Skip that: ‘Bleed For This’
In theaters this weekend, we’re getting a boxing movie. Bleed for This stars misunderstood millennial Miles Teller as Vinny “The Pazmanian Devil” Pazienza, a real-life boxer who is in a terrible car accident and is told he’ll never walk — let alone box — again. But because a hero’s journey is way more compelling, he’s gonna fight his way back into the ring. (Cue inspiring boxing music, like the “Rocky” song or something.)
“Every original drop of Bleed for This is lost in a sea of cliché and convention, and Younger seems totally incapable of separating the singular verve of his protagonist from the hackneyed arc of his defining ordeal,” writes IndieWire’s David Ehrlich about the film and its director.
“The fight scenes are nimble but perfunctory. Teller, packing on the muscle, looks the part when he shows up for it. It’s a story of strength that crumples; a portrait of vitality that plays awfully flat,” writes The Guardian’s Henry Barnes, on Teller’s boxing abilities.
“We need this like we need a blow to the head,” writes Birth.Movies.Death.’s Jordan Hoffman, very succinctly, on the film.
I want real life-boxing, hold the Teller: Lucky for you, ESPN’s “30 for 30” series is streaming in its near-entirety on Netflix right now. Try 30 for 30: Muhammad and Larry, one of the best documentaries in the beloved series — directed by famed documentarian Albert Maysles.
Remember Russell Crowe? Okay, before he sang or got in fights with Azealia Banks, Russell Crowe played a boxer 2005’s Cinderella Man (also on Netflix) and it was pretty good! It’s a “Depression-era weepie about the underdog-turned-topdog,” writes Manohla Dargis at The New York Times, adding: “Mr. Giamatti does a lot of his acting with his eyebrows, which doesn’t make the performance any less enjoyable.”
Boxing? I prefer wrestling: Okay, well, the two are very different and I don’t really know why I’m accommodating you, but if you want to watch someone get messed up really bad, 2008's The Wrestler is streaming on HBOGO.
Okay, enough with all the men: Agreed! For you, I recommend 2000’s Girlfight (which you can watch on Crackle). It’s the Michelle Rodriguez boxing movie that made her relevant and adored pre-Fast & Furious.
Fuck movies, let’s box: Did you know that you can rent Billy Blank’s famed Tai Bo workouts on Amazon? Well, now you do. So get to it!