(CCC, BBB, L, V. S, N, A, DD, M) Very strong evangelistic Christian, biblical worldview; two obscenities; brothers wrestle, roughhousing in basketball court; kissing, some passionate and some salacious and lots of teenage sexual double entendre; lots of full body teenage girls in bikinis, brief upper male nudity; alcohol use rebuked; marijuana use rebuked and drug pusher tries to entice young boy; and, lying, running away, manipulation but all rebuked.
BREAKING THE PRESS ends up being a modern re-telling of the story of the Prodigal Son, set in the milieu of championship high school basketball in Texas. BREAKING THE PRESS could have used a better narrative structure overall, but it delivers satisfying, dramatic, inspiring evangelistic entertainment for media-wise viewers.
BREAKING THE PRESS is a story within a story within a story.
The movie opens with reporter for a sports magazine interviewing a basketball coach legend named Tex Summer. After a few goofy questions, Karen Thomas has to admit this is her first sports interview. She used to do weather. She asks Tex about his famous defense, but he starts to tell a story about Joe and Laura Conehy.
Joe and Laura were a young Christian couple who wanted badly to have children and adopted two young sibling boys who they note don’t look at all alike. Joe is a teacher and basketball coach for the Wildcats at a small Texas school named Woodrow Wilson High School.
Cut to years later, and the two boys are grown up to become high school players on Joe’s basketball team. Josh is a very arrogant natural athlete who doesn’t want to be a team player. Matthew is a very gracious, committed Christian who does the right thing no matter what the cost. Josh is hurting the team because he’s not willing to be a team player. He gets to play for a big basketball powerhouse in Dallas, and his father Joe lets him go.
While Josh is in Dallas, Joe’s team gets its act together and is headed toward the state finals. Meanwhile, Josh is getting seduced by the fame at Lakeview High. One girl, whom Tex calls Josh’s Delilah, named Erin, makes it her goal to seduce Josh. Consequently, his game starts falling apart. His grades suffer. Then, he gets kicked out because she hands him a marijuana cigarette and the school has a no tolerance policy. Erin dumps Josh, so he runs away.
Meanwhile, the Wildcats are headed toward a showdown with Lakeview. Joe and Laura panic, having lost Josh. Josh gets robbed and lives in the gutter. Everyone needs a miracle.
BREAKING THE PRESS has a lot of good production values. The music is superb. The acting is better than most movies. In fact, almost everything shows attention to detail and that brings entertainment to the audience. The flaw in the movie is that it’s a story within a story within a story. Just when viewers start to like Tex, they find out the story is about Joe and Laura. And, just when they start rooting for Joe and Laura, they find out the story is about Josh.
Successful script doctor Laura Seger notes that bookends don’t work 90% of the time, and that’s the case here. However, it almost works, and overall the movie is more entertaining than most Hollywood movies.
The high school prodigal son scenes may alienate some media-wise audience members. They get to be a little intense. However, they are balanced against a very strong evangelistic message, and there are clear evangelistic messages throughout the movie.
If you liked FACING THE GIANTS, you will love BREAKING THE PRESS.
In BREAKING THE PRESS, a retired basketball coach tells how he gave his famous offensive strategy to the coach of a high school team in the Texas state championships. The story eventually focuses on the younger coach’s younger adopted son, Josh. Josh is a very arrogant natural athlete who doesn’t want to be a team player. Josh’s attitude is hurting the Woodrow Wilson Wildcats. He gets a chance to play for a big basketball powerhouse in Dallas, and his father Joe lets him go. While Josh is in Dallas, the Wildcats get their act together and head toward the state finals. Meanwhile, Josh gets into lots of trouble and runs away, which worries his parents. Everyone needs a miracle. BREAKING THE PRESS has a lot of good production values. The music is superb. The acting is better than most movies. All of this brings satisfying entertainment to the audience. The movie’s flaw is that it’s a story within a story within a story. Also, the prodigal son elements where Josh ends up in the gutter are a little intense. Nevertheless, BREAKING THE PRESS is an inspiring movie with a strong evangelistic core.