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The Program Movie Review - Attrition

While I found the entire movie quite entertaining, the most intense part was the last half hour of the movie which focused onESU's big game and last shot at a winning season. You knew that they would win it, but HOW they won it kept you on the edge ofyour seats. There are a lot of warm and fuzzy human elements that come into play but in the end, when the fans have clearedthe stands, and the players have left the field, you'll hear the echoes of the ESU staff nonchallantly discussing futureplans for The Program.

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The Program Review | Movie - Empire - Empire - …

If all football games were like the ones in this movie, I woulddefinitely watch more NFL games. Alas, "The Program" is a movie, and weall know that things aren't what they seem in the movies. This film isabout a fictional university, ESU, and their embattled football program. After facing two loosing seasons, Coach Winters (James Caan) is looking atloosing his career unless he can turn his team around. However, the teamhe has to work with this season is full of potential....and problems. You have your motley crew of characters such as, star quarterback andHeisman Trophy candidate Joe Kane (Craig Sheffer), who is aself-destructive drunk and winds up in rehab. The defensive back, SteveLattimer (Andrew Bryniarski), who comes off the summer miraculously 35lbs heavier, bashing his head into cars, and tries to rape a girl at aparty. Then, there is freshman running back Darnell Jefferson (OmarrEpps) who has all the talent and makings of a star, but isn't the sharpesttack in the kit when it comes to academics. To ensure that he passes thebasic skills requirements he gets a tutor, Autumn Jackson (Halle Berry)but soon learns that her boyfriend is also in competition for the positionof starting running back. Needless to say, things get complicated morethan they need to be. Another pretty girl and distressed girlfriend is araven-haired Kristy Swanson, who is reluctantly wooed by Sheffer.

Basically, the movie focuses on the major players (Sheffer and Epps),their romances, and the questionable practices of the NCAA and alumnisocieties in support of college athletics, and how Coach Winters tries tokeep it all together and put out the fires as they occur. Winters rarelysmiles and only has football on his mind. Which is evident when heconfiscates Kane's motorcycle to avoid any unnecessary "risk" andespecially when he goes to the academic board of appeals to have one ofhis players reinstated at ESU after being expelled along with the studentwho was caught taking a test for him. That other student turned out to beCoach Winters' daughter (Joey Lauren Adams before her Kevin Smith moviedays). The player gets reinstated on the coach's word and because of hisvalue to The Program (at this point Kane is in rehab and another keyplayer has busted his leg). Coach Winter never defends his daughter, andshe goes off to City College.