Very, very rarely will I ever recommend a movie that I didn’t personally like. I’m usually one to do it with Oscar films or movies that I believe are high art, but didn’t quite match my taste. But rarely do I do it with a film like ALEX & ME. I have two reasons behind my recommendation. The first, and probably most important to me, is that I like soccer. It’s an underrated sport in America and I believe out of most sports, it’s a true team sport. Also, for a young, developing mind, soccer is a great way to learn about patience. My second reason for recommending this film is that it’s hard to hate something that’s ultimate objective is to deliver a positive message for kids.
I know my second reason is a little bit of a lazy excuse, but I do feel there is a definitive and thin line in the sand between films that look to impress upon a good morals to a child. A movie like THE PAGEMASTER might influence a child to read and learn, but instead it’s unrealistically saying that reading is like an immersive READY PLAYER ONE video game. On the outside it looks like a fresh apple, but at its core it is rotten. ALEX & ME has good intentions and somewhat follows through with what it sets out to do, without sugarcoating it.
Reagan (Agudong) dreams of being an all-star, but has recently become discouraged after being cut from the team. It doesn’t help that her parents have turned a blind eye to her ambitions, instead focusing on her older brother who’s trying to impress several colleges towards throwing him a football scholarship. As cliché luck would have it though, Reagan hits her head and awakes to one of her posters coming to life and standing before her. That poster idol is Alex Morgan
I’ll go ahead and rundown the things I don’t like about this film without being crass or condescending because of the good-natured effort put forth. The acting, outside Agudong, is a little lukewarm. Morgan, just like Michael Jordan before her in SPACE JAM, can’t make the transition from sports to acting. The movie is about as predictable as the last second win in THE WATERBOY. The sets are a little cheap and it sometimes looks like a college film that nabbed a huge sports name. There isn’t a single ounce of originality in this film. Regardless of my big and small complaints, I still maintain this is a good movie for the right audience.
There’s no reinventing the wheel or even slapping a new decal on it in ALEX & ME. Simply put, if you have a child, this is a good movie to watch with them. I on the other hand don’t have a kid. I am not the target demographic for this movie and generally find sports movies to be overly banal. Sports movies to me are cheap excuses to cash in on something historically significant or inspiring without being inspiring. But even my cynical self can appreciate the effort made to tell an inspiring story. ALEX & ME is something for the young ones that will not only entertain, but motivate.
Video: (1080p HD Widescreen 1:78:1) No problems with the presentation on this Blu-ray.
Audio: (English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1) There isn’t a lot of noticeable audio level changes because this movie is all dialogue, sound effects, and royalty free music.
Aspire to Inspire (5:37): This feature focuses a lot on Alex Morgan’s influence. It doesn’t unblur the lines between the real and fictionalized version we see in this movie, or in the public lexicon. It smartly focuses on the message Morgan hopes to relay on and off the field.
Getting to Know Alex Morgan (4:15): Another Morgan-focused feature.
Soccer; Script to Set: A Playbook on Alex Morgan (9:07): The director navigates this feature on Morgan, talking about what it was like to work with the world-renowned soccer star.
Outtake (0:45): You read that right, it’s just one outtake. It’s more of a joke played by one individual. It’s alright.