July 31, 2014 2 Photos

  • Potato.jpg The Couch Potato: "The Bachelorette" semi-live blog

    Here we go folks: “The Bachelorette” finale is under way and of course we’re being inundated with sweeping helicopter shots of beaches and exotic locations while Chris Harrison is telling us how dramatic this upcoming episode will be. Classic opening for “The Bachelorette,” as always.

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • Huston.jpg Greg Huston: Readers (a few anyway) respond on Alvarez

    Last week I asked readers to share their thoughts on what the Pirates should do with the struggling Pedro Alvarez and we’ll get to that in a minute. For some background, Alvarez has two years left on his deal and makes a modest salary of 4.25 million this season (modest in terms of baseball salaries as paying me 4.25 million dollars for anything would be gladly accepted). His salary will likely increase the next two seasons through arbitration. 

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • Church.jpg Gary Church: As you may have noticed, I'm not Lisa
    Surprise, surprise, surprise! The big cheese called me, and asked if I would mind if my blogs appeared on Monday, instead of on Tuesday. I had no problem with that.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • Drespling.jpg Josh Drespling: Time flies when you're growing up

    Where does the time go? Just a moment ago, it was Monday, and now here we sit at the opposite end of another week. Seems like a matter of seconds and this month has slipped off into oblivion. I swear I only blinked and spring had been stripped from our hands. I don't dare close my eyes for another moment’s rest or my whole life may disappear.

    July 26, 2014 1 Photo

  • Church.jpg Gary Church: Grab your sisters and your mothers, it's an ice cream 'convent'-ion
    To keep my nice figure, I like to go to Forbush's at least once a week. This is also my entertainment for the night.  We sit there for an hour or so, watching people. Last week, a group arrived that I had never seen before.

    July 25, 2014 2 Photos

  • johnnyswim.jpg Tim Kolodziej: What is your definition of The Dream?

    Johnnyswim. I know, I know. Me neither. I had no idea what that word meant until a couple of months ago, when a friend of mine on Twitter was absolutely gushing about a great concert he had just seen.

    July 24, 2014 2 Photos

  • Potato.jpg The Couch Potato: Does "House of Cards" crumble or stand?

    The old Couch Potato has been methodically working my way through the hit Netflix series, “House of Cards,” over the past few weeks and let me just say, it’s pretty good. 

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Church.jpg Gary Church: It was an uphill climb, but this driver was a real trooper

    It's always a tragedy when I have to cover a drowning for The News. I hope I never have to go to Kennedy Mills again for this purpose. It is located at the bottom of a twisty, turning hill on Frew Mill Road.

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Happy_Ending.jpg Lisa Madras: I struggle with goodbyes, so I’ll just say ‘thank you’

    After 12 amazing years at the New Castle News, it is finally time for me to say goodbye.  I walked through the doors of this building believing that I had found the place I would live out the rest of my days, content in the chaos of deadlines and bylines, inky fingers and editorials.

    July 21, 2014 2 Photos

House Ads
Poll

Would you want to know what your pet is thinking about you?

Yes! I'd love to know what my pet is thinking.
Nah, it's probably not that interesting.
I don't know. I'm afraid of what I might find out.
     View Results