Wednesday, November 18, 2015

American Anthem

Watched October 6, 2015

Starring: Mitch Gaylord, Janet Jones, Michael Pataki

It begins with a montage (the first of many) cutting between shots of the New York City skyline and the mountains of Flagstaff, Arizona. It's a very confusing start because we haven't been introduced to the main characters yet. Steve (Mitch Gaylord) has a job welding in a motorcycle shop and it seems like a pretty good job. Steve's dad has been out of work for a year after being laid off. and is very angry about it. Steve had a college football scholarship, along with being a very talents gymnast, but then his dad broke his arm and Steve couldn't take the scholarship.

Julie (Janet Jones) is a gymnast from New York who comes to the TOPs gym in Flagstaff to train for the upcoming competition to try out for the national gymnastics team. Even though Steve no longer is training in gymnastics, he still comes to watch some of the other gymnasts.

Steve and Julie meet and have a montage of falling in love, or something like that. At the gym, Julie is being pushed harder than she has ever been before. She happens to have a cousin, Arthur (Andrea Bianchi) who lives in Flagstaff. Arthur's main hobby is playing crazy synthesizers ever since his legs were damaged in a car accident that killed both his parents. Julie really like the songs that Arthur composes and she tries to incorporate them into her floor routine, but her coaches aren't into it.

Julie convinces Steve to come back to gymnastics. He agrees, but has a hard time juggling practice time with his job at the motorcycle shop. Plus his dad has some real rage issues.

At a practice meet, Steve tries a crazy move on the high bar and falls onto his spotter. The spotter is pushed into a table, his face broken and covered in blood.

When he's not at the gym, Steve has set up a bar in the woods between two trees that he practices on. One night, he's on his tree bar when it's raining and he falls off the bar after doing some crazy move. I'm not sure if this helps him realize that he needs to stop practicing in the woods or that he needs to focus more on his life goals.

After a falling he decides not to take the bus down with the rest of the team for the big competition in Phoenix. He comes home to his parents fighting, it seems like his dad is in a mood again. Steve tells his brother to run from the house., So his little brother gets on a trike ATV and races off. Then Steve chases him on his motorcycle. It's a very strange chase, but the little brother won't seem to stop. The brother falls off the ATV before it runs off a cliff. The brother almost falls off the cliff too but Steve gets there in time to save him. After some indecision, Steve decides to head down to Phoenix to compete after all. He runs into his mom on the way and invites her to come watch him.

Steve makes it to Phoenix in time for the competition. It's a very long meet, we see almost every character do a full routine. Julie decides after some hesitation to use her cousin's song for her floor routine and she makes the team. Steve does too. The end

There are a lot of ADR lines especially when Steven and Julie are courting. Steve broods a lot and has lots of cut shots, he doesn't seem to be in the same scenes as people. There are a lot of blue lights around making it feel like a music video. Mitch Gaylord, a great gymnast, is not an actor. I do like watching gymnastics, but this movie doesn't make it fun. It also doesn't do a good job showing why Mitch quit in the first place. Also, why did he get a football scholarship if this movie is about gymnastics.

I liked Julie's leotards.

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