Monday, November 21, 2016

Bleed For This [2016]

MPAA (R)  CNS/USCCB (O) (2 1/2 Stars)  AVClub (B-)  Fr. Dennis (2 Stars)

IMDb listing
CNS/USCCB (J.P. McCarthy) review
Los Angeles Times (M. Phillips) review (M. Zoller Seitz) review
AVClub (A.A. Dowd) review

Bleed For This [2016] (directed and screenplay by Ben Younger, screen story by Ben Younger, Angelo Pizzo and Pippa Bianco) is an appropriately R-rated (Parents please do note ...) quite-to-thoroughly-engrossing biopic / blue collar boxing movie.  Simplifying things _a bit_, the film tells the story of the truly stunning comeback of boxer Vinny Paz / Pazienza (played to Oscar Nomination worthy heights by Miles Teller).

Vinny Paz / Pazienza would not have become deserving of a movie about his life (but then _absolutely_ so) if not for (1) what happened to him (a few weeks after winning the WBA middle weight boxing title, he got into a head-on car crash leaving him with a broken neck) and (2) how he responded to it (DESPITE HAVING A BROKEN NECK, and having to wear a mechanical contraption called "a halo" attached to his torso / skull FOR SIX MONTHS so that his neck bones would heal, he never gave up his desire to return to boxing and _recapturing_ his title, which .. GO SEE THE MOVIE).

I mean MOVIES EXIST FOR MOVIES LIKE THIS.  It really is an absolutely incredible story about truly _never_ giving up.

Now there are problems with the movie, among them THE (FOUL) LANGUAGE.  Now Dear Readers do understand that I grew-up in Chicago and just spent the last 12 years back in Chicago serving at a lovely if also linguistically colorful blue collar / ethnic parish in Chicago, so I'm largely "tone deaf" to expletives.  But I do have to agree with the reviewer for the USCCB (Catholic Bishops' Conference) website (link as always above) who does complain about the language.  EVEN IF such language is (kinda) "real," it's certainly NOT edifying.  And honestly, it's a bit exaggerated, as are hookers and strippers all around in the film.  Again, Parents do note that this is an R-rated film and deservedly so ...

Still it is one heck of a story, just one that one (unlike the Rocky movies) one would be insane to show to a twelve year old ...

Good job folks, but you also should be somewhat ashamed ...

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