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8 out of 8 people found the following review useful:

Surprisingly Good...

8/10
Author: PrettyPuyol from San Francisco, CA
23 March 2004

I thought it would be cheesy being a Disney channel movie, but it was really good. I think Andrew Lawrence has a bright future as an actor. I was about to write him off as another Lawrence brother, but I think he's the most talented of the three. He played a blind kid very very well. His movements and his affects were very believable and he delivered his lines very well.

The story was pretty entertaining and the portrayal of the blind was pretty original, too. You don't see wrestling featured in high school movies very often, let alone consider it a sport the blind can participate in. And it was nice to see things like beeping backboards in basketball as another way to incorporate the blind into everyday things they usually couldn't have participated in before. I also really loved the music featured in the movie, especially the guitar pieces "Jace" played. It's definitely worth taping if you can catch one of the repeats.

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6 out of 6 people found the following review useful:

Bravery had nothing to do with it

10/10
Author: caramelbabez53 from United States
28 March 2004

"You know what really ticks me off, when people tell me how brave and courageous I am for doing things that sighted people do every day." Wow, this movie was awesome! I was not disappointed at all. Andy Lawerence, Khleo Thomas, Wayne Brady, Alessandra Toreson, and Billy Aaron Brown give an awesome performance in this movie. This movie is about Jace Newfield (played by Andy Lawerence), who is visually impaired, and his road to acceptance of himself. When the audience first encounters Jace, he is living in New York getting ready to move to Salt Lake City, Utah. At first, he acts stuck-up and only has two friends, MaryBeth Rice, played by Alessandra Toreson, and Vince "Fly" Shoe, played by Khleo Thomas. With the help of his music teacher, Mr. Wyatt, played by Wayne Brady who also shares his disability, he is able to overcome his own obstacles. Jace and Fly join the wrestling team, after MaryBeth suggests it. At first, the teammates resent Fly and Jace for being there but when the captain of the wrestling team, John Lambrix, played by Billy Aaron Brown, and Jace become friends, Jace and Fly find acceptance from fellow teammates. The audience intensely watches Jace and Fly overcome obstacles and MaryBeth and Jace as their friendship soon turns into something greater. I was not disappointed with this movie and I believe that anyone who watches it will love it and want to watch it again and again! If you love drama, romance, and a overrall feel-good family movie, you'll love Going to the Mat. I'm glad I taped this one! 5 out of 5 stars!!!!

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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Going to the Mat scores!

10/10
Author: SlimXero from Orlando, Florida
20 March 2004

"Going to the Mat" is an extremely well acted (what we've come to expect from one of the Lawrence brothers) story about a boy Jace (Jason Newfield, played by Andrew Lawrence), who moves from New York City to an almost opposite environment in Utah. Now your probably thinking, whats so interesting about that? Well, Jace is blind, and is convinced by his "reader" to join the Wrestling team. Jace faces a lot of discrimination from his teammates, and changes his outlook on Utah. Definitely a Disney movie =). In the end, Jace makes new friends, becomes stronger emotionally, and, under the guidance of his band teacher, Mr. Wayatte (who shares his disability), learns to accept life as it comes at him. A must see movie, and a great performance by Andrew Lawrence, Khleo Thomas ("Fly"), Wayne Brady (Mr. Wyatte) and Alessandra Toreson (Mary Beth Rice).

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3 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

Poignant Story

Author: astymegoesby from United States
20 March 2004

Going to mat is about a blind boy, Jace (Jason) who moves from New York City to Hicksville (no offense). With a big chip on his shoulder as the cool kid, he tries unsuccessfully to intermix with the other kids. His one friend, "Fly", played well by Khleo Thomas gets Jace into wrestling. After several unsuccessful attempts, Jace finally succeeds and becomes the champ. This is a Disney movie. Which about says it all. There is not a lot of drama, Jace (played by Andrew Lawrence) gives a very believable performance, then again so do all Disney films. As with all Disney films, its all good, nothing too bad and always smiling (if not crying) at the end. 2 out of 5 stars.

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A blind kid moves to a new state and has difficulty being accepted at his new school. He decides to try joining the wrestling team.

3/10
Author: saraheliz14 from United States
17 April 2013

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

To start off, I want to say that this movie had a good message. The protagonist, Jace, had to learn that even though he was blind and stuck living in a new state, he couldn't just expect people to accept him no matter what. He had to treat people with respect to get it in return.

That said, as I kept watching, I found that I just couldn't get myself to like him. He was such an obnoxious character that I couldn't help but feel guiltily satisfied whenever someone told him off for being a jerk. On top of that, I happen to be from Utah and found the movie's portrayal of the state to be a little bit...rude? Believe it or not, most people around here don't think it's really that funny to bully a blind kid about being blind.(Although they might begin to feel annoyed about someone, blind or not, repeatedly insinuating that they're a bunch of hicks.) Anyway, I can see why a lot of people might enjoy this movie--but it just wasn't my cup of tea.

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Great Story

10/10
Author: flutterby145 from Louisville, Kentucky
4 July 2004

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

This was a great movie. Spoiler. Jason 'Jace' (Andrew Lawrence) and his family move from New York City to Utah. Jace finds it difficult to be accepted by the people at his new school in Utah (or Hicksville as he calls it). In addition to being the new guy at school, Jace is also blind. The first day Jace is in Utah, he becomes friends with Vincent 'Fly' (Kleo Thomas). In New York, Jace played the drums with a band (he can also play the electric guitar). So Jace thinks his musical talents is the way to fit in at his new school. One day the school band is playing Bach. That same day, Jace decides to show everyone in band class his musical talents. Mr. Wyatt (Wayne Brady), isn't pleased with this behavior. Mr. Wyatt knows that Jace is blind. Someone told Jace that Mr. Wyatt is blind too. Jace is fed up with not fitting in and making friends. He asks Fly during a game of basketball what does a person have to do to fit in. Jace thinks no likes him because he's blind, but his friend Mary Beth (who also reads the non-Braille textbooks to Jace) told him the people don't care that he's blind, they thinks he's a total snob. Fly told him, basically, you have to be a jock. Their friend, Mary Beth encourages Jace to try out for the wrestling team. Jace tells his parents that he wants to try out for the wrestling team. His father thinks it would be good for him. His mother thinks it might be dangerous. Jace tells her that since he's blind, just going out the front door is dangerous, but he shouldn't stay in his room and hide all day. So his mom agrees to it. Jace and Fly get on the wrestling team. The other guys give Jace a hard time at first, in the end everyone likes Jace. This movie was great. The story was great. Andrew Lawrence gave a very realistic performance of a blind teen. Kleo Thomas was great, although he deserved a little more time than what he got. Wayne Brady also gave a great performance of a blind man. This story proves that with love, determination, perseverance, and hard work, you can do anything you put your mind too, blind or not.

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This was a Very Good Movie

Author: PTEYES1 from USA
29 April 2004

I am not really into watching television, but this show Just caught my Eye. Wayne Brady Was Just Great, and as for Andrew Lawrence,as Jason"Jace"Newfield, WOW, what can I say. He played the part Superbly In This Gals Opinion.... I very much also enjoyed Billy Aaron Brown as John Lambrix. They both started off as Chip on the shoulder type MACHO JOCKS, but ended on a GREAT note...

I recommend anyone who enjoys GOOD wrestling School Movies to WATCH this one.. Thanks, PTEYES1

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I liked it

9/10
Author: seemarella from USA
13 April 2004

Wow, this was actually a pretty good movie. I wasn't looking forward to this when I first saw the trailer. I thought it'd just be some stupid movie and after Pixel Perfect, I didn't have alot of faith in this movie. I've never liked sports movies but this one kept my interest when I first saw it. Andrew Lawrence gives a realistic and praise-worthy performance. The rest of the cast is good as well, including Khleo Thomas who sadly didn't get enough screentime as he deserved. But otherwise I'd give this a 9/10. Nothing's perfect.

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Spectacular

10/10
Author: lildesoazmafreak from USA
26 March 2004

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

*SPOILER alert - you have been warned!*

A movie such as this should not have been made for the television. It should have made it's way into theaters. How so, some may ask? This movie portrays more than just "a blind boy who moves to a new town and has obstacles to overcome". It really makes people think, how this world was different in the eyes of Jace Newfield (Andrew Lawrence).

Lawrence does a spectacular job of performing as Jace. Sometimes, audiences forget that he is not really blind! The way he portrays Jace is very well done, for many thought of him in many different ways: He's kind of stuck up, he's really sweet at heart, etc., etc. That image clearly went across to many of the people who sat down and watched this film.

Something I had thought, during the duration of this movie, is how I would be able to live without being able to see people like my friends, or even more importantly my family, my parents, my siblings. Those particular people are what make my life worth living, and not being able to see them smile, or see them laughing.. that would tear me up inside. Jace is a really strong character to be able to go through stuff like that, as well as insults from people he doesn't like.

Being able to wrestle, without seeing what you are doing is an incredible quality. Yes, as he himself said, "I get sick of people talking about how brave I am for doing things sighted people do everyday." It's not really bravery; it's his strength, his willpower that adds to his personality throughout the film. Because of that, he was able to win over so many opponents, even one as strong as T-Rex Turner, without even being able to see what was happening.

This movie was just incredible.

Overall rating: 10/10 - Spectacular.

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Non-Visual Acceptance

Author: snickles1839 from East Peoria, IL
24 March 2004

Wow~ I was completely impressed with this movie. This movie is about a kid named Jace, played by Andrew Lawerence, who moves from New York City to Utah. Apprehensive about how everyone will interact with him, Jace doesn't know how to respond to his new environment change. At the beginning, peers perceive Jace as a snob. With a wake-up call from his friend, MaryBeth Rice and Mr. Wyatt (who shares his disability played by Wayne Brady) Jace decides to stop being "the jerk." He also decides to go out for the wrestling team. At first, Jace isn't exactly "the star wrestler" but with the help of MaryBeth, he is able to start winning his matches, and he makes friends with his fellow teammates. This story plot encompasses determination, persistence, teamwork, some love, and teaches the viewer never give up. "Play your song a different way. Play it so people can see you for who you are. People will listen to the music you make." I was truly inspired by this movie, which is based on a real-life story. Five out of Five stars! =)

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