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UNIVERSAL

MOVIE INFO

Director:
Angelo Pizzo
Cast:
Aaron Eckhart, Finn Wittrock, Robin Tunney, Sarah Bolger
Writing Credits:
Angelo Pizzo

Synopsis:
Freddie Steinmark, an underdog on the gridiron, faces the toughest challenge of his life after leading his team to a championship season.

Box Office:
Budget
$20 million.
Opening Weekend
$1,365,000 on 1,565 Screens.
Domestic Gross
$2,246,000.

MPAA:
Rated PG.

DISC DETAILS
Presentation:
Aspect Ratio: 2.40:1
Audio:
English DTS-HD MA 5.1
Subtitles:
English
Spanish
French
Closed-captioned
Supplements Subtitles:
English
Spanish

Runtime: 119 min.
Price: $34.98
Release Date: 2/23/2016

Bonus:
• “The Spirit of Freddie Steinmark” Featurette
• “A Look Inside My All American” Featurette
• Previews
• DVD Copy


PURCHASE @ AMAZON.COM

EQUIPMENT
Panasonic TC-P60VT60 60-Inch 1080p 600Hz 3D Smart Plasma HDTV; Sony STR-DG1200 7.1 Channel Receiver; Panasonic DMP-BD60K Blu-Ray Player using HDMI outputs; Michael Green Revolution Cinema 6i Speakers (all five); Kenwood 1050SW 150-watt Subwoofer.

RELATED REVIEWS


My All American [Blu-Ray] (2015)

Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (February 16, 2016)

Does any sport prompt as many “inspirational stories” as football? Probably not, and we get another tale of that sort via 2015’s My All American.

Based on a true story, All American takes us to Colorado circa the 1960s and introduces us to young Freddie Steinmark (Alex Brewster), a kid who lacks size but succeeds on the football field due to effort and grit. As a high school student (Finn Wittrock), Freddie continues to excel in all sports, and he also falls in love with new classmate Linda Wheeler (Sarah Bolger).

Despite Freddie’s success as an athlete, he finds it tough to snag a college scholarship offer, all due to his relatively diminutive stature. Eventually University of Texas head coach Darrell Royal (Aaron Eckhart) takes a chance and gives Freddie a shot. We follow his path on and off the field as well as tragedy that eventually enters the picture.

Part of me feels like the word “tragedy” acts as a spoiler, but since the Blu-ray’s packaging alludes to this, I won’t view it in that vein. I also don’t know if anything really qualifies as a “spoiler” when a movie comes based on historical events – I gave away the ending to Titanic and don’t feel too bad about that.

I might worry more about spoilers if All American didn’t provide such a relentlessly mediocre and predictable experience. Even if the film didn’t focus on historical material, it follows well-worn paths and never finds its own identity.

From the very start, the movie seems trite. We get an awkward set-up with Coach Royal in 2010 that prompts a scene that screams “exposition!!!” at the viewer. It feels like a cliché choice that doesn’t need to exist.

Once the story goes into flashback mode, matters don’t improve, as All American pursues a relentlessly uninspired plan. It gives us one-dimensional characters who fill out their roles in a forgettable manner.

I’m sure the real Steinmark was a good guy and he experienced a true tragedy, but that doesn’t automatically make for an interesting story. As depicted here, he seems more like a human Jiminy Cricket, a perpetually cheery character who almost never lets anything get him down.

This leaves an absence of real drama. The film treats all the material in broad, melodramatic ways that offers no room for real emotion. All American tries so desperately to push our buttons that the opposite occurs and little feeling emerges.

Inspirational movies like My All American can work, but they need to push themselves harder than what we see here. The film delivers a potentially moving story in such a cliché, trite manner that it flops.


The Blu-ray Grades: Picture B+/ Audio B/ Bonus D

My All American appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 2.40:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. The movie came with a positive presentation.

No real issues related to sharpness. A few wide shots seemed just a tad soft, but those popped up infrequently. Instead, the vast majority of the movie looked concise and accurate. Jagged edges and shimmering failed to appear, and edge haloes remained absent. Source flaws also caused no distractions.

Colors were fine. The movie went with a palette that favored amber, orange and teal, which made its choices predictable. Still, the hues looked full and rich within those stylistic selections. Blacks were dark and tight, while shadows demonstrated good clarity. I expected a positive transfer and that’s what I got.

One shouldn’t expect sonic fireworks from a drama such as My All American, and the DTS-HD MA 5.1 soundtrack remained moderately subdued. The mix featured good stereo music and decent environmental information but little more substantial than that.

At least the football games showed some pizzazz, and general ambience was fine. The mix offered the expected levels of involvement but didn’t excel in any way.

Audio quality was good. Speech appeared natural and concise, with no problems on display. Music sounded vivid and full, and effects were perfectly acceptable, with good clarity and range. I thought this was a good but not great mix.

Two featurettes appear. The Spirit of Freddie Steinmark runs two minutes, 57 seconds and includes notes from friend Bobby Mitchell, writer/director Angelo Pizzo, and actors Finn Wittrock, Juston Street, Aaron Eckhart, and Sarah Bolger. We get some thoughts about Steinmark. This is a fluffy piece with little substance.

A Look Inside My All American lasts two minutes, 39 seconds and involves Eckhart, Pizzo, Wittrock, Street, Mitchell, actor Rett Terrell and football coordinator Mike Fisher. We find a basic movie overview that lacks much worthwhile content – it exists to sell the movie.

The disc opens with ads for The Young Messiah, Woodlawn, Big Stone Gap and 90 Minutes in Heaven. No trailer for All American shows up here.

A second disc provides a DVD copy of My All American. It includes the same extras as the Blu-ray.

Whatever potential emotion that can be mined from My All American fails to emerge due to the movie’s relentlessly one-dimensional portrait of its subjects. We get no depth or nuance in this thin, forgettable experience. The Blu-ray brings us good picture and audio but lacks notable bonus materials. This ends up as a flat, uninspiring tale.

Viewer Film Ratings: 2 Stars Number of Votes: 1
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