Hi.

Welcome to my website. To the left here you have a listing of all my film reviews over the last 7 years.  In addition, go to the SUCK page for movies I hated and the Good Days page for some of my absolute favs. Hope you have a nice stay!

CHUCK Review: 6 out of 10 (It Bleeds but Doesn't Exactly Lead)

CHUCK Review: 6 out of 10 (It Bleeds but Doesn't Exactly Lead)

Did you ever want to know if there was an *actual* Rocky Balboa?  A living, breathing inspiration behind the boxer portrayed in the film?  Well, there is-- boxer Chuck Wepner who fought heavyweight champion Muhammad Ali in 1975 and whose real life seemed to have more than a little in common with Sylvester Stallone's character and screenplay for Rocky. But then again, Rocky doesn't drink to excess, leave Adrian, snort cocaine and end up in prison...

 

CHUCK is the latest boxing sports biopic (there have been more than a few) directed by Philippe Falardeau and stars Liev Schreiber as Chuck Wepner--otherwise known as the Bayonne Bleeder. The cast also includes Elisabeth MossRon PerlmanNaomi WattsJim GaffiganMichael Rapaport, and Pooch Hall who stars as Ali.  And although that is certainly a strong cast that all offer some good performances here--the film has no less than four writers who couldn't come up with anything beyond what we have all seen before.  The film tracks his career as a meatball fighter who gets his shot with Ali--then tracks through his career and how the film ROCKY impacts his life and beyond.  And yes, the predictable rags to riches to rags story is present--complete with relationships issues, heavy drinking, drugs, and the fall from grace. After all, isn't that in every biopic--whether it be music, sports, politics, or otherwise?

This film is a very paint-by-the-numbers story, but it does tell that familiar story well.  Wepner is a palooka-- a ham-n-egger fighter who seems more Rocky than Rocky if you can believe it.  And Liev Schreiber (who was one of those writers) seems to take this on as a real passion project and turns in a strong portrayal. For a boxing film, it doesn't really offer much in terms of boxing, however.  Other than the Ali fight itself, it chooses to show some of Wepner's showboating with both pro wrestling (the Thunderlips scene from ROCKY III also mimicked Wepner's life) and even boxing a live grizzly. Yes, he did that.  But for as colorful as that sounds, this is a fairly muted movie about another sports screw-up.  Nothing more, and probably less than we deserve.  The 70s vibe is there, and Gaffigan as his best friend and wingman is fun to watch on the disco floors of those 70s clubs, but the film doesn't really offer us anything new into the world of boxing or even biopics...

CHUCK isn't a bad movie by any means--just forgettable.  For ROCKY fans who feel the need to be a completist in their narrative, of which I am one, this is worth a look.  Beyond that, it is probably best left for matinee tickets and a future rental perhaps.

WAR MACHINE Review: 8 out of 10 (Casualties of Ego)

WAR MACHINE Review: 8 out of 10 (Casualties of Ego)

ALIEN: COVENANT Review: 8 out of 10 (Its XENO-Morphin Time!)

ALIEN: COVENANT Review: 8 out of 10 (Its XENO-Morphin Time!)