A couple of weeks ago in an open weekday thread, Ted Glover and other members of DN discussed the upcoming release of the movie "Draft Day" starring Kevin Costner and Jennifer Garner. If I recall correctly Ted Glover said something along the lines of, "This just seems like pre draft nonsense meant to suck in the football starved to the theater to make a quick buck." After seeing the trailer just a few weeks before, I had unfortunately felt the same way, but I had hoped I was wrong.
I try to let Rotten Tomatoes play a role in the films I should watch and the films I shouldn't. There are some films that it rates poorly that I absolutely love, and I don't always let a score be completely indicative of my interest in the film, however if out of 100 people only 8 people have given it a positive rating I'll think twice before viewing. So naturally I waited until today to make my decision. After thoroughly expecting to see it bomb on RT I was pleasantly surprised to see a 61 percent for a film that most people had anticipated to be garbage. So I decided to take a stab at it.
Most people who know me dislike discussing films with me. Because being that I used to make (terrible) short films, took 3 years of Drama and TV Production, I tend to be very ridiculous in my requirements to consider a film even half way decent. I try to give every film I watch a fair, fighting chance before being too critical and I was no different with Draft Day.
Mind you, if you're planning on watching the film and hate to have movies spoiled, stop reading now.
The film follows Sonny Weaver Jr. as the GM in an attempt to turn the Cleveland Browns franchise around after he trades to Seattle for the number one pick.
I really hate piss poor acting. I've seen other Coster, Garner, and Denis Leary films and thought they had their place and success, but the thing that makes the acting so less than subpar is the poor script. Nothing seems genuine to the feel of an actual NFL Franchise. When Costner initially makes the trade with the Seahawks for the number one overall pick, the GM of the Hawks is sitting at his desk, eating pancakes with a pompous ass look on his face. Really? A guy who's team is picking number one overall has the comfort to discuss trading away the number one pick while the fate of his franchise for years to come hangs in the balance? Sidenote: Who the hell decided the Seahawks should represent the worst team in the NFL? Do you think the film crew felt entirely stupid when they watched them win the SB in February?
Anyway, the acting, from top to bottom is pretty poor, but mostly due to a terrible script which does a bad job encompassing the actual feel of an NFL narrative from the perspective of a General Manager. Maybe they should have taken a lesson by watching HBO's Hard Knocks. (Which I enjoy thoroughly)
For one thing the film does a great job in portraying the clusterfuck that is Cleveland Browns football. How many shots do we need of Kevin Costner losing his temper with poorly placed dialogue or low light shots of him quietly staring into the distance, contemplating the future of his career and teams direction? Apparently these scenes become integral to the film once every ten minutes or so.
So basically, Sonny Weaver Jr. GM of the Browns trades his teams next three year 1st rounders to the Seahawks to select "sure fire" pro prospect Bo Callahan QB from Wisconsin. The head coach of the Browns is immediately angered by this and pretty much calls his boss an idiot, desperately wanting an RB. Also Costner is banging Jennifer Garner who plays the "Cap Space Manager" for the Cleveland Browns and they are expecting a child. This is the first thing revealed in the film. Frank Langella who plays the owner is ecstatic that the Browns are getting a sure fire QB and hangs the future of Weaver's job on this number one overall pick. The next 50 minutes is pretty much Kevin Costner Ponder Party, where he can't decide who to draft and shows no regard that the draft is seemingly hours away. LITERALLY, Costner spends hours just casually walking around the Browns facility with no direct purpose or meaning, contemplating what he should do. This movie is called Draft Day. Aren't GM's typically with their respective staff trying to find out what to do in the hours ahead and who to draft? Not Costner apparently. He plays Joe Cool. With the first pick in the draft he surprises everyone by drafting the LB who unironically had the career game of his life playing against Callahan. Langella is pissed. Every other team is freaking out wondering why the Browns didn't draft Callahan. The Seahawks who now pick at 7 after trading with the Browns are ecstatic thinking they've added three first rounders and are still able to get their guy. Of course no... Jacksonville is still on the clock at 6 with a brand new GM, who seems entirely too short tempered to believably be a GM. Kevin Costner miraculously convinces the GM that won't pick Callahan and trades his next 3 second rounders to the Jags. Costner then calls the prick of a GM from the Hawks and of course the Hawks GM rubs it in his face that he's gonna get Callahan. Of course then Costner reveals he just traded with the Browns to jump to number 6 and the Seahawks GM shits his pants. By some divine movie miracle Costner gets his 3 first rounders back so the Hawks can draft Callahan. Confused yet? Wow, we sure are playing this movie with some MADDEN MAGIC. Seriously...a GM trades away his first three rounders only to get them back at the end of the night? Did I mention I'm not a fan of this story?
The last thing I dislike about this film is that it looks like it was filmed with a Go Pro and that the editors had no notion of what Color Correction is for. "Reitman (director) can't score on a single attempt because he telegraphs his plays before the snap. Everything in this movie is predictable, pat and entirely too dependent on split-screen cellphone calls"- Reviewer from RT. He's not kidding! There is literally a split screen phone call twice a minute. Every shot seems entirely out of place. Almost like this movie idea was so bad even the Browns were like "EFF THIS, we're not giving you access to our facility to shoot this shit show" that they had to film everything in front of a green screen. Seriously. Just all bad.
This movie has its very short moments, but overall just completely flops on it's ridiculous storyline, lack of believability, and piss poor script. I really wanted to like Draft Day. I really did. The NFL Network shots was the best acting in the film so kudos to Mike Mayock and his gang who analyzed fake players for an unfortunate film that if it must have been made COULD have been executed much better. If you are on the fence about Draft Day, hop back over and go inside and watch an episode of a Football Life or literally anything else. Watch the 09 Championship game again if you want to get this upset and disappointed over a film. Wish this could have been better. But I'M THE SUCKER that Glover was talking about who thirsts for anything football at this point in the year. God I can't wait for the NFL draft.