All original written content is (c) 2013 Mike Pascale. Visual content is (c) its respective owners. Bru-Hed is a trademark of All Ages Media and Mike Pascale.
FOR NEWBIES: My name’s Bru-Hed, “America’s Favorite Blockhead”TM. I do reviews for those who hate reviews. You’ve seen the trailer and know the basics so I don’t waste time on plot crap. We’re both busy, so no fancy “analysis” to impress you wit’ SAT words either. I jus’ give you Pros & Cons so you can make up yer own damn mind. My overall ratings: BUY IT (see it now and then again with all the extras on DVD or Blu-Ray later), SEE IT (worth going to the theater for the big screen experience or just seeing it, like, now), RENT IT (no need to go big; a must-see but not must-now), CATCH IT (okay for free, if you’re curious or drunk), or SKIP IT (more fun if you spent two hours in line at the DMV).
THIS WEEK: If having Sly Stallone fight and then team up with “Ahnold” Schwarzenegger in ESCAPE PLAN (previously reviewed here http://wednesdaysheroes.com/brus-reviews-escape-plan/) wasn’t enough, you get to see him box against Bobby D in GRUDGE MATCH. Stallone and De Niro are old boxers who quit with unfinished “bid-ness.”
- Great use of effects in the beginning. Footage from the Rocky movies and RAGING BULL are mixed together somehow (the latter in color too) to make it look like Sylvester Stallone and Robert De Niro fought each other. Makes FOREST GUMP look like a college project…technology’s come a ways.
- AARP can use this as a promo. Their members should love it.
- Features a REAL man’s sport, boxing! Sweaty guys punching the snot out of each other. That’s manly stuff. No fairy tales, pouty and pasty vampire couples,, cryin’ about “feelings”, space ships or other BS. Just jabs, upper cuts and right hooks.
- Bobby D is still Jake LaMotta when he wants to be. I’m sure some full-of-himself fop critic will say he’s “phoning it in” but no critic knows crap about acting. De Niro still has that intensity and it comes thru. He’s also funny when he wants to be…like wearing a silly green color-key suit.
- Stallone is pretty much the same one-syllable blue-collar guy he was in ESCAPE PLAN (and ROCKY and THE EXPENDABLES and…) but it works here.
- Interesting plot and actually a couple decent twists. About halfway thru, the ending you thought would happen seems highly unlikely.
- A little kid says he likes BJs! (That stands for “butterscotch jellybeans”, ya dirty-minded pervs!)
- Kim Basinger may have been slapped by Father Time but still looks great–definitely doable. And she can act. (Bonus: her daughter plays a younger version of her.)
- Alan Arkin is the typical feisty, unfiltered old guy he’s been in several movies. But again, works for the character and he’s given some funny lines. DeNiro’s son (Jon Bernthal) was believable and convincing.
- Kevin Hart is funny in small doses, and he gets just enough here. Could’ve had funnier lines, but it’s the delivery that works.
- The “round girls” look awesome! Should have had more footage of them. (There’s a DVD special feature I’d pay for!)
- Nice to hear Michael Buffer do his trademarked “rumble” line!
- The ending does seem a bit predictable later, but there’s really no other way that would have worked or been more enjoyable. Could’ve been worse (more clichéd) too, if you know what I mean.
- Kevin Hart is not Chris Rock, and his voice is even higher and more grating sometimes.
- Horse pee or vinegar? Nasty.
- Some of the sentimental stuff may seem contrived to some.
- One or two plot holes but nothing too outrageous.
It’s not high art or high adventure or even high comedy but it doesn’t pretend to be. If you like De Niro or Sly and/or their boxing movies, you’ll want to see this anyway, even if it’s out of curiosity. I laughed out loud several times and enjoyed the fight scenes. Worth a couple bucks rental.
Now if you’ll excuse me, it’s time to go hit the bag–either Lay’s or Tostitos!
P.S.: THIS JUST IN: Pascale is available for commissions. He’s quick too, because he needs the dough to go to the movies. Want something cool to start the year? Just ask Craig here!
DISCLAIMER: The opinions expressed by Bru’s Reviews are not necessarily those of Wednesday’s Heroes, Mike Pascale, or the world of boxing. While he doesn’t box, Bru-Hed does wear boxer shorts, which makes him an authority on the sport…and pretty much everything else.