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Soundchecks - music reviews
Rotary Action - helicopter movies
cast: Will Smith, Matt Damon, Charlize Theron, Bruce McGill, Joel Gretsch, and Jack Lemmon
director: Robert Redford
126 minutes (PG) 2001
widescreen ratio 1.78:1
20th Century Fox DVD Region 2 retail
review by William N. Dyer
The Legend Of Bagger Vance
This movie is based on the novel The Legend Of Bagger Vance by Steven Pressfield. It's a story of the recovery of a war hero, Rannulph Junuh
(Matt Damon), who has been traumatised by the horrors of WWI, and is assisted in his recovery by the enigmatic figure of Bagger Vance (Will Smith),
who acts as Rannulph's golf caddy in a celebrity golf match that's put on by Adele Invergordon (Charlize Theron) to save her dead father's flagship
golf course and resort. A key character is Hardy Greaves (J. Michael Moncrief as young Hardy, and Jack Lemmon as old Hardy, the narrator), who shadows
the Rannulph and Bagger team and narrates those areas of the story that need such explanation - yet this does not feel like telling and it adds to
the film a sense of wonder.
Unlike the book, there is woven in a love story between Rannulph and Adele. There is a lot to the stories in this film. It raises many questions
of human significance and goes on to offer answers that, while not definitive, offer a degree of insight and comfort to the audience. There are
many good characters drawn on the screen and, in spite of the potential for seeing stereotypes and caricatures, the film has an air of authenticity.
There is no faffing about or avoiding difficult issues, yet it can be enjoyed as a feel-good family film even with a 'PG-13' rating in USA.
If you want to know about golf then this film could be your best introduction to the sport, getting to the quintessential nature of golf and possibly
any sport or life pursuit. It is inspirational and is a testament to the potential of having faith but is not preachy in any way. This could be seen,
as one of the unsung classics of the 21st century.