Posts tagged sports movies
MOVIE REVIEW: Hands of Stone

To use a boxing term favored by commentators, “Hands of Stone” has a “big fight feel.”  The ferocious energy and volatile personality of Edgar Ramirez’s Roberto Duran emits enough heat to liquefy lead.  Add in the smooth and suave Sugar Ray Leonard, played by a game Usher Raymond IV, as the titan to topple and the effect is multiplied.  “Hands of Stone” doesn’t break any new ground, but it operates with low mistakes to be a step above competent and solid within the sports film genre. 

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MOVIE REVIEW: The Program

Creating entertaining biopics about a universally disgraced figure are a hard sell under that key word of "entertaining."  If they attempt to create sympathy, a duel of alienation and bias can arise.  A good, thought-provoking movie has to fearlessly dig deeper.  As Van der Rohe is attributed to saying, "the devil is in the details."  Exposing the sordid and untold details of what led to the subject's defamation is where your film gets interesting.  The rise and fall of champion cyclist Lance Armstrong is fertile ground and a fresh wound that has yet to be solved.  "The Program," directed "Philomena" and "The Queen" Oscar nominee Stephen Frears, pedals uphill in attempting to shine a light on the dark details.

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MOVIE REVIEW: Race

Highlighting the worthy American legend that is James Cleveland "Jesse" Owens, the new film "Race" may not roundly deviate from the tried-and-true sports film formula we have seen in dozens of films.  Nonetheless, director Stephen Hopkins's film radiates an impassioned heart that few other films of the sports genre can rival or surpass.  In a present day of questionable athletic role models (and on the timely heels of Black History Month), this is the kind of film we should be sending buses of school students of all ages to instead of "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle" movies.

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MOVIE REVIEW: Southpaw

If you've seen one boxing movie, you've seen them all.  They are their own formula, cliche, and sub-genre of sports movies.  If you've seen one rags-to-riches triumph or riches-to-rags-back-to-riches redemption, you've seen them all.  If you've heard one trash talking villain or one sage mentor/trainer/coach jaw on their own, you've heard them all.  If you've seen one smoothly-edited training montage that leads to the big, loud and predictable ending fight, you've seen the all.  "Southpaw" sadly brings nothing new to the table.

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