Posts Tagged ‘boxing’


screen-shot-2016-11-18-at-3-31-30-pmRichard and CP24 anchor George Lagogianes have a look at the weekend’s new movies, the Harry Potter prequel “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them,” the coming-of-age story “Edge of Seventeen” and Miles Teller as real life boxer Vinny Paz in “Bleed for This.”

Listen to the whole thing HERE!


screen-shot-2016-11-18-at-3-27-38-pmRichard sits in with Marcia MacMillan to have a look at the weekend’s new movies, the Harry Potter prequel “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them,” the coming-of-age story “Edge of Seventeen,” Miles Teller as real life boxer Vinny Paz in “Bleed for This” and “Nocturnal Animals” with Amy Adams and Jake Gyllenhaal.

Watch the whole thing HERE!

BLEED FOR THIS: 2 STARS. “all macho posturing and turbo-charged momentum.”

screen-shot-2016-11-07-at-9-00-51-amThe Miles Teller boxing film “Bleed for This,” like most sports movies, isn’t really about the sport. Sure there are TKOs and the smack of glove against skin, but really it’s about the indomitable human spirit with one of the greatest real life comebacks in sports history as a backdrop.

Teller plays Vincenzo Pazienza, a.k.a. Vinny Paz a.k.a. the Pazmanian Devil, a championship boxer in lightweight, light middleweight and super middleweight categories. At the beginning of the film he is a wild card, a talented pugilist, but an undisciplined one. The night before a big fight he hits the town, gambling. The next day Roger Mayweather (Peter ‘Kid Chocolate’ Quillin) pummels him in the ring, soundly thrashing the former champ.

Despite his manager insistence that he retire, Vinny lumbers on, working out with Kevin Rooney (Aaron Eckhart), Mike Tyson’s former trainer. Pumped up, he jumps two weight classes and becomes a champion in the light middleweight category before tragedy strikes.

Flush with cash after his win, he buys a sports car. Within hours of owning it he’s involved in an accident that leaves him with a broken neck. “How much time till I can fight again?” he asks his doctor. “I can’t say with certainty you’ll ever walk again,” comes the grim response. His doctor wants to fuse the bone, Vinny instead opts for a halo procedure that involves screwing a circular metal brace into his head for six months to stabilize the injury. During his recuperation Vin secretly works out, preparing himself for a return to the ring. Within thirteen months the halo is gone, and he’s on the comeback trail.

“Bleed For This” aims to be a bigger-than-life tale of resilience and perseverance over adversity but plays like a gritty television movie. Pazienza overcame great odds and proved a lot of people—including his doctors and trainers wrong—but he’s not a particularly likeable champ. Teller emphasizes the character’s never-say-die spirit, but instead of wining us over his cockiness comes off a caricature of chutzpah. Ditto the portrait of Pazienza’s hard-scrapple family. They fight, they argue and worship at a home altar so loaded with Catholic iconography it looks like a page out of the Italian Stereotypes 101 textbook. If the Order Sons of Italy in America were outraged by “The Sopranos” wait till they get a load of this bunch.

Writer-director Ben Younger is a muscular filmmaker, all macho posturing and turbo-charged momentum which may not do his characters any favours but works well when the movie is in the boxing ring.

The final fight scene hits hard with stylish flourishes, like dropping out all the sound safe for the smack of clubs against skin and a pep speech with flashbacks, but it is more compelling than anything that came before it.

As a retelling of one of the most unlikely comebacks in sports history “Bleed for This” succeeds in getting across its predictable ‘never-say-die’ lesson. It’s a shame Younger settle for a made-for-TV-movie sentiment instead of digging deeper to dins a subtext that would really knock the audience out.

Hollywood gets in the ring with real life pugilists In Focus by Richard Crouse METRO CANADA Published: December 17, 2010

kid-galahad-trailer-titleWhen English boxer Bruno Frank said “Boxing is just show business with blood,” he was on to something. Ever since 1937’s Kid Galahad entertained depression era audiences, there has been a steady flow of films set inside the square circle. For generations, audiences have flocked to the intersection of showbiz and blood — the movie theatre — to see films like Gentleman Jim, Million Dollar Baby and, of course, Rocky.

This weekend, Mark Wahlberg adds to that list when he stars as pugilist Micky Ward in The Fighter, joining a long line of actors who have strapped on gloves to play real life boxers.

In Resurrecting the Champ, a sportswriter thinks a homeless man (Samuel L. Jackson) might actually be a down-on-his-luck boxing legend. Loosely based on the story of Bob Satterfield, a fighter ranked in Ring magazine’s list of 100 greatest punchers of all time, it takes some liberties with the real story but makes up for inaccuracies with a great performance from Jackson.

Another flawed boxing movie saved by its performances is The Great White Hope, based on Jack Johnson, a boxer nicknamed the “Galveston Giant.” For some reason the names were changed for the movie, but the story of Johnson’s struggle with racism is brought to vivid life in a towering performance by James Earl Jones, who originated the part on Broadway. A 2005 documentary Unforgivable Blackness: The Rise and Fall of Jack Johnson revisited the story, correcting many of the mistakes of the original film.

Somebody Up There Likes Me stars Paul Newman (replacing James Dean who died before filming) as world middleweight champion Rocky Graziano. The fighter is portrayed as a tough kid from New York’s “Lower East Side, where both sides of the tracks were wrong” whose violent and callous ways are changed by the love of a good woman.

As mushy as the love story is — it inspired Sylvester Stallone when he was writing the Adrian storyline in Rocky — the fight scenes are brutally authentic.

Probably the greatest boxing bio is Raging Bull, the story of Jake “Come on, hit me. Harder. Harder” LaMotta, which earned Robert De Niro a Best Actor Oscar. But Cinderella Man, the inspiring true story of James J. Braddock and Gentleman Jim (which sees Errol Flynn playing Jim Corbett, the first heavyweight champion of the world under the new Marquis of Queensberry) is also worth a look.