Movie ReviewsWrestling.com (Part 2)
by Toby Hedglin
James Petulla at the “Reversal” Premiere with Kurt Angle
I sat down again with James Petulla the writer, producer, and star of the upcoming amateur wrestling film “Reversal,” to discuss my overall impressions after seeing the film.
TH: What I thought was especially well done was the fact that with the bulimic behavior and the son being pushed so hard, that at the end of the film you don’t end up ultimately not liking any of the characters or resenting high school wrestling.
JP: Yeah, I’m gonna have something at the end of the movie, coming up on the screen mentioning the changes of wrestling and that there’s new rulings now. We want to make a disclaimer so that people that are in wrestling aren’t offended and people that don’t know about wrestling, know that that behavior doesn’t go on anymore. Now a days, there’s no more plastic sweats, you wrestle what you weigh. I never understood that even twenty years ago when I wrestled, why you went through all that.
TH: Some of the most intense scenes in the film are that in which Leo (Danny Mousetis) is wrestling. Using the real wrestlers in the key roles really paid off when it came to the wrestling scenes.
JP: Oh yeah, nobody’s ever seen that. “Vision Quest” is the closest film about wrestling and the wrestling was all fake. You had fake throws, there was nothing real about the wrestling at all in that movie. I think it’s one of the first films that shows the real sport, these kids are really going at it. It’s just raw. I interviewed Hollywood actors, kids that work in TV and that work in the business. But even little Derrick, who plays the 7 year old, this kid’s never acted before, he couldn’t even read and look what he did in the film. When we hired him, he hadn’t even been able to read yet, he was only 6 years old.
TH: Petulla delivers an outstanding performance in the film as the overbearing father, in his first major acting role.
JP: I’ve done a couple of small films but this is the first real thing I’ve done. I just tried to make it simple and just tell the truth.
TH: Petulla invested his own money into the production of this movie and is determined to distribute the film by himself
JP: We spent about $400,000. At this point, I’m gonna be distributing the film myself cause frankly I think I can do a better job then anybody so far, that’s approached me. Unless some major company would come in and step up to the plate, I plan to do it on my own. I’m actually excited about it.
James Petulla is currently restriking the print and editing some profanity to earn the film a PG-13 rating. A few small theaters will be showing the film over the holidays but Petulla is waiting for major releases to get out of the way before he releases it nationally. I’ll be sure to inform you of any updates on the film, as they become available. Look for my review of the film to be posted later this week.