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. ...
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...
Rush is an odd beast. On paper you'd expect some kind of mechanical, by the books ode to the motorsport with some human drama interspersed. In reality the human drama is on the absolute top of the podium with all the other knick-knack esoteric info all relegated to second fiddle. Rush is a grand love letter not to the motorsport but to the sportsmen. I wondered going into it whether the jargon and lingo would fly over my head but, in reality, a following of the sport isn't necessary in seeing that this is one of the year's best films.
Some of my family are keen petrolheads, with some of them coming along to see the film with me. I didn't need to ask them whether or not it was authentic because just as I taking in this grand tale of human competition I was also been fed a history lesson that might've filled one of my family member's anecdotes. Rush is a film that feels authentic, honest and knows all of its audiences at once. It's really just a damn good... ride.
Let's say you're drunk and your drunk nerd friend goes, "Hey, who'd win in a fight between Rocky from the Rocky movies and Jake La Motta from Raging Bull?" Assuming any of that comes out coherently, the two of you get into a...
I'm not a petrolhead. My father is pretty heavy into motorsports, Formula One in particular. I've never been grabbed by it myself but he pointed me towards Senna as an example of exactly what grabs people about the sport. From wrestling to football there seems to be layers of meta-narrative piled on, rivalries and underdog stories, that make it worth watching; more worthwhile than perhaps the sport itself. Formula One is about the pinnacle of engineering meeting the extremes of human reaction and dexterity. It too has its narratives and great tales, and Senna deals with a great human drama than can match any historical flick.
See, Senna does something interesting. I've watched it twice now and I've not been flummoxed by terminology or the technical vocabulary that's associated with such a heavy sport. In finishing it I think I did understand exactly why it grabs people, just like any other sport, it's the drama. Characters and genuine tragedies play out over years and years. You begin to be pulled personally into the mixture, just one of the many viewers to a grander human yarn.
I remember talking to a friend of mine about Muhammad Ali once, and he mentioned the nuttiness of the Ernie Terrell fight in 1967. About three years prior to that match, Ali had joined the Nation of Islam and officially changed his name to Muhammad Ali. Leading up to that fight, Terrell kept referring to him as Cassisus Clay like Floyd Patterson had done previously. (Ali beat Patterson into a pulp in his second heavyweight title defense).
Ali pummeled Terrell during their fight, prolonging the pain and keeping him on his feet without a merciful coup de grace. Occasionally after a haymaker or flurry, Ali would shout a question to his dazed opponent: "What's my name?!"
It was badass but undeniably brutal, and it was part of what made Ali a kind of heel with the public. The Trials of Muhammad Ali looks at this period when Ali was one of the most reviled men in America. In this fine portrait of that time, I got a sense that Ali simply went with the flow of social history since he was the right age for it, and he wound up on the right side of world history for the courage of his convictions.
[This review was originally published as part of our 2013 Tribeca Film Festival coverage. It has been reposted and expanded to coincide with the theatrical release of the film.]
If you've ever watched TV and Friday Night Lights wasn't a show you watched when you did then you did it wrong. Go to Netflix now and watch it all. While the series had a decent run on TV more of it could never be a bad ...
First of all, I'd like to go on record as saying the Rocky saga is favorite franchise of all time. More than Godzilla and The Simpsons combined. So when someone says they're making more of them (you guys weren't aro...
Adult Wolf is the sequel that Teen Wolf never got (and no we're not counting Teen Wolf Too because c'mon) "starring" Jack Black and Kyle Gass, otherwise known as Tenacious D. You want your movie to be spectacular? All you ne...
Even though I didn't care for Rob Zombie's The Lords of Salem, I was interested in speaking to him, having dug White Zombie growing up and enjoying The Devil's Rejects. A friend of a friend had met Zombie through his job and said he was a really nice guy, and he was right. Zombie's got an ease to him and struck me as down to earth, comfortable, and free from pretentiousness or irony.
He's also a really busy guy: the book version of The Lords of Salem was released this week, which is closer to the film's original script; he and his wife Sheri are shooting a music video this weekend for his new single, "Dead City Radio and the New Gods of Supertown"; and he's got Broad Street Bullies coming up to direct, his first non-horror film that focuses on the Philadelphia Flyers in the 1970s.
Zombie sat down with me and a few other journalists for a roundtable interview where we talked about the divisive reaction to The Lords of Salem, Hollywood's hatred of horror movies, the nitpicking of horror fandom, that thin line between comic absurdity and horrific absurdity, and hockey.
[This interview was originally posted as part of our South by Southwest 2013 coverage. It has been reposted to coincide with the theatrical release of The Lords of Salem.]
Just to make it clear, it's nearly impossible not to enjoy 42 in some way. It's a sports movie about civil rights involving the holy grail of sports movie sports, baseball. Seriously, no other sport lends itself to drama like baseball does. It's slow paced, allows for dramatic breaks and the sound of a home run hitting a bat at the last triumphant moment is one of the greatest cliches (in the best of ways) in all of cinema.
42 is a baseball movie about one of baseball's greatest and because of that it would have had to be really terrible to not be enjoyable in some way. Thankfully, it isn't really terrible. While it may not be the best baseball film ever the movie leading up to that cliched home run crack of the bat is definitely worth watching.
Earlier today we featured a new short called Jojo in the Stars from the animators at Studio Aka, and while making all of that happen I stumbled upon an older series of animated shorts from Studio Aka called Love Sport. There...
This Sunday, February 3rd, there will be many balls kicked in America's annual celebration of the Wounded Knee Massacre; the glorious Super Bowl. Paramount, Universal and Disney have all announced their plans to broadcas...
42 tells the story of the first black American man to play in major league baseball; Jackie Robinson. Judging by the trailer, 42 will focus on a lot of the racism and bigotry that Robinson had to overcome, and how he eventua...
As much as I hate to say it, Sam Worthington is "that guy" of the movie industry. He's starred in huge blockbusters (Avatar, Clash of the Titans, Terminatior Salva...oh wait, that one doesn't count) and yet remains completel...
[For the next week and half, we will be covering DOC NYC 2012, New York City's premier documentary film festival. Check back with Flixist for reviews of the DOC NYC 2012 slate. You can read all of our DOC NYC coverage here.]
Competition documentaries are an amusing subgenre that tend to be about three things: 1) the personalities of the competitors, 2) the exploration of a given subculture, and 3) how the thing they're competing at is a MacGuffin; the sport/activity is really a way to practice a personal philosophy of life. You see that in films like Spellbound (maybe my favorite competition doc), Wild Horse, Wild Ride, or Ecstasy of Order: The Tetris Masters.
In Ping Pong, it's the World Table Tennis Championships in Inner Mongolia. The competitors are all 80 years old or older. The oldest is Dorothy DeLowe, a 100-year-old Australian champion. We watch her play, and she's practically planted in one place and not nearly as mobile as her opponent. Lisa Modlich, 85, another fierce competitor, looks on to study Dorothy's playing style. Lisa is a fiery Austrian immigrant who now lives in Houston. She laughs but has the heart of a lion.
"I don't care how good she is, I should get her," Lisa says to the camera as Dorothy strains for a return. There's fierce judgment in her voice like anyone who wants to win. "She can't move."
Lisa then smiles, as if to say, "And I would destroy her."
[Flixist will be attending the 48th Chicago International Film Festival over the next few weeks. Be sure to follow along as we bring you coverage from the longest-running competitive international film festival in the country. You can easily keep track of the coverage here.]
Chicago is a very storied sports city. From the longevity of our baseball teams to the ruggedness of the Bears to the dominance of the Bulls dynasties during the 1990s, it's hard to grow up in this city without being ingrained of the sports culture that's just as well-known as the city's dark past. For Chicago's young athletes, their lives revolve around their chosen sport, but the dangers of the city's violent streets can fade away even the brightest of stars.
Back when Xander first told us about the Sylvester Stallone and Robert De Niro starring old codger boxing film Grudge Match, it was moving forward with production without an official greenlight. Thankfully, Warner Bros. has j...
Al Pacino is attached to play disgraced Penn State coach Joe Paterno in an upcoming biopic. Based on the recent biography Paterno by Joe Posnanski, the film currently has no screenplay or director.
Paterno was once the winnin...
When our own Max Roahrig jokingly mentioned his idea for a sequel to 1996's Space Jam to Kevin Durant, I would like to believe that set a very coincidental set of actions in motion. Oddly enough, the Warner Bros represen...
National Treasure director Jon Turteltaub is set to develop/direct Beached, which has a plot made of awesome things: a chubby 4-year-old falls overboard during a family trip, is raised by whales, and then becomes an Olympic swimmer. No joke, guys. The screenplay was first penned in 1997 by Ted Griffin (the world was not ready).
I can't wait to see Chubby Kid learn how not to drown, have his first kiss with a dolphin, contract barnacles from a mermaid, beat up the Kraken, and learn life lessons from a wizened seahorse named Boone. And imagine those angsty fights with his parents.
"Dad, you're not the boss of me! I can make choices on my own!"
Our own Alex Katz says Beached may become a major turning point in human history, that we'll need to start marking time BB (Before Beached) and AB (After Beached). No word on the sequel to Beached, which will involve a legal battle between Chubby Kid's human parents and Chubby Kid's whale parents.
In other news, the film has inspired our own Thor Latham: "I'm going to make a movie about a whale raised by humans that becomes an Olympic long-distance runner. I'm thinking about calling it Beached."
During a press junket for the upcoming movie Thunderstruck, the film's star and NBA superstar Kevin Durant was answering the usual questions left and right. He even commented that he's been asked the same questions for the past few days. Naturally, I had to spice things up.
"Mr. Durant, would you star in the sequel to Space Jam that I have written in my head?"
"Nah man, not if you wrote it."
I respect Mr. Durant's wishes, but I hope he could see the big picture. Michael Jordan reprising his defining role as Michael Jordan, along with Bill Murray and Wayne Knight. Together, they team up with Kevin Durant to fight the Monstars v2. This time, they're bigger, meaner, and more talented at basketball than ever before. After losing the first game to them, the Toons, MJ, and KD have to travel back in time to recruit the Tiny Tunes characters for a truly epic match for control of the entire universe.
After the laugher died down from KD's answer, the panel moderator from Warner Bros. said "Well, we do own the rights to those characters and could easily go back to the well..." So maybe Warners is actually looking into a sequel to Space Jam? Only time will tell, I guess.