Friday, April 1, 2016

Movie Review: Saturday's Warrior

There aren't usually a lot of chances to really enjoy a remake of a movie you loved as a kid. I was cautiously excited to hear that Saturday's Warrior was being remade, but I wondered if they could really capture the magic of the original, with its quirky music and heartwarming story line. When I was offered the opportunity to go to the premiere, I jumped at the chance, partly because I heard some of the original cast was going to be there and I wanted to meet them and partly because I had to see if the film was as good as I hoped.

(Here's the original "Todd" posing with the new Todd. They were both very sweet and personable!)

As we sat down in the theater, we realized my husband was sitting next to Shawn King, Larry King's wife. I hadn't realized she was part of the original movie! (She did makeup, I believe.) We were also sitting next to several members of the new cast and it was fun to hear their reactions to seeing the film and their part in it.

The movie started and from the get-go, it was different. There was a distinct feel to the beginning with a snappy Alex Boy√© leading a choir as we're introduced to some main characters. Loved it! Alex is an incredible singer and his energy adds a little extra something to everything he touches. The new song also set a tone for the film that I thought was perfect.  

Here's me with Alex. (He was so friendly and kind. He acted like I was the only person in the room to talk to.)

When the movie ended, there were so many thoughts going through my head. I loved how the remake incorporated so much of the original storyline and characters, and yet added backstory and songs that fleshed it out. 

The character of Jimmy was particularly well done. It was played by Kenny Holland and he completely sold his performance. He was Jimmy. His reactions and facial expressions hit the mark every time and I was really impressed with Kenny. It was wonderful to see his success because our family has a small connection to him. Kenny wrote a song for my nephew Tyler when he was fighting brain cancer called Whatever It Takes. It still makes me a little weepy when I hear it because Kenny captured so much of the emotion we were all feeling as we hoped and prayed that Tyler could beat the cancer. He passed away, but that song helps keep Tyler's legacy alive. 

You can listen to it here

I didn't get a chance to talk to Kenny after the show because he was mobbed with people, but if I had, I would have told him what a fantastic job he did.

Here's me in front of the movie poster with him on it, though.

Anyway, I did get to interview the "band" from the show and they told me that the craziest thing that happened during filming was when someone broke into their van and actually stole their identities! It was quite an adventure from the sounds of things, but despite all that, they loved being a part of this movie. 

Here's the band signing my poster.

For me, the new Saturday's Warrior really resonated. There were tears and trials, songs and silliness, but the film was true to the promise of entertainment. I thoroughly enjoyed it. There were so many memories from my youth as I watched the familiar story play out, but at the same time, the new movie has songs and scenes that will become just as memorable with this generation. The casting in particular for the part of Julie and Todd was really well done. Julie stole the audience's heart from the beginning and Todd was definitely her match. 

Here's me and nuTodd.

Here's the nuFlinders family. A good looking group!

It was such a great night, and I walked away thinking I want to take my family to this. And my friends! Take some time this weekend and go see it, especially if you loved the original Saturday's Warrior. This one hits all the right notes and you shouldn't miss it!

Click here for a list of theaters that it is currently showing in.

Here's the official trailer:


Jon Spell said...

Believe it or not, but I have never seen Saturday's Warrior. My wife says she's never seen it either, but she has listened to the soundtrack a hundred times. (I haven't heard it either.)

Sounds like you really enjoyed it, though. Great experience meeting all the people. =)

Josi said...

I'm so glad to have this review--I hadn't heard a "direct impression" and was hoping to get one. I'll have to get to one of these theaters. Do you know if it will open more widely, or are these limited theaters "It". Thanks July.

Julie Coulter Bellon said...

Jon, you should definitely see it, just for the cultural experience alone. :) The soundtrack is awesome, too.

Josi, I don't know if it will open more widely. I heard Singing With Angels is coming to Lethbridge, Alberta, Canada, though, so there's hope for Saturday's Warrior! It would be fantastic if more people could see it in theaters, though. I think that heightens the experience of it.