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Liev Schrieber gives a heavyweight performance in this bittersweet and honest biopic about Chuck Wepner, the big dumb lug who was the real life inspiration for the film Rocky. That said, between his addictions, infidelities, and overall self-destructive nature, this man had a much more in common with The Raging Bull than Italian Stallion.
Fairly cut and dry biopic narrative of a boxer who’s brief moment in the sun came after a series of promoter negations led to a chance at the heavyweight belt fighting Muhammad Ali post Ali’s defeat of Foreman. The 15 minutes of fame came after despite understandably nearly unanimous opinion among fight fans and insiders that the event would be a joke in Ali’s favor; Chuck displayed phenomenal endurance going 15 rounds with Ali before the the ref called the fight short on only an 8 count knockdown by Ali in the final 12 seconds before the wounding of the bell. The film then follows the typical narrative of a man’s struggle to recognize the sudden mass adoration and celebrity status, also fueled in great part by learning his underdog performance standing tall against Ali was the inspiration behind Sly Stallone making the Rocky franchise, created a false sense of grandeur that would become his eventual downfall. Like so many other films portraying a meteoric rise to fame, and a sobering fall back to reality once the legions of fans, adoring masses of beautiful women and of course cash flow all come to an inevitable grinding stop. My main issue with the film is it reminded me of what “Wolf Of Wallstreet” would run like if Leonardo DiCaprio and Jonah Hill didn’t have great chemistry, an obscene amount of wealth, didn’t lack any conventional sense of a moral compass, had no crazy stories to tell and instead Scorsese filmed two hours of SEC hearings and submitted a story of two characters learning to love life without excess post wire fraud conviction. Lev Schreiber did a fine job with making what he could out of the scripts dialogue, the pacing was fine I guess, cinematography, and editing were adequate. It was just really disappointing to me because there’s a lot of interesting stuff throughout Chuck’s life and career that was also really bizarre, it’s confusing as to why the director chose to not emphasize these facets of the boxer’s life during filming, choosing instead to touch briefly on them and making the viewer feel like they’d just finished watching a two part A&E biography series...
Here's a boxing film that might fight itself into your top ten sports movies. Director Philippe Falardeau hits all the right notes: gets knockout performances from the entire cast, jabs and weaves a moving story, and lands a convincing production set in 1970s New Jersey.
I didn't like it as much as I'd hoped but Chuck or The Bleeder is a decent biopic despite its slow pace.
An indie drama, Chuck tells the story of the real life Rocky, Chuck the "Bayonne Bleeder" Wepner. The film follows professional Philadelphia boxer Chuck Wepner who gets a shot at the heavy weight boxing championship with Muhammad Ali, and soon after learns that Hollywood has made a film inspired by the fight and his life, and becomes obsessed with the film and rides its fame. Liev Schreiber gives a really strong performance, as does Naomi Watts. And the script has a nice pace and does a good job at using a first person narrative. However, it's a little underdeveloped; not going too much into his boxing career or substance abuse issues. Also, the plot is kind of familiar; following a typical biopic formula with a rise, a fall, and a redemption. Yet despite its problems, Chuck is an interesting and cautionary tale about the dangers of reflected glory.
I enjoyed the movie. I really liked it
Perfectly acted and extremely believable - well played.
A moderately interesting true boxing story told reasonably well. Raging Bull it ain't.
Great movie. Despite a number of cliches in its true story, this film overcomes them with a compelling subject, stellar direction and a brilliantly charismatic performance from Schreiber.
The real-life inspiration for Rocky. A pretty decent biopic on Chuck Wepner, who fell just seconds short of going the distance with Muhamad Ali and inspired Sylvester Stallone's hit film Rocky.