The 5th Quarter Rick Bieber

The 5th Quarter Rick Bieber
There are two kinds of bad movies. On the one hand, there are movies that are incomprehensible, illogical, cheaply made rush-jobs usually crapped out over a weekend by people with more ambition than talent or sense that can be entertainingly bad, or at least endearing in their immodest ambition. On the other, there are works that are seemingly professionally made, with well thought out scenarios, recognizable characters and straightforward plots. The problem with these films is that they're generally made by hacks with an inflated sense of self-worth that see themselves as potentially great filmmakers with potentially great things to say. The resulting endeavours are often built upon good intentions, but are usually so riddled with clichés that they are incredibly painful to watch. The 5th Quarter is one of the latter. Based on the true story of the Abbate family, who lose their prodigiously talented football playing teenage son, Luke, in a car accident, The 5th Quarter examines how Luke's parents, Steven and Maryanne (Aidan Quinn and Andie MacDowell), struggle to deal with the grief and loss, and how Luke's death inspires brother Jon (Ryan Merriman) and the Wake Forest University football team to a championship season. Written, produced and directed by Rick Bieber, The 5th Quarter is soaked in heavy bathos from the get-go, underscored by constant orchestral swells and horrific heartland pop music. Its basic movie-of-the-weep style is predicated on ruthless overacting from Quinn, who desperately contorts his face to show just how sad he is, and blank under-acting from MacDowell. Bieber is merciless in his emotional blackmail, and while the real-life scenario is obviously tragic, the ludicrous way in which Bieber portrays the Abbate family (in one instance, blowing up at a hospital staff member, asking them if they've considered organ donation) seems thoroughly unfair, yet this mawkish tone permeates the entire film. The 5th Quarter is clearly geared towards the audience that propelled The Blind Side to Oscar wins and box office bank, and it will like find some favour in its pandering. But the audience – any audience – deserves better than a film that manipulates so shamelessly. The DVD package includes a making-of featurette. (Fox)