This review may contain spoilers of this film.
Directed by the Norman Brothers (Mike & Pat) this film take high school wrestling to the next level. While I completely HATE high school athletics, this film captivated me. During the matches, the movie was filmed in such a way, I found myself squirming in my seat, kicking my feet as if it would help the teenage wrestler get out of being pinned and get a pin for themselves.
The movie’s home base is in Lakewood, Ohio – a cute suburb of Cleveland. Pat and Mike follow two high school wrestling teams from two local Lakewood high schools, Saint Ed’s and Lakewood High. Okay, basically it follows two wrestlers (Lance from St. Ed’s and Matt from Lakewood High) – with the team in the background as they prepare for State competition match in Columbus, OH. The main star of the show is a St. Ed’s senior, Lance Palmer along side of him is his father, Dwyane, his little brother, and his coaches. The movie follows these two boys with two VERY different lives.
Lance Palmer has been pushed and backed by his father every since he was a boy. His father turned the basement of their home into a training and practice facility for the two boys. The house is complete with a full gym, padded walls and wrestling practice mats… Matt, while living in an apartment, the only thing you learn about him is his “broken” home, constantly starving himself to “make weight”, and his passion and determination about high school wrestling and winning the state title.
The movie follows the boys and teams through the best of matches and the utterly worst of matches with close-up, in your face action. You really get a sense of what sacrifices these boys take on while fighting for medals, trophies, placing at competitions, and unusual training methods such as wrestling bears and eating next to nothing.
I really loved Lance’s father Dwayne. He was a bit typical high school athletic father but has characteristics that I think A LOT of parents could utilize and benefit from. In our current day, parents really don’t give a crap about what their kids are doing, who they are doing it with, and if they are even at school – EVER. Even though he beats (not physically abusive, but make them work hard) his boys until they are nearly dead, he supports them at the same time. He puts drive and determination in their heads. He expects nothing less than the best out of his boys, which I think has made them so strong headed and successful. I honestly think, this man should write a parenting book and it should be distributed in every birth center on Earth. If you don’t motivate your kids, keep tabs on them, work them, making them work themselves they are going to turn out like fat slobs. Honestly, come on I don’t see Lance standing on the corner waiting for the RTA to go to his $9 job at McDonalds. He’s in college, wrestling and making something out of his life. He might end up be a wrestling coach in the end, but at least he never gave up trying.
Anyways, if you are into high school wrestling (or kids wrestling bears), like I know ALL of my mom’s side of the family is and my entire hometown of Monroeville, OH – I suggest picking this one up on DVD and reliving your high school dreams of making it to state all over again.
Info & References:
Pinned Movie official website
Follow Pinned Movie on Twitter
Become a fan of Pinned Movie Facebook
Pat & Mike talk about Pinned on Youtube at CIFF
Printing of the movie poster design by Jeff Finley of Go Media – Jakprints: “Pinned” Wide-Format Movie Poster
Web site design by Cody & Brendan at Vector Bridge
Filed under: General on March 23rd, 2010