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"Remember the Titans"

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The syrupy, inspirational Remember the Titans, set in 1971, is a race-relations drama that's about as far removed in tone from Bamboozled as you can get. Denzel Washington's Herman Boone becomes head coach of the T.C. Williams High Titans in Virginia, the school board having passed over the expected choice, Bill Yoast (Will Patton), after being forced to integrate an all-black school with an all-white school. Whites and blacks, initially at odds, learn to respect one another, and at each sign of respect the music swells. The story is based on real incidents, but the uplifting tone is laid on so thick that it's difficult to believe a minute of it. Because this is a Disney movie, the N-word is never used, although its substitutes here, monkey and coon, sound even worse in context. It's time for Denzel Washington to stop essaying role models for a while. He's beginning to confuse playing an admirable human being with giving an admirable performance.


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