Sunday, February 6, 2011

Movies of My Youth: Wildcats


Wesley Snipes has a huge penis.  You know how I know?  I've seen the movie Wildcats at least twenty times and it makes a cameo appearance about half way through.  No lines, it's just a sight gag.  There are several other penises featured but only one is famous.  Actually, Woody Harrelson's penis might be in there but Snipes pipe is so big you can't really focus on anything else in the scene.  Seriously, for a second you think, god, that guy has skinny wrists and then it dawns on you and your own penis shrinks back in fear.   But alas, Wesley Snipes penis isn't why I remember this movie so fondly.  It's Goldie Hawn's boobs.  Just kidding, but seriously folks.
Wildcats is a football comedy about a female football coach at an inner city high school.  This movie is almost exactly the same as The Bad News Bears.  Which isn't that weird since it's the same director. Goldie Hawn plays the coach who loves football because her dad loved football and he died or some shit.  She accepts the coaching position after the head coach of the rich prep school she works at won't hire her for an assistant coach position.  The coach is played by Bruce McGill and, guess what, he's an asshole.
So begins her long odyssey of convincing a bunch of good for nothing hooligans that football is worth playing and she can show them how.  She has a hard time juggling their lack of desire to be coached by a woman and the two young kids she is raising mostly alone.  Her older kid is Robin Lively whom you might know from another classic childhood favorite, Teen Witch.  At one point she dies her hair green in an attempt to "look punk."  But really this movie was made in 1986 and she should've gone with more of a hardcore look.
So surprise, surprise through a number of contrivances she turns the rag tag bunch into a decent football team.  But she needs a quarterback still.  Enter Mykleti Williamson as Lavender "Bird" Williams.  The dude is 29 and he looks it.  His character is the kind of person who could sell you a watch from inside his Columbine style duster.  But apparently he's an awesome quarterback and they convince him to play on the team.  It's unclear whether he actually goes to school or if he's just from the neighborhood and they let him play.  Regardless he turns their team around and it's all set up for a grudge match against Goldie Hawn's former school and that asshole coach I mentioned earlier.
Guess what happens in the end.  Go on, guess.  C'mon, just guess.  Ok, fine, they win the game thanks to some real football know how.  That's the main difference between this and The Bad News Bears.  They win in the end.  I've always wondered if they lost in the end would more people like this movie.  Probably not because I bet most people still can't sit through the first hour of the movie to get to the final game.  I don't think I mentioned it before, but this movie is generally regarded as being terrible.  On it only gets 5.5 stars.  That's shitty, Ron Runnie Ron gets a 6.1 if that tells you anything.  I find Goldie Hawn charming in this one though, full disclosure, I have a huge crush on Goldie Hawn of the past.  From the seventies to the mid eighties I don't know if there's an actress I feel crushier about.  Maybe it lasts to the early 90's I'd have to do some research because at some point she just sort of vanishes from my memory.  Maybe around the time of the Banger Sisters.
This movie was directed by Michael Ritchie who mad a few of my favorite movies of the 70's:  The Bad News Bears, Smile, and Semi-Tough.  Plus Downhill Racer.  Unfortunately Wildcats sort of marks the downhill part of his career.  Though he does go on to direct The Golden Child.  Eric and I used to watch this with amazing regularity.  It was a classic Saturday or Sunday afternoon HBO staple.  Of course what I really love about this movie isn't that it's a football movie or Goldie Hawn or Wesley Snipes's penis, it was watching it with my brother and the shared joy we got from watching this movie when we figured no one else cared about it all.

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