~I received compensation for this post. Opinions and stories are my own.~
I absolutely love to watch movies and even though my normal go-to is action and adventure there is just something special about a film that touches the heart. 23 Blast is one of those sports movies that speaks to me in a special way by reminding me that true stories really can be incredible.
23 Blast features Travis Freeman, a typical teenager growing up in a small town in Kentucky, who is a local hero on and off the field. In the fall of 1997, in the prime of his youth, he is unexpectedly stricken with an infection that destroys his optic nerve. He becomes blind overnight. Under the influence of parents who love him, a physical therapist who challenges him, a coach who inspires him, and a best friend who he cannot bear to leave behind, Travis shows us what true bravery is by competing on the gridiron, helping his Corbin High School team advance to the state playoffs. 23 Blast follows Travis and Jerry Baker, his closest friend, from the time they meet on the football field as kids through high school. Baker’s attraction to the dark side of teenage temptations, beer and drugs, threatens to pull the friends apart. It is only on the football field where they truly connect.
The film 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).
23 Blast 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.
- 23 Blast was shot entirely on location in Corbin, Ky. (where the true story actually took place)
- Travis Freeman has been busy since his football days. He recently earned a Ph.D. and is currently an instructor of religion at the University of the Cumberlands in nearby Williamsburg, Ky.
- 23 Blast won the 2013 Heartland Film Festival’s Audience Choice Award for Narrative Feature.
Check out THIS LINK to find a theater near you where it is playing.
If you are looking for a film showing true courage and determination than 23 Blast is definitely it. This movie reminds you of the truly important things in life and it would be especially great for parents to watch with their teenagers. Even with it’s PG-13 rating I would be comfortable showing it to kids a bit younger than that as it is not offensive or using foul language with the only situation being a scene where Jerry is drinking. I especially liked watching the coaches as they are also inspiring for sticking with Travis through it all. I enjoyed all the acting in the movie as well as the more realistic football scenes. This movie will show you that Vision Comes From Within.