Christian Review Magazine Issue 2 - Jan/Feb 2015 - Page 31

MOVIE PHOTO: COURTESY OF OCEAN AVENUE ENTERTAINMENT, INC. REVIEW “For we live by faith, not by sight.” Title: 23 BLAST - 2 Corinthians 5:7 (NIV) Rating: Starring: Mark Hapka, Bram Hoover, Stephen Lang, Alexa PenaVega, Max Adler Written by: Bram Hoover, Toni Hoover Directed by: Dylan Baker Genre: Sport, Drama Running Time: 98 minutes MPAA Rating: PG-13 Production Company: Touchdown Productions LLC, Toy Gun Films Released by: Ocean Avenue Ent. eviewed by: Leah St John Release Date: Jan 20, 2015 : DVD & VOD B ased on a true story, 23 Blast is a sport-drama about high school football player Travis Freeman, a smart outgoing young man who is considered the best player on the team. But after suddenly and permanently losing his sight, Travis withdraws from his team, his friends, and his life in general. But eventually, Travis realizes that he must learn to overcome his disability if he is to live again. 23 Blast is an inspirational movie about a young man overcoming almost insurmountable odds. Throughout value is placed on family, friendship, and faith. Equipped with an engaging story, 23 Blast has emotional drama, humor, a little bit of romance, and of course, sports action in the form of football - there is literally something for everyone. There are a lot of notable actors who appear in 23 Blast. It’s nice to see yet another Christian faith-based movie attracting the attention of a number of well known names in the film-industry. Acting veteran Stephen Lang (Avatar) fits the bill as the stern yet encouraging Coach Farris. Mark Hapka was very well cast in the role of Travis Freeman, likewise with Bram Hoover who played Freeman’s troubled best friend Jerry Baker. They both played their struggling characters well, and succeeded in portraying a very believable friendship on-screen. Also worth noting is that the real Travis Freeman has a cameo in the movie. 23 Blast represents a number of firsts, as it is the directorial debut from long-time actor Dylan Baker, as well as the first screenplay to be penned by Bram Hoover, both of whom starred in the movie - Dylan Baker in a smaller role as Travis’ dad, Larry, and Bram Hoover as Jerry. Dylan Baker demonstrates with his work on 23 Blast that he is a skilled director. As far as production goes, it is great on all fronts. Also worth noting is that the screenplay is very well written, and the soundtrack is excellent. 23 Blast is a inspirational underdog sports drama with high production values and great acting all around. In a day and age where sports movies are so common, 23 Blast proves itself a winner. CHRISTIAN REVIEW > 31