Resurrecting the Champ
Cast: Josh Hartnett, Samuel L. Jackson, Alan Alda, Kathryn Morris, Teri Hatcher, David Paymer, Dakota Goyo, Peter Coyote
Director: Rod Lurie
SUNY Purchase '05
"I don't compromise my values and I don't compromise my work. I won't give in." -Michael Moore
Resurrecting the Champ
Review By: Rocco Passafuime
Resurrecting The Champ
Since the releases of the venerable Rocky and Raging Bull, the sport of boxing has managed to be a perfect backdrop for Hollywood drama. However, what if you tried mixing boxing with a story about journalistic integrity and the true meaning of being a hero not only in family, but in life? Your end result would be the drama Resurrecting the Champ, now available on DVD.
Erik Kernan, Jr. (Josh Hartnett) is a sports reporter for The Denver Times, who is trying to live up to the renowned reputation of his father, a radio sportscaster. He also has personal crosses to bear as Erik has a lifelong resentment with his father for being absentee in his life and struggles to make himself a hero in the eyes of his son Teddy (Dakota Goyo), with his marriage to paper editor Joyce (Kathryn Morris), on the verge of collapse.
One night in an alley, he stumbles upon a seemingly golden opportunity when he encounters a weathered, homeless man named Champ (Samuel L. Jackson). He claims to be “Battling” Bob Satterfield, a legendary boxer whose promising career had been cut short and was thought to be dead.
Soon enough, Erik has the makings of a promising magazine article, which soon give him a coveted Pulitzer Prize nomination, a potentially lucrative gig covering Showtime boxing, as well as a blossoming friendship with Champ. However, his moment in the sun soon crashes back down to Earth when he learns that Champ may not be who he claims to be.
Resurrecting the Champ manages to be a resoundingly good piece of drama. All the different elements work, even if the script suffers from being a little too multi-tiered and overstuffed, thanks to some great performances from a terrific cast.
Hartnett seems a bit miscast here as the film's co-lead as his seeming lack of emotional depth continues to affect his ability to break into more adult roles. On the other hand, Jackson continues to knock it out of the park with his extraordinary range in one of his most touching, vulnerable, and likable performances ever.
The DVD's picture quality is in the 2:35:1 anamorphic widescreen aspect ratio, with the sound quality in Dolby Digital Surround 5.1. The DVD also contains plenty of special features.
The first is very informative and in-depth audio commentary provided by director Rod Lurie. The second is a rather weak behind-the-scenes featurette which features cast and crew interviews seemingly edited with the film's theatrical trailer. Rounding out the special features are individual cast and crew interviews with director Rod Lurie, actors Samuel L. Jackson, Josh Hartnett, Alan Alda, and Kathryn Morris, and boxing choreographer Eric Bryson.
All in all, despite
Movie Grade: B
DVD Features Grade: B-
Overall Grade: B