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Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Cinderella Man

Reading the description on the DVD box, and seeing all the ads for the movie Cinderella Man, I was under the assumption that the movie was about boxing and the true story of depression era boxing champ James Braddock.

Unfortunately....I was wrong.

The movie does feature a ring, and there are fighters in that ring, but Ron Howard has made a movie about a different kind of sporting event.

Professional Wrestling.

The kind of movie Michael Learner's character, Jack Lipnick, wants Barton Fink to make.

A Wrestling Picture.

The movie has the good guy underdog. He's got the starving kids, and he's just trying to keep his family together. He basically tells the kids to say their prayers, and take their vitamins so that they can all become Hulkamaniacs just like him one day.

He's going up against the huge, scruffy dirty looking bad guy, a.k.a Andre The Giant, who does two chicks at the same time, is loaded with money, goes around threatening to put everyone in a choke hold, and he wants to kill the good guy so he could sleep with his wife.

Also when you least expect it, he likes to punch you in the balls.....hard.

For some reason though Ron Howard gets the details of the sport wrong. Ya see Ron, in professional wrestling they don't use gloves, they use their hands, so they can grab each other, scratch your eyes and stuff, also for some reason I didn't see alot of drop kicking, or using of the top turnbuckle.

I guess Russell Crowe was afraid of jumping off the top rope.

Ron Howard does get the part right where the good guy manager, Paul Giamatti A.K.A Captain Lou Albino, distracts the bad guy so his man could hit him....but usually he hits the guy with a chair.

I thought putting the movie in the depression era was also pretty cool of Ron Howard. That way we, the stupid audience, can distinguish the good guys, and the bad guys easier.

Cause that's friggin' hard man. Don't make me think.


Also, he shows us all the family stuff, so we'd like the good guy even MORE. Unfortunately it was friggin boring. All this starving, crying crap.
It has the little cute girl asking mummy for "some more please" like in the musical Oliver.
It has stuff with his wife, who he loves...friggin a lot. He loves her so much he's willing to wake up... and go to work.....when the sun is not even OUT man!
It has the drunk friend who's lost his way.
It has the sweet Irish priest who prays for littly Jimmy.
It has the homeless people standing in long ass lines.
The hungry kids playing in the streets so they can forget their bellies are empty.
It has a lot of dirt and..and snow and....and dirt.
Then it has the hero losing a couple of bouts, cause.....times are tough for our hero.
Brother can you spare a dime tough.
Meanwhile, the bad guy gets to wear the tuxedos, hangs out in clubs, and four star hotels. He likes to talk loud and smack girls on the ass.
He also kicks a lot of fucking ass.
He kicks so much ass that he's actually kills people.
Seriously, no joke.
He has a finishing move that would make Jimmy Superfly Snuka's top rope jump look like patty cake.
His finishing move is he waits till your staggering against the rope. Then he corners you in a way that you can't get past him. Then with one hand he grabs the top rope..... then he jumps in the air, and with the other hand he punches you in the face...hard.....snapping your neck.
Fuck yeah.
I mean, I like Hogan's leg drop, but I don't think he's ever killed anyone with it.
Anyways, the rest of the movie is a lot of the wife crying, saying don't fight, the kids crying cause they need their daddy, the manager screaming for him to fight. The Priest praying for his soul, the people cheering....stuff like that.
Then the fight happens. The big fight.
Well, I would tell you who wins the fight, but that would ruin the surprise.
Cause man....the audience will NEVER...I mean NEVER guess.




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3 comments:

johnny said...

You may have found this story a bit mushy but it's a true story. I know because I read the book. And if you've ever bothered to look at any boxing clips from that era you'll see that the game was far more primitave and it has since evolved. Your problem seems to be that you don't enjoy hollywood popcorn movies. I on the other hand I enjoy them, especially the ones that I can relate to. You see Jimmy Bradock was more than a boxer and family man, he was an inspiration to a nation that was down on its luck. Max Baer on the other hand was not as evil as they portrayed him, however he was just as handsome and cocky as the guy in Howards film. I'm not saying this was in any way an oscar worthy movie, but it was compelling and accurate.In case you didn't know they brought in Angelo Dundee to oversee the actors technique in the ring. He was also Bradocks corner guy in the movie.But I know it's not Scorseses Raging bull or even Quentin Tarantinos Butch from Pulp fiction. And I know Bradock is not as complex as terry maloy in "Waterfront" and there aren't any real manly lines like "Cut me Mick, cut me", But that's because this is a true story man! This aint no Hollywood bull, this really happened. As far as I'm concerned it was a good movie that really captured the spirit of what actually took place. I think you should give the movie a second chance and see it again. I know you don't like Hollywood popcorn movies... but dude, not everything can be Brokeback Mountain.

Ray said...

Hey Johnny,

I know it's a true story. I've read excerpts from Jeremy Schaap's book. It's an amazing story. I read the part where Braddock's wife got the money from his first comeback win, and paid off all their debt. I know the part about him eating only hash before the his fight was true. The fact that he was a huge underdog was not overplayed, and I did see Angelo Dundee in Russel Crowe's corner (without any lines).
My problem was with the tone of the movie. You have a compelling character like Braddock, there's no need to put the guy extra high on the pedestal. Just tell the story. The music, the bits with the starving kids, all seemed like overkill. I found it insulting, that he made stock characters of Baer and Braddock. True Baer wasn't a model citizen, I know he played up his jewish ancestory to his advantage. I know he was a huge womanizer, but why does Ron Howard have to take it to the extreme? The guy had to have some redeemable characteristics.It's like Ron Howard doesn't trust us to root for the right guy or something. I did like the production design. I thought Renee Zelweger's Betty Boop impression was ridiculous. Giamatti was solid as usual, but man, that's about it. I've seen the movie several times since. We play it at the store. I don't think my opinion is going to change man. Ron Howard doesn't do it for me...... and dude I know you loved Brokeback Mountain.

Anonymous said...

Ray, You sound like an angry (maybe even kind of sick) person. Wrestling...I don't have a clue where you came up with that view? I thought the movie was fantastic! and interesting especially since I didn't realize the facts about Max Baer. I know my dad said he used to be a boxer, I only knew him as Jethro on the Beverly Hillbillies......I was fascinated to learn about his boxing career..guys did die from boxing with him, those were facts right? was a GREAT movie in my opinion. Very inspiring....don't know why someone would attack a movie that shows some good in man.....even if all the facts were not exact and I don't know if it was completely factual or not it was a great movie.....it was a movie ya know...to each his own huh?