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Lionheart: The Jesse Martin Story
Warner Vision/Warner Vision . R4 . COLOR . 70 mins . G . PAL

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With role models these days being few and far between, it's refreshing to see someone young, a teenager for that matter, do something extraordinary that gives hope to anyone who has ever thought they've been in a tough situation. By comparison, the feats of Jesse Martin puts a lot of our simple lives into perspective and it makes you think of just how lucky we are, and probably how bored some of us may feel with the daily 'rituals' that we call life.

At the age of 17, Jesse Martin had a dream to sail around the world, solo. With only three hours of sailing experience on 'Lionheart', he mustered up a sponsorship to make his dream come true and in doing so he would become the youngest person ever to sail non-stop around the world. His efforts would make headlines around the world, even to the point of grabbing the attention of the president of the United States at the time, Bill Clinton, who sent him a personal letter that appears on the inside of the DVD case.

Jesse took along a DV camera to document his adventure, and after almost 10 months at sea there'd be more than enough footage to provide 70 minutes of the most interesting and entertaining parts of 'someone else's' home video you could sit down and watch.

Reliving the highs and lows of both Jesse's emotions and the sea outside can only provide a sampling of what the great young man could have experienced out at sea. This documentary is an exceptional production considering that all the footage is shot by Jesse himself, giving us his perspective of the adventure and his narration toward the camera is a drama that unfolds better than anything rehearsed could produce.

The most powerful moments captured are when Jesse's mother comes to visit him out at sea and when he finally reaches home again. The depiction of loneliness just tears at your heart and the tears flow with ease. There are some brilliant moments captured on film here.

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The footage here is provided via Jesse's handicam, so the transfer is as good as can be expected. Commenting on this would merely be an exercise in reviewing the hardware he used, but in its simplest form the footage scrubs up well with beautiful colours and detail, if a little lacking in sharpness at times.

On the documentary side, the footage of interviews with Jesse, his investors and his family are all quality productions that are also presented in matted widescreen format. The footage here is of broadcast quality as expected and renders beautifully on screen.

Audio varies from clear and crisp to distorted and harsh depending on the weather and the conditions out there. You can make out what Jesse is saying in all scenarios, which is a good thing. On the extras side of things there is a 20 minute featurette about how the journey all came about, the obtaining of sponsorship, preparing his food for the trip and plans for the future which include a 12-part documentary where a team follow Jesse on trips to various locations around the world.

Highly recommended.


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  •   And I quote...
    "There are some brilliant moments captured on film here."
    - Steve Koukoulas
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