Movie Of The Week: Hands Of Stone (2016)

Hands-of-Stone-2016-700x987We are closely approaching a major decision here that I will be sure to make sure that all of you know when it becomes official. For now, we are continuing right along with our next movie of the week and this week’s is one that I have been dying to see for a little while now. There are two things that you can count on from me and that is one I am a huge fan of films that are based on true stories and the second is that I am a huge fan of the sport of boxing. When you combine those two things then I have to watch which is the case with this week’s film Hands Of Stone. The film follows the journey of not just legendary lightweight boxer Roberto Durán (played by Edgar Ramírez) and his rise from poverty in Panama to world champion, but it also follows that of his legendary trainer Ray Arcel (played by Robert De Niro) and his return to the sport he loved and had to let go of for a while. Watch as their journey for respect goes through it’s trials and tribulations. The film also stars Usher Raymond (The Faculty) as Sugar Ray Leonard, Ana de Armas (War Dogs) as Felicidad Iglesias, Pedro Perez as Plomo, Rubén Blades (Predator 2) as Carlos Eleta, Óscar Jaenada (The Shallows) as Chaflan, and the film was directed by Jonathan Jakubowicz.

handsOne of my favorite things about the film was definitely the acting from De Niro, Ramírez, and even Usher Raymond. They did an amazing job of painting who Sugar Ray Leonard was back in the day and they fear they had of his boxing style which by the way is not a fear of whether he’ll hurt you or not. However they do portray Roberto as this immature punk kid who has never been disciplined in his life because of how amazing of a boxer he was. They portray him at times to be the uneducated idiot with gloves who couldn’t see the bigger picture. What they do eventually show is his maturity and accent into manhood later in the film. They do a pretty good job with the fight choreography which you have to give kudos to as they try to cut an hour fight into mere minutes and that is difficult because you have to choose the best moments. One of the other things about the film that I loved was the beautiful Ana de Armas who plays Roberto’s wife the film because she was not only great, but she had some amazing scenes in the film (see pic below). Other than that, it was a pretty decent film and it had some amazing cinematography to boot especially the scenes in Panama. The film does at times show how easy it is for a child to grow to hate America just on what he went through and saw in his life. You’ll understand what I am talking about throughout the film. I am going to give the film an A- for a final grade.

Ana de Armas Hands Of Stone

Day 242: Critical Condition (1987)

criticalIn the 70’s and 80’s, there was no one bigger in the world of stand up and comedy than the legendary Richard Pryor (The Toy). That is why for today’s film I chose to watch a film from late in his career in Critical Condition. Kevin Lennihan (Pryor) is kind of a con man, but more of a Bullsh** artist if you ask me. One day as he was going to ask a mobster for a loan, he is framed alongside the mobster in a jewel smuggling scheme which sends him to jail. After faking that he is insane, he is sent to a psych ward at a hospital for them to evaluate him to tell if he’s insane or not. One night during a major storm, he is mistaken in the hospital for a doctor and he has to BS his way out of it. The film also stars Bob Saget (Full House) as Dr. Joffe, Rachel Ticotin (Total Recall) as Rachel, Rubén Blades (Fear The Walking Dead) as Louis, Joe Mantegna (Baby’s Day Out) as Chambers, Bob Dishy (Don Juan Demarco) as Dr. Foster, Sylvia Miles (Midnight Cowboy) as Nurse Lesser, Randall “Tex” Cobb (The Golden Child) as Box, Joe Dallesandro (Flesh For Frankenstein) as Stucky, and the film was directed by Michael Apted (Enough).

hqdefault (2)This was definitely an interesting film to say the least, but it’s one that I felt was a little all over the place. At first I thought we were going to get a film that was about him trying to prove that he is insane, but then it turns into a film where he’s trying to get by pretending to be a doctor hoping that no one will catch him. I have to be honest in saying that the best part of the film is when he becomes the doctor because you can kind of see the brilliance that was Richard Pryor come out on screen. There is the awful cast rapping scene, the helicopter scene, and even the scene where he’s is negotiating with the drug addicts that was pretty good. Some of my favorite scenes also took place in the psych ward, but it as scenes without Pryor in them. They really gave Mantegna and Cobb the spotlight during those scenes as Mantegna’s character is trying to negotiate his way out of there. I have to admit as well that Bob Saget really held his own in this film as he has some memorable moments and if you look you’ll notice a young Wesley Snipes as an ambulance driver. Of all the Pryor films that I have seen (which is not a lot) this is definitely not my favorite one. I am not saying that it was a bad film, but it’s probably just one that once was enough for me. I am going to give the film an B-/C+ for a final grade. It’s somewhere between those two.