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Plot: A romantic comedy set against the backdrop of America's nascent pro-football league in 1925. Dodge Connolly, a charming, brash football hero, is determined to guide his team from bar brawls to packed stadiums. But after the players lose their sponsor and the entire league faces certain collapse,… Runtime: 114 min Release Date: 04 Apr 2008
Reading some of the other reviews, maybe people thought this was supposed to be a heavy movie? If so, lighten up. This was and was supposed to be a light-hearted movie. And it was pulled off very well. Acting by Clooney, Zellweger, and others captured the spirit of the era, including humor, dress, and scenery. The plot was not deep but flowed well. Clooney's character, Dodge Connelly, heads up a team in Duluth, and picks up a star college player. Eventually, they end up in Chicago, with Connelly on one side of the ball and the college star on the other. The birth of the modern <more>
professional football is woven into the plot. Clooney's age, 46, a bit old for a football player, was not covered up with make-up, but integrated into his character. I think that, in the movie, he was 40 to 45 years old. Zellgeger, as Lexie Littleton, a newspaper reporter who has to find the truth behind the college star's heroic war record, played her part very well too.Very good directing by Clooney. You definitely felt like you were back in the 20's. Not overdone or underdone. One of those movies you walk out at the end glad that you went.
Leatherheads takes place in the 1920's and is about a professional football player named Dodge Connolly who is also the head coach of his team. Dodge's team soon loses sponsorship and they are forced to resign. Being out of work, Dodge soon reads about an up and coming war hero and college football star named Carter Rutherford who he convinces to play on the team and because of Carter's star power, Dodge soon gets the team up and running again. Meanwhile a reporter named Lexie Littleton is going to be writing an article on Carter and soon Dodge meets her and falls in love with her <more>
and after first being turned off by him, Lexie soon starts to like him as well, but things get complicated when Lexie uncovers something for her story on Carter, that could hurt him and the team and Dodge, with feelings for Lexie soon has to straighten things out with his love and his team. Even though the film is called Leatherheads, and most of the advertisements show the film as a sports film, really the football aspect is only a backdrop to the romantic comedy part of the film that is really the main focus. The filmmakers of Leatherheads, must have been big fans of the romantic "screwball" comedies of the 1930's and 40's and this is truly a salute and tribute to those movies. That being said, Leatherheads captures everything about those films and the charm, wittiness, comedic performances and style that made those films so distinct. The film's look from the sets right down to the costumes look exactly like the 20's films and in capturing the mood of the 40's comedies the writers have provided a very humorous story filled with snappy and clever dialogue between the characters, numerous situations that resolve themselves with a lot of comedic intelligence and first rate performances from the actors who all do their best job of capturing the comedic performances of that era. Leatherheads works so well because it appeals and does it's job so well for a couple of reasons. First off the story and writing is sharp, funny and tells a very entertaining story with a great backdrop and sets from the crew and also because of the performances, timing and skill of the actors delivering the lines and situations to perfection and doing the best of what they are given and what they are given is very good. Overall a classic tribute to the comedies of yesteryear done with perfection and told with a great knack for such films and delivering a very entertaining, funny and classy film that I think will appeal to many people and will work on the same levels that they worked for me.
Sorry to all the naysayers...This was absolutely positively delightful and refreshing! Oscar worthy? Hardly...but plain old Sunday afternoon fare that took no left turns.Clooney can be so funny! And in fairness, I've knocked Renee in the past but she too was delightful in her appearance. Do something similar as a follow up? I'd go see it when it opened. Just sit back, relax, and enjoy the fare, it is 'entertaining'. The use of 'old time' trains, and what appeared to be 100's of period cars made the landscape work.I'm still waiting as on the talk show circuit, <more>
Clooney talked about something akin to push processing the film and then washing it down to appear old and worn even on release. Maybe my eyes were not good enough? But for the naysayers who bombed this at opening, to each his own.
Months ago when I saw an ad for "Leatherheads", my first thought was: How many movies can Hollywood possibly make about football?? We've had "Remember the Titans", "We Are Marshall", "Friday Night Lights", "Rudy", "Radio", "Any Given Sunday", "The Longest Yard" original and remake , "The Program", "Varsity Blues", "Jerry Maguire", "Hometown Legend", "Facing the Giants", "Necessary Roughness" shall I go on? Even the Marx Brothers fooled around with <more>
the sport in "Horse Feathers".I've seen about half of those, and they vary in entertainment quality; but still, did we really need another one? How many times can we see that plucky underdog team with the inept, quirk-ridden players face insurmountable odds to pull off a nail-biting victory against a cocky, well-organized opponent of legendary status? Apparently one more: With "Leatherheads", George Clooney creates one of the funniest comedies I've seen in years.Clooney directs himself as "Dodge" Connelly, a pro-football player in the 1920's, when "pro" was a laughable term. In an effort to save the bankrupt sport, Connelly schemes to hire college football hero Carter Rutherford John Krasinski , whose game skills, coupled with his story of taking out an entire German platoon by himself, has made him America's poster boy.Reporter Lexie Littleton Renee Zellweger doubts Rutherford's war story and sets out to expose him. But she didn't expect Rutherford to take a liking to her. Nor did she expect Connelly to find her fascinating as well. In the end, it's more than a game between Duluth and Chicago; it's also a fight to the finish over who wins Littleton's affections.George Clooney directs with the same snappy panache he has on screen. From the opening ragtime drumbeat to the last drive off into the sunset, the film is infused with an immensely buoyant spirit that makes the entire film a viewing pleasure.The script by Duncan Brantley and Rick Reilly is funny, lively, and frequently clever. Sure, it falls right into line with every other underdog sports story, but it also manages to prove that thought and creativity can still overcome formulaic doldrums. Whiplash conversations between the feisty Connelly and the irascible Littleton had me laughing out loud, and more often than any film in the past twelve months.The leading trio of Clooney, Zellweger, and Krasinksi are well-cast. Clooney brings back the comical timing and facial mugging that added a dash of zaniness to his roles in "O Brother, Where Art Thou?" and "Intolerable Cruelty", and combines it with a suave veneer that makes him an irresistible personality. Miss Zellweger is, basically, her usual self. I've never been fond of her as an actress it's either the voice or the constant pouting expression but she certainly does no harm here. She doesn't quite nail the Rosalind Russell persona she seems to be reaching for, though what she comes up with still works well against Clooney's antics.John Krasinski, from last year's unforgivable "License to Wed", is dashing and charming as a young college athlete. He has a nice blend of both shyness and confidence, and a killer smile. I have no doubt we'll be seeing much more of him on film screens in the future.The film is populated with some of today's most versatile character performers, including some of Clooney's fellow Coen Brothers alumni: Wayne Duvall is the Duluth manager with a constant wad of tobacco clogging every sentence he utters; Stephen Root is the team's on-staff flask-toting reporter; Heather Goldenhersh puts in a cameo as a ditsy flapper; and the legendary Jonathan Pryce plays smarmy financier C.C. Frazier.The combined effect of all the wacky personalities, which includes the entire Duluth team of misfits, results in some of the best screwball comedy moments you're sure to see this decade. Oh, the history of screwball comedy has seen better films, to be sure; but while "Leatherheads" may be pale when compared to the likes of "Bringing Up Baby", it is nonetheless a strong contender in the field. It is also far less exhausting than listening to Katherine Hepburn rattle off a thousand words a minute. The film itself looks beautiful. James Bissell's sets, lit and photographed by Newton Thomas Sigel, are as charming as the actors moving within them. And Randy Newman's toe-tapping ragtime pumps it all up that much more. The whole production evokes a vivid sense of nostalgia, and very much feels like we are back in the 20's even though they didn't have such rich, colorful film stock back then.I'm not a doom-sayer about our economy, but there's a kind of irony in the fact that the film takes place just four years before the Great Depression. If you're finding yourself cutting back on your entertainment budget and don't want to risk ten bucks until you get a second opinion, allow me to recommend "Leatherheads". Of course we all have differing views on which films are worth the ten bucks, but your face will pretty much have to be chiseled in stone to not crack a few smiles during the film's run. I was still smiling when I reached my car.
I thought this movie was great! I smiled and laughed the whole time. Sure it's not going to win an Oscar, and I probably won't be trying to figure it out for days on end...but it was a great change of pace compared with other movies that have been released in the last few years. If you're looking for a feel good movie that doesn't have the profanity, sex, and gore we've become accustomed to, then go see this movie.I wish they would make more movies like this!Well worth the money...
Extremely well executed comedy -- for its audience (by aprilindeecee)
With comedy -- quit ably demonstrated in Albert Brooks's "Search..." movie -- enjoyment is directly dependent upon the observer's frames of references. Most of the things one finds funniest in life are inside jokes that would be funny to few other people outside the circle. I believe this simple truth to those of us with much world experience sometimes eludes the Nintendo generation viewers who tend to dominate these message board.For those of us with a sense of history and understand the films' reference points, this was a lovingly crafted, superbly directed, and <more>
superbly acted comedy. Zellweger was amazing! Clooney and Pryce were perfect. And Krakinski a newcomer to me since I had never seen the office was just fine. Stephen Root was hilarious in his bits, and Randy Newman's cameo as the piano player was hilarious. If one wishes to nitpick, I think the actor playing the commissioner threw away his best lines and lacked the grandiosity the part required, but this is a small objection indeed.Kudos to Clooney for putting the love and effort into a very well-crafted and enjoyable comedy for those of us with patience and who understand the reference points.
Just yesterday, my family and I were itching to go to the movie theatre. After my grandfather recommended it to us for being "hilarious slapstick humour", and after seeing some funny previews, we decided to see Leatherheads. Leatherheads, George Clooney's latest movie, dives into the Roaring 20s, early professional football, the Chicago Tribune, and fake war heroes, all in about an hour and 44 minutes. As unappealing and generic as that might sound compared to the average comedy feature, it was actually a quite fun movie, which is to be expected coming from Clooney.The movie <more>
follows the story of the Duluth Bulldogs, a professional American football team, and its most well-known player, Dodge Connelly. Luck is not always on the Bulldogs' side, as can be interpreted from the outcome of the first game you watch them play, but trickery and cheating is. Dodge becomes infamous for cheating almost every game and leading his team to victory because of it. It was okay then, though. There were no rules to American football early on, and cheating was what made the game interesting. That's one of the main themes of the movie.After the introduction comes Lexie Littleton played by Renée Zellweger , a quick-witted reporter for the Chicago Tribune who doesn't like her co-workers too much. After calling them "dimwitted" or something similar for the fortieth time, Lexie is assigned by her boss to a story on Carter "The Bullet" Rutherford played by John Krasinski , a war hero with a more than embellished story. When she is promised the assistant editor's desk if she brings back some dirt on The Bullet and exposes his fake war story, Lexie sets out on quite the adventure, meeting Dodge and the rest of the Bulldogs along the way.I know that all of this probably sounds generic to the average moviegoer, but it's actually a quite fresh and fun movie. With any other actor and actress at the forefront at the movie, it may have come off as generic and boring, but Clooney and Zellweger have enough chemistry and enough quirks to make the movie fun. There are also some absolutely classic lines and scenes. It's just a fun movie. Don't expect too much depth, because there really isn't any. This movie is more than enough to quench the thirst of any moviegoer who asks for nothing more than an hour and a half of simple humour and slapstick antics.The historical accuracy is there. Some scenes are featured in a speakeasy, with a female African-American jazz singer performing. Basically everything you see is typical of the time period. Actually, anyone watching the movie might get a little shock when they hear that coffee is only 10 cents a cup at a diner Dodge stops at early on in the movie. However, on the other hand, some major plot areas are not at all historically accurate, especially relating to the football commissioner, since there was no football commissioner for the NFL until 1941. However, this is perhaps looking too deeply into a fun, casual movie.The main criticism I have of this movie is that some of the scenes just go on too long, especially the punching scene which was featured in the previews. After they punch each other in the face for the tenth time and finish it off with a bad joke from The Bullet, you already are hoping that one of them will bash the other's skull in by accident or something just so that the scene can end. To offset that, however, there were some very quick and humorous scenes, like the scene in which Dodge first meets Lexie in the hotel and tries to hide his face by reading an issue of a women's magazine.Overall, Leatherheads is worth it for the entertainment value. The story isn't fantastic, but the acting is enough to make up for it, even if you only pay attention to Dodge's witty exchanges with Lexie. If you don't go in expecting too much, you will leave satisfied, refreshed, and entertained, and that's really all the movie aimed for.
Leatherheads Entertains, But Ultimately Fizzes (by bulletproofclod)
While the dialog is clever and the acting is up to par, the mix of sports and romance ultimately falls flat. The legitimizing of football in the 1920's is the main plot point, with Clooney's Dodge Connelly attempting to popularize it through recruiting war hero turned college football phenomenon, Carter Rutherford, played by Krasinski.The plot thickens when an officer who fought alongside Rutherford claims that the golden-boy's actions during the war are less than heroic. Zellweger's ambitious Lexie Littleton doggedly pursues the truth behind the tall tales, all the while <more>
being pursued by the meant-to-be charming football has-been Connelly and the bright eyed Rutherford, who's reputation she is meant to dismantle. While Zellwegger looks the part of a '20's bombshell, Littleton is little more than an instigating character meant to stir up rivalry and trouble.Though Littleton and Connelly's repartee is meant to mirror that of classic characters, she remains a shadow of prior female protagonists and never comes fully into her own. Her wavering affections for Rutherford and Connelly do not fit into the classic feminine archetype she was meant to embody.While Clooney's smooth-talking Connelly was written with the intent of being charming, his actions oftentimes appear more arrogant than anything else. He is an unabashed trickster both on and off the field, but instead of coming off as an artful beguiler, he instead appears dishonest and at times unworthy.Krasinski's Rutherford is by far the most charming and likable character in the film; his aw-shucks demeanor is disarmingly enchanting. While Rutherford was built up as a rival for the aging Connelly, it is difficult to perceive in what way they are meant to compete with each other. He is stuck in a lie that snowballed into epic proportions, and his naiveté shows when he is genuinely wounded by Littleton's betrayal.The remotely villainous CC Frazier, played by Jonathan Pryce, is an amusing feature of the film. His immoral approach to business and his eager desire to take advantage of the talent of others, namely Rutherford, shows a different and less promising side to the professionalizing of football.While the conflict between Rutherford and Connelly appears somewhat stilted, the banter between the two is unequaled throughout the film. Most of the truly funny moments are between the two, honoring slapstick bits made famous in early cinema.Randy Newman's swinging score is jazzy and jaunty, adding light excitement and highlights the screwiest scenes. The Mention, and the ignoring of, prohibition also added legitimacy to the film, leading to an entertaining old-fashioned police chase involving Littleton and Connelly.The football scenes were initially exciting, with Connelly's dupes and playing dirty rallying the spirit of football and Rutherford's clean and direct approach offering an interesting parallel. However, the final game is rather anticlimactic.What was meant to be the pivotal scene in the football game was dissatisfying and confusing, using old suspense-building clichés to mount a weak scene. The final game was meant to be dull in order to put across Connelly's assertion that the rules of football ruin the game, but nonetheless it results in disappointment.The costume designs, including the old-fashioned football uniforms and Littleton's various old time dresses make one feel as if they are taking a look back into the past, as does the beautiful cinematography."Leatherheads," is entertaining and fun, but its attempt to emulate the past genre ends up ultimately dissatisfying.
Screwball is all about pacing, timing, syncopation. I would have thought it impossible to make a modern screwball movie today. Its because TeeVee has scrambled the code, replacing the way we receive events. With screwball, they twist in unexpected directions, sure. But it isn't just that they go haywire, but that they do so a half beat before we expect. This hurts our viewing old classics as well, but we make allowances.In this case, some of that is handled by the setting: between the world wars. But most of it is in the pacing. That's not just a matter of editing. If it were, <more>
we'd have better movies. No, the thing has to be composed on the film with the components of the flow all worked out ahead of time. I suppose this is usually a matter of intuition or just application of the familiar. So when it is done in an odd form like this, it has to be deliberate. There aren't many actors who I credit as being even a competent director. Actually, I can only think of Welles. Clooney isn't the experimenter he was, and isn't interested in manipulating the narrative or staging. But he's got this notion of playing the pulse of the thing down perfectly. This is a wonderful picture, and ever so much more attractive if you see how his directing circumnavigates the art of acting.This story is entirely actor-centric, and yet it still works. I really like this guy. Part of the game is how he folds the game into the film. The pacing and directing of the game and the film of course. A double joke on playing by the rules, and an act of misdirection. This latter is particularly clever; a football play that involves a disguise and shifting sides, a pack of fake lost army buddies in costume, and a wartime event that revolves around mistaken identity.Ted's Evaluation -- 3 of 3: Worth watching.