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Vision Quest
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3 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

Nosebleeds, Sweatpants and an Awful Film

2/10
Author: sportmeetslife14 from United States
4 March 2011

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

This film, which features Madonna about the time she hit it big, stands as the only major studio work about high school or collegiate style wrestling. The film tells the story of Louden Swain, a high school senior who has been wrestling for barely two years. Because of his "balance" and natural gifts, he's already a state champion and the best in his weight class. But that's not enough. The tall and lanky wrestler, played by Matthew Modine, decides that the path to glory is to starve and sweat himself down two weight classes so that he can challenge the unbeatable 3-time state champion, Brian Shute. Shute trains by walking up and down stadium bleachers holding an 18 inch wooden telephone pole.

For Swain, making weight is a long and arduous process, consisting of constant running and frequent nosebleeds. Swain's sanity and competence are questioned by everyone else in his drab suburb of Spokane, WA. Meanwhile his only inspirations come from a beautiful, feisty 20-something wild flower named Carla, played by Linda Fiorentino, who drifts into town and bunks with Swain and his dad for a while.

All in all there are a lot of problems with this film. First off, the writers have little understanding of Wrestling as a sport. Matches end for no reason and scoring is inconsistent. In one scene, the home team forfeits the match simply because the away team has taken the lead, meaning the last couple wrestlers forgo their matches. Anyone who knows Wrestling remotely knows that this doesn't happen. Imagine your hometown baseball team is down 10-0 in the 3rd Inning. Even the Cubs would finish that game.

Also, like with Chess, champions in Wrestling are never made in a matter of two seasons. But inaccuracy and uninformed fantasy aside, there's more.

When not starving himself and risking his health to reach his goal, our "hero" is babbling on about virtues and character. Yet in one scene he tries to force himself sexually on his house guest/love, Carla, before she punches him in the face (prompting nosebleeds, again), only to have it brushed under the rug when she shows up to cheer him on at his wrestling meet.

In the end, boy wins girl, boy beats the unbeatable champion, and returns to high school and a normal diet. But Vision Quest will leave you and anyone who's not an anorexic, nerdy, sexually deviant excuse for an athlete wondering what the hell you've just watched for two hours.

But social issues and hang-ups aside, Vision Quest is just a bad, bad film.

written by Andy Frye, MySportsComplex.blogspot.com

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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Wrestling Is More Than A Sport...

Author: possumopossum from United States
17 February 2007

...It's a way of life. Anyone who has ever wrestled, as I have, has learned lessons that stick with them for the rest of their lives. Even those who never make it to a tournament, or who don't get past being an "exhibition" wrestler learns these lessons. More than any other sport, wrestling teaches valuable lessons about self reliance, self determination, self confidence, and to get through life without making excuses for failure. It also teaches about setting lofty goals and not giving up when things go wrong, about what it takes to succeed in any station in life. This movie conveys these lessons well. Many folks who say this is a typical eighties movie should also know that the lessons it teaches are timeless, no matter what time period is depicted here. It could easily have been set in the fifties, sixties, nineties, right up to the present day and still say what it has to say. It's really a shame that real wrestling hasn't caught on too well in this country because it has some valuable life lessons to teach for those who become involved with it. Because when it gets right down to it, life is one big wrestling match. That is the theme of the movie, and it dramatized it very well.

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

The High School Wrestlers Bible

7/10
Author: truthfromabove from United States
24 December 2011

From middle school to high, i watched this movie at least 4 times each wrestling and freestyle season. This movie depicts the weight cutting, inner team competitiveness, and young athlete determination of high school. But at the same time, it shows a young man juggling a job and "womanly needs". Shute is probably the coolest "villain" of all sport movies, and his scene with the pole and bleacher walk makes every schoolboy thank god they never wrestled him. Louden is your unlikely hero, but its realistic when you grow with him and watch him work for it. The acting in this movie is nothing to marvel at, but it does not hold or distract you from a great story. Even though i rated this movie a 7, it is one of my favorites, and is a true hidden gem.

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Likable '80s Flick

7/10
Author: james-obeirne from Washington, DC
15 July 2008

Don't let the title, or the fact that this movie is about wrestling, deter you as it almost did me. Vision Quest is not a campy sci-fi flick, nor is it about a sweaty muscle head frolicking around in a leotard to Cyndi Lauper; it's an entertaining tale with hints of the irreplaceable 1980's luster that most of the great films from that era provide.

Louden Swain is sort of a goofy character, but he's authentic and ironclad. Louden drives through the experiences of youth with all the wonder and ferocity anyone could hope for. A combination of solid writing and acting render him a palpable character who's easy to empathize with. The northwestern city atmosphere helps.

Linda Fiorentino puts out a relatively deep character, and her looks don't hurt anything. There are some good performances elsewhere; happily, there really aren't many two dimensional characters to speak of.

Initially, the movie feels a little kitsch, but if you stick with it, you'll find it's more about coming of age and romance than sports. Not really a mind-blowing script or anything too memorable, but not at all a bad way to blow ninety minutes.

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

It's not just about a wrestling match...

8/10
Author: gator_bravo from United States
27 January 2007

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

This is a very good, uplifting movie... Louden Swain isn't just a high school wrestler, he's wrestling with his entire life... This movie is about setting AND reaching personal goals...

Hollywood didn't make this out to be some make believe deal... Louden's life, struggles and goals are all actually doable... Watch this movie and look at life through the eyes of an 18 year old, that isn't afraid to hope, to dream... This movie motivates me... This movie makes me feel good, that there are people in this world like Louden...

If any of you rent this after reading my post and don't agree, I'll email you a check for your rental fee...

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Great Spokane scenes

9/10
Author: gd09335 from Julaia, Kuwait
26 August 2006

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Besides the accurate HS wrestling theme, what I enjoyed most all the location shots in and around Spokane, WA. Especially the Spokane Falls scenes and the Ridpath Hotel interior shots and the club where Madonna sings. Who would have thought- Madonna's first movie appearance was in Spokane! I ran cross country and a lot of the wrestlers at my high school ran cross country to condition for wrestling. They all had a inflated sense of themselves and were a little nuts but we had a lot of fun! I still remember little 5', 98lb Jimmy Tsurita climbing up and down the gym ropes in pike position 10 times in a row just to show he could! Or him being determined to be the last one to quit running wind sprints up and down the 50m sand hill. Yet he couldn't place in the top 10 of the 2 1/2 mile cross country meets to save his life! But he would always go to district in his weight class for wrestling.

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Powerful to anyone who has wrestled

8/10
Author: weirdo_man from Indiana
18 August 2006

The night before sectionals in high school wrestling, my team would go to the coaches' house and watch this movie. This movie embodies what wrestlers go through.

While it might be a bit extreme, it's very difficult to describe to someone who hasn't wrestled what high school wrestling is like. The training and effort required is much more extensive than any other sport, and it is physically and mentally grueling.

This movie holds a special place in me because I did wrestle in high school, and hopefully, it can help show people who haven't wrestled how important wrestling is to those who do wrestle.

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2 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

Rape quest

5/10
Author: peterpants66 from United States
4 February 2010

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

This is a movie about wresslin, to be more accurate High School wresslin, the toughest of its kind, and no one on earth has a clearer understanding of this fact then young Matthew Modine. The movie starts off pretty basic, Modine lives with his uncaring pop Ronny Cox and Linda Fiorentino plays a young artist caught in the middle of their world. The movie gets going right away and the training sequences are excellent, although i cant tell if MM actually wrestled at any point in his life, he does an alright job portraying the weight cutting, nose bleeding, underwear inspecting-jock in this weird movie about strange bedfellows. Linda Fiorentino looks good in this movie for five seconds then she just starts looking downright grisly. The more the movie went on the more she started to look like a guy. And with all the hype of the star wrestler appropriately named "shoot", his bark is much bigger then his bite as the climactic match has as much pop as a flat soda in the middle of a pizza party. The movie is pretty good albeit racked with totally uninspired performances from everyone except Steve Perry who's belting out some eighties single he threw together after Journey broke up. This is nothing amazing, its just o.k. in my book, i would have liked to see more training and more fighting, the nemesis wrestler Modine must face who everyone in the movie is absolutely terrified of gets little screen time, and the side story with Linda Fiorentino is unnecessary in my opinion and was added to make this a date movie. So throw on your singlet and fire up some plain popcorn for this barn-buster. 5 thumbs. meh.

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2 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

Finally Weighing In

Author: gregstinesinop from United States
23 May 2007

It's now 2007 and this movie came out 22 years ago... I'm old and still love the soundtrack! For any high schooler that is interested in the sport of wrestling, watch this movie. It shows how a young man can set goals in a sport (And Life) and achieve them.

I started wrestling late in my high school career just like Louden Swain. After moving back to my home town and being known as a total inept nerd, my goal was to make the varsity team and then after doing that the State tournament. It happened. This movie and all those peers from my high school inspired me to do it. I will never forget that winter of 1992 when I made it to fabled Gallagher-Iba arena. Man that's a great memory.

If you're a wrestler and need some motivation watch this movie!

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2 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

68 Dodge Flatbed For Sale

6/10
Author: msmmole from United States
8 February 2006

We have the truck that was used in the movie and are wanting to sell it please contact me at msmmole@yahoo.com if interested in making an offer.It is in good shape with few modifications and would be fun to have as a piece of memorabilia from the movie or as a farm or work truck. I don't have anymore info as the late father of my boyfriend purchased the truck after the movie and has since died and we bought it from his business. to quote "This is really not a bad movie. It examines some of what goes on in someone's head when they get in the frame of mind that they want something that just about everyone else feels is unattainable for them. Modine does a very good job in bringing the character of Louden to believability, and the surrounding cast puts in a good effort as well. It is a better-than-average teen flick movie, but not much (but I think it's only because I haven't been a teen ager in so long, myself)."

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