Day 327: Bleed For This (2016)

bleed-for-this-shareSince the beginning of film, there have been some legendary sports films because an underdog story can capture the hearts of millions. As long as the sport of boxing has been around, there have been some great films like Rocky, Raging Bull, The Fighter, Requiem For A Heavyweight, and many more. For today’s film, we chose to go and see the latest boxing film Bleed For This which tells the tale of Rhode Island boxing legend Vinny Pazienza (played by Miles Teller). The movie starts right before his latest fight against Roger Mayweather (Peter Quillin) which was a losing effort. Down and out, he trains with a new manager in Kevin Rooney (Aaron Eckhart). With Rooney in his corner, he moves up in weight which proves to be a success, but he will soon face the greatest setback ever, a broken neck in a car accident. Will he bounce back from it or stay down forever? The film also stars Katey Sagal (Futurama) as Louise, Ciarán Hinds (Munich) as Angelo, Ted Levine (The Silence Of The Lambs) as Lou Duva, Amanda Clayton (John Carter) as Doreen, Daniel Sauli (House Of Cards) as Jon, Jordan Gelber (Dark Horse) as Dan Duva, Christine Evangelista (The Walking Dead) as Shelly (I believe), and the film was written and directed by Ben Younger (Boiler Room). 

screen-shot-2016-06-29-at-11-32-34-amBefore I get into the review of the film, I am a sucker for details and there was one minor one that the film goofed on. He fought Roberto Duran in 1994 and suffered the broken neck before that. According to the film, Duran was his comeback fight from the injury, but in fact he fought Jacques LeBlanc a month before. The point of that detail is that he mentions that he is heading to Twin River Casino before the accident, but the problem is that Lincoln Park wasn’t called Twin River until March 2007 (a full 13 years later). Other than that, I absolutely loved the film and thought Miles Teller did a terrific job portraying the flashy Pazienza. We see all the hell that Paz went through just to make a comeback when everyone told him that he couldn’t. One of the scenes that I just had a hard time sitting through is the scene when the doctor is removing the screws and Paz tells him that he doesn’t want to take anything for the process. The boxing action in the film is great like any amazing boxing film, but the transformations is where it’s at. Aaron Eckhart just has to shave a little bit of his head, but Ted Levine goes through a major transformation to play Lou Duva. I almost didn’t recognize him, but well into the film I noticed that it was him. The sites were so amazing to see when they are in Rhode Island and they even do an amazing job of making the Providence Civic Center look like how it used to. I even loved the vintage footage throughout the film and I loved how some news segments, it showed the real Vinny Paz. I was a huge fan of the film and if you’re a boxing fan then do yourself a favor and check this one out. I am giving the film an A- for a final grade.

Day 245: Demolition (2015)

DEMOLITIONThere are actors in the world that when I see that they star in a certain film, I will watch it whether I know what it is about or not. That is definitely the case nowadays when it comes to Jake Gyllenhaal who I have become a huge fan of and which is why I picked up his film Demolition. Davis Mitchell (Gyllenhaal) is a successful investment banker who seems to have it all until his wife is tragically killed in a car accident. The event turns Davis’s life upside down until he receives a phone call from a customer service rep named Karen (Naomi Watts). With the help of her and her very eccentric son (Judah Lewis), Davis will try to rebuild his life, but he has to demolish the old memories in order to move on. The film also stars Chris Cooper (The Bourne Identity) as Phil, C.J. Wilson (The Magic Of Belle Isle) as Skip, Polly Draper (Side Effects) as Margot, Debra Monk (The Bridges Of Madison County) as Davis’s Mom, Heather Lind (Mistress America) as Julia, Wass Stevens (House Of Cards) as Jimmy, Blaire Brooks (Half Brother) as Amy, Brendan Dooling (The Carrie Diaries) as Todd, and the film was directed by Jean-Marc Vallée (Dallas Buyers Club).

96310627demolition-culture-xlarge_trans++fXEeYQxpWLzsKpj6iiV1cig4DlLAmRt6d8D2mO5jdakThe first thing I want to talk about is obviously the performance of Jake Gyllenhaal which was absolutely brilliant. You literally see a guy without a care in the world go to a complete wreck before he is brought back to life again right before your very eyes. Jake absolutely nailed the role as he captured the essence of what the character was going through. While the dynamic of Gyllenhaal and Watts relationship was interesting, it was actually his relationship with her son in the film that is even more interesting. He has no intention of being a father figure to this wayward teen, but he ends up becoming a very good friend to him. You see the relationship bloom right before your very eyes and Judah’s character learns to be free. One of my favorite scenes in the film is a couple of them that go together. Judah’s character goes into the garage and starts jamming out to a track which is followed by Gyllenhaal joining him. The other one is Gyllenhaal running through the streets of New York dancing to the music that has just been downloaded. Usually I would think those scenes were corny, but they actually served a purpose. It’s the start of the budding of their relationship and it’s apart of a phase for Gyllenhaal when he is starting to let things go. If you are a fan of cinema and independent films then this is definitely one to pick up and watch. The cinematography, editing, and the acting were all great. I am going to give the film an A- for a final grade.