Glory Road James Gartner

Who are the people who watch inspirational sports movies? More to the point, who are the people who watch more than one? Every damn one of them is the same: take a determined coach (Josh Lucas as Don Haskins) whom nobody believes in, add a bunch of misfits who don’t believe in themselves, give a pinch of discipline, a cup of insurmountable odds and presto: a "come from behind” underdog victory that’s the feel-good movie of blah, blah, blah. One is supposed to be even more enlivened by the fact that the team in question was the first NCAA team to substantially use black players, leading to all sorts of insulting assumptions and outright bigotry, but the information is more patronising than liberating and merely acts to make the white audience smug. There’s a small amount of visual élan to leaven the tedium and the big showstopper basketball sequences, but it’s strictly been there, done that for most of its near-two-hour running time. Why do people keep paying for this stuff? And they do — while this didn’t make as much as was hoped, armed with its sturdy formula it made more than it deserved and will no doubt serve as ample justification for more along the same lines. Extras include a commentary with director Gartner and producer Jerry Bruckheimer, a second commentary with writers Chris Cleveland and Bettina Gilois, three featurettes on Coach Haskins’ career, his training regimen and interviews with players and colleagues, and a selection of deleted scenes. (Walt Disney/Buena Vista)