creed review

Creed is a very, very good movie… but it’s a perfect Rocky movie. Here is that familiar, tried and true template given a fresh coat of paint and lovingly restored by people who give a damn. If you’ve ever liked any of the films in this series, this spin-off is going to get your blood pumping and eyes leaking. It’s the movie you want.

However, the real miracle of Creed is that isn’t anything like the Rocky sequels. The follow-ups to the original masterpiece (which is one of the best movies ever made) took a turn for the ridiculous. They got silly and began to lean too hard on series star Sylvester Stallone‘s action hero persona. The warmth, the charm, and the honesty of the first film was resurrected for 2006’s Rocky Balboa, but it’s back in full force in Creed. This spin-off, which finds an aging Rocky training the son of the late Apollo Creed, is second only to the first movie, and that’s because it recognizes what the first movie did so right.

Like them or not (and Rocky III and Rocky IV do offer some absurd pleasures), the Rocky sequels feel like Saturday morning cartoon versions of a genuinely great movie. Creed does the impossible: it coexists with them while avoiding everything they did wrong.

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Lenny Abrahamson directing Frank

You might think Lenny Abrahamson would want to follow up his kidnapping drama Room with something a little harrowing, but instead he’s heading for more dark material. The Irish director has just been set to direct a film about bisexual boxer Emile Griffith. Though a two-time world welterweight champion, Griffith is best known for beating his opponent Benny “The Kid” Paret to death in the ring in 1962 after the latter taunted him with a gay slur at weigh-in.

Get lots more details on the Lenny Abrahamson Emile Griffith movie after the jump.  Read More »

rocky IV 30 for 30

We know /Film is a movie website, but maybe you’ll forgive us for delving into the wide world of sports for a moment. After all, few moments have impacted culture worldwide like the 1985 exhibition boxing match between Rocky Balboa and Ivan Drago. This event shook the sporting world to its core and rattled the foundation of international politics – the world was never the same after Drago hit the mat and Balboa stood triumphant. It’s no accident that the Cold War finally came to an end a few years later.

Now, this astonishing match is finally getting the attention it deserves in a new episode of 30 for 30, ESPN’s acclaimed documentary series chronicling the most important figures and events in the history of sports. Whether you were alive and watching in the days of Balboa’s prime, or too young to realize just how much this event changed life on this planet, this is required viewing.

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Creed Clips

The steps of the Philadelphia Art Museum have become quite iconic thanks to the famous training montage from the original Best Picture winning boxing drama Rocky. Plenty of tourists have ran up those steps and taken countless pictures there in honor of Sylvester Stallone‘s iconic character Rocky Balboa, and now the city of Philadelphia is honoring the forthcoming franchise spin-off Creed with an honorary, celebratory day.

In addition, you can watch just over five minutes of footage from Creed with seven clips that have been released online as we get closer to the release later this month. Get more details on the honorary day and watch the batch of Creed clips after the jump. Read More »

Race trailer

Amid the usual fall crush of biopics comes a trailer for an especially promising one that’s opening next year. Focus Features has just put out the first promo for Race, starring Selma‘s Stephan James as Olympic athlete Jesse Owens.

Still considered one of the greatest track and field stars in history, Owens struck a blow to the notion of Aryan supremacy when he dominated at the 1936 Olympics in Nazi Germany. Jeremy IronsJason Sudekis, and William Hurt also star, and Stephen Hopkins directed. Watch the Race trailer after the jump. Read More »

Brie Larson in Trainwreck

Following a breakout performance in Room at this year’s Telluride Film Festival, Brie Larson has booked another plum lead. She’s in talks to play tennis star Billie Jean King in Battle of the Sexes, from producer Danny Boyle and directors Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris (Little Miss Sunshine). Steve Carell stars as Bobby Riggs.

Get more details on the Brie Larson Battle of the Sexes casting after the jump.  Read More »

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Creed trailer

Rocky spawned five sequels over thirty years, some better than others. Now in Creed, Rocky Balboa (Sylvester Stallone) returns one more time to pass the torch to a new young fighter: Adonis Johnson (Michael B. Jordan), the son of his old friend and rival Apollo Creed. Ryan Coogler (Fruitvale Station) directs. Watch the new Creed trailer after the jump. Read More »

Lance Armstrong movie

Ben Foster made an interesting revelation while promoting The Program. In the film, he plays former cycling champ Lance Armstrong, whose titles were stripped after confirmation that he used performance-enhancing drugs. To play the role, Foster went so method that he actually used performance-enhancing drugs to prep for the role.

Read what Foster had to say about that approach to the Lance Armstrong movie and what it did for him, and check out new trailer for The Program, after the break.  Read More »

Concussion NFL controversy

Last week brought the first trailer for the professional football set drama Concussion starring Will Smith. The movie doesn’t arrive until Christmas Day when we’re well into the next season of football, but there’s already controversy surrounding the film due to some cuts that Sony Pictures reportedly made to the film in order to avoid clashing with the NFL.

For those who don’t know, Concussion follows Smith as Dr. Bennet Omalu, a forensic neuropathologist who discovers the first case of CTE (chronic traumatic encephalopathy, a progressive degenerative disease) in a pro football player. The doctor tries to alert the public to his findings, but the NFL denies his conclusions and has stopped his efforts to get the organization to address these problems at every turn.

The controversy that has surfaced comes from e-mails between Sony Pictures Entertainment, director Peter Landesman and Will Smith’s representatives where they discuss how to make the movie without antagonizing the NFL or “kicking the hornet’s nest” as one e-mail puts it. Find out more about the Concussion movie NFL controversy below! Read More »