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Joined: 25 Jun 2006
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 16, 2006 4:00 pm    Post subject: Annapolis Reply with quote

Annapolis turned out, surprisingly, to be yet another sports-related movie. I wasn't all that anxious to see it, but it did look interesting enough - so I gave it a try.

I've only seen bits and pieces of An Officer and a Gentleman, but, based on the little I've seen and remember of that film, there were some definite moments in Annapolis that were lifted right from An Officer and a Gentleman. Then again, I could be remembering something else entirely. Who knows?

James Franco did well, though he seemed a little old for the role. And Jordanna Brewster made a fetching love interest for the aforementioned Franco, but I found her lass-than-believable as a Naval officer. I suspect that there aren't many women who look like this in the real Annapolis...but I've never been there. So again...who knows? The last character I'll comment on was the black Naval officer who tried to crush Franco's spirit throughout the film, played by Tyrese Gibson. I was shocked (to jump ahead of myself) to hear him speaking, in an interview in the Special Features, like your average rap hooligan (which is what he actually is, apparently). Yet in the film, he just seems so...unlike this.

The movie wasn't really what I thought it was going to be. Boxing dominated much of the movie. It was morelike Rocky than the expected "boy from the wrong side of the tracks discovers untapped leadership abilities and talents with the help of his mentors" film I thought it would shape into. Not that there's anything wrong with that - it's just not what I had hoped for.

I watched most of the Special Features on the DVD: the deleted scenes, Plebe Year: The Story of Annapolis, a documentary about the making of the film, and The Brigades a documentary about all the boxing training that the actors went though to get ready for the boxing scenes (scenes that took seconds on film took weeks of preparation and film time). There was an interesting recurring theme throughout the latter two documentaries: James Franco is not afraid to work for his art. And to work harder than anyone else in the cast. I was happy to learn that the hard working guy he portrays is not entirely a facade.

The deleted scenes were primarily crap and would not have made the movie any more enjoyable or the characters' motives any more clear...but there was one scene I feel should have been left in. Loo, another first year grunt and Franco's rival, is built up as a perfect student, a perfect soldier, a perfect...everything. No weakness is ever revealed (other than arrogance). Yet in one of these scenes, we see a weakness in the great Loo as he whimpers atop a diving platform. Oh well...I guess they wanted him to be a superman.

I can't really give this film an overwhelming recommendation, but it wasn't all bad. It just wasn't as good as it could have been.
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