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 DVD Spotlight
Never Back Down

DVD Release Date: July 29, 2008
Studio: Summit Entertainment
Director: Jeff Wadlow
Screenwriter: Chris Hauty
Starring: Sean Faris, Djimon Hounsou, Cam Gigandet, Amber Heard, Evan Peters, Wyatt Smith
Genre: Action, Drama, Sports
MPAA Rating: PG-13 (for mature thematic material involving intense sequences of fighting/violence, some sexuality, partying and language - all involving teens)

Plot Summary: Set against the action-packed world of Mixed Martial Arts, "Never Back Down" is the story of Jake Tyler, a tough kid who leads with his fists, and, often, with his heart. Jake Tyler, played by Sean Faris, is the new kid in town with a troubled past. He has recently moved to Orlando, Florida with his family who has relocated to support his younger brother's shot at a professional tennis career. Jake was a star athlete on the football team at home, but in this new city he is an outsider with a reputation for being a quick tempered brawler.

Making an attempt to fit in, at the invitation of a flirtatious classmate, Baja (Amber Heard) Jake goes to a party where he is unwittingly pulled into a fight with a bully named Ryan McCarthy (Cam Gigandet). While he is defeated and humiliated in the fight, a classmate introduces himself to Jake and tells him about the sport known as Mixed Martial Arts (MMA). He sees a star in Jake and asks that he meet with his mentor, Jean Roqua, played by Djimon Hounsou ("Blood Diamond," "In America").

It is immediately apparent to Jake that MMA is not street fighting, but rather an art form he wants to master. Roqua will take Jake under his wing, but it is up to Jake to find the patience, discipline, willingness and reason within him to succeed. For Jake, there is much more at stake than mere victory. His decision will not just settle a score; it will define who he is

Djimon Hounsou, Sean Faris, Cam Gigandet, Amber Heard, Evan Peters, Wyatt Smith.

Extras: Deleted scenes, director and cast commentary. Special edition adds extended version of the film, "Blow by Blow: Breaking Down the Fights With the Director and MMA Fight Experts," "Mixing It Up: Bringing MMA to the Big Screen," training webisodes.  (Summit Entertainment).

Review: This is one of the most masculine-positive films I have ever seen in my entire life! Sure there's a lot of sweat and hot muscle everywhere you look! But that takes a big back seat to genuine character development - with the primary focus being on the muscle on the left side of your chest (Your Heart)! What an incredibly intelligent story! If only Hollywood could have the courage to do this more often - A "Fight Club" type movie with zero, I repeat, zero exploitation or gore! This rare, one-of-kind movie is even suitable for older children to watch! It is so sophisticated, in fact, I would even recommend it as an excellent resource for Anger Management classes!...more

 Movie Spotlight
Never Back Down

Release Date: March 14, 2008
Studio: Summit Entertainment
Director: Jeff Wadlow
Screenwriter: Chris Hauty
Starring: Sean Faris, Djimon Hounsou, Cam Gigandet, Amber Heard, Evan Peters, Wyatt Smith
Genre: Action, Drama, Sports
MPAA Rating: PG-13 (for mature thematic material involving intense sequences of fighting/violence, some sexuality, partying and language - all involving teens)
Official Website: NeverBackDownthemovie.com


Plot Summary: Set against the action-packed world of Mixed Martial Arts, "Never Back Down" is the story of Jake Tyler, a tough kid who leads with his fists, and, often, with his heart. Jake Tyler, played by Sean Faris, is the new kid in town with a troubled past. He has recently moved to Orlando, Florida with his family who has relocated to support his younger brother's shot at a professional tennis career. Jake was a star athlete on the football team at home, but in this new city he is an outsider with a reputation for being a quick tempered brawler.

Making an attempt to fit in, at the invitation of a flirtatious classmate, Baja (Amber Heard) Jake goes to a party where he is unwittingly pulled into a fight with a bully named Ryan McCarthy (Cam Gigandet). While he is defeated and humiliated in the fight, a classmate introduces himself to Jake and tells him about the sport known as Mixed Martial Arts (MMA). He sees a star in Jake and asks that he meet with his mentor, Jean Roqua, played by Djimon Hounsou ("Blood Diamond," "In America").

It is immediately apparent to Jake that MMA is not street fighting, but rather an art form he wants to master. Roqua will take Jake under his wing, but it is up to Jake to find the patience, discipline, willingness and reason within him to succeed. For Jake, there is much more at stake than mere victory. His decision will not just settle a score; it will define who he is

Reviews     Interviews     Features
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  Reviews
EN 5 Second Review: Preteen Pablum, we wont be wasting money seeing it, but our 14 year old daughter cant wait.

Better than it needs to be
Jim Ridley: Village Voice
A modest surprise: better acted than needed, better made than expected...more

All Brawn, No Brains
Colin Covert: Minneapolis Star-Tribune
You have had soup deeper than this film, and a referee should have been on hand to call foul on the acting...more

 Interviews
Monday Night Conversation with BlackTree TV's Nan Khan as she sits down to talk with "Never Back Down" star Djimon Hounsou

 Features
Never Back Down - Red Carpet World Premier, Hollywood

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