5 items from 2011
There is a scene in Alexander Payne’s The Descendants after George Clooney’s Matt King waves goodbye to the last guests to leave the “party” he’s thrown to inform his close friends that his wife will never recover from her coma. Once they’re out of sight, he turns to walk back towards the house, but he’s completely shattered. His shoulders sag, his face is ashen, and every step looks like it could be his last. He crumbles to his knees, but it’s those last few tottering steps that took the wind out of me as a viewer. »
- Jeff Labrecque
I don’t usually put much stock in the opinions of writers who use words like “hurly-burly” and “codswallop.” But some clueless declarations just beg to be disputed. Yesterday, an article about sports movies by Frank Keating in Britain’s The Guardian newspaper had the nerve not just to take several bone-headed swipes at Martin Scorsese’ 1980 boxing masterpiece Raging Bull, but the writer also went on to declare that Chariots of Fire is the greatest sports movie ever made. To borrow one of Keating’s stuffy phrases, Codswallop! Or to translate it to Americanese: Dude, you’re high!
First of all, »
- Chris Nashawaty
Radio 5 Live has been excelling itself with some reflective features far from the madding crowd of its usual breathless hurly-burly. Acclaim for Steve Bunce's revealing monograph of the recent Amir Khan contest was followed last week by The Glasgow School, a fascinating study of Glasgow football managers' extraordinary domination of England's Premier League, and a telling homage to the boxing film Raging Bull, in which both leading protagonists, actor Robert de Niro and director Martin Scorsese, persuasively relived their input.
The producers and crucial backroom gang at Radio 5 too often modestly decline to give themselves a credit; the latter two features were both presented by the excellent Mark Chapman, an appealingly lucid enthusiast, who let George Graham and »
- Frank Keating
Jeremy Renner is quickly becoming the next James Franco. With the latter actor getting attached to a million projects, the former has the actual work to prove it. The Oscar-nominated star from The Hurt Locker and The Town is currently shooting Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters, with Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol already completed. He then has The Avengers and is all but committed to star in The Bourne Legacy. And we can’t forget his attachment to Sheldon Turner‘s By Virtue Fall and his voice talent in the next Ice Age film. THR reports that has now launched a production company with partner Don Handfield and is already developing a starring vehicle.
His newly formed company The Combine will produce a Steve McQueen biopic for their first film. It is reported the company will provide support “across all platforms” with an “artist-based perspective.” James Gray (We Own The Night, Two Lovers »
- Jordan Raup
Small-town boxer Micky Ward was on a losing streak until clinching a world title. Now his troubled tale comes to life in a new hit film
We've seen it a dozen times before: the blue-collar contender who dreams of being a boxing champ. He fights personal battles, struggles in a dead-end job, and jogs along derelict streets punching the air in the training montage, all leading up to the Big Fight. As the title suggests, The Fighter, starring Mark Wahlberg as the put-upon contender, does very little to challenge the movie cliches of Rocky and its ilk, but the key difference is that this story actually happened – to "Irish" Micky Ward. From the impoverished town of Lowell, Massachusetts, Ward really did turn around his losing streak, gave it one last shot and triumphed, winning the Wbu light welterweight title in 2000.
"I guess that's the way things happened but I never »
- Steve Rose
5 items from 2011
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