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The M.O.W.'s Movie Reviews (333)

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Could have been better
2/4 stars

Hickory, Indiana, is a small town with a fair team. New coach, "Norman Dale" (Gene Hackman) comes in and begins to ruffle feathers with everybody, including the team, with his style of coaching immediately. It is obvious that he is an outsider.

He ruffles even more feathers with teacher, and acting principal, "Myra Fleener" (Barbara Hershey), who is taking care of the school's former star player (Maris Valainis). He also hires the town drunk (Dennis Hopper), whose son is on the team and, himself, is a student of the game.

Despite all the problems he has brought to the team and town, he somehow gets what the team, and the town's residents, what they have been wishing for for a long time.

Ok, the first thing I have to say is that it is very obvious how this movie ends as the movie is literally in its first five seconds. How they get there is interesting, but the performances are not that great for the most part.

If you ask me, the script is not that strong. To me, the movie was pretty slow in many parts. There was also some character development problems, especially with the members of the team, and the romance subplot between the coach and the teacher/acting principal was horribly written.

The only time we see the team is on the court in games and in practice. We get only a little taste of their on-screen personalities, but nothing more. We only get a couple of scenes of them off court, but those scenes add nothing to the characters, and barely helps any subplot.

The only performances that are worth seeing are those of Hackman and Hopper. Hackman is nearly perfect as the couch who gets in trouble with the people of the town. Hooper, even though he's not in movie too much, is good as a guy who know just about everything about basketball, but fighting a deadly addiction to alcohol.

I felt no chemistry between Hackman and Hershey on the romantic level. That is probably because the romance subplot is horribly written. When they finally have their on-screen kiss, I felt as if they were uncomfortable even doing the scene.

As you can see, the writing is the biggest problem with this movie. "Hoosiera" can be a memorable "small town team goes to the state title" movie, but it really isn't in my opinion.

Even the games shown in the film I found uninteresting. You just know the team is going to make mistakes, and slowly improve as the movie moves on. I also think that the games were not edited that great, and were pretty much an editing mess. A lot of the focus in these particular scenes are on the team's bench, but the result of the team's discussion on the bench are not presented in a nice way.

I would not recommend this as a rental on Saturday night. If you see this on television, and you have nothing else to do, check it out. Just don't expect a Oscar-winning movie.

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