New Creed trailer photo
New Creed trailer

New trailer for Creed fleshes out the drama between Adonis and Rocky

You gotta know your chicken
Sep 17
// Hubert Vigilla
The first trailer for Creed showed a whole lot of promise. Rocky Balboa (Sylvester Stallone) has become a new Mickey and Adonis Creed (Michael B. Jordan) is a hungry newcomer to the ring. This second trailer for Creed reveals...
Jon Stewart WWE photo
Jon Stewart WWE

Jon Stewart is hosting WWE SummerSlam 2015

"Moment of Zen" is a nice finisher name
Aug 17
// Hubert Vigilla
Many people have wondered what Jon Stewart's first gig would be after his final episode of The Daily Show. We learned earlier tonight. Stewart will be the host of WWE's SummerSlam this weekend in Brooklyn. Yeah. Seriously. I ...

5 Other Cinematic Robots That Should Be In WWE 2K16

Jul 29 // Hubert Vigilla
RoboCop [embed]219700:42512:0[/embed] RoboCop vs. The Terminator. That's the WrestleMania main event that everyone's been waiting to see. Plus, RoboCop has some experience with wrestling. In the video clip above, watch as RoboCop makes World Championship Wrestling history and kills kayfabe more than any of Kevin Sullivan's hokey booking ideas. Signature Spot: I'll Buy That for a Dollar (Lariat Clothesline) Finishing Move: Murphy's Law (Top Rope Frog Splash that causes the ring to collapse)   Johnny Five (Short Circuit) After speed-reading Mick Foley's Have a Nice Day, Daniel Bryan's Yes!, and Bret Hart's Hitman, Johnny Five is convinced he has what it takes to win the WWE Heavyweight Championship. On his road to WrestleMania, he's managed by Fred Ritter from Short Circuit 2, who's trying to make a quick buck with merchandise--you know the name, now own the texting gloves. Signature Spot: Input/Output (Running Splash into the corner followed by a Running Bulldog) Finishing Move: Disassemble = Dead (shoots opponent with laser)   IG-88 (The Empire Strikes Back) IG-88 was really hoping to collect the bounty on Han Solo to pay off his student loan. ("Stupid Boba Fett!" "Friggin' Columbia MFA!"). Instead, he's decided his best route to a debt-free life is main eventing WrestleMania and winning the WWE Heavyweight Championship. Signature Spot: The Droid Revolution (Pele Kick) Finishing Move: IG 3:16 + Resistance Is Futile (Alabama Slam chained into a Sharpshooter)   Paulie's Robot Girlfriend (Rocky IV) After years in storage, Paule's Robot Girlfriend is back and better than ever, and she's looking to become the new WWE Divas Champion. Her entire life has been a training montage, and she's ready for the main event. Also, Paulie is her manager. Signature Spot: Fisto (basically a Superman Punch) Finishing Move: Happy Birthday, Paulie (Top Rope Moonsault while holding a birthday cake)   Mechagodzilla After Mechagodzilla destroyed all monsters, he has one more beast in his sights: Brock Lesnar. He's been miniaturized for the squared circle and intends to turn Suplex City into a smoldering mound of rubble. Signature Spot: Hyper Kiryu (Roundhouse Tail Strike followed by Enziguri when opponent is on the ring apron); German Suplex Finishing Move: The Shining Lizard (basically a Shining Wizard)   Bonus Tag Teams - Evil Bill & Ted and The Good Robot Us's (Bill & Ted's Bogus Journey) As Wyld Stallyns brings world peace through some most excellent music, their robot doubles decide to make their mark on history through most excellent in-ring action. Signature Spot: The Wyld Ryde (Double Powerbomb to the outside through a time-traveling phone booth and the circuits of time) Finishing Move: The Bogus Journey (Flapjack into Cutter tandem combination, basically the Dudley Boyz's 3D)
Robots in WWE 2K16 photo
Arnold Could Use a Robot Friend (or Foe)
Yesterday we had a list of five other Arnold Schwarzenegger characters who should be in WWE 2K16. (I apologize for leaving out Kindergarten Cop's Detective John Kimble.) With all that Arnie in one place, the game would basica...

5 Other Arnold Schwarzenegger Characters Who Should Be In WWE 2K16

Jul 28 // Hubert Vigilla
Conan the Barbarian Between the time when Vince McMahon subsumed the old territories and the rise of John Cena, there was an age undreamed of. And unto this, Conan, destined to wear the WWE Heavyweight Championship around a troubled waist (or over his troubled shoulder). It is I, his chronicler, who alone can tell thee of his path to WrestleMania. Let me tell you of the days of high adventure! Signature Spot: Hyborian Rage (flurry of punches, with flourishes similar to an unarmed version of the Atlantean Sword Kata) Finishing Move: Riddle of Steel (basically an Alabama Slam)   Howard Langston/Turbo Man (Jingle All the Way) In order to get a Turbo Man doll for his son, Howard Langston must dress up like Turbo Man and win the WWE Heavyweight Championship at WrestleMania. (It makes about as much sense as The Terminator being there, really, Also, Sinbad is his manager.) Signature Spots: Deck the Balls (low blow when referee isn't looking) Finishing Move: It's Turbo Time! (basically a Spear)   John Matrix (Commando) I went back and forth between John Matrix from Commando and Dutch from Predator here. While I went with John Matrix, let's just pretend there's a mud-covered skin for the character that you can use to play Dutch. Signature Spot: I'll Kill You Last (flurry of chops in the corner of the ring) [Note: As Dutch, this move is called "The Choppa"] Finishing Move: I Lied (shoots opponent with rocket launcher) [Note: As Dutch, this move is called "Do It Now!"]   Mr. Freeze (Batman and Robin) In order to find a cure for his wife's strange condition, Mr. Freeze must win the WWE Heavyweight Championship. The road to WrestleMania is paved in cold! Signature Spot: Chillax (jumping double axe handle from the second rope) Finishing Move: The Iceman Cometh (basically the Stone Cold Stunner)   Quaid (Total Recall) Quaid's fantasy is to become a pro-wrestler, so he goes into Rekall to live it out. Of course, things go wrong, and somehow he winds up hallucinating that he is a wrestler and winds up in the squared circle. He main events WrestleMania on Mars, but it's all just part of the simulation... or was it? Signature Spot: The Nose Job (submission maneuver that involves shoving his thumb up the opponent's nose) Finishing Move: Two Week Notice (throws an exploding head at opponent, all matches end in disqualification... or do they?)   Bonus Tag Team - The Benedict Twins (Julius and Vincent from Twins) Yes they'd wrestle in matching suits. Best. Tag team. Ever. Signature Spot: Twin Science (switching places without a tag, sort of like The Bella Twins) Finishing Move: Brotherly Love (Julius throws Vincent from top rope, sort of like when Colossus and Wolverine do a Fastball Special in X-Men comics)   [embed]219699:42510:0[/embed]
Arnold Schwarzenegger WWE photo
The Terminator needs company in the ring
As reported on Destructoid yesterday, if you pre-order WWE 2K16, you get to play as the T-800 from The Terminator. The promo video showed Arnold Schwarzenegger recreating the bar scene from Terminator 2: Judgment Day alongsid...

Review: Southpaw

Jul 24 // Matthew Razak
[embed]219692:42504:0[/embed] SouthpawDirector: Antoine FuquaRated: RRelease Date: July 24, 2015 If you've seen any boxing movie you've seen Southpaw. This one picks up in the "boxing movie career timeline" around where Rocky V does, but instead of Rocky we've got Billy Hope (Jake Gyllenhaal) as he defends his title once again. However, truly great boxers can't be rich, they have to work from the ground up and so after a tragedy Billy loses all his money, custody of his daughter, and his manager (50 Cent). That means he's got to return to his roots and get a new trainer in the form of Tick Will (Forest Whitaker), who runs a boxing center in Hell's Kitchen for poor youths. You literally can find every single aspect of this film in a film that has come before it. There is not an original concept going for it in terms of story. There's even less going for it in terms of pacing. The screenplay is horrendously light on tension building and this means that by the time the final fight has rolled in you don't feel like you should be there. The conflict between Gyllenhaal and his opponent is so lightly touched on and poorly handled that the guy just becomes a punching bag. Even the sports training montages feel like they're rushed and disconnected. At no point does the movie build successfully in emotion, leaving its talented actors and director with little to grab the viewer with.  They all try, though. The cast is obviously fantastic and without them the film would be utterly boring. We've seen it all before and we've seen it done better so it's a good thing the actors turn redundancy into something slightly original. Gyllenhaal, who must have had a sculptor chisel his abs for the film, seems to think he's in a quality movie. His tortured and enraged performance brings back echoes of Stallone's perfectly countenanced delivery in the original Rocky.  Whitaker also layers in nuances to a character so cookie cutter you wonder how much the spent at William and Sonoma on him. Tick Will's motivations and character are so awkwardly crammed in that he's barely there yet Whitaker makes his presence known.  Director Antoine Fuqua does as well. While the story may be slapdash and contrived his direction is anything but. Boxing matches are notoriously hard to direct, but Fuqua does a fantastic job of putting his together. His direction is visceral during the matches, sometimes even cutting into first-person -- a risk that pays off thanks to his skill. This move uses its R-rating hard during the matches as they're bloody and powerful. It just can't sustain that feeling throughout, getting bogged down in melodrama too often and forgetting we all came to see a boxer train. Another sticking point for me was the almost forced use of Eminem's music in the film. He was a producer on the movie, and has a single for the film called "Phenomenal." It plays over a training montage, but just feels awkward. It's angry and loud and out of place. That's really a problem for a lot of the film. There's a lot of sound and fury, but in the end it signifies nothing (to steal from the Bard). You know you've watched some great things, but they sure didn't make a great movie. Southpaw is a boxing movie made out of other boxing movies and is only buoyed by the fact that its director and actors thought they were in something more. There's not much of an original thought in here, but that doesn't always matter for a sports movie. What does matter is that you get that little thrill in your heart as our underdog hero climbs up from whatever depths he's been flung into. Southpaw doesn't give you that thrill and because of that it can throw a few good punches, but it never lands a KO.
Southpaw Review photo
No punch
It's pretty obvious why America loves boxing movies despite the fact that boxing itself is dwindling in popularity. Ever since Rocky the genre has proven that it can easily deliver the best of what we want out of our spo...

Creed Trailer photo
Gonna fly now, gonna fly forever
Everyone's got that one film franchise that means more to them than anything. Some have Star Wars, The Lord of the Rings, Jurassic Park, and there's probably a few folks that really want more of Pixar's Cars. But me, I've got...


First official photo from Rocky spin-off Creed

Eye of the (old) tiger
Apr 13
// Matthew Razak
We're mostly just posting this to remind you that, yes, another Rocky film is coming and it's called Creed. Remember? Probably not since it's hard to get excited outside of the fact that Michael B .Jordan is starring in it as Apollo Creed's son. Here we have what must be an image of him visiting a retirement home and teaching the elderly how to box.  Creed releases on November 25. 
Southpaw Trailer photo
Southpaw Trailer

First trailer for Southpaw starring Jake Gyllenhaal

Mar 27
// Nick Valdez
After Enemy and Nightcrawler, I've been really looking forward to what Jake Gyllenhaal would do next. Thankfully the wait looks completely worth it with this first trailer for Southpaw. Directed by Antoine Fuqua (Training Da...
Creed photo

Rocky spin-off Creed gets a sad synopsis

I'm not ready for this to be over again :(
Feb 26
// Nick Valdez
It took me years, YEARS, to get over Rocky Balboa. When the three decade long Rocky saga finally came to end, it was a good end but I still wanted much more. The Rocky films mean so much to me (so much that I wrote my undergr...

Here's all the trailers you'll get to see during the Super Bowl

Because we know you're not interested in the game
Jan 29
// Matthew Razak
While the Seahawks and Patriots might be one of the least interesting Super Bowl match ups we've seen in a while that doesn't mean you shouldn't be watching. There's going to be commercials and some of those commercials will ...

Trailer for McFarland, USA features minorities triumphing

With the help of a white guy, of course
Nov 04
// Matthew Razak
As far as motivational sports movies go Disney has been on a pretty good streak of pumping out at least descent films. Million Dollar Arm was enjoyable and the next in the line up is McFarland, USA, which, you guessed i...

Real Steel 2 in development, but not likely

There are sad fighting robots everywhere
Sep 08
// Matthew Razak
As a fan and supporter of the first Real Steel I was happy to hear a while back that they were working a sequel. While the movie wasn't perfect it was just enough fun to make it worth your while and I figured that more b...

Review: When the Game Stands Tall

Aug 22 // Matthew Razak
[embed]218236:41776:0[/embed] When the Game Stand TallDirector: Thomas CarterRated: PGRelease Date: August 22, 2014  When the Game Stands Tall tells the story of De La Salle High School's football team, who, under coach Bob Ladouceur (Jim Caviezel) went on a record breaking 151 long winning streak. This is the story of the team that lost that streak and how the overcame the challenge of losing it. The problem is there weren't actually that many challenges. They lost two games and then won the rest. Any drama that comes from their seasons is from them playing the number one ranked team in the country after their two game losing streak, but the movie rambles on long after this and takes too long getting to it. There is maybe a story here. If the movie didn't spend the first hour rambling through its overbearing religious lessons and instead focused on the characters and their faith it could have pulled us into the team. Instead we're left outside of it so that when that first loss comes it's less of an emotional feeling and more of a who cares. Thanks to the fact that so much time was needlessly spent on watching the characters not play football we're rushed through the training and work to get the team back into winning shape. Then, once they do beat the team that the entire film was building up to the movie goes on for another 30 minutes finishing up a side story that no one actually cared about. Any competent filmmaker would have clearly seen that the ultimate game for this team was their first win after losing the streak, but When the Game Stands Tall is not made by competent folks.  Did I mention the heavy handed religious message? When a star player who was on his way to Oregon dies, his story almost entirely immaterial to the rest of the film, the movie takes a what should be a touching scene about death and why God may choose to take a young man (if you believe in such things) and turns it into a sermon. It shouldn't be a surprise that this is handled so poorly as the screenplay is all over the place, but since the film is clearly designed to speak to a Christian audience you'd think they would at least get that part right.  When the Game Stands Tall is a mess of a film that gets lost in its inability to tell a single story. Instead it grasps at too many different straws in an attempt to tell every story. Instead of focusing on a coach and team struggling to find itself, and dosing so through its faith, it rambles incoherently through its messages. There's a sports movie here, it just got lost in bad film making.  One last point I'll make. For a Christian movie the sports training montage was insanely homo-erotic. Like creepily so. 
Stands Tall Review photo
Like scoring a touchdown for the other team
I'm a sucker for sports movies. You give me a gang of lovable underdogs, a few training montages and a triumphant final game and I'm in your pocket. It's just so easy to get caught up in a sport film even when their bad. They...


See When the Game Stands Tall early and free

Washington DC, Norfolk and Richmond screenings
Aug 13
// Matthew Razak
Football is almost here! That's really exciting (if you like football). To get into the mood how about a little sports movie celebrating greatness on the gridiron. When the Game Stands Tall is perfect for that, and we've...
Mudbloods Trailer photo
Mudbloods Trailer

Trailer for Mudbloods makes Quidditch awesome

Aug 08
// Nick Valdez
Harry Potter has a huge, huge fandom. Spanning seven books, eight movies (possibly more soon), theme parks, and now a real sport based on the fantasy sport Quidditch. While I never liked the Quidditch sections of the story (...
FFS: O Futebol Classico photo
FFS: O Futebol Classico

Flix for Short: O Futebol Classico, a Mickey Mouse short

Jun 17
// Nick Valdez
To celebrate the FIFA World Cup kicking off in Brazil, Disney has crafted a new Mickey Mouse short entirely in Portuguese, O Futebol Classico. It's short, sweet, and funny. You don't even need to know Portuguese to like it!  JOSE CARIOCAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA.  

New trailer for whimsical soccer movie This is Not a Ball

May 30
// Liz Rugg
Leading up to the 2014 World Cup, (which is taking forever, am I right?) artist Vik Muniz has created the quirky, tongue-in-cheek documentary This is Not a Ball. This is Not a Ball follows Muniz all over the world as he expl...

Review: Million Dollar Arm

May 16 // Matthew Razak
Million Dollar ArmDirector: Craig GillespieRelease Date: May 16, 2014Rated: PG  [embed]217760:41523:0[/embed] As with every nearly every sports movie in the past decade Million Dollar Arm is based on an inspiring true story. That story is that of Rinku (Suraj Sharma) and Danesh (Madhur Mittal), two Indian boys who try out for a baseball pitching competition put on by JB (Jon Ham). JB is a sports agent down on his luck so in a last bid attempt to save his company he goes to Indian to find baseball players in a country that knows nothing about baseball. Rinku and Danesh win this and come over to America to attempt to get signed by a professional baseball team. In doing so the normal sports film struggles and a bit of culture shock occur as JB learns how to not be a jerk and falls in love with Brenda (Lake Bell). From that you should be able to tell how the rest of the movie plays out because it plays out the exact same way every movie like this does. The film is overly nice to a flaw and sweet to a face that almost borders on bitter. There's nothing here too challenging or out of the box. The montages hit at just the right times, the comebacks occur right on cue and the eventual triumph of hard work and friendship is indeed inevitable. If you're in the mood for that type of movie then you could do far worse than Million Dollar Arm, and I'm definitely not going to come down on it for being unoriginal in its structure since it does what it does well enough. It also helps that the cast is actually really great. Jon Hamm plays JB as charmingly as possible, though at times it's hard to get Don Draper out of your head. He's got an effortless cool that works on screen and works in the film. Even better are Sharma and Mittal who do a fantastic job of imbuing what could have been tow cookie cutter characters with a bit of life. The cast really makes the film work. Without them the saccharine story wouldn't have the needed charm to carry itself. The film also does a great job of capturing the beauty of India as it was actually shot there. Director Craig Gillespie captures some fantastic scenes from around the country. On the flip side the entire trip is very sugar coated and hardly deals with the oppressive poverty and other issues that the country, and even the characters in the film face. It's this sugar coating that makes the sports work, but keeps the film from being something more. There was a chance here to challenge perceptions and address some global issues, but the movie settles for platitudes about giving India a dream. It's nice and all, but doesn't feel very sincere. What is oddly sincere is the movie's soundtrack, which is almost entirely comprised of rap songs that sample Indian music. It's a very strange mixture, having a super sweet Disney sports film over layed with some actually edgy music. At times it can throw you off, but I like to think the mixture of American hip hop and Indian music was an intentional commentary of the American baseball and Indian kids. It's possible I'm giving the film too much credit. Million Dollar Arm is no more or less than what it looks like. A charming cast makes it succeed, but a lack of willingness to really push boundaries never lets it become anything more. 
Million Dollar Review photo
You've seen this movie, but it's OK to see it again
A feel good sports movie from Disney? I don't think anyone was expecting anything to earth shattering from Million Dollar Arm. Life lessons will be learned. Sports will be played. People will change. It's the kind of thing th...

Kickboxer remake photo
Kickboxer remake

Kickboxer getting remade with kickass dudes

Kick! Punch! It's all in the mind!
May 14
// Nick Valdez
Normally I'm not fond of remakes or reboots, but when it seems like the newer version might be an improvement over the original, I don't really mind. The original Kickboxer was part of a long line of "Jean Claude Van Damme ki...

See Million Dollar Arm early and free

Washington DC and Baltimore screenings
May 05
// Matthew Razak
A feel good sports movie from Disney? Sign me up. Summer is full of action and drama, but I want to feel good about something. Home runs and Jon Hamm make me feel good. You too should feel good by grabbing our passes to Milli...
Ping Pong Summer photo
Ping Pong Summer

First trailer for Ping Pong Summer

Apr 24
// Nick Valdez
By the looks of this first official trailer for Michael Tully's Ping Pong Summer, we're going to get a critical, yet loving look at 80s sports films. Or even 80s films in general. Taking place in 1985, a kid named Rad Miracl...

Tribeca Review: Maravilla

Apr 22 // Alec Kubas-Meyer
[embed]217654:41466:0[/embed] Maravilla Director: Juan Pablo Cadaveira Release Date: TDB Rating: NR I find boxing kind of upsetting. I have no problem with its existence or popularity, but the whole concept of watching people actually hit each other in the face until one of them gets a traumatic brain injury just doesn’t appeal to me. So the first few minutes of Maravilla were difficult, because it’s primarily close ups of the knockout blows that made Sergio “Maravilla” Martinez the champion that he is. But it’s not just the knockout blows but the sounds of the punches. Most people know that Hollywood sounds aren’t actually the sounds that come from a fist hitting flesh. And though boxing gloves bring the sounds a bit more in line, the squishy crunches accompanying the big strikes were clearly pumped up. And while I knew that was the case, it was hard to divorce myself from it, and it took the already-unpleasant reality of boxing and pumped it a notch. But then Maravilla turns away from boxing and moves primarily to the boxer. Sergio Martinez is an Argentinian boxer who won the World Middleweight Championship fair and square before having the title stripped from him due for complicated political reasons. Through a series of events, Mexican boxer Julio Chavez Jr. got the title without ever going up against Martinez. Understandably, Martinez was unhappy about that, and that quest to take on Chavez Jr. is the focal point of Maravilla’s story. If you’re a boxing fanatic, I don’t know how much of this film will be new to you. Maybe you’ve got posters of Martinez above your bed and know everything about his life, but for those who are completely new to his story, Maravilla basically covers all of the important ground. The only question that I left the theater with was how exactly the scoring system worked. When Martinez deals a knockout blow, obviously he’s the winner. But how do they decide who wins when they both finish the fight standing? Turns out, there’s a complicated scoring system that determines it, which is important and something I wish I’d known beforehand. But aside from that, I never really felt like I was lost. Boxing has always struck me as a pretty simple sport, and nothing about Maravilla changed that. But even though the final result may seem pretty simple, what happens behind the scenes is anything but, and that’s why the film is interesting, because it exposes boxing’s interesting politics. Martinez may be the best middleweight boxer in the world, but as far as the big leagues were concerned, he wasn’t a big name. People didn’t know him and they wouldn’t pay for him. And if they couldn’t sell him on pay per view, they weren’t going to put him up against the extremely marketable Chavez Jr. The amount of work they have to go through to make the fight happen, all of it in the public eye, is fascinating. They hold up events, make public insults, and even get Martinez to become an Argentinian dancing star. All of this to bring Martinez to a fight. But Maravilla is a one-sided affair. Although director Juan Pablo Cadaveira talks to people who believe that Chavez Jr. is worthy of the title he was given and that Martinez is overrated, those people are never given the same weight that the pro-Martinez camp are. And why should they be? It is named after Martinez after all, but it feels like the film is trying to present itself as fair when it obviously isn’t. Numerous people are featured in the film, and all of them have something to say. But when Maravilla doesn’t agree with their viewpoint, their words lose their impact, and they may as well not be there at all. It’s just fluff that the film disregards. And that’s fine, but why pretend? When it gets to the big showdown, Maravilla becomes legitimately gripping, but the intensity of the fight is mitigated somewhat by the way the film cross-cuts with footage of Martinez’s family and friends watching on TV from Argentina. In and around the ring there’s a palpable sense of tension that’s missing from the spectating scenes. Perhaps it’s the obviously different cameras that create a jarring effect or maybe it’s the fact that these other people are not really swept up in the pageantry of this enormous spectacle, but every time it cut to Martinez’s mother shouting, I wanted desperately for it to return to the fight. It moved away from the action too frequently and stayed away too long. Even so, I was still invested in the fight, especially since I didn’t know how it would end. The documentary was being made as the fight was being set up, and I believe it would have come out for better or worse, so with each successive round, I gasped and cheered (internally of course) in much the same way that people likely did last June when the fight took place. It didn’t convince me that I should watch more boxing matches, because I still find it an unpleasant sport on concept alone, but now I can understand why others are so enamored. If you are a big fan of Julio Chavez Jr., you’ll probably hate Maravilla, but everyone else will find something to enjoy.
Maravilla Review photo
The politics of punching
One of the most significant differences between a documentary and a film based on a true story is that documentaries can be about things that failed. Documentaries about big events are often started during the setup, and it&r...

Intramural Trailer photo
Intramural Trailer

First trailer for Intramural, a sports parody featuring SNL cast members

Apr 15
// Nick Valdez
I'm not the biggest fan of sports movies as they all tend to look the same. But every once in a while, something new comes along and manages to rock the sports genre with its uniqueness. Intramural might make it close to tha...

See Draft Day early and free

Washington DC screening
Apr 04
// Matthew Razak
FOOOOOTBALL! No, wait. DRAFTING PLAYERS TO PLAY FOOTBALL!  It's a testament to how desperate America is when there's no football to be watched that an entire film can be based on the draft, but, I mean, we are reall...
Space Jam 2 Real(?!) photo
C'mon and slam
[ESPN's Brian Windhorst has made a whole lot of very happy people very sad. Via Twitter, he says that Lebron's sources have completely refuted this and stated that he is not involved in any Space Jam sequel. But whi...

Draft Day SB Spot photo
Draft Day SB Spot

Super Bowl TV spot for Draft Day

Feb 03
// Nick Valdez
Draft Day, starring Kevin Costner, isn't a movie made for me, but I can see why it's going to be a big deal. Backed by the NFL as it morphs a sitting room into a stirring drama, Draft Day takes the most important day in a lo...

Trailer for Draft Day turns sitting in a room into drama

Dec 27
// Matthew Razak
Draft Day looks like a big, long advertisement for how awesome the NFL and football is. Now, I'm a major football fan, and the draft can beinteresting, but the plot of an entire movie based on it? That sounds like it's ...

Review: Grudge Match

Dec 24 // Matthew Razak
Grudge MatchDirector:  Peter SegalRated: PG-13Release Date: December 25, 2013  It's easy to see Stallone in this movie as the guy is still built like a brick wall and dumping out action films with his shirt off left and right. DeNiro on the other hand is a harder sell. He looks old, and while it turns out he's in pretty good shape the film's premise seems like a stretch. Stallone and DeNiro respectively play Henry 'Razor' Sharp and Billy 'The Kid' McDonnen, two aging boxers who were once rivals back in their heyday. The two fought each other twice, each winning once, but when the third fight was about to happen Razor dropped out. Flash forward and through a series of improbable events and the wonders of viral video a grudge match is set up between the two boxers by broke promoter Dante Slate, Jr. (Kevin Hart). If the film had solely relied on old people jokes and training montages we'd be having a far different discussion, but instead, knowing its two stars aren't actually boxing material owns up to its ridiculousness and focuses on the comedy and relationships. Does it do this especially cleverly? Not in the least, but it does it far better than a movie about two 60 plus men punching each other in the face deserves to be done. 'The Kid' has a plot line focusing on kindling a relationship with his son (Jon Bernthal) while 'Razor' works on a broken relationship with Sally (Kim Basinger). Alan Arkin, as Razor's trainer, adds some comic relief and emotional punch as well. It's the film's focus on these relationships instead of the boxing that make it better than it should be. There's barely a training montage to be had, and by the time the actual boxing match rolls around the movie has smartly parlayed the focus from the fight to the people, bluntly hitting the viewer over the head with its cliche sports movie message of sportsmanship and family. Nothing is very subtle here, but it never hits that point where the film loses the audience. It helps that its liberally peppered with enough humor to keep you moving when the lackluster screenplay doesn't keep you interested.  It's also pretty smart of the filmmakers to mostly ignore the boxing since the boxing itself is pretty damn awful. Stallone and DeNiro's previous in ring appearances weren't exactly known for their realism, but this concluding fight is a joke. As if it wasn't obvious enough that Stallone was about 100 times heavier than DeNiro, the fight is so cut up its hardly coherent. That's probably the fault of the two boxers, who aren't exactly able to jump around like they could in their youth. Still, its just enough to hit that spot where all decent sports movies hit so when the triumphant ending comes you're suckered into it even though you've seen it a million times before. DeNiro and Stallone seem to be in the same boat. The two riff well enough here and there, but it's all so obvious at what they're trying to do. At some points they're spot on and at others they aren't, but they both pull out just enough to get you going. It's really the comic relief of Arkin and Hart that keep their characters alive. The film -- to use another old person metaphor -- is kept off life support thanks to the fact that the actors pump just enough life into it to get you going with the characters. It's obvious everyone is having a bit of fun even if they aren't fully committed to it.  Grudge Match is definitely not your best option in theaters this holiday. Far, far, far, far... far... really, really, really far from it. That being said, and despite the fact that it is cliche and obvious, the movie delivers some heart. I'm not sure where they found one that was still beating with actors this age, but it's there. 
Grudge Match Review photo
Old dog. Same tricks.
Grudge Match is a movie based entirely around getting two old actors (Sylvester Stallone and Robert DeNiro) from two of the greatest boxing movies ever made (Rocky and Raging Bull) back into the ring to punch each o...


See Grudge Match early and free

Washington DC and Baltimore screening
Dec 16
// Matthew Razak
Old people boxing? No it's not another Rocky movie, though Stallone is in this as well. It's Grudge Match, which sees not only Stallone returning to the ring, but Robert DeNiro as well. There's going to be a lot of wrinkles. ...

Yahoo takes a realistic look at Space Jam

"Bugs and Michael share a water bottle" Says Space Jam webpage
Nov 25
// Michael Jordan
Arguably one of the worse movies starring a professional athlete, Space Jam was something of an ambitious project. Meshing cartoon characters into the physical world while packing as much 90’s pop culture references as...

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