FLICKANALYSIS

Hands of Stone- Karl Sides (The Flick Fanatic.com)

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HANDS OF STONE

hands of stone poster

Edgar Ramirez is Roberto Duran in the new Bio pic “Hands of Stone!

Roberto Duran was raised on the streets of Panama stealing mangos and fighting for money to feed his family. Duran also had a hatred for Americans due to the taking of the Panama Canal. Duran would grow up and become one of the greatest fighters in history and world champion in the welterweight class.

Edgar Ramirez (Point Break, The Bourne Ultimatum) is Roberto Duran, welterweight fighter from Panama that earns the nick name “Hands of Stone” because of the viscous way he would knock out his opponents. Following a 13 round TKO of Ken Buchanan, Duran’s manager Carlos Eleta (Ruben Blades) introduces Roberto to the great Boxing trainer Ray Arcel (Robert DeNiro). The meeting was as cold as the Baskin Robbins Ice cream Duran was eating. Duran still hate Americans and didn’t want one training him.

Ray Arcel was a boxing legend having trained numerous World Champions and being a visionary in the sport wanting to bring it to TV and viewed by the entire nation. That idea almost got him killed by the mob, who were protective of the sport they were running. Arcel made a deal when he left the hospital that he would not make a dime from Professional boxing or he and his family would be killed. So Ray could only train Duran for free!

Eleta convinced Duran to bring on Arcel and the two had more friction that the speech barrier. But soon Duran adopted Arcels way of psychological boxing, making your opponent think the way you want him to. This would be especially clear on the first legendary fight with Sugar Ray Leonard (Usher). Leonard was a faster fighter and also undefeated, so Duran meets him in public and insults his manhood and his wife. Duran gets in his head and Leonard doesn’t dance in the fight, it is fought toe to toe Duran style. Roberto Duran wins the fight Arcel’s way!

The film chronicles the rest of Duran’s career and is a very good look at what the flip side of the Leonard/Duran coin was like.

“Hands of Stone” is an entertaining and captivating fight film. Usher is magnificently cast as Sugar Ray and has the signature smile down pat! DeNiro is amazing opposite Ramirez in the title role. There is also a cameo by John Turturro as mob boss Frankie Carbo.

I am Karl, the Flick Fanatic and I am rating “Hands of Stone” a KNOCKOUT!!!

Rated R (Nudity, Drugs, Violence)

 

5/6

Tony's Take

OUR LITTLE SISTER review

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our-little-sister-new-posterFamily Knows No Bounds

From acclaimed Japanese director Hirokazu Koreeda, “Our Little Sister” focuses on three young sisters, Sachi, Yoshino, and Chika, living in Kamakura, Japan; based on the manga series “Umimachi Diary”bu Akimi Yoshida.  As they are living on their own, they learn of their father’s, who they haven’t seen in over 15 years, passing.  Looking for some closure, the sisters attend his funeral; where they Continue reading

FLICKANALYSIS

Ben Hur (2016)- Karl Sides (The Flick Fanatic)

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BEN HUR (2016)

BEN HUR POSTER

Jack Huston stars as the prince turned slave in the biblical remake Ben Hur!

Hollywood believes that today’s youth won’t go past the new release rack, so they feel the need to remake all the classic films. The latest target is the biblical classic that had Charlton Heston racing chariots against the Romans in the 1959 epic Ben Hur. The updated version stars Jack Huston as Judah Ben Hur and Morgan Freeman as gambler IIderim as the pair that take down the Romans in a race that will leave you breathless.

Judah Ben Hur (Huston) , Prince of Jerusalem, was raised by his family with his step brother Messala Severus. Messala was an roman orphan after his family stood up against Caesar and they were crucified. Judah  and Messala were normal brothers, they raced horses and were very competitive. Messala joined the Roman army to see the world and step out of Juddah’s shadow and prove himself to Tirzah (Sofia Black-D’Elia).

While Messala was away Judah married servant girl Esther (Nazanin Boniadi) and Jerusalem has had zealots making attacks against romans. The zealots are led by a spiritual man named Jesus of Nazareth (Rodrigo Santoro) and Judah discovers Tirzah is helping them. Messala returns home as a commander of Caesars army telling Judah to speak to his people so there is no uprising when Roman leader Pontius Pilate (Pilou Asbaek) leads the legion through town.

An arrow nearly misses Pilate hitting a soldier in the throat. Judah and his family are arrested by Messala as traitors. Esther escapes, but Tirzah and her mother are imprisoned and Judah is sent to the ships to row until he dies. During a battle with the Greeks, Judah’s ship is sunk and he is the only survivor and washes up on shore, found by an African gambler IIderim. IIderim tells Judah he his heading to Jerusalem to race chariots in the games. Judah is brought along to take care of the horses and sees this as the opportunity to seek revenge on Messala.

Ben Hur is a biblical story and is very slow paced until you get to the chariot race. Huston and Freeman are great in the film as well as Santoro as Jesus. The story is the same as the 1959 epic but done much better in 3D and has better special effects in the race.

I would recommend checking out Ben Hur at a matinee to save a few bucks, but then take that savings to the DVD store and rent the original.

BEN HUR 1 BEN HUR 2 BEN HUR 3

Rating 3.5/6

 

Tony's Take

WAR DOGS review

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War Dogs posterHustling Their Way to the American Dream

The following is based on a true story.  “War Dogs”, the latest effort from Todd Phillips, follows the lives of David Packouz and Efraim Diveroli in Miami during the mid-2000s.  David is working as a licensed massage therapist, massaging rich old people for seventy-five dollars an hour.  At a funeral for one of their friends, David sees Efraim (his old best friend) for the first time in a while and he is faced with an incredible opportunity.  Efraim is Continue reading

Tony's Take

KUBO AND THE TWO STRINGS review

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kubo-and-the-two-strings-poster-600x889Defend Your Destiny

Laika’s latest animated-offering, “Kubo and the Two Strings”, opens with a voiceover telling us all to pay very close attention.  A young woman and her child in ancient Japan are traveling through a vicious storm, until a wave crashes sending them both ashore.  Some years later, Kubo (the child on the boat) spends his days taking care of his catatonic mother and playing a magical three-string guitar, which causes Continue reading