From the outside, Alexa has the perfect life. Her son is the high school football star, her daughter a straight A student, and her husband the CFO of a booming start-up company. The sudden ... See full summary »
John K.D. Graham
Lorena Segura York,
When a high school football star is suddenly stricken with irreversible total blindness, he must decide whether to live a safe handicapped life or bravely return to the life he once knew and the sport he still loves.
When a seventeen-year old aspiring dancer is uprooted mid-semester of her senior year, she finds herself in a small East Coast high school where her heart will be divided between two boys, ... See full summary »
When her father is put into jail, the spoiled teenager Dani loses everything. Forced to live with her uncle Sam on a farm without horses to ride and to train a sad Dani takes care of a young mule and learns what really counts.
Set in rural Ohio, the birthplace of football, a small-town high school football team rises from obscurity to play their cross-town rival, a perennial powerhouse, while standing up for an entire community. Bobby Burkett is the promising quarterback for the Knights, but his Division Four school has never made a playoff appearance until Coach Vince DeAntonio's arrival. Their gruff new coach recruits a talented but insecure receiver and gives a juvenile delinquent offensive lineman a second chance. When Bobby falls for rival cheerleader Renee Donohue, a battle for more than a championship begins with the Viking's "golden boy" quarterback John Hanford III. Meanwhile, Bobby's father is being sued by his former employer and town patriarch John Hanford II over the intellectual rights to a revolutionary new energy saving product. With their home at stake, things look grim for the Burketts (until rumors of Hanford Corp's move to Mexico surface). Now with hundreds of manufacturing jobs at stake... Written by
Refreshingly honest sports movie a metaphor for struggle
I'm a veteran of sports movies... "Rudy", "We Are Marshall", "One on One"-- I grew up on them and still can't resist the genre. So I'm well aware of the underlying metaphor of struggle and victory as it applies to daily life. I also hold a college degree in Literature, so I can sniff out cheese in a movie. "Underdogs" was refreshingly different.
Yes, I loved it because I grew up in the region-- in the cradle of the birthplace of football. But I liked "Rudy", even though I've never worshiped the Football Jesus at Notre Dame. So, only minimal kudos for my love of place. I loved this movie because, unlike many sports movies, it was clear-eyed and real.
The cinematography was sharp and by no means low-budget. The camera was so omnipresent yet graceful that it was able to pick up the subtleties of actors' expressions that catapulted the story along. The pacing was never slow either. The movie roared along like a high-school football season,with the viewer caught up in the play-by-play of the tumultuous season, as well as the companion struggle of the movie's main protagonists. The movie really let its young actors tell the story, too, so the point of view came right from the characters' hearts. Although the adults in the film did the usual pontificating, it was really the kids' story.
As a veteran of many Film Festivals, I can say that this movie is not traditional Film Fest fare. As Sally Sparrow said so well in an episode of British TV series "Dr. Who", 'sad is happy for deep people'. So not your typical Film Fest Sturm und Dang, but plenty of clear-eyed, uncliched retelling of the football myth and legend in our culture.
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