30-for-30: No Más

Release: Tuesday, October 15, 2013 [Netflix] Directed by: Eric Drath Spectators historically aren’t accustomed to seeing a professional boxer not finish what they started — at least, not voluntarily. When Roberto Durán, the man with two of the most devastating fists in all of boxing, waved his gloves at his opponent in the 8th round of a 15-round bout signifyingContinue reading “30-for-30: No Más”

Bleed for This

Release: Friday, November 18, 2016 [Theater] Written by: Ben Younger; Angelo Pizzo; Pippa Bianco Directed by: Ben Younger Bleed for This is an intense title for an underwhelming boxing movie. Its hyperbolic nature suggests a scream-o/punk-rock band’s new single when really it’s meant to describe the mentality of one Vinny Pazienza, a boxer from Providence, Rhode Island who returned to the ring afterContinue reading “Bleed for This”

Hands of Stone

Release: Friday, August 26, 2016 [Theater] Written by: Jonathan Jakubowicz Directed by: Jonathan Jakubowicz Confession time: coming into this I had no idea who Roberto Durán was — ya know, other than the fact he would be the center of attention in Jonathan Jakubowicz’s boxing drama. Do I feel silly now. Long story short, the Panamanian has beenContinue reading “Hands of Stone”

Paul G — #6

Last time we were here, Paul was being held hostage by Samuel L. Jackson in a tense dramatic thriller F. Gary Gray made back in the late ’90s. Let’s negotiate our way past that and look at a more substantial supporting role he’s had as part of one of Ron Howard’s many prestige pictures. HereContinue reading “Paul G — #6”

Creed

Release: Wednesday, November 25, 2015 [Theater] Written by: Ryan Coogler; Aaron Covington Directed by: Ryan Coogler Perhaps it’s the fact that Creed feels more akin to a warm family reunion than a cold cash grab that unnecessarily extends a beloved boxing franchise that has allowed it to curry favor with both critics and audiences alike. The end product certainly doesn’t stand on shaky legs, with earlyContinue reading “Creed”

Southpaw

Release: Friday, July 24, 2015 [Theater] Written by: Kurt Sutter Directed by: Antoine Fuqua Like its punch-drunk protagonist Antoine Fuqua’s ode to blood sport sure can throw a powerful jab but its technique fails considerably when on defense. What does the film have to defend against, exactly? Only about three decades’ worth of boxing movie cliches. That’s if we’re usingContinue reading “Southpaw”

Only God Forgives

Release: Friday, July 19, 2013 (limited) [Netflix] Ah, but does He forgive a movie like this? Nicolas Winding Refn and Ryan Gosling again team up to put forth another noir-rich effort that skimps on dialogue — only this time it’s one that has left audiences scratching their heads rather than thoughtfully rubbing their chins. To beContinue reading “Only God Forgives”