If you know me, you know I'm not a Samuel L. Jackson fan (although I love his beer). Thankfully in this movie, he doesn't play his angryblackman archetype. As former-heavyweight-contender-turned-homeless, Jackson has a strange, cartoonish voice, but I prefer it to his yelling. Josh Hartnett, who won me over after Lucky Number Slevin, plays the newspaper writer that tries to get Jackson's story. And while the story appears conventional at times, it had a twist that I didn't see coming (and no, it's not an M.-Night-Shymalan-type twist--thankfully). The trailer will give you a better idea of the film's storyline:
Caveats: When I was in high school, I thought I wanted to be a sports journalist--or broadcast journalist--so there's probably a bit of sentimental value here. On top of that, last year I read a really good book on boxing for my 20th-Century U.S. popular culture class and it piqued my interested on boxing history a little, so there's additional value that I found in the film that you might not.
Caveats aside, I liked this movie. It didn't blow me away--this movie is no Field of Dreams--but I enjoyed it.
Final Grade: B+
Blurb: Unlike recent, formulaic Disney sports movies, this film is more about the people than the sport or the games' outcome. Like the story told in the movie itself, this is a story that is often overlooked.