Rated PG-13 (brief drinking of alcohol on school property) / 1h 42m
As a typical teenager, Travis Freeman (Mark Hapka) is a local hero both on and off the high-school football field in his small Kentucky town, but in 1997, Travis contracts an infection that destroys his optic nerve and renders him blind overnight. With the loving help and concern of his parents, physical therapist, coach and best friend, Travis demonstrates what true bravery is: He continues to compete on the gridiron and helps his team advance to the state finals.
Now I was anxious to watch this after it came in but didn't get to it for a bit. Life happens and I was busy but we finally sat down for a family night and turned this on. I knew ahead of time that there were a few things I would either turn down or skip. The premise of the film sounded promising and I always like when movies are based on true stories. I mean, who can resist the story of a blind football player? We sure didn't:)
The filming was a tad bit choppy at first but thankfully it seemed to go smoother after the halfway point. The movie starts out with a little league group and shows the coach doing his best with the younger guys. It then fast-forwards to present day where the two younger boys, Travis and Jerry, are now in high school. The cheerleaders all gather around Travis who is a star. At a party Travis gets a pounding headache and is rushed to the hospital, only to wake up and find he has lost his sight. At this point his spirits are okay, he hasn't really thought about how different his life will be. But once it sets in, he spirals downwards and basically resides in his bedroom all day. It takes a few dedicated people to push him beyond himself and see what he can really do.
I mentioned above that this was rated PG-13. Now most of this rating is given because of the underage drinking portrayed in the film. Jerry Baker, best friend of Travis, is shown as a partying teenager who drinks several times. At first I seriously had a problem with this. After reading up on the story behind the film, I understand why they put this in, but I still think for a family movie it could have been shown in a more vague manner. My other problem was the swearing. We have a TV guardian that takes out language, but I read what is in it and I don't think that any family movie needs to have swearing to get the point across. Because of the things mentioned above, I would urge every family to preview the film before showing it to your children and teenagers.
The ending scene is spectacular and we really enjoyed the real footage shown near the credits area. It is truly amazing to see how God can use a person who chooses to see troubles as an opportunity, not as a disability. If you like a good inspirational film, this is a good one. Anyone ready for a giveaway?? One winner will receive a copy of this DVD. USA AND CANADA ONLY! Giveaway will end 2/23. Winner will be chosen through Random.org and will have 48 hours to respond or another winner will be picked. I am not responsible for the fulfillment of the prize but I will do everything on my end to make sure you get it.
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