Movie Review: My All American – Painfully Slow and Aimless with No Real Character Development

My All American Screen Grab Movie Review

I don’t like sports, so I frequently see sports movies go terribly wrong. However, that doesn’t mean I hate all sports movies. I dug Any Given Sunday. I loved Rudy. There were a lot of sports movies that I enjoyed very much.

This was not one of them.

My All American is based on a true story and is written by the same person who wrote “Rudy”. In this one Freddie Steinmark (Finn Wittrock) is a dude who’s just a bit too little for football, but his love of the game leads him to getting a spot on the Longhorns at the University of Texas in the late 1960s. The film goes with the cliché of having Coach Darrel Royal (Aaron Eckhart, in some embarrassingly bad old person makeup) telling the tale of Freddie to a reporter who apparently didn’t realize this movie had already been written and done better in Rudy.

This is a movie that panders to the conservatives, and even they will take it with a grain of salt. Freddie is just a little too perfect to be human, the scenes of family are just a bit too idyllic to be real. When someone mentions New York and the Coach says “Aw hell, I’ve never liked those big cities,” I half expected him to jam a corncob pipe into his mouth, it was so fake and hokey.

My All American Screen Grab 2 Movie Review

There’s just irritating, over the top scene after irritating over the top scene of Freddie skipping around farting rainbows and sprinkling sunshine wherever he goes. At least Rudy had some edge.

Freddie is a total square. He’s too damn intense about everything. Everything is just friggen great! Whether he’s talking to his best girl or tying his shoes, he always gives 110%!

He was nauseating.

I feel bad saying this because the movie is supposedly based on a real guy, but honestly, the Freddie in this movie isn’t real. He was Dudley Friggen Do-Right with and extra dose of Christian Conservatism.

My All American Screen Grab 3 Movie Review

It’s amazing to me, and a credit to Eckhart as an actor, that he was able to keep a straight face as the coach spewed out countrified statement after countrified statement. Here’s some of my favas.

“You run like you got minnows in your pants!” What does that even friggen mean? Was he scratching his butt? Did he pee himself? It doesn’t make a lick of sense and no one in the history of time has used that phrase in any seriousness, because whoever heard it would just turn around and ask the same question.

“What the hell is that supposed to mean?”

Next “I fell in love with her faster than a hiccup.” Yeah, because that’s what a girl wants to hear from the man who says he’s in love with her. She wants to hear she reminds him of an involuntary spasm in his diaphragm.

It was painfully slow, aimless and no character development in a movie I couldn’t care less about. It was pretty darn bad. No joke. I hated it like I hate hiccups.

WE GAVE IT: 2 Stars – Watch the Official Trailer and Official Movie Poster below!

2 Stars

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My All American Official Moive Poster

Movie Review: Unbroken (2014) – You’ll find yourself yawning even as the bullets fly


Christmas week was the week of diverse releases. We had the cute and quirky musical Into the Woods, we had the gross out comedy The Interview, and now we have the epic tale of an Olympic Athlete and former POW, Louis Zamperini, in Unbroken.

Unbroken follows the life of Louis Zamperini (Jack O’Connell), who was taken captive by the Japanese Navy after surviving on a raft at sea for 47 days, following a near fatal plane crash. The former Olympic athlete is sent to a POW camp along with two other airmen. This is an epic story, based on the hugely popular book of the same name, which follows Zamperini from his childhood, all the way to his return from captivity.

I rarely accuse a movie of this, as the case is often the opposite, but this is a movie that tries way too hard. It doesn’t rest on its laurels, i.e. Zamperini’s life story. Instead, it focuses on becoming a story of redemption and triumph over adversity. That’s where the problems come in.


The fact is, this is already a story of redemption and survival. The subject of the film lived a full 97 years and came back alive from the war. That’s why a few scenes (some of which had to be made up) come in over the top. For example, one of the film’s most iconic moments, where the emaciated and fragile star lifts a heavy beam over his head while music swells in the background, is almost worthy of an eye roll.

For a movie with so much content, it’s surprisingly sluggish. A large part of the movie is made up of the time spent on the raft. I hate to say it, but while the idea that these guys survived on a raft so long is interesting, watching them float in the water for what feels like the entire 47 days eventually wears thin. The time at the POW camp is spent mainly over the star’s trials with a seemingly one dimensionally evil guard, while ignoring the suffering and the Zamperini’s own inner thought process.


One thing that makes the movie fail is the heavy reliance on flashbacks. It starts out at full momentum, with the clear intention of focusing on the life raft and time in the POW camp. But then flashback after flashback drags us out of the story and into Zamperini’s troubled childhood. While interesting, I feel like it would have been more interesting if told in a linear manner, rather than as an interruption.

Jolie proves herself to be a competent director, though probably not the best editor. In a 2 hour and 15 minutes run time, this movie drags in a lot of places, though those places are usually the flashback scenes. For the most part, her style of direction really does draw you into the picture. While it’s not genius, it is competent.

It’s a well made movie, based on an interesting story, but the over the top symbolism and focus on the star’s quiet strength rings false on more than one occasion. Adding in the flashbacks, this one is actually an exhausting movie to watch. At two hours, you’ll find yourself yawning even as the bullets fly.

Unbroken could have been broken up a bit, with a bit more linear storytelling and allowing the movie to rest on its own subject matter. While it’s not the best movie I’ve ever seen, I do have to give it an A for effort.

WE GAVE IT : 3 STARS!  Watch the Official Trailer and See the Official Movie Poster below



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