Movie Review: American Underdog

If you are a very good high school football player in the United States, the odds of you getting to play in College are 5%. If you are a very good football player in College, your odds of being drafted into the NFL are only 1%. If you get to play in the NFL the average career is less than 3 years. During those 3 years, you hope you don’t have any long term pain or CTE – a brain injury that is caused by frequent blows to the head over a long period of time. The odds of longevity in the NFL are very long then add the unlikely odds of even getting to the NFL in the first place. All of this makes the incredible true story of Quarterback Kurt Warner in the new movie “American Underdog” that much more unbelievable.

It is highly unlikely that anyone who ever made it to the NFL, much less the NFL Hall of Fame, MVP of the league and the Super Bowl ever had a more unlikely and difficult road than Kurt Warner did – in any professional sport. the new movie “American Underdog” is all about the dues and injustice Warner faced when he left college, when nobody wanted him, nobody wanted to even give him a chance. Warner played 4 years in semi pro Football, followed by 4 years of Arena Football before a miracle happened and he was drafted by the Rams. After an injury to the starting quarterback, Warner got his shot and made the most of it – winning the Super Bowl and league MVP in his first year. There is no doubt about it, this is one amazing story.

This movie is also about the relationship between Kurt Warner and his wife Brenda, who was a divorced mother of two children, one of them brain damaged and blind due to an injury during infancy. Like all relationships they had their problems over the years, mostly due to money problems, where at one point Kurt was stacking cans at a local super market. The couple also had to move in with her parents for a time just to survive. This movie does a great job of making your root for Kurt Warner who is as likeable in real life as an MVP quarterback as he was during this film, so well played by Zachary Levi. Warner’s wife Brenda is very well played by Anna Paquin.

While watching this unbelievable sports story, I wondered why it took so long to come to the screen, considering that Warner retired from the NFL in 2009.

The Rotten Tomatoes ratings for this great sports film are a too low 77%. My rating is a high 95% with my highest recommendation.

Movie Review: A Journal For Jordan

For the far too few of us who include empathy as one of their most valued traits – this review is for you.

I have often wondered how any actor, director and especially a screenwriter must feel when they toil for weeks, months or even years on a project – then complete it – then wait for the day when the movie is released so desperate with hope that the movie they spent years of their lives working on gets reviewed positively. Then their hard work gets trashed by a few critics who have no clue what they are writing about. How must that feel? How hard is something like that to recover from?

For the new movie “A Journal For Jordan”, directed by none other than Denzel Washington and starring Michael B. Jordan and relative newcomer Chanté Adams, the Rotten Tomatoes ratings are a downright stupid 40%. This rating ranks as one of the worst out of proportion opinions I have ever even heard about.

Obviously, this is one of those films that going on you already know will be a tear-jerker from the start. This is a true a story about a young couple’s early relationship told mostly with flashbacks. Dana, played by Adams and is a writer for the NY Times, Charles, played by Jordan, is a soldier who winds up going to Iraq soon after the 2001 Terrorist attacks. We all see tragedy coming a mile down the road, but this does not take away from this very well produced and acted real life story. This story is based on a Novel by Dana Canedy A Journal for Jordan (Movie Tie-In): A Story of Love and Honor that some years ago was a best seller and important enough to catch the eye of Denzel Washington to produce and create this movie.

I thought this story was very well told with a very emotional ending that worked extremely well. What the hell the critics are thinking this time around, I have no idea. 94% for a bad recent Spiderman movie with an idiotic premise and this real life story about true love, life and death gets 40%. None of this makes any sense. Making movies is in fact a brutal field to choose as a career. This movie definitely proves that.

My rating is a solid 80% and I highly recommend this movie.