Since a big football game is coming up on sunday, I got geared up by watching Friday Night Lights-the movie. I didn't have any expectations, and when it came out in theaters, I overlooked it as more of the "small town athletes do well in the big arena" type stories. Instead it was completely different than what I expected. Here's a few reasons.
First, I think the cinematics mostly in how the film looked, it's color and feel, was far away from any typical film. It's colors were at times saturated, and broken up a bit, gave this film an arty effect which was eye catchy.
Second, the music. Explosions in the Sky. Right now, they're my favorite group who has a new album coming out. The work in this film might be their best. Here's a few songs, on their unofficial myspace page. It's all instrumental and dreamy and casts a great background sound. The filmmaker could have used pop something high energy and that would have ruined it.
Third, the story is about jocks, but unlike the heroism that jocks get to have, this one was weird. The jocks weren't really jocks. The football scenes were bearable and fairly real.
Fourth, it's a story more about life in a small town and growing up. It's also about how people see them, as mere high school kids.
The film is pretty good for a sports picture, most of these fail. Maybe it works because it's less about sports and more about how people are, and that's something that actually doesn't make it into film.