An intelligent , life-affirming coming of age film with tremendous heart...

Reviewed by Daniel Chia

 

There is something very special about Rounding First , writer-director Jim Fleigner's labour of love . Rounding First is a beautifully written story about the value of friendship , and is unflinching when it puts that friendship to the ultimate test . It is a film that challenges young and adult viewers on some tough questions in life, like "when is it ok for parents to lie to children?" and "when is it ok for children to disobey parents?" . Anyone who watches this film will be deeply moved by the themes and questions it poses , and it will be impossible to walk away by film's end without having those questions linger in one's mind .

Filmed with a modest budget, with no special effects ... just a solid story and some incredible acting by its emsemble of veteran and young actors, Rounding First is a return to old school filmmaking , and it is a film with great heart . The 3 young leads, Soren Fulton , Matt Borish and Sam Semenza , are amazing , and they are pivotal to the film's impact . They made their characters thoroughly believable , appealing yet edgy , and when asked to step up to the plate in a truly intense and dramatic scene towards the film's culmination, Soren Fulton and Matt Borish were superb .

The kids are more than ably supported by the veteran cast of John Michael Bolger , best known for his work as Lt. Johnson on the critically acclaimed NBC series THIRD WATCH, three-time Emmy Award winner Michael E. Knight from the soap opera ALL MY CHILDREN, and actress Deborah Lee Johnson , known for her work on both TV and in the movies. Their presence leant resonance to the film.

If you want to see a film that is intelligent , life-affirming , and with tremendous heart , you must see Rounding First . This film deserves a wider audience , and I love it not only because it is a wonderful little film that dared to tell an important story , but the passion that was poured into the making of this film is evident in every single frame . The DVD is worth getting, not only for the film , but for the special features as well, which include a detailed commentary by writer/director Jim Fleigner , interviews with young actors Soren Fulton and Matt Borish , an extensive digital gallery , as well as some interesting deleted scenes .

This is one film and DVD that I would recommend without reservation.

 

This review was originally posted on Amazon.com on 12th November 2006

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