23 Blast

23 Blast opened in theaters October 24, 2014, and it's now available on DVD through Walmart and ChristianBook.com.

Our friend Dylan Baker (actor in Secretariat, Spider-Man 2 and 3) just screened his directorial debut in our building: 23 Blast. It's based on an unbelievable true story. The title comes from a football play two friends have been executing since their pee wee days. When one friend, Travis Freeman, loses his sight he throws God out of his life, but with the help of his family, friends, coach, and a return to the Lord, he excels once again.

Dylan endearingly plays the boy's father. I knew Dylan's wife, Becky Ann Baker (Men in Black, Spider-Man 3, Elementary), was in the film so I was surprised she wasn't playing the mother, until we met her character: the Annie Sullivan to the young man, his mobility coach who refuses to let him stay in his darkness.

There are moments we busted a gut laughing, and tears of sorrow and joy were flowing freely throughout. We watched it across the street from Off-Broadway's Theatre Row. The packed house was respectful of the church scenes, and they laughed hard and clapped long when the credits rolled.

Freeman wrote on his tublr about how bizarre it has been to have a movie made about his life, and his vision for how the film can impact lives:

I hope that this movie opens up many doors for me to be able to share the deeper story of my life.  How I was in spiritual darkness and God brought me into the light.  How I was a sinner destined for a sinners Hell, but God in his mercy rescued me from that fate.  I want people to know that without the hope of living for something greater than myself I would have never accomplished the things I accomplished.  Living for God’s glory and the hope of Heaven gave me the strength to face the many  struggles in my life.  If it had not been for this hope, which came from the grace of God, there would have been no football and then no 23 Blast.
The film won the Audience Award at The Heartland Film Festival, and it opens in theatres October 24 in regions where high school football and church attract large audiences, as well as in NYC and LA.

It had a great article in Variety: Dylan Baker’s Inspirational Drama ’23 Blast’ Set for Oct. 3 Release in 600 Locations.

Christians might also want to know:
* high school drinking
* a high school girl helps a high school boy change shirts and kisses him in a different scene
* football violence
* rated PG-13

That's about it.

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