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5 items from 2013

The Last Gladiators | Review

26 February 2013 9:00 AM, PST | ioncinema | See recent ioncinema news »

Fight Club: Gibney Finds Tragedy In ‘Knuckles’ Nilan

The assiduous docu director Alex Gibney wrapped three films back in 2011, all of which seem minor works in his ever growing oeuvre, and the proof is in the lagged theatrical release of The Last Gladiators, which arrives over a year after it’s Tiff premiere. Falling at the tail end of this stream of lighter fare that includes Steve Bartman’s unfortunate baseball foul in Catching Hell, and a drug fueled Ken Kesey tale with Magic Trip, the film details the rise and fall of famed hockey enforcer Chris ‘Knuckles’ Nilan on a quality scale comparable to a mid-grade 30 For 30 title, lacking the political gravitas of Taxi to the Dark Side, the propulsive style of Gonzo, and the intellectual proclivities that pervade them both.  That’s not to say Gibney’s valiant salute to his childhood sport of choice and a »

- Jordan M. Smith

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Review: Alex Gibney’s ‘The Last Gladiators’ Takes Us to the Dark Side of Pro Hockey

2 February 2013 3:00 PM, PST | | See recent FilmSchoolRejects news »

The popularity of sports documentaries is not recognized enough. Maybe it’s because a lot of the favorites find their audience on TV, particularly as part of Espn’s “30 for 30” series. Perhaps they aren’t considered “important” enough by the documentary community, even when they deal with serious issues as in the case of Steve James’s most recent and most overlooked film, Head Games. Like music docs, they may be disregarded as insignificant fare mainly targeted to a particular fanbase. But with many sports, that’s a very large fanbase we’re talking about. Professional ice hockey is the least followed of the four major team sports in America, but millions of people do watch it, and the number has been on the rise these past few years. So, there’s definitely a large demographic who’ll be interested in Alex Gibney’s The Last Gladiators, a documentary about NHL enforcers with a predominant focus on »

- Christopher Campbell

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Trailer For Ice Hockey Doc ‘The Last Gladiator’ Pulls Some Punches

2 February 2013 2:00 AM, PST | The Hollywood News | See recent The Hollywood News news »

It’s not as well known over here in the UK but having witnessed Canada Vs USA in the last Winter Olympics, it’s one hell of a passionate and committed sport, and now we get a little unique insight into the great game with the brutal-looking The Last Gladiators.

This trailer makes it look intensely revealing, following the life of the interestingly named Chris “Knuckles” Nilan, so I think you might see where this is going and especially if you know a little about Ice Hockey, or just Hockey as its called in North America. Anyway, this could be an insightful documentary, whether you know the sport or don’t. Take a look at the trailer and scroll down for the official synopsis:

Academy Award winning Director Alex Gibney takes an unprecedented look at the National Hockey League’s most feared enforcers and explores the career of Chris “Knuckles” Nilan. »

- Dan Bullock

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Weekend Preview: Documentaries 'Sound City' and 'Koch' Best Bets, 'Warm Bodies' a Lively Ya Installment

1 February 2013 11:16 AM, PST | Thompson on Hollywood | See recent Thompson on Hollywood news »

A number of documentaries hit the limited release circuit this weekend, including Neil Barsky's eerily timely "Koch," a clear-eyed portrait of the former NY mayor who just today passed away at the age of 88, and Dave Grohl's "Sound City," with interviews from a panoply of big names from rock history. Both are very well reviewed. Alex Gibney's look at the rough-and-tumble NHL, "The Last Gladiators," isn't quite passing the goal line, meeting mixed reviews. Meanwhile, the latest Young Adult bait "Warm Bodies" has some kick to it, while genre veteran Walter Hill's "Bullet to the Head," starring Stallone, doesn't hit the mark. "Bullet to the Head" Dir. Walter Hill, USA | Warner Bros. Pictures | Cast: Sylvestore Stallone, Jason Momoa, Christian Slater | 48% Rotten | NPR: "The plot fails to deliver a single surprise, however, and the characterizations are thin even by the standards of the tough-guy »

- Beth Hanna

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Watch: Fisticuffs on Ice in 'The Last Gladiators' Hockey Doc Trailer

29 January 2013 11:32 AM, PST | | See recent news »

"There's no question I was gonna be there for my teammates." Just in time for the return of hockey for sports fans, the first trailer for The Last Gladiators has arrived, a new documentary from Academy Award winning filmmaker Alex Gibney (Taxi to the Dark Side, Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room). The film takes a look at the enforcers of NHL hockey, and the brutal fights they endure to protect their team. In addition, the film takes a closer look at the life of Chris "Knuckles" Nilan, a player for the Montreal Canadiens whose life was rocked upon retiring from hockey, and with no one left to fight, turned to alcohol and drugs almost ruined his life. It looks sensational, whether you're a sports fan or not. Watch the trailer! Here's the first trailer for Alex Gibney's The Last Gladiators originally from Apple: Director Alex Gibney takes »

- Ethan Anderton

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2013 | 2012 | 2011

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