Friday, July 24, 2015

Southpaw (Rhoades)

Front Row at the Movies

Gyllenhaal Delivers Knockout Punch With “Southpaw”
Reviewed by Shirrel

Prizefighters are modern-day gladiators who do battle for our public entertainment. It’s a tough and bloody sport. People own them.

Well, sort of. My friend Gerry invested in fighters, a financial act which guaranteed him a front row seat at the arena. And he shared in the prize when they won.

You can have a front row seat simply by buying a movie ticket to “Southpaw,” the new Jake Gyllenhaal film that’s playing at the Tropic Cinema.

In this pugilistic drama, Billy Hope (Gyllenhaal) is a successful boxer whose life and fighting career collapses when his wife is murdered. He loses his daughter and succumbs to drugs. Until he realizes the only way he can win his daughter back is to win the title.

Yes, it’s a comeback film.

Kind of a dark-visioned “Rocky” without Sylvester Stallone.

Forest Whitaker plays Tick, his trainer. Rachel McAdams is the soon-dead wife. Oona Laurence is the precocious daughter.

Don’t complain that I’ve given you spoilers in my synopsis. You’ll discover this much (and more) just by watching the previews.

These days movie trailers are like Cliffs Notes, giving you a two-minute summation of the entire storyline. Including all the best lines.

That’s life in these tech-driven times: fast food, speed dating, jiffy lubes.

Nonetheless, Jake Gyllenhaal delivers another knockout punch. “Prisoners,” “Nightcrawler,” “Southpaw” -- his acting gets better and better. This may not be the movie to do it, but he’s due for an Oscar one of these years.

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