Drop Back Ten

Drop Back Ten had a very peculiar feel to me. When it started, I felt like I was watching some kind of student film, perhaps a short film. I’m not even sure I can put my finger on what felt so cheap or amateurish about it. Maybe the dreary, generic soundtrack contributed to the oddity of the film, but I never did shake the feeling that I wasn’t watching a “real” movie.

I did a little investigating afterward, and I couldn’t find the title at all at the Rotten Tomatoes site. IMDB had it listed, with only one review. The review stated it had not gone over well at the festival where it was screened. It also listed the movie as unrated, so I’m wondering if maybe it never even had a normal release to theaters.

On the other hand, it was the filmmaker Stacy Cochran’s third film, and apparently one or both of the other two had been “big” enough to include some name actors and actresses, so it’s not like this was the work of a total beginner.

Beyond this sort of student film feel of it, I guess it was OK. Maybe below average, but not terrible.

The story had potential, once I figured out what the story is. But the execution of it is rather dull, there are tangential scenes included that only contribute minimally to the main storyline and probably should have been edited out, and the ending confused me.

A magazine writer trying to re-establish his career is sent to do a puff piece on a young actor playing a quarterback in a movie, or at least the people from the studio do everything they can to ensure it is a puff piece that serves as little more than free publicity for the movie.

The actor himself seems open to letting the story get a little deeper, but then he has second thoughts when the writer gets too close to his family and discovers an alarming history of abuse. The writer then kind of plays the actor and his wife off against each other, letting each know that he wants to be fair to both and not have only the other party’s side of things covered in his article. They go back and forth trying at times to control the story so it puts them in the better light, while at other times entreating him not to do the story at all.

Anyway, Drop Back Ten raises some interesting issues of journalistic ethics and domestic abuse and such, but I just didn’t feel that the way these issues were handled was particularly compelling.

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