This is such a ripping true story that it can't help but grab hold of the audience, even if the film never quite breaks through the surface. A story of tenacious triumph in the face of seemingly impossible odds, it also offers Miles Teller a terrific against-type role as a beefy young boxer who simply won't take no for an answer. And the entire cast is just as surprising, adding textures to a movie that's a bit too straightforward for its own good.
This is the story of Vinny Pazienza (Teller), a young boxer who wins two world championships in two weight classes with the help of his father Angelo (Ciaran Hinds) and his trainer Kevin (Aaron Eckhart). Then at the top of his game, he breaks his neck in a car crash and is told he may never walk again, let alone fight. But Vinny is determined to remain the champ, so he returns to training, even though an injury could leave him permanently disabled. Kevin reluctantly agrees to train him, pushing him up into yet another weight class. And seeing the publicity possibilities, father-and-son promoters (Ted Levine and Jordan Gelber) set up a massive Vegas comeback match.
Writer-director Ben Younger shoots this with a steady authenticity, charging inexorably through the story in a way that echoes Vinny's singleminded determination. Along the way, there are strained relationships, a variety of physical and emotional obstacles, intense boxing matches and, of course, a few emotive training montage sequences. The story is so strong that the film can't help but be engaging and even rousing, even if there are very few shadings along the way. Vinny never seems to doubt himself at all, his family only barely objects to his potentially life-threatening decisions, and his opponents are clearly going down for the count.
Continue reading: Bleed For This Review
Bruce Cohen (left) and Shawn Colvin attending the New York premiere of 'Bleed For This,' hosted by Open Road with Men's Fitness, at the AMC Lincoln Square Theater in New York City, United States - Monday 14th November 2016
Bruce Cohen - A variety of celebrities attended 'Oh Hell No!' an event hosted by David Mixner which benefits The Point Foundation.The event was held at New World Stages, New York City, New York, United States - Tuesday 28th October 2014
Bruce Robert Harris, Bruce Cohen, Robb Nanus, Jessica Leventhal, Guest and Jack W. Batman - 'I Am Harvey Milk' - After party at Bryant Park Grill,, Bryant Park - New York, New York, United States - Monday 6th October 2014
Director David O. Russell; Bruce Cohen; Jonathan Gordon BAFTA Los Angeles 2013 Awards Season Tea Party held at the Four Seasons Hotel Los Angeles Featuring: Director David O. Russell, Bruce Cohen, Jonathan Gordon Where: Beverly Hills, California, United States When: 12 Jan 2013
Writer-director David O. Russell's out-of-control filmmaking style is perfectly suited to a romantic-comedy involving mental illness, and he infuses the film with a sparky unpredictability that's echoed in the perfectly graded performances of the entire cast. Cleverly, even though most of the characters are clinically unhinged, they're all likeable and easy to identify with.
Cooper stars as Pat, who has spent eight months in a mental hospital before his mother (Weaver) comes to take him home early. His dad (De Niro) isn't so sure it's a good idea, but everyone's happy to have him home. And since he finally accepts that he's bipolar, Pat is ready to get on with life. But it's not so easy. He's prevented from reuniting with his wife because of a restraining order, so he visits mutual friends (Stiles and Ortiz) instead. And they set him up with Tiffany (Lawrence), who's psychologically damaged in her own way. Recognising similar needs, they agree to help each other.
Yes, the film has a clear rom-com premise, but the characters are so unpredictable that we are never quite sure what they'll say or do next. And it's not like Pat and Tiffany are the only unstable people here: they're just the only ones with official diagnoses. All of which gives the actors almost too much colourful material to work with. Cooper is a likeable, charming presence at the centre, eliciting our sympathy even when he does something stupid. And Lawrence delivers a full-on performance that often takes our breath away with its clever layering.
Continue reading: Silver Linings Playbook Review
We leave the scene before Reynolds finds definite answers, but the three primary actors recur in each of the subsequent sections, playing different characters. In Part II, Reynolds is a TV writer trying to cast his actress friend McCarthy (playing a version of herself, a popular supporting player on Gilmore Girls) in a new series over the objections of a network executive (Davis), who wants to hire an actress with a development deal (it goes almost without saying that said actress also happens to be skinnier and more generic, and is played by frequent network TV guest-star Dahlia Salem, and that the character's name is also Dahlia Salem). Later, in Part III, we see Reynolds and McCarthy as characters in that series, with Davis popping up in another vaguely antagonistic part.
Continue reading: The Nines Review
In the film, Bloom's grown son, Will (Billy Crudup) is tired of the imaginative stories his dad has told him since he was young, and decides to only communicate with his mom (Jessica Lange). But, as the elder Bloom approaches the end of his life, Will puts aside his differences and chooses to find the truth behind all the stories in hopes of learning more about his dad. The only way Will knows how to find the answers he seeks is to retell the stories and let us be the judge.
Continue reading: Big Fish Review
Until one day, when all the physical mementos of Sam actually do disappear from Telly's life. Photo albums once filled with snapshots are now blank. Actual fade or Photoshop trick? Drawers that held baseball gloves and caps are now empty. Something wicked this way comes.
Continue reading: The Forgotten Review
American Beauty chronicles the last year in the life of 42 year-old hack magazine writer Lester Burnham (Spacey), a suburban loser that has just about had it with his humdrum life and decides to make a few changes to regain control, for better or for worse. Those changes include quitting his job and blackmailing his employers, buying a vintage Firebird, taking a new job at the local fast food joint, buying thousands of dollars worth of pot, and plotting to sleep with his daughter's best friend (Suvari, the good girl from American Pie, playing the bad girl here).
Continue reading: American Beauty Review
Viva Rock Vegas is bad. Real bad. It features the same kind of dry humor that the show did, and thus makes you wonder why you watched the show in the first place. It slowly sucks the life out of you and gets progressively worse in a 80-minute running time that feels like two hours. It has the high point of watching The Great Gazoo, an alien sent to observe prehistoric man's mating patterns, get kicked and crash into signs.
Continue reading: The Flintstones In Viva Rock Vegas Review
Down With Love sets itself gently down in Manhattan, circa 1962, a decision that seems to be made less by the screenplay than the art department. Everybody's got those fabulous right-angled styles Doris and Rock wore so well in, say, Lover Come Back. The apartments and office towers are gorgeous modernist swank. Even the credit sequence (do not arrive late) does that wonderful, hollow chromatic drawing thing that worked so beautifully in Catch Me If You Can. It reminds me of the late, great title designer Saul Bass, after a few afternoon martinis.
Continue reading: Down With Love Review
What's new in the music world this week?
'Sounds of Silence' was released on this day (January 17th) in 1966.
Listen to Alex Bayly performing 'Animal'.
Two weeks ahead of Independent Venue Week, Dry Cleaning made 'Britain's Best Small Venue 2015' (NME) the second port of call on their 2020 tour.
'Leave Home' was released on this day (January 10th) in 1977.
For their last gig of the year, The Libertines came back to their adopted hometown of Margate to finish off their latest tour.
Celebrating the birthday of David Bowie with his most legendary songs.
This is such a ripping true story that it can't help but grab hold of...
Writer-director David O. Russell's out-of-control filmmaking style is perfectly suited to a romantic-comedy involving mental...
In the opening moments of John August's The Nines, an actor (Ryan Reynolds) drinks, drives,...
Tim Burton's Big Fish tells the story about a man, Edward Bloom (Albert Finney), whose...
Wrap your brain around this one. It has been 14 months since grieving mother Telly...
At last, a movie with no likable characters that is nothing short of a joy...
All right. I withered away my youth watching The Flintstones like just about every...
Please don't be fooled. Not by the cloying title, the impossibly adorable leads or even...