2 Stars
Year Released: 2011
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Running Time: 96 minutes
Click to Expand Credits:

Justin Frimmer’s documentary focuses on a new wave of juvenile Mexican-American boxers in East Los Angeles. These kids are pushed into boxing at a very young age by their parents – some get into the ring at three years old – and are rigorously trained with the idea that they could someday qualify for the Olympics and a professional boxing career. At the center of the film are the twin brothers Oscar and Javier Molina, who are in preparation for the transition into the national men’s division of amateur boxing.

Frimmer manages to get the point across that boxing is a great strategy for keeping the youngsters off the violent streets of their gang-infested neighborhoods. However, the film’s boxing matches are little more than a bunch of teenager and pre-teens pummeling each other gracelessly. Even worse, the kids are not the most interesting subjects. The Molina brothers are pleasant but somewhat dull, and the other young boxers barely register once their gloves and safety equipment comes off.

“Born and Bred”
might have had more impact if it was a short documentary. At 94 flabby minutes, it is anything but a knockout.

This film was submitted for review through our Submission for Review system. If you have a film you’d like us to see, and we aren’t already looking into it on our own, you too can utilize this service.

Posted on July 10, 2011 in Reviews by

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12 Comments on "BORN AND BRED"

  1. Review Reaction on Sun, 10th Jul 2011 3:15 pm 

    What a crappy way to review a film!

    No wonder Film Threat failed to raise any money in its IndieGoGo campaign!

    This doesn’t tell me anything about the story in the film whatsoever.

    This site should just fold.

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  2. Mark Bell on Sun, 10th Jul 2011 4:00 pm 

    We also received the following comment via email from the filmmaker behind the film, in all fairness.

    Just read the “review” – all two paragraphs that barely even spoke to anything in the film at all. If I wanted to get a superficial negative Internet reaction post, I would certainly never have submitted the film for a serious review at Film Threat. It’s one thing for a reviewer to dissect a film’s good and bad points and come up with a critical list of why he did or didn’t like the film. It’s another thing entirely to not even talk about the film beyond the most basic synopsis (and not even an accurate one) and just dismiss the film like that. I felt like I just read a 12-year-old’s review in their junior high school newspaper.

    I can’t believe I submitted this film to your magazine expecting it to be taken as a serious film. Why would you accept this as a final review from your writer?

    I’d rather you just remove it if you’re not going to provide a real review of the film.


    Justin Frimmer

    As for the call above for the site to fold, we’re not going anywhere anytime soon. Sorry.

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  3. Phil Hall on Sun, 10th Jul 2011 5:51 pm 

    As the fella who reviewed this film, I would just like to respond to the above comments.

    A film review is not a be-all/end-all statement of irrefutable fact. It is the opinion of an individual writer regarding whether he feels that a film is successful or not. Every filmmaker, at one point or another, is the subject of unsympathetic reviews. It stinks, but that’s how the business works.

    At the same time, critics have been known to be wrong. Classics such as “The General,” “Fantasia,” “The Magnificent Ambersons,” “Bonnie and Clyde” and “2001: A Space Odyssey” received withering reviews at the time of their releases. Needless to say, the critics’ grumblings against those films are viewed today with astonishment. Perhaps “Born and Bred” will be the latest film to rise above a thumbs down review?

    Filmmakers and boxers have a great deal in common: both have to weather harsh and often violent blows in their quest to succeed. I genuinely hope that Mr. Frimmer and the Molina brothers are able to achieve their goals with a minimal amount of disruption to their respective missions.

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  4. Justin on Sun, 10th Jul 2011 6:05 pm 

    Great. Now I’m the angry filmmaker whose only resource is leaving negative comments to his review…

    You’ve already done the damage- and now you just published my private email to you in the vein of some kind of journalistic transparency?

    Not under-reviewed? It’s 189 words and you “published” it as your homepage feature of the day with the most snarky, judgmental caption possible.

    If, you, as publisher believe that this is great movie criticism please tell your readers the criteria you give your writers when you give them an assignment.

    Do you at least require that they describe the actual story in the film?

    Or do you just let them write anything and stick by it like it’s the Pentagon Papers or something?


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  5. Mark Bell on Sun, 10th Jul 2011 6:49 pm 

    By the way, Justin, if you don’t want to look like an angry filmmaker, don’t use the same ip address to post an anonymous comment calling for the site to fold…

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  6. Justin on Sun, 10th Jul 2011 7:33 pm 

    I just regret that we offered this film to you for review in advance of the regular, in-depth reviews that will come at the time of the film’s release.

    Unfortunately, even the savviest of readers depend on movie reviewers to provide insight and depth into the chaos of film offerings out there to help them make choices as to what to see and what not to see. Readers don’t have the time to discern if a particular reviewer’s perspective is straight-ahead honest or grossly colored by a particular slant. That is why a responsible reviewer provides the reader with enough in-depth information on a film and not just a facetious blog post like they couldn’t care one way or the other.

    Your disservice to ambitious/complex storytelling has already been done.

    Viewers are obviously the ultimate judge of the film and what it means to them.

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  7. Justin on Sun, 10th Jul 2011 10:04 pm 

    “By the way, Justin, if you don’t want to look like an angry filmmaker, don’t use the same ip address to post an anonymous comment calling for the site to fold…”

    Well then, let me put it like this from an Un-anonymous post at this IP address:

    If you are going to dupe filmmakers into sending in their films for serious review and then farm out the work to unpaid bloggers who don’t have the time and energy to write real reviews, yes, you should fold.

    Is that clearer, or do I sound like an angry commenter? If you aren’t going to man up and provide me a proper review, don’t publish this crap. I don’t give a f— about the veil between reviewer and filmmaker. The film speaks for itself.

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  8. Mark Bell on Mon, 11th Jul 2011 12:43 am 

    If you are going to dupe filmmakers into sending in their films for serious review and then farm out the work to unpaid bloggers who don’t have the time and energy to write real reviews, yes, you should fold.

    Phil Hall has been writing for FT for 10 years and has literally written books about film. You’ve insulted a very intelligent and insightful writer. He showed you and your film far more attention and consideration than you could be bothered to show him.

    You got a serious review; you couldn’t handle it. If you’d have gotten three or four paragraphs of additional negative criticism far more damning than what is above, that would’ve been better?

    You can’t win ‘em all, not everyone is going to like your movie. No one “duped” anyone into anything; you chose to submit your film, you got a negative review (we make it very clear that this can happen), it pissed you off. We get it.

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  9. Justin on Mon, 11th Jul 2011 2:15 am 

    “You got a serious review; you couldn’t handle it. If you’d have gotten three or four paragraphs of additional negative criticism far more damning than what is above, that would’ve been better?”

    A Twitter-length review as serious? Are you serious?

    You have spent zero time watching the film and zero time talking about the content of the review, yet you are so adamant about the nature of the online journalism process.

    As far as wanting three or four more paragraphs of negative criticism, well, yes. It’s like asking someone who makes a glib, racist remark to explain themselves more. They don’t spew more racist comments, they just dance around their position like you are now instead of talking about the real thing.

    You really aren’t getting the context of the review. The other reviews aren’t coming out until another 40 days. So anyone searching for the film is going to land on your review talking about the film being about “juvenile” Mexican-Americans and that the best young boxers in the country are nothing more than “a bunch of teenager and pre-teens pummeling each other gracelessly.”

    Great work. Very serious.

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  10. Mark Bell on Mon, 11th Jul 2011 2:32 am 

    You submitted the film to us. I even have an email where you state, “though the film is not being released until August 19th, we are looking for reviews as soon as they are available.” If a potential negative review could be problematic early, why did you submit and the make it a point to ask for reviews as soon as possible? You’re no victim here.

    I’m done with the conversation, honestly. God forbid anyone else give you a negative review…

    Report Comment

  11. Bwakathaboom on Mon, 11th Jul 2011 11:58 am 

    The review does seem a little sparse, given that other reviews on Film Threat tend to run double to triple this length.

    Having said that, this review does tell me what the film is about, the main storyline and what the flaws are and why it’s getting a rating of 2. It could be fleshed out but not by much.

    You just need to put on your marketing cap and learn to pull quotes out of context:
    “…more impact” – Film Threat
    “…pre-teens pummeling each other gracelessly.” – Film Threat

    The film “One Week” even pulled quotes from YouTube comments! So here you go…

    Born and Bred is a jab to the solar plexus that will leave you gasping! Or so I’m told but I have never seen it.

    You are now legally able to say “Born and Bred is a jab to the solar plexis that will leave you gasping!” Film Threat (in big letters) commenter (in tiny letters). Have fun :)

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  12. Douglas Waltz on Mon, 11th Jul 2011 5:43 pm 

    The review tells exactly what the film is about to be precise. Then the reviewer give their opinion. You want a longer review? Submit it to a magazine. People on the Internet could guve a damn about the length of a review. They want the facts, which were given. Then they want whether or not it is worth their time. It’s why Twitter is so damned popular. Oh and stop telling film reviewers how to do their job. It makes us cranky.

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