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Play It to the Bone (1999)

Two best friends and former middleweight contenders travel to Las Vegas to fight each other for the first time.

Director:

Ron Shelton

Writer:

Ron Shelton

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Antonio Banderas ... Cesar Dominguez
Woody Harrelson ... Vince Boudreau
Lolita Davidovich ... Grace Pasic
Marie Park ... Waitress in Cafe
Tom Sizemore ... Joe Domino
Lucy Liu ... Lia
Robert Wagner ... Hank Goody
Richard Masur ... Artie
Willie Garson ... Cappie Caplan
Cylk Cozart Cylk Cozart ... Rudy
Jack Carter ... Dante Solomon
Aida Turturro ... Mad Greek Waitress
Louie Leonardo ... Freddy Green
Slade Barnett Slade Barnett ... Vegas Cop
Cameron Milzer Cameron Milzer ... Vegas Paramedic
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Storyline

Two aging fighters in LA, friends, get a call from a Vegas promoter because his undercard fighters for a Mike Tyson bout that night are suddenly unavailable. He wants them to box each other. They agree as long as the winner gets a shot at the middleweight title. They enlist Grace, Cesar's current and Vinnie's ex girlfriend, to drive them to Vegas. On the trip, we see flashbacks to their previous title shots, their competitive friendship, and Grace's motivational wiles. (She has her own entrepreneurial dreams.) The fight itself is historic: ten rounds of savagery and courage. Who will win, who'll get the title shot, who gets Grace, and where will she find venture capital? Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Two best friends take a shot at hitting it big. See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Drama | Sport

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for brutal ring violence, strong sexuality including dialogue, nudity, pervasive language and some drug content | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

21 January 2000 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Play It See more »

Filming Locations:

Baker, California, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$24,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$3,366, 26 December 1999

Gross USA:

$8,434,146

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$8,678,812
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

DTS | Dolby Digital | SDDS

Color:

Color (DeLuxe)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Incorrectly regarded as goofs: in the flashback, Vince Boudreau (Woody Harrelson) has a tattoo that says Grace on his back. Later during the fight, it says Peace. However, you can clearly see that he had Grace changed to read Peace. Most likely due to the fact he's not with Grace anymore. See more »

Goofs

When driving to Las Vegas, Grace is constantly driving the car over the double yellow line and across it as if she is being towed by the camera truck. See more »

Quotes

Grace Pasic: [Working on the engine of her Oldsmobile Cutlass] Who would have thought that the Oldsmobile would come up with a muscle car?
Grace Pasic: [revs the engine] Listen to this.
Cesar Dominguez: That's beautiful!
Grace Pasic: I don't trust a quiet car.
See more »

Alternate Versions

Italian and German theatrical release are approx. 15 minutes shorter than the original US version, removing one sex scene and some dialogue. See more »

Connections

References Rocky (1976) See more »

Soundtracks

Gonna Be a Lovely Day
Written by Kirk Franklin, Bill Withers, Skip Scarborough
Performed by Kirk Franklin's Nu Nation Project
See more »

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User Reviews

No plot... but plenty of holes.
4 January 2001 | by Dark-ManSee all my reviews

PLAY IT TO THE BONE is a film that advertises like a boxing movie but ends up being nothing more than a roadtrip movie without anything interesting to look at... except maybe mountain rock with a pretty name. The script is full of funny situations without being that funny, touching moments that aren't that touching, and characters that come and go in a heartbeat.

There were a lot of times in PLAY IT TO THE BONE that I felt like I missed something. Scenes seemed to skip into one another without mentioning how they got to that point. At other times I felt the plot points were rushed and therefore lacked substance. It appears to look like the filmmakers just gave us a quickie reason to move on to other things.

Even the characters seemed to be missed. Robert Wagner's character shows up briefly with no real reason for being there in the first place. Some celebrities are there, yet they go by so quickly you never really know who it was you were supposed to know. Even Lucy Liu's character, so well advertised in the trailer, was only in the film for about 10 minutes total and really served no specific purpose. She was really wasted in this film role. Her character shows up for no real reason, stays for a few fleeting moments, and then goes away. One gets the feeling that the filmmakers just threw her in because she was an up and coming star.

And then, finally, after over an hour of traveling and meeting people of no consequence, we finally get to Las Vegas and to the fight scene... but not before, of course, fifteen minutes of dressing room thoughts, regrets and flashbacks. Then, once we really do finally get to the fight scene between the two friends it is filled with slow moving action in close-ups and very bizarre dream sequences. The whole movie "build-up" of a climatic boxing match ends up looking like something out of a David Lynch flick. There was no real action. No real release of tension. No real enjoyment to the waiting around for something to happen. It just results into one huge letdown.

And, in the end, nothing gets resolved. It has no payoff... for neither the characters or the audience. The characters could (and will) still live their lives the same way even if they never did take the trip to Vegas.

Perhaps the only thing I found that really worked was the relationship between Harrelson, Banderas, and Davidovich. They seemed to perform well over a lackluster script and made the best of what they had. And their performances did reflect a sincere and caring bond between the three friends.

There isn't much to recommend PLAY IT TO THE BONE. The only reasons would be for the few (very few) funny moments and the performances of the three leads. This film is by no means ROCKY. Then again... it's no ROCKY 3 either.


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