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Movie Reviews

Possums  

Religious Allegory or Am I Just a Space Cadet?

Be warned: this is an unconventional review and contains spoilers!

I'm watching this movie called 'Possums' on satellite with Mac Davis (this older singer guy)... he plays a smalltown football announcer for the high school team... but they suck and have for like 17 years, and so after the last heartbreaking game, the townspeople start a petition to cancel the team... and the announcer guy is awestruck at it.. he loves football and doesn't care if they win... at a town meeting he gives his side "it's not about us, it's not about the kids (?) it's not about football... (i think, basically it's the gist)... ... it's about cool nights, full moons, good friends, blah, blah... you know, the whole cool culture and sociability of football fall.. autumn friendship and watching 'ball'. but his argument doesn't work and they vote football 'out'. So the story is him trying to get football back... anyway, at the beginning i was (high [on life]) seeing all these interesting subplots or double-meanings, etc... like the story was a metaphor for faith in god... he says something about 'ya don't kill your dog just because he don't go huntin' no more." I thought that was a hidden statement about faith in god... you don't disbelieve in god just because he don't do nuthin' for ya no more (i.e. anything! let himself be known, etc..). You have loyalty to the Team! and you partake of the whole football culture and the camaradarie and the whatnot... just like the freaking religious people get off on all the "meetin's" and shite and rubbing their damn rosaries and bible stories and singing in the choir and listening to top vocalists issue forth glorious melody, all in the name of god, of course... but really, it's like 99.9999% of everything they have any experience with is of their own making... it's NOT communing with God.. it's communing with themselves and each other and stuff. it's all made up. but that's beside the point, the Announcer movie is simply making a fable or something that hides its plain meaning. so anyway...

what was i saying? (it's a good movie, btw-- mac davis does a really good job with a very interesting and non-cliche character that you don't expect someone who is not first and foremost an actor to get to play (but then you remember Dwight Yoakam in Sling Blade and you realize that some of these people, performers, may very well be talented all around... not just in their role that made them famous. But us snobby, jealous, unwashed gentiles secretly hate the fact that these people are so talented (and rich) that we accept, perhaps, that they have one good talent, but NOT two or three or four! and we have NONE! it's not fair. so we immediately discount any crossover into other art forms. Ethan Hawke can't write a novel! He's an actor for crying out loud. Tiger Woods can't golf, he's black! (sort of)... Jane Fonda can't speak out on political issues, she's an actress. Napolean Kaufman can't become a minister, he's a football player (big, rough and mean!). Jennifer Lopez can't act in movies, she's a freaking singer!

Anyway, so the movie is good and Mac Davis is too... (i think you'd like it... i.e. autumn, football, smalltown sentiments, fighting against the 'system', etc..)

Oh, btw, the announcer guy owns a radio station or something and so he starts announcing games anyway. fake games. but they're exciting and people like to listen. blah, blah, blah

and then they do a ficticious championship and the 'possums' win and everybody acts like it's real and then the other team (whose coach is OU guy, Barry Switzer, Cowboy coach) get mad and comes over threatening implied violence to the announcer and his group of supporters for calling themselves the state champions when THEY are the real ones who won.. blah, blah... it started to sound like either two delusional religions calling each other false or science and religion bickering (Switzer is science cuz it 'really' happened... Announcer guy is religion because it's all based on lies but it makes the people happy)...

so it seems like a lot of hidden stuff but i wonder if the creator of the story meant them or if i'm just doing 'high tricks' with my head... [because i'm high on life]??? i'm hoping that some of that made sense... ??

then i guess (i have been in and out so i'm missing some story) they decide to have a real game between the teams to decide it once and for all (i'm assuming this because it seems like that's what they're going to do but i don't recall anyone saying that explicitly)... the town council guy or mayor or something is announcer guy's other nemesis, in a more benign way, i think they've known each other forever (like smalltownspeople do). anyway, he comes over to announcer guy's house and 'gets on him' for setting the people up for a huge letdown, building false hope, "we can't win. you know that." he says. But Ol' Mac Davis has faith and blah, blah... then some weird thing about Mac, the good guy?, and something bad happened to his son in the past. but i didn't catch what.. and i think now maybe his son is the coach and they don't talk to each other. and then the coach visists the announcer and tries to make peace(?) but the announcer is lame and rejects him sort of... and the coach goes "well, next time you visit our practice, the least you could do is come say 'hello' if it's not too much of an imposition" - sort of sarcastically. then the big game comes and announcer guy goes and shakes coaches hand before the game. (Is this some sort of a Announcer=God, Coach=Jesus type of thing? Father, Son? Yes, I think so because at the beginning of the movie it showed Announcer guy when he was a kid, playing alone in his room or attic or something and he had a bunch of little plastic football players on a little field and he was moving them around and announcing the game... but what it reminded me of was like a military commander or something who moves the pieces around on the map and basically directs the affairs of those under his command... Just like God does. And so the announcer is like God... and coach, jesus....

... oh, also it could be Grace vs. Works. Switzer's team is Works... They do all the hard work playing 'real' games and practicing througout the year and blah, blah.. but basically 'you'll only win if you do good works"... Announcer guy's team is Grace... we haven't played or practiced ALL YEAR LONG, but right at the end when we have to go up against those who have done tons of works and works, we beat them because of our FAITH in God (Announcer) and Christ (the Coach)... without our hard work. it's faith that made us win (whole).

towards the end of the game, the other team has rallied back and now the Possums could lose after all. Coach doesn't know what to tell his team so he gets Announcer guy to talk to him.. he starts out with "let's play harder" type stuff (which, btw, is exactly what Switzer told his team at half time... "more work!") but then he cuts himself off "... aw, what am i saying? you guys have done great, much better than last year. just do your best or something..." i dunno... so he forgives them of their misdeeds (i.e. not being good enough or having worked hard enough... synonymous?) and basically gives them pardon ('salvation') before the game is even over... which is kind of like making it doubly clear that it doesn't matter how they perform (work), it's that they had faith in themselves and blah, blah, blah...

oh, sheesh!!! what the fudge!?? another plain reference to religion (for those who are lucky enough to be high [on life])... at the end, the QB or someone gets injured and is laying on the ground... the COACH (aka Christ) comes over and helps him up (i.e duhhh, can you say 'Raise the Dead'?)... oh, also... Good vs. Evil (cuz possums uniforms are white, and Switzer's team wears black). ?? i dunno... i just throw it out there... who knows? (sheesh, why did i just say 'throw it out there' exactly at the same time the QB, on the last play and in complete slow motion, throws.. it.. out.. there... and the receiver catches it for a TD and they win!!

i don't know??? but it's all a little fishy to meeeeee.... sounds like Mr. Sensimilla is the Great Mover, the First Cause, you know, if everything is causally connected... one thing causes another and has been like that all the way back till you have to end up at the First Cause... i.e. God.. Mrs. Mary Jane is God, yeah!

so, here's the last tweaky thing... at the end of the movie it shows a billboard showing some cartoon superman-type character... i 'm not sure what they were trying to say in the movie but the billboard said in big letters, "Coming Back" like the team will be back next year... or football is coming back or something... But the Superman character (which is a Christ-like character in itself, all noble, good, ethical and such, and also having supernatural powers to do all sorts of things... and saving everyone's life and protecting them.. anyway) is coming back... Christ is returning. The Messiah shall return. That's what messianism is all about. And then the billboard fades and is replaced by a cartoon pic of Announcer guy (and some text..??)... which at first I thought was wrong cuz they should've showed the Coach to make the connection between superman and christ (coach)... but then I realized it didn't matter because Christ and his Father are One anyway... Christ said "If you've seen me, you've seen the Father"... etc...

anyway... there you have it... i'm God, in a way. because I gave you the "play-by-play" during that entire movie. That's all i've done for the last 1 1/2 hours. I'm the Announcer... God! woo hoo! glad to meet me?

ok, i sound like i'm bouncing off the walls (with the 'woo hoo!' and all), but i'm not... i'm very calm and thoughtful, but I sort of feel like i'm bouncing around... Watch this movie!

Doug Pinney

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