Monday, November 16, 2015

My All American hits football, faith, and family

Movie:     My All American

Rating:    PG, 1 hour 58 minutes

Grade:   B+

In a Nutshell:    This tale of gridiron glory is a true story that will inspire you and cause you to shed some tears, as long as you can get past some of the melodramatic  manipulation. 

Critics argue that the film is too squeaky clean in this predictable feel-good sports movie.  And that’s a problem because…?  Don’t we have enough cynicism and ugly in the world?  

Uplifting Theme:
·          “What makes a winner is knowing he can always try a little harder.” – Michael Steinmark (Michael Reilly Burke)
·         Persistence, tenacity, humility, hard work, brotherhood.
·         “Everything is bigger and better in Texas!” – Freddie
·         “We don’t care what people write about us.  We do not care what others say we can or cannot do.  Only those of us right here can tell that story.” – Coach Royal

Things I liked:
·         I always like watching Aaron Eckhart because he has the same eyes as one of my sons.  Coach Royal is impressively supportive.  He says to Freddie, “Whatever it is – you will meet the challenge and I will be here for you.”  Wouldn’t the world be different if we treated each other like that?
·         Finn Wittrock does a great job as Freddie Steinmark.
·         Sarah Bolger makes a cute blonde and a very sweet, devoted girlfriend to Freddie.  She says to him, “Whatever you are going through, I am going through.”  Did you know she was from Ireland?  You might recognize her from The Spiderwick Chronicles .
·         I love how they show the current Texas football players paying tribute to Freddie.  I especially love how you get to see pictures and film footage of the real people during the closing credits.  Hook 'em Longhorns!

·         Impressive hits and flips.
·         Good 60’s music that underscores the images and history of the era, including mentions of Vietnam, John F. Kennedy, and footage of Richard Nixon attending one of the games.
·         There is a LOT of football.  Even if you don’t understand the game, you’ll still appreciate the true story and inspiring message.
·         Touching moment of roommates in prayer.
·         Freddie's faith truly carries him through his challenges.  Religious people should support this film and celebrate the positivity.
      My sister taught for a year at the University of Arkansas and gave me one of those Razorback hats you see the fans wearing in the film.  Ha ha 

Things I didn’t like:
·         It's predictable and formulaic. 
      SPOILER ALERT:  The treatment of cancer is a Pollyanna one.
      There is a LOT of football.
      Some of the extras in the cast are pretty bad.

Funny lines:  
·          “You don’t have to like sports to like Freddie, just a pulse.” – Debbie  (Regan Goins)
·         “You run like you have a school of minnows in your pants.” – Coach Royal
·         “I fell in love faster than a hiccup.” – Coach Royal
·         “Yeah, I might be wrong, but I’m not confused.” – Coach Royal

Interesting lines:
·         “Gentlemen, football doesn’t build character.  It eliminates the weak.” – Coach Darrell Royal
·         “Freddie Steinmark was not an All-American.  No, he was MY All-American.” – Coach Darrell Royal
·         “The greatest disgrace is to quit or turn yeller.” – Lakewood Coach
·         “I hate to see you play at 90%.” – Bobby Mitchell (Rett Terrell)

Tips for Parents:
·         Some profanity, blood, and you see a guy in a jockstrap.
·         I love how supportive Freddie’s parents are.
·         Discussion of cancer and death.
·         Young children may get bored.

To learn more about the true Freddie Steinmark story:

Great football movies:

·         Remember the titans, blind side, Friday night lights
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