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While the movies have brought us many great sports films over the decades, boxing seems to hold a special place in film history, and has brought us some of the true classics of cinema history. And even as boxing has become less popular among the general American public, Hollywood’s love affair with pugilism has kept going strong. The twenty-first century has already brought us such acclaimed boxing films as Ali (2001), Million Dollar Baby (2004), Cinderella Man (2005), Rocky Balboa (2006), and The Fighter (2010). Now, director Peter Segal has entered this particular sub-genre with Grudge Match, a boxing comedy starring Robert De Niro and Sylvester Stallone. While it certainly won’t be counted among the great boxing films or the great sports comedies, it’s a fun little movie that’s worth a look if you’re interested.
- Timothy Monforton
At your house, Christmas may be a time of peace on Earth and good will toward men, but at the multiplex, this Christmas was the site of a bruising brawl, with five new, wide-release movies taking on the established holdovers. In the end, the holdovers won, with half of all receipts going to four movies that had been in theaters at least two weeks.
Still, every beating is a character-building experience (at least in the movies), and this one comes with some hard-learned lessons too. Here are some of them:
1. Five New Wide Releases on a Holiday Weekend Is Too Many
Even in April and August, it's probably too many, but it's especially true at Christmastime, when family, weather, buying gifts, and returning gifts are all additional competitors for the attention of potential moviegoers. This weekend's new releases very likely canceled each other out, leaving "The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug »
- Gary Susman
This year, Santa delivered five new nationwide releases on Christmas Day. By the weekend, though, audiences had turned their attention back to blockbuster holdovers The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug and Frozen.With a diverse set of options, overall business was strong on the final weekend of 2013: the Top 12 earned $185.8 million, which is up 13 percent from the same frame last year. The second Hobbit movie took first place for the third-straight weekend*the only other movie to accomplish this feat in 2013 was fellow Warner Bros. release Gravity. The Hobbit added $29.9 million, which is off seven percent from the first Hobbit on the same weekend last year. The Desolation of Smaug has now earned over $190 million, and remains on pace for a final tally north of $250 million.Disney Animation's Frozen continues to exceed even the most optimistic expectations. The animated sensation increased 47 percent to $28.8 million; among fifth weekends, that figure »
- Ray Subers <email@example.com>
Sylvester Stallone versus Robert De Niro. Rocky Balboa versus Jake Lamotta. The Italian Stallion versus The Raging Bull. Two of the biggest heavyweights in boxing cinema going toe to toe – as completely different characters 30 years past their prime.
Oh don’t worry, Grudge Match does everything possible to milk the epic pairing of these two iconic actors, but with a script so empty, hollow, insanely over-dramatic, and downright cringe-worthy at times, these two cinematic titans throw punch after punch – but not a single wallop actually lands. We’re supposed to be excited for some momentous tiebreaker between Henry “Razor” Sharp and Billy “The Kid” McDonnen, but with absolutely no care put into building these two geriatric boxers, Peter Segal’s film is as enjoyable as a Pay-Per-View feature that ends on the very first punch – without ending quick enough to make us forget.
Boxing has created some of the greatest rivalries in modern sports, »
- Matt Donato
Sylvester Stallone and Robert De Niro are two of the most championed fighters in Hollywood history, starring in 1970s and ’80s boxing pics “Rocky” to Martin Scorsese’s “Raging Bull,” but this year, the duo have struggled mightily at the box office.
“Grudge Match,” which opened Christmas day and stars the veteran actors, finished in 11th place on Friday at the box office with $2.4 million and is expected to earn just $13 million through Sunday.
Warner Bros.-based producer Bill Gerber had hoped that “Grudge Match” will offer a parallel box office success story to the 2008 hit “Grand Torino,” which starred Clint Eastwood and went on to gross $270 million worldwide. But so far, “Grudge Match” has been a swing and a miss financially.
Made for $40 million, “Grudge Match” still has plenty of time to find older audiences but the boxing comedy wraps an otherwise forgettable year for Stallone and De Niro at the box office. »
- Variety Staff
The debauchery of Wall Street comes to life in the latest film from director Martin Scorsese with strong performances from Leonardo DiCaprio and Jonah Hill, although the final product leaves our critic feeling disappointed. Meanwhile, can beautiful cinematography save The Secret Life of Walter Mitty? Here's what to see (or not...) in theaters this weekend. Skip ThisThe Wolf of Wall StreetMartin Scorsese's audacious take on the life of Wall Street stock pusher Jordan Belfort bursts with vibrant storytelling and ferocious performances from Leonardo DiCaprio and Jonah Hill. It's also self-indulgent glorification of excess that treats women like blow-up dolls and »
- Alynda Wheat, People's Movie Critic
The idea of Rocky vs. Raging Bull is almost irresistible, and when it comes to that factor, Grudge Match has its moments. However, those moments aren’t enough to make a good movie. Indeed, Sylvester Stallone and Robert De Niro have been cashing their nostalgia bitcoins for a while now. De Niro seems to be taking every film that comes his way – good or bad – and relying more and more on his reputation rather than giving a good performance. It’s not just the Meet the Parents films that capitalize on this. In fact, The Family from earlier this year had a huge plot point to the film hinge on De Niro’s long career playing a Mafioso (resulting in a scene almost as awkward as the Julia Roberts gag in Oceans 12). Similarly, Stallone has been trying to spin his once-top-rated box office name into modern success. It worked with The Expendables and The Expendables 2, but »
- Kevin Carr
Billed as "Rocky" versus "Raging Bull," despite the fact that both those movies came out over 30 years ago, "Grudge Match" aims to settle the ultimate boxing movie debate -- or at least find a way to get Sylvester Stallone back in the ring one last time without trying to justify a "Rocky 7."
So "Grudge Match" pits two of Hollywood's most famous on-screen pugilists against each other as former rivals Henry "Razor" Sharp (Stallone) and Billy "The Kid" McDonnen (Robert De Niro). Each won one fight against the other in the '80s, but the deciding bout was called off when Razor left the sport for mysterious personal reasons. Now, three decades later, the two former light heavyweight champs are pulled back into the ring for one last big payday (how meta!) and the chance to settle who's the better boxer once and for all.
But since the three-decades-in-the-making title card »
- Rick Mele
Chicago – Sylvester Stallone and Robert De Niro – between them they have over 150 film credits in careers stretching back to the 1960s. Two of their most famous roles, boxers Rocky and the Raging Bull, get the full make-fun-of treatment in the Christmas Day Film “Grudge Match.”
There are decent laughs in this film – with a bit of scene stealing from the hot comic Kevin Hart – but the film doesn’t reach the contender potential it could have had because Sly Stallone wouldn’t go too far in lacerating his iconic boxing image. However, the film is fun enough and epic enough – the climatic fight scene is given proper gravitas and reverence – to make it a good choice for, as they say, the whole family. Stallone and De Niro are comfortable enough to have a good time, and trained enough as boxers to make it plausible. It’s a film that »
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Adam Fendelman)
In the wake of the surprisingly enjoyable Last Vegas comes another movie that reunites older stars in a piece of escapist fluff. Whether or not moviegoers are eager to see Rocky and Raging Bull square off onscreen is another matter. On the plus side, both Robert De Niro and Sylvester Stallone bring conviction to a silly script (by Tim Kelleher and Rodney Rothman) and play it for all it’s worth. On the minus side, it’s not worth a heck of a lot.The premise is pretty simple: once upon a time in Pittsburgh, Billy “The Kid” McDonnen (De Niro) and Henry “Razor” Sharp (Stallone) were headlocked in a furious rivalry, in and out of the ring. Just before a decisive bout, Sharp walked away...
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- Leonard Maltin
It’s “adult swim” time at the cineplex once again, kids. Hmm, seems like Last Vegas was just a week or so ago. This new flick concerns another couple of post-6o dudes who are trying to recapture some of their “glory days” (cue the Springsteen tune, if we can afford it!). Except one of them was in that earlier flick (he’s having a busy year for a guy past retirement age). This film’ s story plays on the cinematic past of the two main stars. You, see both got Oscar nominations for films set in the world of that “sweet science”, the sport of boxing. Sylvester Stallone grabbed his nom for penning the script for 1976′s Rocky, which spawned five sequels, while Robert DeNiro nabbed his Best Actor Oscar nom and win for playing real-life boxer Jake Lamotta in 1980′s Raging Bull. Now, while both actors shared scenes in Copland, »
- Jim Batts
"No matter how hard you guys work, you won't be your best." "It's the best we got."No, that response is not John Wayne in Rio Bravo. It's Sly Stallone responding to Kim Basinger in Hollywood's latest round of retiree-baiting, Grudge Match. In the film, aging boxing icons must get in the ring to settle an unresolved score from over thirty years ago. In this corner, it's Sylvester Stallone, weighing in as a little more rugged than his heyday, but impressively chiseled for 67. In the opposite corner, it's Robert De Niro, 70, weighing a good bit more than before but softer all around. From the opening sequence that mines clips from Rocky films and Raging Bull (colorized!) for a Jim Lampley news desk expository montage, it's...
[Read the whole post on twitchfilm.com...]
In preparation for Sylvester Stallone and Robert De Niro's match up in Grudge Match, we present a video countdown of the Top 5 Stallone vs. the Top 5 De Niro movies, pitting the two actors' greatest hits against one another. Both Stallone and De Niro have had long, varied careers with some benchmark performances (and some less than stellar ones to boot) leaving behind a legacy of classic films, including Rocky, Goodfellas, First Blood, The Deer Hunter, Cobra, Cape Fear, and »
- Paul Shirey
PG-13, 1 Hr., 59 Mins.
With a budget north of $175 million, Keanu Reeves’ CGI-festooned epic about a band of score-settling samurai is undeniably easy on the eyes. But it’s also a bit of a folly. The acting’s stiff, the accents are hard to decipher, and the plot is stale Kurosawa. Still, there are a few fleeting moments of haunting beauty and grandeur. C+ Chris Nashawaty
PG-13, 1 Hr., 53 Mins.
- EW staff
The suit was filed Monday in Los Angeles Superior Court, alleging fraud and unjust enrichment and declaratory relief.
The WGA West, which is the final arbiter over screenplay credits, and Callaham had no immediate response.
Millennium Films and Nu Image allege that the 2009 WGA arbitration gave Callaham a credit that was unwarranted. The plaintiffs are seeking the $102,250 bonus that was paid to Callaham and that the arbitration be reversed.
They are also seeking a jury trial, unspecified damages, legal fees and an order that they will not have to make sequel payments. And the plaintiffs have for the WGA to discipline Callaham.
Lionsgate is releasing “The Expendables 3″ on Aug. 15.
The suit alleges Callaham had overstated his role in »
- Dave McNary
The unstated, but obvious, conceit of Grudge Match is to pit the two great movie boxers of the early eighties — Rocky Balboa and Jake La Motta — against each other. “The aging palooka versus the aging psychotic” is not actually a terrible idea for a comedy, but somewhere along the way, somebody decided to make this a movie about urban despair and senior regret. The result is maybe more interesting than we might have expected, but it’s not particularly funny.Needless to say, this isn’t really Rocky versus Raging Bull. Sylvester Stallone is Henry “Razor” Sharp and Robert De Niro is Billy “The Kid” McDonnen, two Pittsburgh fighters renowned for their bitter rivalry. It’s been 30 years, however, since they’ve had a chance at each other. In the intervening years, Razor has gone back to work at the local steel mill, and the Kid has become a restaurateur »
- Bilge Ebiri
If you mention the names Sylvester Stallone and Robert De Niro and ask what their single best movie each is, eventually you'll come across more than a few people who will name Rocky (any of them, except for the fifth one) or Raging Bull. Those people wouldn't necessarily be wrong either, especially in the context of boxing movies. For a lot of people, the list of best boxing movies is topped one of the Rocky films and Raging Bull.
So when it was announced that Sly and Robert De Niro would be entering the ring once again in a film called Grudge Match, why was there so much concern? Oh, that's because it was going to be played out like throwaway comedy rather than an intense sports movie drama that could have been really great.
When boxing was at its height of popularity, two boxers ruled the roost, Bill "The »
- J.C. De Leon
Trudge Match: Peter Segal, Cashing Checks
At the end of the day, Peter Segal’s latest directorial effort, Grudge Match, may not be the felonious stink bomb as all signs would seem to indicate, but it most certainly is one jaundiced miasma of rote clichés, segmented together with robotic certainty. On the bright side, rather than formulate another Rocky entry or terrorize us with Raging Bull deux, screenwriters Rodney Rothman and Tim Kelleher at least attempt a new amalgamation of pop culture kitsch with its union of Stallone and De Niro. But with the lead performers’ own dubious reputations for sub-par material working against them, along with a narrative that’s either sputtering along on autopilot or asleep at the wheel, the result is a lackluster gimmick, an instantly forgettable malaise cashing in on preceding run-of-the-mill sports folklore.
Thirty years ago in Pittsburgh, a fierce rivalry between local boxing rivals »
- Nicholas Bell
The 67-year-old American actor has admitted that he wasn't convinced when he was first offered a role in the "absurd" boxing comedy and added that he had no intention of doing it, the Daily Express reported.
- Machan Kumar
On one of the posters currently advertising Grudge Match, two humanoid shapes vaguely resembling Robert De Niro and Sylvester Stallone face off in a boxing ring. Four of their costars are Photoshopped into ringside seats, with no attempt made to line up the actors' sightlines with the action they're supposed to be watching. It's a lousy poster, but its makers' lack of effort is a fair reflection of Peter Segal's film -- a lazy attempt to milk a few dollars from memories of Rocky and Raging Bull before the audience who made those movies hits is too old to reach cinemas
- John DeFore
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