One of the fun things that we love to do as a family is watch movies. This year in particular, we discovered an amazing drive-in about an hour from our home that only costs us $10 for all 5 of us to watch a movie under the stars. While the summer was a blast, as the weather is turning colder, it’s back to movie night in at our house and at the theater as a treat. While I love the thrillers and funny comedies, I also love to look for movies that I’d be comfortable watching with family and friends, and movies that can inspire and uplift me. Well, in theaters this Friday, there’s going to be a movie that can do just that- a movie based on a true story called 23 Blast. I was lucky enough to get to prescreen 23 Blast last night, and I’m excited to share it with you today.
Set in Corbin, KY (and actually filmed there too!) in 1997, 23 Blast follows two friends that have been football buddies since they were little boys. Based on a true story, Travis Freeman and Jerry Baker are heroes both on and off the field in a small town where high school football rules the life of many of its residents, both young and old. While both friends are average football players alone, they balance and enhance each other on the field when playing together, making an amazing football duo.
Tragically, Travis wakes up one morning with a severe infection in his sinuses that damages his optic nerve, and he loses his vision completely. With everything he has known about playing football and the way he views his world stripped away from him, Travis has to re-learn how to do many activities of daily living. Armed with Jerry, his loving parents, a persistent physical therapist, and a coach who believes in him, Travis learns to live again both on and off the football field.
The movie ends with an inspiring message that true vision comes from within, not by what others would think is possible. It left me so uplifted that I can’t wait for people to see it in theaters and be inspired themselves (plus, then I can talk about the ending without spoiling it!). While the movie is rated PG13- showing real issues that teenagers face today like alcohol, drugs, and relationships- the overwhelming theme of hope triumphing over despair, and of courage and faith prevailing over adversity, shines through.
23 Blast stars Stephen Lang (Avatar, Terra Nova), Alexa Vega (Spy Kids, Machete Kills), Mark Hapka (Day of Our Lives, Criminal Minds), Max Adler (Glee), Bram Hoover, Kim Zimmer (Guiding Light, One Life to Live), Becky Ann Baker (Men in Black, Freaks and Geeks, A Simple Plan) Timothy Busfield (Field of Dreams, Thirtysomething), Dylan Baker, and Fred D. Thompson (Sinister, Law & Order, Die Hard 2). It is written by Bram Hoover (who also stars as Jerry Baker) and Toni Hoover, directed/produced by Dylan Baker (Spider-Man 2 & 3, 13 Days) and produced by Gary Donatelli and Toni Hoover. Executive producers for the movie include Daniel Snyder (owner of the Washington Redskins), Misook Doolittle and Brent Ryan Green. The film even won the 2013 Heartland Film Festival’s Audience Choice Award for Narrative Feature.
Here’s the official trailer to give you just a small picture of the storyline:
23 Blast is in theaters this Friday, October 24th. To find a theater near you where it will be playing, click here. You can learn more about the movie by following them on Twitter and Facebook, and view other behind-the-scenes clips and cast interviews on their YouTube channel. After you go watch it, let me know what you think below!