Tuesday, August 21, 2007
Resurrecting the Champ: "A Writer, Like a Boxer Must Stand Alone."
In this dramatic new film, Samuel L. Jackson, gives a champion performance as an amicable homeless man who identifies himself as "Battling Bob Satterfield" aka "The Champ." A former heavyweight contender, Champ fought for fame in the ring long ago, but now fights for survival on the streets of Denver. His riches to rags story is definitely one that needs to be told and Denver Times sports reporter Erik Kernan (Josh Hartnett) feels his is just the journalist to do it.
Similarly, Kernan has personal battles of his own. Unimpressed by his sporting event coverage, Kernan's boss (Alan Alda) thinks his articles are empty and only worthy of filling space in the Denver newspaper. And where he used to call home, his wife (Kathryn Morris) desires to end their marriage separating him from their adorable son Teddy (Dakota Goyo), the person that believes in him most. Then add to Kernan's woes, living in the shadow of a famous father that he respects professionally, but resents personally and you understand why Kernan's desperate to change the direction he sees his life going. He feels writing the story of sports legend, Bob Sattterfield, who most believed to be dead, will get his career off the ropes and arm him with a knockout punch.
It's a story of trying to live up to expectations and Academy Award nominee Samuel L. Jackson agrees. He also adds that Resurrection is a film basically about relationships.
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For Josh Hartnett (The Black Dahlia, Lucky Number Slevin) the film's handling of real issues and good writing is what convinced him to take the role.
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Oscar nominee, Emmy and Golden Globe winner Alan Alda, says Resurrecting the Champ is also an interesting mix of social and personal matters. But the film also makes you question the credibility of the media.
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Inspired by a true story, Resurrecting the Champ is the title of an article written by Los Angeles based reporter J.R. Moehringer in 1997. In it, Moehringer featured the life of a former legendary boxer who went from being a Chicago City Golden Gloves Champion with a shot at a title fight to a LA homeless man living on the streets. While writing the article Moehringer not only learned a lot about his subject but also about himself. This film version is directed by Rod Luri (The Contender) and hits theaters nationwide August 24th.
On a personal note, the film really spoke to me on a professional and personal levels. As an entertainment writer/blogger credibility is of upmost importance to me. While you surf the net, you'll see that many entertainment sites think different. But I'm old school about mine in that I strive toward giving readers something entertaining but also truthful. When Hollywood: As I Live and Work steps into the room, a certain reputation precedes it. It's what got me invited to the party, per se. And as most of know, when you've got nothing else going for you a good reputation can get open doors you never thought would open.