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Resurrecting the Champ
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Resurrecting the Champ More at IMDbPro »

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59 out of 76 people found the following review useful:

An Amazing Experience!

Author: pl11611 from United States
23 January 2007

I saw this movie recently at a screening. Everybody's already talked about the plot so I don't need to get into those details. What I think this movie will be known for is its performances (more on that in a second...), and its how uplifting it is. You leave the movie feeling great and for reasons that I will not get into, it makes you want to call your dad and tell him how much you love him (or your son). A lot of people will talk about Samuel L. Jackson's portrayal of the worn-out boxer, but the true revelation of the film is the acting of Josh Hartnett, who I have never thought could be so believable or appealing. He has always been just kind of a pretty boy, really. But here, he plays a father, a husband, a journalist, and according to Aristotle's definition, a classic "Tragic Hero." He desires to impress his son to the degree that he sometimes bends the truth a bit too often...which ultimately annihilates his relationship with his son. The child, Teddy, is played by a kid named Dakota Goyo, who will become a big star. Teri Hatcher's cameo brought humor to the film when needed. If I had a criticism, it is that the film might be a tiny bit lengthy; however, every moment of the film was well-done. I wouldn't know how to make it shorter. I highly recommend this movie to everyone.

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39 out of 54 people found the following review useful:

Great movie, good morals

Author: kenji_tsuk from United States
21 January 2007

I saw this film at the premier at Sundance. I went into the film expecting to see another typical action packed boxing movie. However, I was greatly impressed with the film, it was a lot better than I had expected. The performances by all the actors were solid. I was especially impressed with Dakota Goyo, who played Teddy, and apparently so was Josh, who commented on how easy it was for him to play his own role because of the level of talent Dakota has. Also, all three female characters played solid roles, which enhanced the depth of Josh Hartnett's character. This movie was able to provide a great story without the usual trash that's seen in many of the films we see today. This movie emphasized the importance of values and honesty which I think everyone needs to be reminded of.

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23 out of 25 people found the following review useful:

Jackson Is Fantastic Here In Yet Another Excellent Drama Involving Boxing

Author: ccthemovieman-1 from United States
12 April 2008

This was a very entertaining film with just the right mixture of action, drama, romance and intrigue. The latter - a big shock that occurs two-thirds of the way through the story - gives it its unique flavor. Otherwise, it's still a nice story of fathers-and-sons and the love and respect that's so important between the two of them. It also involves husbands and wives reconciling.

I've seen Samuel L. Jackson in a lot of movies and so I am quite aware what a fine actor he is, so I wasn't surprised he was so good in this film. However, I was still stunned at his performance. It's definitely the best character I've seen him play, partly because of his sentimental role but more so simply because he dominated this film. Josh Hartnett was fine in the co-leading role of this story but it was Jackson who really got my attention in every scene.

This is a very involving story that grabs you and won't let go. What is it about boxing stories, or stories that involve boxers, that make them so memorable? I don't know, but I've seen very few bad ones and certainly no boring ones. Many of them, like this one, have more of a human element than just being a sport story. Actually, there isn't a lot of ring action in this film, so I wouldn't label it a boxing film. As a drama, or whatever you want to label it, it's a fine movie and a good way to spend two hours.

Highly recommended.

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37 out of 54 people found the following review useful:

Terrific, understated performance by Samuel L. Jackson

Author: reskn from United States
5 August 2007

Jackson stands out in this heartfelt movie about a sports writer (played by Josh Hartnett), estranged from his wife (Cold Case's Kathryn Morris), who works to shine the limelight once more on a former boxer (Jackson) who has become homeless. In addition to Jackson, there's great work from young Dakota Goyo as Hartnett's son, and Rachel Nichols as the co-worker who assists in the writer's research. This is director Rod Lurie's most personal film to date, and it gives you some serious issues to think about, very rare in this threequel-laden summer. There's also a surprise appearance from one of our best character actors, and Alan Alda does a fine turn as Hartnett's boss.

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22 out of 31 people found the following review useful:

Fathers and Sons

Author: ncoddington from United States
27 June 2007

I was lucky to preview this movie a few months back and needed some time to digest it. For those of you use to films by Rod Lurie, this movie will take you by surprise; in a very good way. I much enjoy Rod's films, and I did this one as well, but not for the reasons that I normally do. I have grown accustomed to his sharp whit and snappy screenplays as well as the fluidity of the cinematography. Resurrecting the Champ delivers all that, but in so many ways it was better than the Lurie movies I have learned to love. I think it is because Rod puts his heart into this film.

In the technical sense, the film is well directed and edited. The cast is spectacular with solid performances by all; including Alan Alda and Samuel L. Jackson. The characters are very believable and no one actor overshadows another. The film has balance. The movie is well paced and does not confuse the viewer. But what really makes this film excel is that Lurie leaves his comfort zone of the political thriller and really directs a movie that touches all viewers. This was a great risk for Rod, but it paid off because it resulted in a movie that will no doubt become the part of many film libraries.

While this move is set around a newspaper and boxing, this is really a movie about fathers and sons. It embraces the understanding that we are not all perfect and that it is OK not to be. It dwells at the dilemma of what fathers must do when their children find out that they have flaws, and the pressure sons have to live up to the heroics of their fathers. This is the kind of film that you will go and see and then talk about for hours afterwards. I have to wonder if Mr. Lurie is giving both his father and his son a gift with this film. I cannot wait for it to come out in the theaters so that I can take my sons to see it. Well done Rod!!

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21 out of 30 people found the following review useful:

A stellar movie!

Author: ceefer80
25 August 2007

We loved this movie. It was heartwarming without being sentimental and was well directed, well acted and the story was well crafted. Sam Jackson completely immersed himself in this role and gave an Oscar worthy performance and Josh Hartnett was subtle, thoughtful and honest. It's so nice to know that in the competing world of horror, shoot 'em up and comic book fests, there are still movies being made that are about the human drama which cause you to think, to be inspired but above all entertain. I thought this was eloquent, charming and had great humor. Go see this film! And check out the cameo's by Peter Coyote and Teri Hatcher....awesome.

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15 out of 20 people found the following review useful:

This movie deserves more attention

Author: maestro-20 from Pittsburgh, PA
4 September 2007

This movie deserves more attention that what it has now (and distribution). Samuel L. Jackson played against type and did a wonderful job. It was also Josh Hartnett's best performance. The story is thought-provoking, heart-warming, and interesting.

The writing is solid and the performances impressive across the board -- even the kid who played Hartnett's son was excellent. As a writer, I really appreciate the themes on telling the truth, fame, integrity, responsibilities, talent, etc. The father-son theme echoes throughout the entire film. Like Field of Dreams, this is a guy's chick flick. Take your husbands, sons or fathers and go see this movie.

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15 out of 20 people found the following review useful:

Resurrecting the Champ is amazing!!!!!!!

Author: playerpiano27 from United States
21 January 2007

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I just got home from the world premiere of Resurrecting the Champ at the Sundance Film Festival. It was everything I hoped it would be and more. The first half of the movie is mostly focused on Erik (Josh Hartnett) getting to know more about Champ (Samuel L. Jackson), a homeless man, who was formerly a well known pro boxer, for a news paper article. In a turn of events toward the end of the movie, Erik winds up having more in common with Champ's struggle in life as a child with his father and then as a father toward his son, than he thought he ever would. Erik has to re-evaluate his own relationship with his son, wife, and recently deceased father, and rectify some mistakes that were made in the past with each one of them. Everything ties together so beautifully at the end of the movie, it is very touching. The film has the perfect blend of humor, and seriousness. The casting was perfect for this movie from top to bottom and all of the acting is wonderful. I wouldn't be surprised at all if this movie does very well in theaters and also wins some big time awards. People who enjoy sports movies will love this, but there's much more depth to the movie than just that, so it's okay if your not the sports type. The deepest messages and themes of this movie have nothing to do with sports, and are centered more on making good decisions in life, and accepting that we're all going through life imperfectly. Go see it as soon as humanly possible!

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17 out of 24 people found the following review useful:

Boxing movie is a knock out!

Author: jaeldepardo from United States
25 August 2007

This movie is a gem, perhaps hasn't been marketed enough for most people to know it. But way better than half the stuff that is out there now, and a totally unexpected story. I'd definitely suggest going to see it before it's out of theaters. Samuel L. Jackson does an extraordinary job in a role you wouldn't normally associate him with. And Josh Hartnett really proves he's got acting chops. This is yet another film that proves that you don't need a blockbuster hit to find quality entertainment. It's well written, it's well acted, and in the ever predictable world that is most Hollywood products Resurrecting the Champ is a beacon of original beauty.

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35 out of 62 people found the following review useful:

One of the best films since "The Shawshank Redemption"

Author: transcendingpictures from United States
3 August 2007

I had the privilege of seeing an advance screening of "Resurrecting the Champ" earlier tonight, followed by a Q & A with director Rod Lurie and screenwriter Michael Bortman. This is an extraordinary motion pictures. In my opinion, this film has the best writing, characterization and dramatic construction of any film released so far this year. The performances are stellar across the board, with a special mention to the film's leads, Josh Hartnett and Sam Jackson. Hartnett's character is torn between his ambition as an up and coming investigative journalist and his integrity as a man, a husband, a father and a son. Jackson plays "Champ", a one-time up and coming boxer who climbs the ranks to #3 in the world, to eventually be reduced to a homeless man scaling the trash cans of Denver.

Hartnett and Jackson create an unexpected friendship in his quest to write a magazine article about the journey of this man's forgotten life. Along the way, the film explores the themes of integrity, honesty, vulnerability, authenticity, truth, consequence, and family is an entertaining, emotional and significant fashion. The entire film breathes energy into the value and importance of responsibility and trust, and how abusing them can lead to consequences that can only be cured by forgiveness and a re-commitment to being true to one's character. The way that Hartnett's characters comes to understand the damages he could do to his relationship with his son, by living through it with champ is powerful and a important lesson for all parents.

I truly hope this film gets the respect and attention it deserves from critics and audiences alike. Comes Oscar time, I would come to expect "Resurrecting the Champ" to be on the minds of many. When it comes to films that you can sense the passion and heart of the storytelling being present in every frame, this one is near the top of that list. 10/10!

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