Southpaw - Can There Be An Original Boxing Movie?

A boxing movie is a bit of a departure for Gyllenhaal. And Whitaker. Oh well, at least some boxing film fans have good talent in their latest entertainment.

Nightcrawler was a great, memorable film. So much so I keep telling people about it...it's just they always look disappointed when they find out it isn't anything to do with x-men. A hard sell, that film.

What is Maggie Gyllenhaal doing these days? Apparently work is much harder to find as a maturing actress...i wonder if she's doing okay still. To IMDB I go!
Edit: Yeah, she has only a political TV mini-series on the go called "The Honourable Woman" coincidently enough. Actually looks very interesting and is rated highly, first i've heard of it.

Southpaw - Can There Be An Original Boxing Movie?

Southpaw is as generic as boxing movies come.

Read Full Article

Haha, I'm a former amateur boxer and lover of the sport, and even I have to admit that boxing movies all recycle the same basic plot.

Rocky tossed it on its head, hence why it's so immortal. Having the down on his luck, borderline-bum-level fighter get his one big shot at the big time? Sure, that sounds plenty cliche, but have him train and work hard to ultimately LOSE the fight at the end of the movie? Focus on self-respect and following through on your goal rather than a generic underdog story? Man, I need to go watch rocky again, I miss that movie...

but yeah, every boxing movie since then, with the very rare exception (basically just the Mark Wahlberg, Christian Bale vehicle "the fighter") has kinda missed the point of this, just doing the same ole "Underdog, life drama, train, life drama resolve, champion" formula. It's sad. Even I'm not sure what the correct way to invigorate the genre would be.

Still, good review. I enjoyed it.

So... if Jake Gyllenhaal's performance in this movie isn't up to par with his performance in Nightcrawler, then what's the likely chance he won't be getting an Oscar in the same vain as Leonardo DiCaprio?

Other than that, how the soundtrack of this movie? Is it up to par with the boxing moments, at least?

What Antoine Fuqua's film does well is give us hard-hitting boxing scenes. The fights themselves feel incredibly realistic. The punches feel real - we sometimes even get POV shots in which we take the perspective of a boxer - the amount of makeup work to make the boxers look hurt is incredible, and they're shot in a way that makes it feel like we're watching an intimate, but realistic, boxing telecast. And this is coming from someone who isn't a boxing fan. If all matches were like the ones showcased in Southpaw, I might become one.

That's what got me so excited to see this film; I had heard that Gyllenhaal and company did a TON of research and work to make this as technically sound in boxing as possible. No "Rocky standing there and getting punched in the face a bunch until he finally starts punching back" scenes; it sounded like it would be true boxing.

Shame that the movie itself is kind of OK. I figured that would happen but I'm still probably going to rent it as I've been on a little boxing crave lately for some reason...

If you're looking for a Boxing film that is totally different, I'd recommend "Play it to the Bone", with Woody Harrelson and Antonio Banderas. It's basically a combination boxing film and road trip/buddy movie, about two mediocre fighters that are best friends who are given a last minute opportunity to be one of the prelim fights at a major boxing event. Was also an early movie for Lucy Liu.

Entertaining film and definitely very different from most boxing movies: neither of these guys are the champs (or ever will be) and there are no clearly established fighters you're supposed to root for.

Kind of a shame that the movie's just mediocre, considering the drastic body changes Gyllenhaal underwent for the role. When Christian Bale did a similar thing for The Machinist, at least that movie was different, surreal, creepy, weird and I'd heartily recommend it. Oh well.

A big problem I have with the movie is, again, another boxing movie where the lead character is white.

I know it happens but I have to think white men in professional boxing are a minority in the modern era (Cinderella Man was based on a true, depression era story).

At least the next Rocky movie has a black boxing lead.

Gorfias:

I know it happens but I have to think white men in professional boxing are a minority in the modern era (Cinderella Man was based on a true, depression era story).

You do know that Wladimir Klitschko has been the undisputed heavyweight champion of the world for about 8-9 years straight, right?

But anyway, how many boxing movies are about white underdogs that are not based on a true story? The Rocky movies were partly inspired by Rocky Marciano, a real (white) boxer (plus Stallone wrote and directed it, so he can cast whomever he wants). The Fighter was based on a true story, Cinderella Man was based on a true story, Rocky Marciano was based on a true story, Raging Bull was based on a true story, etc. If you really look at it hard and don't include the Rocky movies (since there are so many of them), most boxing movies are based on true stories, so obviously they're going to cast people who look the part.

Ihateregistering1:

You do know that Wladimir Klitschko has been the undisputed heavyweight champion of the world for about 8-9 years straight, right?

I did not. I'll look him up as I am interested in what has been happening in the sport. I stopped watching about 20 years ago.

But anyway, how many boxing movies are about white underdogs that are not based on a true story?

But WHY those stories. Are there not a metric ton of true under-dog stories about non-white boxers? Do they not make up the vast majority of boxers in general?

The Rocky movies were partly inspired by Rocky Marciano, a real (white) boxer

And I'd heard another white underdog bloodied Mohamed Ali's nose is a non-title bought.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chuck_Wepner

I do understand the difficulty in marketing a movie about a minority to a majority. I'm interested in the upcoming movie "Straight Outta Compton" for its subject matter. Be interesting to see how it does at the box office. I do think audiences will crave something real, and that boxing movies about white fighters is tired, even if based on fact. As Chris Rock said of Rocky 4: "two white guys fight for the heavy weight championship of the world? Oh boy that Spielberg's something!"

Gorfias:
As Chris Rock said of Rocky 4: "two white guys fight for the heavy weight championship of the world? Oh boy that Spielberg's something!"

I like Chris Rock, but the joke is on him now: a white guy (Klitschko) has been the undisputed heavyweight champ for longer than any fighter except Joe Louis, and once Klitschko fights this October (a fight which pretty much everyone thinks he's going to win) he'll have beaten Louis's record.

I wouldn't say a metric ton, and that's partly because so many people ascribe to this stereotype that blacks are better boxers, so they are rarely considered underdogs. It also doesn't help that so many of them have been, outside of the ring, at best very unlikeable and at worst terrible people (Mike Tyson, Floyd Mayweather, Evander Holyfield, Lennox Lewis).

Ihateregistering1:

Gorfias:
As Chris Rock said of Rocky 4: "two white guys fight for the heavy weight championship of the world? Oh boy that Spielberg's something!"

I like Chris Rock, but the joke is on him now: a white guy (Klitschko) has been the undisputed heavyweight champ for longer than any fighter except Joe Louis, and once Klitschko fights this October (a fight which pretty much everyone thinks he's going to win) he'll have beaten Louis's record.

Not to take away from Klitschko's accomplishments, he's a top-rate boxer, but his long reign has been helped, in part, by the fact that the heavyweight division hasn't seen as much talent running through it as it did in the past. For decades heavyweights were the only fighters people cared about, but around the turn of the millennium focus and talent started shifting toward the lower weights, to the point where now the top two boxers, in terms of P4P and fan interest, are welterweights.

balladbird:

Ihateregistering1:

Gorfias:
As Chris Rock said of Rocky 4: "two white guys fight for the heavy weight championship of the world? Oh boy that Spielberg's something!"

I like Chris Rock, but the joke is on him now: a white guy (Klitschko) has been the undisputed heavyweight champ for longer than any fighter except Joe Louis, and once Klitschko fights this October (a fight which pretty much everyone thinks he's going to win) he'll have beaten Louis's record.

Not to take away from Klitschko's accomplishments, he's a top-rate boxer, but his long reign has been helped, in part, by the fact that the heavyweight division hasn't seen as much talent running through it as it did in the past. For decades heavyweights were the only fighters people cared about, but around the turn of the millennium focus and talent started shifting toward the lower weights, to the point where now the top two boxers, in terms of P4P and fan interest, are welterweights.

That is true, and that's always a point of debate whenever people are trying to compare boxers from different eras. If I remember correctly, some years ago "Boxing magazine" released a list of the "top 10 most overrated fighters", and they factored in things like the quality of the opponents at the time, etc. #1 on the list? Muhammad Ali. As you can imagine, it caused quite an uproar.

I sort of figured the reason so many people have lost interest in the Heavyweights is because Klitschko has been so dominant for so long. There's only so long that one person (or team) can dominate at a sport before people start to get bored with them. That combined with MMA overtaking so much of Boxing's popularity.

The greatest name for a protagonist ever is Hiroaki 'Hiro' Protagonist from Snow Crash.

Say it with me...

Hiro Protagonist.

Ihateregistering1:

I wouldn't say a metric ton [of boxers in USA tend to be non-white], and that's partly because so many people ascribe to this stereotype that blacks are better boxers, so they are rarely considered underdogs. ... terrible people ( Evander Holyfield, ).

1) not so much better, just more prevalent.
2) Evander is not a Mench? Seems so clean cut to me!

balladbird:
...focus and talent started shifting toward the lower weights, to the point where now the top two boxers, in terms of P4P and fan interest, are welterweights.

And I wonder what the racial balance is there?

The P4P matter has been fascinating for decades. I will have to review more about where we are at now. I hardly know the score since Sugar Ray Leonard left the lime light!

Gorfias:

And I wonder what the racial balance is there?

The P4P matter has been fascinating for decades. I will have to review more about where we are at now. I hardly know the score since Sugar Ray Leonard left the lime light!

Couldn't speak for exact numbers, currently. There are a lot of pro boxers who never get any coverage, after all.

Historically, the lowest weight classes, flyweight, bantamweight, featherweight, and lightweight, tend to be the stomping ground of talented asian and mexican boxers. The middle weight classes tend to be a melting pot, and the stronger western boxers, African american, Caucasian american, eastern and western european, have a long history of dominating the heavier weight classes.

P4P is a neat concept, but it needs to be taken with a grain of salt, too. At the end of the day, no matter how many statistics are studied to generate the numbers, they're still ultimately guesswork.

Honestly, the discussion of race does make me tempted to actually look back and pay attention to the numbers. Boxing has no shortage of talented white fighters, naturally (for all the crap boxing movies get for focus on white fighters, at the very least their characters tend to be based on real people) but there's also no denying which fighters have been drawing the biggest crowds for over 70 years, either.

Gorfias:

Ihateregistering1:

I wouldn't say a metric ton [of boxers in USA tend to be non-white], and that's partly because so many people ascribe to this stereotype that blacks are better boxers, so they are rarely considered underdogs. ... terrible people ( Evander Holyfield, ).

1) not so much better, just more prevalent.
2) Evander is not a Mench? Seems so clean cut to me!

Evander isn't Mike Tyson or Floyd Mayweather or anyone that bad, but he does have 11 kids from six different women, somehow managed to bankrupt himself despite the untold millions he made (the insane amounts he pays in child support definitely contributed to that) and was accused of steroid and HGH use. He's also something of a homophobe (he was in Celebrity Big Brother and was caught saying that he thinks homosexuality is abnormal and can be 'fixed').

Ihateregistering1:

That is true, and that's always a point of debate whenever people are trying to compare boxers from different eras. If I remember correctly, some years ago "Boxing magazine" released a list of the "top 10 most overrated fighters", and they factored in things like the quality of the opponents at the time, etc. #1 on the list? Muhammad Ali. As you can imagine, it caused quite an uproar.

I sort of figured the reason so many people have lost interest in the Heavyweights is because Klitschko has been so dominant for so long. There's only so long that one person (or team) can dominate at a sport before people start to get bored with them. That combined with MMA overtaking so much of Boxing's popularity.

Can't recall who was talking to who.. I think Ali said to Rocky that Rocky was so great because of a "fight a bum a month" schedule, to which Rocky replied, "that may be so, but you would have been an opponent for me on that schedule".

EDIT: Fascinating stuff! https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Klitschko_brothers

 

Reply to Thread

Log in or Register to Comment
Have an account? Login below:
With Facebook:Login With Facebook
or
Username:  
Password:  
  
Not registered? To sign up for an account with The Escapist:
Register With Facebook
Register With Facebook
or
Register for a free account here