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road to victory Road To Victory
Directed by:
Mike Reilly
Cast: Mike Reilly, Julia Anderson, Poppi Reiner, Peter Abrams

The movie by Mike Reilly, somehow reminds us of how cultural values and conceptions have changed over the years.

One of the best movies about a stripper was The Stripper (1963) in which Joanne Woodward played the lead role. In that movie, she played a penniless stripper who was seeking shelter with an old neighbor.  However, she falls in love with the son played by Richard Beymer.  Joanne Woodard was at the height of her beauty.  The movie had a sad ending partially because in 1963 a love affair between a stripper and a middle class scion was taboo, to say the least.  Remember Butterfield Eight with Elizabeth Taylor and Laurence Harvey. 

In Road to Victory, Elliot played by Mike Reilly is a Pre-med football player destined for bigger and better things as a professional player.  Anna, (Julia Anderson) on the other hand,  is a stripper who is sleeping around.  She has just been dumped by a football college mate of Elliot and falls for Elliot during one of her performances.  The two of them get along nicely.  However, Elliot suffers a head injury during a match and as a result becomes impotent. 

The rest of the movie is about the drama of Elliot, clutching at every straw to regain his manhood, and Anna sticking by him through thick and thin trying to restore his sexuality.  She tries all the usual remedies that a hooker/stripper has in her bag of tricks such as massaging his organ and sucking it, all to no avail. 

He goes from doctor to doctor and each one prescribes something different that does not work anyway.  Julia is still in love with him and stays with him, although she deviates from absolute fidelity by sleeping with other men to satisfy her sexual desires, for as she says during one of their confrontation, she is a sexual woman with great needs.

Finally in desperation, Elliot locates a controversial doctor through the Internet who seems willing and able to help him.   Dr. Morino, played by Peter Abrams, prescribes certain injections and medications and soon Elliot is back on the road to recovery. 

Elliot is soon back to his almost  normal self and for the first time in many months manages to have sex with Anna.  Now, that he has regained his self confidence and his manhood, he tells her that he knows about her cheating on him and dumps her.

Elliot is soon a draft pick for a major football team and there seems no chance of him ever turning back.  That is until he visits doctor Morino one more time.  The doctor informs him that although he is cured for now, another football accident will push him over the edge and will make him permanently impotent, if not worse.

After a lot of anguishing soul searching, Elliot decides to drop his dreams of being a professional football player with a shot at the super bowl and returns to school to finish his medical degree and marry the stripper.

This is an independent film directed and produced by Mike  Reilly and Johnathon Kitchen.  Both shows great potential as a professional director.  The story was original and the casting was almost perfect. 

Julia Anderson was not as believable as a real stripper. We do not know how old Julia Anderson really is but she looks somewhat older than twenty one that her character claimed to be.  Strippers, as most of the male of the species know, are usually hard as nails and just one step about hookers for their ability to extract cash from customers with unfeeling pretensions.  Julia lacked that hard edge.

The acting by Mike Reilly as a tortured individual, who despite all his outwardly physical strength, is tormented by the knowledge that he is sexually impotent was superb.  After all, to men impotence is almost as bad as brain cancer.

Julia Anderson is a very attractive woman but as an actress she will need to show more of her inner emotions. It was lacking in many scenes. The acting seemed wooden, pun not intended, and unrealistic. To play a hooker with a heart of gold, you almost have to be one.  Even though that is a fallacy created by men.  Who ever heard of a hooker or stripper with a heart of gold outside the movie sets or TV series?  Most men know better!

We would like to mention two other actors for exceptional performances.  Poppi Reiner as the female Doctor Kahn is so irritating and condescending  that eventually Elliot tells her that her own sexuality, or lack of it, is blinding her in her diagnosis.  Also, Peter Abrams as doctor Morino who finally saves Elliot from his trauma.  Both are great actors.

The cinematography by Brent Buntyn, Todd Bell and Steven Deneault was wonderfully good.  The background music and the voice over were rather too intrusive as it carried on throughout the movie and, at times, made the dialogue unintelligible. 

But, the story was original, the acting was very good and cinematography was clear and extremely well managed. No stupidly fancy shots that some big name cinematographers try to make to distinguish themselves and then fall flat on their faces.

Above all, we would like to commend Mike Reilly as a wonderful director.  This movie is a harbinger of greater things to come and we are eagerly looking forward to his next project.  Hollywood should be calling, if it has any sense. Making a serious movie is no joke.  Making a movie of this caliber for an independent producer is almost an impossible task.  Great work Mike Reilly.

We give this independent drama starstar star1/2!  

To find out more, please visit the film's website:www.rtvfilm.com