ContestHD Closed Captioning
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A bullied high school student is suddenly befriended by his chief tormentor and together they face challenges that will change their lives forever.
The most successful anti-bullying film--no contest
Anyone who has attended public school in the last 20 years is quite familiar with the sort of anti-bullying films students are generally forced to watch: three or four teenagers in an arcade/public library/[insert location no modern teenager would ever go to here], wearing clothes that were in fashion for about 10 minutes in 1986, unsuccessfully attempt to suppress Canadian accents while a stiff narrator asks the audience what they would do in the situation. Ironically, the actors in these movies are possibly the most retroactively bullied teens of all time, as students are unable to resist mocking poorly-delivered chestnuts like, "Give me your lunch money, eh."
Contest isn't one of those movies. This is a well-acted, humorous, and thought-provoking film that manages to make its message apparent without sacrificing the story. Self-reliant Tommy is forced to collaborate with the intimidating Matt for a cooking contest, but the stakes go way beyond cuisine--Tommy is convinced that Matt has an ulterior motive, and he's not wrong. In fact, there are multiple layers to Matt's involvement, and double-crossing is the biggest dish on the menu. The duo's relationship evolves naturally, and not always in a positive direction, thanks to a combination of Matt's continued desire to impress his cronies and please his devious older brother, and Tommy's inability to fully trust his former tormentor. The ultimate outcome probably won't come as a surprise to viewers, but even towards the end of the film, there are enough twists and turns to keep things exciting.
Of course, the mission of a movie like this is probably more about stemming discussion rather than merely trying to entertain. Fortunately, Contest manages to do both, especially since all teens should easily find traces of themselves in one or more characters. In a genre that often comes across as cheesy and forced, this is a rare movie that could actually make a real impact on its audience.
Really good movie
Plot is more advanced then the plot
He has to save his grandmas pizza place because the landlord try's to develop on it but it says in the lease if property is sold the leader gets the first option to buy it so he enters a cooking contest to get the money but a bully is friends with the landlords son so he gets on his cooking team to destroy their food but then their to fake friendship becomes real and the bully doesn't ruin the contest but somebody else wins the contest because the landlords son messed it up by himself, then the winning team points at the three people who caused the team to loose and tells the people how it went down and they are very heart by what the tree people did
Really good movie, at the end the bully is not a bully anymore.
Contest Sends a Winning Message!
WOW! I really enjoyed this movie! As a middle school teacher! I appreciate the efforts of the cast and the writer/director to deliver a much-needed anti-bullying message in an accessible, highly entertaining way. School authorities, stressing their serious commitment to zero tolerance of bullying, often promote their message in a heavy-handed manner.
Sure, the subject matter is serious (one character even contemplates suicide briefly). But this script also embraces the foibles present in teens, tweens and adults: namely, being used to doing certain things (like being a loner or a bully) for our "right" reasons and then having to deal with those reasons being challenged. And the cast--especially, but not limited to, the five leads--demonstrate their talent as their characters respond to those challenges, for better or worse.
To Kenton Duty (bully Matt) and Daniel Flaherty (victim & teen chef Tommy) to realistically portraying the rocky relationship between their characters, with its twists & turns of ingrained mistrust vs. building trust.
To Katherine McNamara's strong-minded & lovely Sarah, an observant, forthright blogger who challenges both Tommy & Matt in her quest for the truths underlying their unlikely partnership.
To Mary Beth Peil and Kyle Dean Massey: the lovingly supportive Gran contrasts well with Matt's manipulative older brother Kyle. How these adults dispense their respective wisdom (Gran's selfless vs. Kyle's self-driven) to the teens they're raising reminds us how "children live what they learn."
Just like life, Contest is funny, eye-opening and touching. Tommy and his teen chef crew's lively run-ins with the female Bartosh cousins' team and every appearance of obnoxious teen chef opponent Dennis (a hilarious Dan Fabi) cracked me up. Ravi Ullman's frazzled but smooth TV host kept me smiling. Alex Boniello scarily impressed me as Joe, Matt's friend & swim teammate, with his funny yet vicious streak. And Owen Teague's Bobby (a Team Tommy member) won my heart whether he was impishly flaunting his success with the Bartosh girls or brokenheartedly crying when targeted by a cyber-bully.
Contest send an uplifting message: be open to friendships with people who might not seem to be your "type"--a reminder that well serves tweens & teens beyond their school experiences.
I highly recommend Contest for students 4th grade & up through early high school. Ideally, families would benefit from watching it together. (Also recommended by Stuart Snyder, president of The Cartoon Network where Contest first premiered in October, Anti-Bullying Month.) I also purchased a copy for my classroom library--principals take note!