Posts Tagged ‘ HBO ’

A Film That May Just Change Your Life

Tuesday, July 16th, 2013

Kevin Pearce

Every family faces trials and upheaval. For the Pearce family, this manifested itself in the serious brain injury of their snowboarding superstar son, Kevin.

The story of Kevin’s life-threatening injury and recovery plays out in a documentary that premiered on HBO last night called The Crash Reel. With graphic crash footage, language, and partying, it may not be suitable for children, but it certainly contains lessons from which every parent can benefit.

A Vermont native, Kevin Pearce crashed on New Years Eve, 2009, on a half pipe in Park City, Utah, while attempting a double cork, an extremely advanced snowboarding trick.  He was 22 years old and training for the Olympic trials at the time of the crash.

Though it’s about a 25-year-old, even parents of young children will get plenty out of this film, including the importance of wearing a helmet. Kevin now speaks to students, giving testimony on how he wouldn’t be alive today if he hadn’t been wearing his helmet at the time of his nearly fatal crash.

The Crash Reel shows the struggle between headstrong Kevin and his family when Kevin is adamant that he will snowboard again, regardless of the fact that he would almost certainly die or be wheelchair-bound if he were to hit his head once more. The push and pull among family members leads to many tension-filled dinner table discussions centered on complex issues like faith, trust, risk, and concern. Each family member’s feelings are articulated in a way that is sensitive to Kevin’s needs and expresses the deep desire to protect a brother and son they love.

Kevin’s brother David is especially effected by Kevin’s accident. David has Down syndrome (he prefers to call it Up syndrome, because he’s “an up kind of guy”) and faces his own struggle to accept his condition and appreciate where he is.

While Kevin and David both struggle with their individual situations, the family support system is central to each aspect of their progress, and is the backbone for the entire documentary. With each turn of the story line, the mood around the dinner table changes and some new feeling is unearthed.

The film is also informative on concussions and brain injuries, frequently emphasizing the impact that this kind of injury can have on individuals, as well as those who surround him or her. Kevin gives back to families and individuals who are in similar situations through The Kevin Pearce Fund, which supports organizations that help those affected by brain injury and Down syndrome. He also started a campaign called Love Your Brain.

While this may not be a movie to pop popcorn and snuggle in with the kids to watch, it shows viewers something relevant and essential. Acceptance and love can be borne in the direst of situations, and the very real, heart-wrenching story of Kevin Pearce demonstrates just how vital the family is to that discovery. The Crash Reel will be airing all summer on HBO.

Photo courtesy of HBO.

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What to Watch Tonight

Monday, June 24th, 2013

Up for a feel-really-good movie? Tonight on HBO, a documentary called “Miss You Can Do It” premieres. It goes behind the scenes of a beauty pageant in Illinois called Miss You Can Do It, which is for girls ages 4-25 who have physical and mental disabilities. It was created by a former Miss Iowa, Abbey Curran, who has cerebral palsy. No matter your feelings about pageants, I’m almost positive you’ll love the idea behind this one: For one weekend, every girl–no matter how she’s viewed by the rest of the world–is appreciated for her strength, her determination, and yes, her beauty. And these girls truly are beautiful, with a profoundly positive spirit. In the film, we meet several of the 2011 contestants and their families and get a glimpse into their everyday lives at home. I honestly can’t describe the parents in a way that does them justice–you have to hear them speak for yourself to appreciate how inspiring and honest they are. We learn what life has been like since their child was born and about the many health-related setbacks and victories they’ve had along the way. By the time we see footage of the pageant, where every girl is recognized and one is crowned Miss You Can Do It, you understand why an event like this is life-changing for everyone involved.

We first heard about the movie from our friends at Easter Seals, which has provided services for several of the contestants. Thanks to Easter Seals, children like 8-year-old Ali (pictured here during the “casual wear” portion of the contest), who has spina bifida, have gotten occupational and physical therapy, not to mention emotional support from the experts on staff.

Check out the pageant’s official site to learn more. It celebrates its 10th anniversary this year; there’s an entry form on the site in case there’s a future Miss You Can Do It in your life. In the meantime, watch this beautiful film tonight. And if you read this after June 24, DVR it–HBO will be airing it all summer.


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Happy Father’s Day! Giveaways

Sunday, June 19th, 2011


Happy Father’s Day! Have you opened all of your gifts yet? Don’t be so sure! From now through June 26th, we’re giving away some awesome prize packs in honor of all the deserving Dads out there. Here’s your chance to snag a Toshiba laptop, a Skype-enabled 3D Blu-ray player with HBO Blu-ray sets, a Kingsford grilling package, and a Dirt Devil pressure washer. To enter, make sure to post a comment in each of the individual giveaways by clicking on the images below. Goody luck!

UPDATE: These contests are now closed.





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Happy Father’s Day! Win a Skype Blu-ray Prize Pack!

Sunday, June 19th, 2011



Haven’t upgraded from DVDs yet? Here’s your chance! The Panasonic Full HD 3D Blu-ray Player has lots of fantastic features, including the ability to play movies in 3D and to turn your TV into video chat with a simple touch of the Skype button on the remote.

On top of that, we’re also throwing in three of the newest releases from HBO to get your Blu-ray library started. Check them out:



True Blood: The Complete Third Season

When It Was A Game: The Complete Collection

Note of warning: This prize pack could turn your living room into a “man cave.”  Make him happy, and enter anyway by posting a comment below from now through 11:59 EST on June 26th. One winner will be selected in a random drawing. For the full rules, click here. And Goody luck!

UPDATE: This contest is now closed.

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