Saturday, 12 April 2014 00:00

Draft Day

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Summit Entertainment, OddLot Entertainment and The Montecito Picture Company present a PG-13, approximately 110 minute, drama, sports film, directed by Ivan Reitman, written by Scott Rothman and Rajiv Joseph with a theater release date of April 11, 2014.

It’s Draft Day in New York City and everyone who’s anyone that makes decisions on picks for the NFL teams is gathering at Radio City Music Hall in hopes of obtaining their number one pick.  The phone calls are being made and Sonny Weaver Jr. (Kevin Costner) is already bargaining with Seattle Seahawks Tom Michaels (Patrick St. Esprit).  The main draft pick that every team seems to want at the moment is Bo Callahan (Josh Pence) but when Sonny gives away the bank to Seattle and finds out there is no money in it the draft game really takes flight and the audience gets to see firsthand on the big screen just how these teams come together with only minutes to spare to pick their new drafts.
Sonny is stressed not only at work but at home especially since he found out his girlfriend Ali (Jennifer Garner) is pregnant and the timing could not be any worse in his mind.  His father just died, he’s dealing with draft day, his colleagues have no idea he’s dating another colleague and keeping it a secret is getting much more difficult and last but not least his mother Barb (Ellen Burstyn) doesn’t like her.  Matters continue to get worse when Sonny happens to get a temporary assistant Rick (Griffin Newman) who happens to be an asteroid headed towards earth as far as Sonny is concerned but thankfully for this actor he adds a bit of levity to a mostly dramatic script.
So the battle and bargaining begins and everyone from the Cleveland Browns, Sonny’s team, to the Seattle Seahawks, the Kansas City Chiefs, Houston Texans, Jacksonville Jaguars to the Buffalo Bills are hoping to draft the guys they have been eyeing for some time like Ray Jennings (Arian Foster), Callahan or Vontae Mack (Chadwick Boseman) amongst others.  Not all people are happy about the strategies as agents like Chris Crawford (Sean Combs); other players like Brain Drew (Tom Welling), Cleveland coach Vince Penn (Denis Leary) and even team owners like Harvey Molina (Frank Langella) are fighting Sonny about his choices.  Sonny knows what to do as he seeks out the truth about some of his choices finding out that some players, one in particular caught in a hundred dollar lie are not as good as they may appear to be let alone trustworthy.  The saying is true trust is earned and for some they do not want to work for it.  Sometimes in life the correct path is the tortured one and as for Sonny Weaver Jr. he has experienced a lot of torture and in the end it was that inner feeling in Sonny’s gut that led him to his worthy team with hopes of making it to the Superbowl.
I really enjoyed this story and learned quite a bit about the NFL and just how they go about making their draft picks.  Nicely directed with a good score and some superb writing and this film is a must for the male demographic.  It touches on romance and family but only to the outer shell never quite cracking it open to explore what’s inside.  Yet even though its true focus is football and draft day the story is quite intriguing even though a bit level without many peaks.  The film may be able to leap tall buildings but unsure about the speeding bullet.
Costner once again does a nice job leading this story although a few times I felt like he was not absolutely connected to his character.  Garner looked great and I found her character spot on and delightful even though she comes in and out of the story most of the times.  Thanks for Newman’s character for like I mentioned before he brings a bit of humor to an otherwise very dramatic story.  Nice to see Welling if only for a few minutes of screen time as is Boseman and Foster amongst others but it is Burstyn that pulls in the family values which helps to round out the development of Costner’s character.   Either way a well done sports film with a nice cast of characters yet even though the story line may be a bit predictable it is still worth seeing especially if you like football.  Written and enjoyed with two and half paws out of four by Jon Patch.

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