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The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

Texas A&M utility Gavin Grahovac (9) throws the ball during A&Ms game against Georgia on Friday, April 26, 2024, at Olsen Field. (CJ Smith/The Battalion)
Southern slugfest
May 23, 2024
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Texas A&M University System Chancellor John Sharp attends the Class of 1972 50-year reunion in Kyle Field on April 20, 2022.
A&M System’s Title IX director suspended after supporting Biden's Title IX changes
Nicholas Gutteridge, Managing Editor • May 23, 2024
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A fighter jet squadron flies over during the National Anthem before Texas A&M’s game against Arkansas at Olsen Field on Saturday, May 18, 2024. (Chris Swann/The Battalion)
Bryan-College Station Regional participants announced
Ian Curtis, Sports Writer • May 27, 2024

For the second time in three seasons, No. 3 national seed Texas A&M baseball will host the Bryan-College Station Regional, where it’ll...

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Beekeeper Shelby Dittman scoops bees back into their hive during a visit on Friday, April 5, 2024. (Kyle Heise/The Battalion)
Bee-hind the scenes
Shalina Sabih, Sports Writer • May 1, 2024

The speakers turn on. Static clicks. And a voice reads “Your starting lineup for the Texas A&M Aggies is …” Spectators hear that...

Kennedy White, 19, sits for a portrait in the sweats she wore the night of her alleged assault inside the Y.M.C.A building that holds Texas A&M’s Title IX offices in College Station, Texas on Feb. 16, 2024 (Ishika Samant/The Battalion).
'I was terrified'
April 25, 2024
Scenes from 74
Scenes from '74
April 25, 2024
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Farewell from the graduating Battalion staff of 2024
Farewell from the graduating Battalion staff of 2024
The BattalionMay 4, 2024

Charming ‘Leatherheads’ showcases Clooney’s comedic, directorial talent

Baseball may be America’s favorite pastime, but football comes in at a close second. After all, it is the Super Bowl, and not the World Series, that is the most-watched television event each year. However, it didn’t start out this way.
In 1925, the game of professional football was no more than a rag-tag group of men chasing after a ball with a loosely defined set of rules. Dodge Connolly (George Clooney) plays for the Duluth Bull Dogs, a team that consistently wins. But due to poor funding, the team is about to disband, along with what is left of the “professional” football league. Carter Rutherford (John Krasinski) is a recently graduated college football player. Hoping to save the league, Connolly gets Rutherford to join his team. At the same time, foxy reporter Lexie Littleton (Renee Zellweger) is dispatched to investigate some potentially phony claims about Rutherford’s history as a decorated war hero. Though Littleton is a bit too old for Rutherford, and Connolly is likewise a bit too old for Littleton, a love triangle nonetheless develops, further complicating matters.
“Leatherheads” is impressive. The script is tight and well written, the characters are engaging and the story is very much worth watching. Clooney has written and directed several projects and continues to prove his merit with “Leatherheads.” The film is a tad too long, but aside from that, it shines on nearly every level. It is loosely based on the real life events of Johnny “Blood” McNally, who played professional football in the 1920s and 1930s. The film is not, however, based on a true story.
Randy Newman makes a brief and comedic appearance in the film as a bar pianist, adding the perfect touch with his vintage-sounding score. The plink of a rag-time tune on an old piano accompanied by the tinny sounds of one or two brass instruments evokes all the classic motifs of the Americana image. Occasional freeze frames in a weathering sepia tone give the film an added vintage feel.
The most delightful element of the film is the interaction between the suave Connolly and the sharp-tongued Littleton. Not only do the two share a charming on-screen chemistry, but their encounters feature a verbal battle of witticisms that are as clever as they are humorous. Krasinski’s portrayal of the slick-faced upstart is not too dissimilar from his “Office” personality Jim Halpert, but the film does not suffer for that.
“Leatherheads” is ultimately a screwball comedy. For that, it has as many one-liners as it does comedic situations. Clooney proves he is as good behind the camera as he is in front of it. The film is not only about the origins of football, but also the interplay between the principal characters. As such, it’s hard to call “Leatherheads” your typical football movie – it’s certainly no “Rudy.” It’s doubtful that many people will find the film lacking in any other respect. “Leatherheads” is funny, charming, clever, well made and very hard to dislike.

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