World News – CA – Stream or Skip: « Safety » at Disney, an inspiring true story of soccer and family


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Safety, an original Disney film out on the streaming service this week, tells the inspiring true story of Ray Ray McElrathbey. A freshman at Clemson University, then 19-year-old McElrathbey took on the role of sole caretaker for his younger brother Fahmarr in 2006 to keep him out of care. He is already struggling with the intense demands of practice and instruction and in a short time is forced to become a father figure while hiding Fahmarr in his dormitory.

The Gist: College Football is an intense, grueling activity for the young men that make the game possible. There are sophisticated coaches, seemingly endless practices, Byzantine NCAA compliance restrictions, and a full-time class schedule – all for little compensation, aside from the supposedly « free » training that it all offers. It’s enough to fill any plate, but for some, life steps in to add a lot more. This happened to the Rayson McElrathbey (Jay Reeves), the Clemson Tigers soccer player, when his mother’s addiction problems gave his younger brother Fahmarr (Thaddeus J. . Mixson) with no safe place to call home.

Ray Ray puts Fahmarr in his dormitory and under his wing as he tries to evade the disdain of his coaches and senior teammates in hopes to gain time for the love interest of a sports reporter, Kaycee (Corinne Foxx). . Eventually, Fahmarr’s support turns into group work and Ray Ray will learn what it means to be both a leader and part of a team.

What movies will it remind you of ?: The most obvious parallel is The Blind Side, a true story of a college football star overcoming the family heartbreak, but this is a much more modern story in which the athlete himself instead of being centered around people.

Achievement worth seeing: The story is of course based on the performance of its leading man, the still relatively unknown Jay Reeves. Magnetic and personable, he manages to put the caring mood of older brothers at the center of the story. There is pain, pathos and love behind his performance, and he could be a star.

Memorable dialogue: « Why don’t you tell us? » asks Ray Ray’s unsympathetic head coach as soon as Fahmarr’s presence is discovered. « I wanted . . . «  » You knew it was wrong, so you didn’t. « I didn’t think it would be that complicated. « . « You didn’t think it would get complicated managing school, football, and hiding a kid on campus? »

Sex and Skin: This is a family-friendly movie. There is a slight flirtation between love interests, but nothing prurient or flashy.

Our Opinion: I’ve worked in college football media for years and there is an ingrained problem with how the sport is often treated. The players are often treated more like robots or chess pieces than like living, breathing people with freedom of choice or problems of their own. It was only last week that a great college football coach tried to publicly defend his unsubtle job search by suggesting that it would be different if a coach wasn’t committed to his team because “as a player you don’t have a family. It’s just you. “The statement was quickly denounced by many, but it illustrated the problem perfectly: As much space as university sport takes up in the American psyche, so seldom do we look at the real lives of the young people who make it possible.

Security takes this challenge head on and wisely centers it first as a family story and then as a sports film. It’s not about Ray Ray McElrathbey overcoming personal struggles for athletic success. It’s about him overcoming the demands of athletics to become the person his family needs. The coaches eventually thaw their frosty take on Ray Ray’s family situation, and even step by his side as NCAA regulators consider a decision that could end his career as a player. However, it is clear who the hero is in this story, and it is not an outside savior like Sandra Bullock in The Blind Side. It is a young man who works to enable himself and the people who depend on him to have a better life.

However, this is not a strict rant against college athletics. The film knows that, at best, football can bring people from all walks of life together towards a common goal and create a sum that is greater than its parts. Players need to learn to work harder than ever before, but also to trust and support the others around them. From day one of practice, Ray Ray’s sinister teammate Ron (former NFL player Miles Burris) and die-hard assistant coach Simmons (James Badge Dale) resist the younger man’s mere presence, but they soon grow to meet his tenacity and tenacity respect. and perseverance.

It’s all a good story, but you still have to tell it, right? Security succeeds in this. Reeves is absolutely victorious in the lead role, and the on-field action (some of which was filmed at a real Clemson home game last year) scores on the realistic sports action meter that many other sports films can’t.

Our call: STREAM IT. The sports we have in 2020 are mostly weird, sad and limited by the current state of affairs. Safety shows what the world of sports can offer at its best, and this is a really neat movie for your whole family to enjoy.

Scott Hines is an architect, blogger, and Internet user who lives in Louisville, Kentucky with his wife, two young children, and a small, noisy dog.

Disney, Clemson Tigers Soccer, Clemson University

World News – CA – Stream or skip: « Safety » at Disney, an inspiring true story of soccer and family


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