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.
In the prime of his youth, up and coming football star Travis Freeman lost his sight due to a sinus infection caused by a rare disease. Overnight, he became irreversibly blind and had to cope with all the new trials and changes awaiting him. With the love and support of his family and closest friends he learned to push himself to extraordinary heights. Relying on his other senses and his instincts, he did the unthinkable! Displaying unconditional determination he proved nothing could dampen the spirit of a champion!Written by
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Movies can inspire us by introducing us to people who overcome the odds, despite having much bigger problems than we do. Most of these films are based on true stories, and are as real as it gets, but sometimes, no matter how amazing the story, it doesn't necessarily make for the best cinema. 23 Blast is one of those films, as it tells the inspirational true story of Travis Freeman (Mark Hapka), a star High School Football player, on his way to a College scholarship, when a rare illness struck him blind. For many High School students, football is just a means to popularity, but for Travis, football was his whole life. His illness left him devastated and almost killed him, until miraculously, with the help of an unorthodox coach and supportive teammates, Travis was able to play again. The story here is almost unbelievable, and while it would make for a terrific episode of ESPN's 30 for 30, I found it severely lacking in content for a feature film. 23 Blast is the directorial debut of actor, Dylan Baker, and while he does a great job of telling the story and inspiring the audience, there just isn't enough story here to keep people interested for a full ninety minutes. The film focuses a lot on Travis's depression and rehabilitation, while a key component of the story, it also takes up a good majority of the film. If one were to shorten those scenes, there wouldn't be enough for a full length film. As for the young cast, they turned in surprisingly strong performances, in particular Mark Hapka, was excellent, but in the end it all comes down to this. 23 Blast, while inspirational, also moves extremely slowly, as it keeps coming back around to a single focus, Travis's illness. There is no deviation from the main story line, and things continue to go around in circles, until the last half hour or so when they finally get to the point. Basically, I loved the story, Travis Freeman is an inspiration, but the film is a bit of a snooze.
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