Sunday, February 6, 2011

Athlete - Movie Review

Always looking to get my hands on movies about running, I had great hopes for the documentary Athlete by David Lam found on Blockbuster online. The documentary would follow triathletes in their training and racing journey. Per the Blockbuster website,
Synopsis Of Athlete
David Lam's documentary gets inside the heads of everyday people who become engrossed in various endurance sports, and makes a case for what it takes to call oneself an athlete in this day and age. ~ Perry Seibert, Rovi 

There were 3 (almost 4)  athletes followed, each with their own personal, inspirational story
Artie, an older gentleman with a pot belly, became an athlete after he started losing his vision. He joined the Achilles organization and resumed running after a 25 year hiatus.  He completes the New York City marathon and a triathlon in the movie.

Kellie, an outstanding athlete, signed up for a triathlon with her twin sister Carrie. Unfortunately Carrie hits gravel while on her bike using the aero bars and has the road of recovery in front of her. Kellie completes the Ironman at Lake Placid.

Jenny, is a cancer survivor and helps raise money for cancer and completes a full marathon along with a triathlon.

The movie was incrediably choppy and hard to follow. It flipped between athletes and jumped around in time.  One moment you'd be at the morning of the Ironman, then she'd be loading the bike in the car, then it would be in the middle of the race or maybe it was a different race, then at the beginning of the training, then the night before the race.  It was horrible.  It would also flip to different races making it impossible to develop any timeline for the athlete.  The cinemetography had points where it was just bad filming, blurry or downright boring, such as watching the coffee brew or the 2 minute scene of watching Jenny get blood drawn for tests.  Two of the female athletes were blond with similar length hair and because the movie was so choppy, I couldn't tell which athlete I was watching.

It's like the director of the movie took all the things they learned in school and used it, not paying attention to flow or if it even made sense. Ask the question, does this add to the viewers experience?  Does it help convey the message I'm trying to tell?  If not, then don't include it. A example of this is towards the end of the movie, photo's are shown of the twin sisters growing up.  That should have been at the beginning, when characters are being developed. To show the bond the sister had and that would support the idea of the sister competing together. By showing them at the end it made me think the director had a good idea 1/2 way through editing and thought just put the pictures in at that time.

Despite the choppiness of the movie, there were moments of inspiration, like when Artie explains how becoming blind was the best thing that happened to him because he became an athlete and met many fantastic people in the Achilles organization.  Or seeing Jenny's dedication and drive while being a cancer survivor.

My rating is 1 out of 5 running shoes


Johann said...

I'm glad you did this review as I can put this low on my priority list now. Have a good week!

Ewa said...

Thanks for the review. When I saw the title I got excited - hey, I am a sucker for inspirational movies but I guess I will pass on that one or at least wait till there is nothing else I can get inspired by (then I can still read blogs, right?)

trifitmom said...

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Natalia said...

Thanks for the review.....sounds like dross. I usually enjoy these kinds of movies, but I guess this one will be a miss.