Okay, there are no other movies about curling (to my knowledge), and this film is short of spectacular, but it's amusing enough to merit a peek. It's certainly Leslie Nielsen's best work in many years.
Continue reading: Men with Brooms Review
That's some comfort, too, because I can't fathom how a middle-aged romantic tragicomedy like this could possibly win a major award.
Continue reading: The Republic of Love Review
Capturing the same rousing, Depression-era, hero-of-the-underclasses spirit that "Seabiscuit" did in 2003, "Cinderella Man" may be, in many ways, just another boxing movie (training montage here, point-of-view punches there, Big Fight finale), but it's one with an effectively and unabashedly uplifting emotional core. Directed by Ron Howard with a masterful eye for period authenticity (from the boarded-up brick storefronts to the boxers' softly brawny body types), the film's driving force is the never-give-up performance of Russell Crowe, starring as Jim J. Braddock, a one-time heavyweight contender whose career was derailed by a broken hand in the early 1930s. Left to fend for his wife (Rene Zellweger) and three kids by the luck of the draw as a dockside day laborer in Newark, he often couldn't even keep the lights on in their tenement-basement flat.
But after turning up at the New York Boxing Commission's Madison Square Garden offices, literally hat-in-hand looking for a little spare change, his old manager (Paul Giamatti) gets the washed-up pugilist one fight -- filling in at the last minute for an absent boxer against an unbeatable rising star -- that nobody ever imagined Jim might win.
You can guess the rest, even if you aren't familiar with Braddock's celebrated comeback. Yet "Cinderella Man" is awash in character detail that keeps it feeling fresh until hand-wringing tension takes over for the 15-round championship climax against the menacing title-holder Max Baer (Craig Bierko), a hulking brute of a boxer who had killed two men in the ring.
Continue reading: Cinderella Man Review