Sunday, May 13, 2012
CINDERELLA MAN (2005)
Written By: Cliff Hollingsworth & Akiva Goldsman
Story By: Cliff Hollingsworth
Cinematography By: Salvatore Totino
Editor: Daniel P. Hanley & Mike Hill
Cast: Russell Crowe, Renee Zellweger, Craig Berko, Paul Giamatti, Paddy Considine, Rosemarie Dewitt, Bruce McGill, Ron Canada
During the Great Depression, a common-man hero, James J. Braddock--a.k.a. the Cinderella Man--was to become one of the most surprising sports legends in history. By the early 1930s, the impoverished ex-prizefighter was seemingly as broken-down, beaten-up and out-of-luck as much of the rest of the American populace who had hit rock bottom. His career appeared to be finished, he was unable to pay the bills, the only thing that mattered to him--his family--was in danger, and he was even forced to go on Public Relief. But deep inside, Jim Braddock never relinquished his determination. Driven by love, honor and an incredible dose of grit, he willed an impossible dream to come true. In a last-chance bid to help his family, Braddock returned to the ring. No one thought he had a shot. However Braddock, fueled by something beyond mere competition, kept winning. Suddenly, the ordinary working man became the mythic athlete.
The film does well playing and looking like the period it depicts. Which gives the film a certain earthy richness. The production design amazing, but by now if you are a regular reader if I start off talking about the amazing work of the behind the scenes crew, I didn’t like the film.
Well you are right the acting is good but the film just didn’t grab me. It is pretty cut and dry while trying to portray itself as a spectacle. It’s a heroic story that pounds you over the head with how good of a guy the main character is. It is also a story you have seen too many times before.
The fight scenes are the best and most exciting thing in the movie.
The film reeks of assurance other then historical fact. The film lacks the element of surprise. Sure we know what’s going to happen. The film never leaves us in doubt If you can build up a suspenseful narrative, you can make us forget we know what will come and be unsure how we are going to get to the inevitable conclusion or at least have us enjoy the journey.
Most of the characters are so saintly you know and want them to succeed and any hardship. Even the slightest is seen as downright cruel. Though it is modern. The film feels like a1950’s melodrama it’s that innocent.
I respect Ron Howard, but as a director he brings no real style or substance to his films. It seems half the time he just films the movies as written. Not really putting any emphasis onto anything. No directing more like just filming the movie. It’s like he has no interest in the subject matter at hand. Instead it seems like he just fills in his ideals into whatever subject. He adds nothing. It’s like a blank envelope. There is no personal stamp. The films play like big budget TV movies. They are ok but if there seems to be no personal care involved in the movie. How do you expect the audience to feel anything or react to it. It has great packaging but as soon as you see what’s inside the wrapping it is bound to leave you disappointed.
Renee Zellweger just seems to be really annoying in this film. Her performance and her chipmunk cheeks on full display get tiresome very fast. Now I used to be a fan of Zellweger, but it seems like she’s not even trying in this movie. She really has nothing to do in this movie. She just seems to be another big name to add to the cast.
I know times were bad in this film as it takes place during the great depression. This film is based on a true story, but it is also a very manipulative film. It constantly tries to tell you how to feel. I like the desaturated look of the film. You know a film is mediocre when even Paul Giamatti doesn’t really give a noteworthy performance.
The fighting scenes are impressive hard hitting and log. You feel like you are right there for what feel like marathon bouts. I guess the title of the film telegraphs what is going to happen.
Wait For Television.