WOLVES was written and directed by Bart Freundlich and stars Taylor John Smith, Carla Gugino, Zazie Beetz and Michael Shannon. A New York City high school basketball star earns a scholarship to an Ivy League university and looks to have a perfect life ahead of him, but his unstable father threatens to destroy his career before it starts.

Anthony (Taylor John Smith) is a standout player on his Manhattan high school’s basketball team with seemingly everything going for him: a killer three-point shot, a loving girlfriend (Zazie Beetz), and a chance at a scholarship to Cornell. But Anthony’s dreams of playing college ball are jeopardized by his volatile father (Michael Shannon), a hard-drinking writer whose compulsive gambling threatens to derail the lives of both his wife (Carla Gugino) and son. Though it goes against his nature, Anthony must summon the strength to step out from his father’s shadow and reclaim his future.

The movie follows Anthony who is the most popular kid in high school, he’s a great student plus he’s the star player on his basketball team. There’s also this sadness to Anthony as well as a skyrocketing stress level, and for good reason. As great as his life appears in public, it’s much different when it comes to his personal life at home. He has a caring mother who fully supports him all the way but his father has a few problems that is slowly draining his family’s happiness. His father is a college professor who drinks too much and has a gambling problem that ends up getting him in deep trouble. Anthony’s only dream is to get a scholorship to Cornell and play basketball but standing in his way are a few painful obstacles courtesy of his troubled father. In the end, Anthony does the right thing, he makes the right decisions and things ultimately work out in his favor.

The front of the packaging features the artwork you see at the top of the page and the back includes movie details, some images and specs. The DVD disc also features some matching artwork. Inserting the disc, the menu screen was simple and easy to navigate. The picture and sound quality for this standard-definition release were really good. I didn’t have any issues with the video and audio.

Bottom line is, Wolves was a a really good movie with an inspiring and touching story complimented by some impressive acting. The performances by Taylor John Smith, Carla Gugino and Michael Shannon are powerful, emotional and inspiring to say the least. I’m sure there’s a lot of families out there that can relate to what happens in this movie. Bart Freundlich did a great job with the dramatic story and bringing it all to life on screen. This is a dark and troubled world that this student athlete lives in because of his toxic father but he ultimately chooses a different path than his father and it’s one filled with hope. Wolves also movie fits in nicely with other basketball movies like Hoosiers and Hoops Dreams and it features some really good action scenes on the court. The emotional coming-of-age drama releases on DVD on August 8th and is worth checking out.

Distributor: IFC Films

Run Time: 110 Minutes

Rated: R

DVD Video: Widescreen Presentation

DVD Audio: English Dolby Digital 5.1

Subtitles: English SDH and Spanish

Special Features:

  • Trailer (02:30)




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