Long Shot: The Kevin Laue Story


Long Shot: The Kevin Laue Story
Directed by Franklin Martin
Dutchmen Films
Opens October 26, Quad Cinema

How can you tell if the documentary you're watching is inspirational? In the case of Franklin Martin's Long Shot, which tells the story of Kevin Laue, the first one-armed person to play Division I basketball, it's not simply enough for the film to demonstrate how amazing Kevin's achievement is. It also has to continually pound home its points via a seemingly endless series of sound bites that forms the chief content of the first half. None of which is to belittle Kevin's achievements or determination—it's simply to note that Martin would rather have people tell us how impressive his subject's story is than to present that story to the viewers themselves. Ear-bleeding sentimental music only makes things worse. The pattern is broken, at least temporarily, in the film's second half, when good vibes give way to visible struggle as Kevin toughs out the ruthless environment of a military academy. Only here does Martin's film achieve the minimal requirement of the inspirational sports documentary: actually showing us the challenges its hero faces. Too bad this section of the movie is but a temporary reprieve from the obnoxious sentimentality.

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I saw this film in the making a few times at Manhattan College where Kevin played D1 ball - What an inspiration this guy is - Gonna make sure friends and family get to see this while it's here in NYC - I saw Kevin numerous times spend sincere time with kids (many of them little ones) who had limb differences. A lot of teary eyes of gratitude would follow. Wishing this film much success!


This is why I stay away generally from reviews...I think you can never truly judge a film until you see it yourself. I actually saw this film in previews and loved it!  In fact there was hardly a dry eye in the house at the time. Too bad this critic sees sentimentality as obnoxious - in Long Shot I saw it as perseverance and the determination to never give up against a whole host of odds- as the parent of two pre-teen kids I am going to make sure they see it so they can further learn that being 'different' is to be celebrated and dreams are never to be abandoned.  If you have kids of the age and up that can see what I thought was a pg-13 range film (it's not formally rated)...I would see this film at the Quad Cinema. (think it's there from 10/26-11/1)


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