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PCR # 388  (Vol. 8, No. 35)  This edition is for the week of August 27--September 2, 2007.

This Week's PCR
Movie Review
"Resurrecting the Champ"

Movie review by:
Michael A. Smith
Two and a half stars

Movies are rated 0 to 4 stars

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"Resurrecting the Champ"  by Mike Smith
So You Wanna Work in the Movies...  by Corey Castellano
DVD Review: "Jason of Star Command: The Complete Series"  by ED Tucker
A Comic Book Saturday: Comic World & Comics & Critters Too / Sat. Terrorthon!  by Andy Lalino
The Week That Was  by Mike Smith
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Phoenix Films     
Starring: Josh Hartnett, Samuel L. Jackson
Directed by: Rod Lurie
Rated:PG 13
Running Time: 1 hour 51 mins

It's the classic story. A young man trying to follow in his father's footsteps, only struggling because the one thing he can't be is his father. It happens all the time. For sports reporter Erik (Hartnett), trying to make his mark, it's an obsession. So when he stumbles onto what could possibly be his one chance to put his father's work behind his, does it matter if the facts don't fit and the story may be false? No.

Longing to cover one of the major sports teams in Denver, Erik finds himself relegated to the boxing beat. As his father was one of the greatest voices in boxing journalism it seems a natural fit to his boss (Alan Alda). One night, after a fight, Erik comes across a group of punks beating up a homeless man (Jackson). After coming to his aide, the man introduces himself as "Champ." Further questioning indicates that he was once ranked third in the world, having fought the likes of Jake Lamotta. Intrigued, Erik does some research and believes he's stumbled onto the story of the century. And, since his boss doesn't seem to care about his work, he's going to free lance the story. With the help of a research librarian at the paper (Rachel Nichols), Erik begins to piece together either the greatest story or the biggest lie in sports history.

On the surface, "Resurrecting the Champ" seems to be a well acted and directed film. But, great acting and tight direction sadly can't overcome a script with holes big enough to drive a car through. You can't rest the entire plot of a two hour movie on a story that could easily be resolved with one phone call or internet search in the first reel. Which is a shame because the actors do their best to convince you to believe in them. As Champ, Jackson gives his best performance in years. He has always done his best when he's been given the chance to get inside a character and mold him and here he gives Champ a true soul under his tattered clothes and bruised face. Hartnett's character is not as well written, though the actor does his best to convey the emotional turmoil he's going through. The highlights of the film are the recreated bouts from Champ's past, with director Lurie giving each period setting the right look and feel. And give extra credit to whoever got Lamotta, the Raging Bull himself, to do a great phone cameo.

Like a championship fight, a movie is often reviewed in rounds. This being said, I think I'll go the safe route and call the film a draw.

On a scale of zero to four stars, I give "Resurrecting the Champ"  Two and a half stars.

This week's movie review of "Resurrecting the Champ" is ©2007 by Michael A. Smith.  All graphics this page are creations of Nolan B. Canova, ©2007, all rights reserved. All contents of "Nolan's Pop Culture Review" are ©2007 by Nolan B. Canova.