Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Today's Movie/TV Review: CINDERELLA MAN

It was a hot, humid, sweltering Sunday afternoon, and what better way to beat the heat then to go to the local cinema and see a film? Yes, I realize that it's (not officially) the summer and summer films are generally, mindless, action filled, popcorn movies, but who says that you can't see a period piece story filled with drama and full of heart?

Russell Crowe plays Depression-era boxer, Jim Braddock who was at the top of his field and living well before 1929, but after "Black Friday", along with much of the nation hit hard by the crash, just barely struggled to get by.

A chance bout, resulting in an upset win, puts Braddock back on the sports page and miraculously, a chance to fight for the Heavy Weight title.

If you just see the posters or the trailers you may be fooled into thinking that this is just another one of those "Rocky-like" boxing flicks. And while the boxing scenes are a big part of the film, obviously, Cinderella Man is more about the Depression then anything else. The time when America was at it's lowest and the people needed something, anything to grab onto and help it make it through another day.

Everything about this film is excellent. From Ron Howard's direction, Russell Crowes and Renee Zellweger's performances and a great supporting role turned in by Sideway's, Paul Giamatti.

The cynic in me, when seeing a film, often will try and "pick apart" whatever I can. Poor dialogue, bad direction, lousy acting. But with Cinderella Man I really couldn't find any faults.

This film reminds me a lot of Seabiscut from a few years ago. How an unlikely champion, be he a down-and-out boxer or a scrappy race horse, is enough to ,temporarily, bring hope to a nation when it needs it most.

Unfortunately, also like Seabiscut,
Cinderella Man is suffering in the box office. Proving that no matter how good a film is, that when it comes to trying to bring an audience into the cinema during the summer season, if it's not animated, action packed or stupidly funny, they'll stay away in droves.


Be that as it may, I give Cinderella Man knockout:

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