Free Style
by Phil Boatwright

20th Century Fox releases this family-aimed teen romance/adventure on DVD, February 9. Corbin Bleu (Disney High School Musical), Penelope Ann Miller (Kindergarten Cop) and Madison Pettis (The Game Plan), and the Jonas Brothers. Rated PG 94 min. Closed captioned.

FILM SYNOPSIS: Starring teen heartthrob Corbin Bleu from the Disney High School Musical movies, the film concerns Cale Bryant (Bleu) needing someone to believe in him. Ever since he was young, he's wanted to race motocross professionally; but after a string of bad luck hits his family hard, the would-be champion is forced to put his dreams on hold. All that changes when he meets Alex (Sandra Echeverría, star of Telemundo's Marina), a beautiful girl who gives Cale encouragement, support and an old bike so he can get back in the game again. Now, with Alex by his side, Cale takes on the challenge of his life: to beat the odds and cross the finish line a winner.

PREVIEW REVIEW: Aimed at a young audience unfamiliar with productions that have handled teen angst better, Free Style is typical of films sent directly to DVD. There's nothing spectacular about the racing sequences or the musical numbers meant to pump up the action, backup the many montages, and maintain the attention of its adolescent demographic. The film does, however, contain positive messages about friendship, doing the right thing, and family responsibility. There is a good relationship between the lead and his mother and sister, and there is even a prayer at one point given by the young lead as he prepares for the big race. Corbin Bleu is a credible actor and should be relatable to the film's intended audience.

Rated PG, there are a couple of brief fight scenes between teens, and there is the typical adolescent humor, with the preteen sister uttering flatulence jokes (always a hoot), the father left early in the kids' childhood and never supported them; there are several expletives (damns and hells), but no harsh language; some adults behave badly, but there are several positive adult role models, including a policeman; there's a car accident, but nothing overly graphic is shown.