Video games are not required to be fun in a traditional sense. They just aren’t. So, if the entertainment medium is ever going to evolve artistically rather than stagnate and regress with the zombified fad of online competitive multiplayer, money pit loot boxes, time-wasting mobile games, and the first-person shooter obsession that has oversaturated the market more than superhero films could ever do for the movie industry, it’s going to take an awakening from consumers that gaming, even at 61 years old, is still in its infancy having nowhere near tapped into its unprecedented potential as a legitimate art form.
Not to go on a lengthy detour regarding the mixed critical and commercial reception Hideo Kojima’s (instantly recognizable for the iconic Metal Gear Solid franchise and his status as one of gaming’s only true auteurs) latest masterful accomplishment Death Stranding has received, but it’s difficult to accept that many of its naysayers went in to the 50-plus hour experience with the notion presented above: gaming does not and should not be limited to conventional methods of entertainment or whatever is trending, or what’s to be expected from a mainstream AAA blockbuster title.
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It’s a given that biopics adhere to real life closely but also take creative liberties in order to (hopefully) streamline the experience for great dramatic effect within a two-hour running time. Fighting With My Family is no exception, and it is very accurate, with only a few understandably tweaked elements.
Written and directed by Stephen Merchant (and based on the Channel 4 documentary of the same name that should absolutely be sought out after watching the movie and reading this), the professional wrestling-centered film tells the story of the Knight family, an unorthodox bunch of eccentrically charming British performers from Norwich, Norfolk who run their own independent wrestling league (World Association of Wrestling). The film specifically focuses on daughter Paige (birth name Saraya-Jade Bevis), who finds herself entering the world of professional wrestling.
Let’s take a look at the fact and fiction of Fighting With My Family. What actually happened? What was created for a the movie?
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Putting it bluntly, it’s difficult to get excited anytime Hollywood wants to trot out a narrative on disabilities nowadays, especially as someone born and living with Muscular Dystrophy Type 2. They are stubbornly set on staying the feel-good course without necessarily saying anything meaningful or relevant. If you thought Green Book had nothing but safe and obvious observations, tackling race relations with the force of bopping someone on the head with your finger, well, the disabled community doesn’t currently have any better stories with movies like The Upside.
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