Thursday, August 23, 2007

Resurrecting the Champ

Posted on Thu, Aug 23, 2007 at 4:00 AM

****
Resurrecting the Champ
Studio: Yari Film Group
Rated: PG-13
Cast: Josh Hartnett, Sameul L. Jackson
Director: Rod Lurie
WorkNameSort: Resurrecting the Champ
Our Rating: 4.00
How refreshing to find that, despite its title, Resurrecting the Champ is not another Rocky Balboa but a fine journalism picture along the lines of Shattered Glass. This is the true story of Denver Times sportswriter Erik Kernan (Josh Hartnett), who, in a career slump, finds his golden ticket in the form of a pitiful homeless man (Samuel L. Jackson) who claims to be a formerly high-ranking boxing champion. Kernan gets the story he wants, impressing his Times editor (Alan Alda) and the editor for whom he duplicitously freelances the story (David Paymer) ' but at an unexpected price. Despite an unnecessarily treacly ending, Michael Bortman and Allison Burnett's screenplay is textbook-perfect. They show a studied reverence for the newspaper industry and how it works, making this as appealing for die-hard news hounds as the average viewer. Hartnett seems to be getting better with every performance, and it's stunning to watch Jackson slip so effortlessly into a character so far removed from his well-defined persona, his militant baritone replaced with a high-pitched, vulnerable ' and expletive-free! ' rasp.

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