Walter Mencken 11:31 a.m., Feb. 1
Review: Rise and Shine: The Jay DeMerit Story
I'm a raving sportsophope, that's a given. But if we were to swap passions, and Jay DeMerit put as much energy into absorbing all there is to know about movies as he does kicking a soccer ball, I could kind of understand where he's coming from.
The film's inspirational "if you can dream it, you can do it" message hit home in an odd manner. If a guy with Jay's fearless mentality can make it from Green Bay to playing in the English Premier Soccer League, there is hope that one day I will see the Holy Grail of filmdom, The Day the Clown Cried. Hold off on sending any season's tickets, though. The only time you'll catch me in a sports arena is if I'm showing an outdoor movie. Raging Bull and Cobb didn't turn me into a fan. Nothing will.
While it's you basic talking-heads sports docu-bio, there is merit to be found in Rise and Shine: The Jay DeMerit Story. First time filmmaker, and La Jolla-based attorney, Nick Lewis was so eager to get the word out that he burned a copy of Rise and Shine and personally deposited it in my mailbox! I don't see Marty sending Bobby or Harvey to Normal Heights with a screener of Hugo. And after all I've done for Him!
On the film's official website, instead of clicking on the customary "Filmmakers" tab, there's a spot marked, "Jay's Friends." The profound respect his coaches, friends, and family members bestow upon DeMerit is practically unprecedented. You can't help but be inspired by his story.
If a sports bio-doc can hold my attention, it's gonna' play like porn to soccer fans. Lewis, and co-writer, director Ranko Tutulugdzija definitely have the passion and conviction to see their story through, but a little less ESPN and a lot more cinema would have helped this old cinema curmedgeon. No matter how important the spoken words, the unbroken string of "waist up" closeups intercut with footage of announcers calling a game gets to be a bit monotonous.
Soccer fans have a limited time to see this movie. It plays tonight and November 10th at UltraStar Mission Market Place 13 in Oceanside, UltraStar Mission Valley, and the Krikorian Metroplex 15 at Vista Village. All showings are at 7:30 p.m.
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