You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Five Time Champion

Modestly amusing in its depiction of a discontented high schooler's efforts to make sense of his sexual identity while observing the odd behavior of adults in his orbit.

With:
With: Ryan Akin, Betty Buckley, Dana Wheeler-Nicholson, Jon Gries, Justin Arnold, Noell Coet, Robert Longstreet, Don Pirl, Juli Erickson.

Though scarcely distinguishable from scads of other indie dramedies about coming of age in small-town Texas, “Five Time Champion” is modestly amusing in its depiction of a discontented high schooler’s efforts to make sense of his sexual identity while observing the odd behavior of adults in his orbit. Writer-director Berndt Mader evidences a generosity of spirit toward his characters that may help his debut feature attract attention on homevid after fest-circuit exposure.

Already sensitive to rumors about his runaway father’s alleged homosexuality, young Julius (Ryan Akin) is confused by his reluctance to get physical with a willing classmate (Noell Coet). Meanwhile, his taxidermist mom (Dana Wheeler-Nicholson) is torn between two ardent admirers, an amiable underachiever (Justin Arnold) and the wealthy baseball coach at Julius’ school (Jon Gries), and his grandfather (Don Pirl) greatly distresses Julius’ grandmother (Betty Buckley) by surreptitiously caring for an ailing ex-sweetheart (Juli Erickson). Julius’ ongoing science project, involving worms that regenerate themselves, carries a tad too much symbolic weight. But performances are fine across the board, and the resolution to the mystery of Julius’ dad is surprising and funny.

Five Time Champion

Production: A Bear Media presentation of a Shark Films/Bear Media production. Produced by Ezra Venetos, Berndt Mader. Directed, written by Berndt Mader.

Crew: Camera (color), Jimmy Lee Phelan; editors, Brent Joseph, Don Howard; music, Graham Reynolds; production designer, Javier Bonafont; art director, Alan Lampert; costume designer, Stephanie A. Steele. Reviewed on DVD, Houston, May 15, 2011. (In SXSW, Dallas film festivals; Cannes Film Festival -- market.) Running time: 92 MIN.

With: With: Ryan Akin, Betty Buckley, Dana Wheeler-Nicholson, Jon Gries, Justin Arnold, Noell Coet, Robert Longstreet, Don Pirl, Juli Erickson.

More Film

  • Goran-Review

    Film Review: 'Goran'

    Though scarcely distinguishable from scads of other indie dramedies about coming of age in small-town Texas, “Five Time Champion” is modestly amusing in its depiction of a discontented high schooler’s efforts to make sense of his sexual identity while observing the odd behavior of adults in his orbit. Writer-director Berndt Mader evidences a generosity of […]

  • Tiffany Haddish Lego Movie

    Tiffany Haddish Cracks up CinemaCon for 'Night School,' Tyler Perry Movie

    Though scarcely distinguishable from scads of other indie dramedies about coming of age in small-town Texas, “Five Time Champion” is modestly amusing in its depiction of a discontented high schooler’s efforts to make sense of his sexual identity while observing the odd behavior of adults in his orbit. Writer-director Berndt Mader evidences a generosity of […]

  • Jim Gianopulos and Tom CruiseParamount Pictures

    Tom Cruise Wows CinemaCon With Story of 'Mission: Impossible -- Fallout' Stunt

    Though scarcely distinguishable from scads of other indie dramedies about coming of age in small-town Texas, “Five Time Champion” is modestly amusing in its depiction of a discontented high schooler’s efforts to make sense of his sexual identity while observing the odd behavior of adults in his orbit. Writer-director Berndt Mader evidences a generosity of […]

  • JJ Abrams'Westworld' TV show premiere, Arrivals,

    'Overlord' Not 'Cloverfield' Movie, Says J.J. Abrams

    Though scarcely distinguishable from scads of other indie dramedies about coming of age in small-town Texas, “Five Time Champion” is modestly amusing in its depiction of a discontented high schooler’s efforts to make sense of his sexual identity while observing the odd behavior of adults in his orbit. Writer-director Berndt Mader evidences a generosity of […]

  • Jim Gianopulos'Downsizing' film premiere, Arrivals, Los

    Paramount Chief Jim Gianopulos Touts Turnaround, Acknowledges Years of Flops

    Though scarcely distinguishable from scads of other indie dramedies about coming of age in small-town Texas, “Five Time Champion” is modestly amusing in its depiction of a discontented high schooler’s efforts to make sense of his sexual identity while observing the odd behavior of adults in his orbit. Writer-director Berndt Mader evidences a generosity of […]

  • (L-R) Jodi Kantor and Megan Twohey

    Annapurna, Plan B Developing Movie on New York Times' Harvey Weinstein Investigation

    Though scarcely distinguishable from scads of other indie dramedies about coming of age in small-town Texas, “Five Time Champion” is modestly amusing in its depiction of a discontented high schooler’s efforts to make sense of his sexual identity while observing the odd behavior of adults in his orbit. Writer-director Berndt Mader evidences a generosity of […]

  • 'United Skates' Review

    Tribeca Film Review: 'United Skates'

    Though scarcely distinguishable from scads of other indie dramedies about coming of age in small-town Texas, “Five Time Champion” is modestly amusing in its depiction of a discontented high schooler’s efforts to make sense of his sexual identity while observing the odd behavior of adults in his orbit. Writer-director Berndt Mader evidences a generosity of […]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content