3 Knock Out Flicks for Your Future Boxer
First of all, let’s hope your child would rather go into training boxers or working as promoter than actual boxing, because: Ouch! It’s definitely not an easy career, but it’s one that seems to be ingrained from an early age.
We found three fab flicks that show the true spirit of winning, the glamour, and the downside of this dangerous sport:
Ali focuses on the early career of the boxer, between 1964-1974, when Cassius Clay becomes Muhammad Ali (Will Smith). The movie starts with him winning the heavyweight title from Sonny Liston (Michael Bentt). His friendship with Malcolm X (Mario Van Peeples), his marriages, and his fall from grace when he refused to be drafted and fight in the Vietnam War. From being broke and cast out from the Church of Islam, Ali rises above it all when he fights for the championship title in a match with George Foreman (Charles Shufford): the famous “Rumble in the Jungle”, held in Zaire.
Smith is great as Ali – he’s got the rhyming-rap and trash-taunting to a T – but it’s the supporting cast that stands out here. A couple of the characters, Malcolm X and Don King, stand out. Ron Silver as Angelo Dundee was deep in character both physically and personally, as was Jon Voight in his portrayal of the irritating yet charismatic Howard Cosell. Voight truly steals the show with his amazing portrayal of the human being under the bad toupee. Although they weren’t given much to do, the women of the cast (Jada Pinkett-Smith, Nona Gaye, and Michael Michele as wives one, two, and three respectively) were also excellent.
The subject matter is harsh and uncompromising, so save this one for the older teens.
Frankie Dunn (Clint Eastwood) is a veteran Los Angeles boxing trainer who keeps almost everyone at bay, except for his old friend and closest associate, Eddie “Scrap Iron” Dupris (Morgan Freeman). When Maggie Fitzgerald (Hilary Swank) arrives in Frankie’s gym seeking his mentorship, he is reluctant to train the young woman but eventually, he relents, and the two form an unbreakable bond that will change them both… for good, and for bad.
It seems Swank’s career has been down for the count lately, but Million Dollar Baby will immortalize her as one her generation’s best actresses no matter what. From the brutality of the boxing ring to tender moments of vulnerability, she wrings out every last emotion with an authenticity that’s seldom seen in such demanding roles.
The ending is a serious downer, but Million Dollar Baby is still a great film to see for any aspiring athlete, especially young women.
Who knew Rocky would still be rocking the big screen 40 years after his debut? This latest entry in the film franchise, follows Adonis Johnson (Michael B. Jordan) a brash young fighter who never knew his famous father, heavyweight champion Apollo Creed, who died before Adonis was born. But boxing is in his blood, so he seeks out his godfather Rocky Balboa (Sylvester Stallone) and asks the retired titleholder to be his trainer. Rocky sees so much of Apollo in Adonis, and he’s at once repelled and compelled. Can he handle the memories? Eventually, the aging champ agrees to mentor the young upstart, but whether he has the true heart of a fighter remains to be seen as he’s tested again and again.
Creed is incredibly well-directed, deftly swinging at multiple subjects – professional, personal, and emotional, as every character is given his or her due (Adonis’s mother and his girlfriend factor strongly into the story). It’s long – as are each of these films – but well worth the investment of time.
What are some films about professional boxers your kids enjoy watching? Share with us!
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