Glory Road

Glory Road (2006)
Buena Vista Home Entertainment
Cast: Josh Lucas, Jon Voight
Extras: Commentary Tracks, Featurettes, Deleted Scenes, Music Video

"Glory Road" is about the real life inspirational story of coach Don Haskins and his groundbreaking efforts to racially integrate college basketball in the 1960s.
The film follows Haskins' transition from coaching an all-girls basketball team to taking on the job as head coach at Texas Western University.

Starring Josh Lucas, (in an intense and energetic performance) as coach Don Haskins, "Glory Road" is based on what many consider to be one of the greatest NCAA basketball games in history. Haskins coached the Texas University Miners team of 1965 – 66, bringing them to the NCAA Championship by using the very first all black lineup in history. This idea of coach Haskins doesn't go over too well however – dont forget, this was all done amid the turbulent 1960s. The film doesn't shy away from depicting some of the racially motivated occurrences either. Much like "Remembering the Titans," "Glory Road's" tension comes from racially charged situations, in which Haskins' team endures and overcomes ridicule and being labled as underdogs, to reach soaring heights under their coach's leadership – in which his all black team faces off against Kentucky Coach, Adolph Rapp, (in a memorable performance by Jon Voight acting under heavy make-up). Also watch for a cameo by real life coach Don Haskins as a gas station attendant!

Producer Jerry Bruckheimer presents "Glory Road" in 2.35:1 anamorphic widescreen, preserving the film's original theatrical presentation. Cinematography is top notch, and features a muted color palatte giving the film a unique visual style. Production values are excellent, offering a realistic look of the 1960s culture. Black levels are deep and rich, while the contrast offers very good shadow delineation. I noticed no edge enhancement during the viewing of the movie and the print is free of dirt and dust particles. Overall, a very nice transfer from the folks at Disney.

Audio is presented as a 5.1 channel Dolby Digital surround track, as well as options for French and Spanish dubbing. Most of the sound originates from the front, and what we get is an overall decent audio presentation. Dialogue is clear and distinct.

The special features section contains 4 deleted scenes – some which could easily have been included in the original cut in my opinion. Three featurettes are also included, covering various apsects of the move. "Legacy of the Bear" runs for 13 minutes and centers around Coach Haskins' long career at Texas Western (1962 – 1999) Included here are also interviews with Haskins and his wife Mary.

"In Their Own Words" runs for 23 minutes and focuses on the twelve-man 1965 – 66 Miners team. Last is, "Surviving the Practice," a brief 4-minute featurette in which Tim Harding discusses coaching the actors.

Two audio commentaries are also included on the release. The first one features director James Gartner and producer Jerry Bruckheimer. Both men discuss parts of the film which are true and others which were fictionalized. The track is very informative, talkative and interesting.
The second track features the writing team of Christopher Cleveland and Bettina Gilois. They are friends with Haskins in real life and provide additional tidbits about the Coach.

Finishing up the disc is the Alicia Keys music video, "Sweet Music."

You don't have to be a sports fan, or even a fan of basketball in particular, in order to get into the inspirational and full energy of "Glory Road" – a fast paced, well acted and entertaining film!