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Resurrecting the Champ (2007)

Samuel L. Jackson , Josh Hartnett , Rod Lurie  |  PG-13 |  DVD
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Samuel L. Jackson, Josh Hartnett, Kathryn Morris, Dakota Goyo, Alan Alda
  • Directors: Rod Lurie
  • Writers: Allison Burnett, J.R. Moehringer, Michael Bortman
  • Producers: Arnold Messer, Bob Yari, Brad Fischer, Frederick Zollo
  • Format: Multiple Formats, AC-3, Color, Dolby, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English (Dolby Surround), French (Dolby Digital 5.1), Spanish (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: PG-13 (Parental Guidance Suggested)
  • Studio: 20th Century Fox
  • DVD Release Date: April 8, 2008
  • Run Time: 112 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000YDMPC4
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #113,892 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Resurrecting the Champ" on IMDb

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Sportswriter Erik Kernan (Hartnett) wants nothing more than to discover a story great enough to make headlines. So when he meets Champ (Jackson), a former boxing champion living on the streets, he knows he has a shot to save them both. Recording his newfound friend's unbelievable tale of triumph and defeat, Kernan gets his story and his fame. But as Champ's tale falls under more scrutinizing eyes, Kernan will have to learn that what truly makes a story great is the quality of the man behind it.

Loosely based on a Los Angeles Times Magazine story by J.R. Moehringer, Resurrecting the Champ is a heartfelt, thematically ambitious drama that attempts to work on several levels, and mostly pulls it off. On one level it's the story of a sloppy journalist named Erik Kernan (Josh Hartnett) who learns a painful lesson in humility when he's forced to confront his own shortcomings as a father and a sportswriter. On another level it's a richly human tale of redemption between the flawed reporter who's desperate to match his late father's professional reputation, and a former boxing champion (Samuel L. Jackson) who's now a homeless drifter on the streets of Denver, Colorado. When Kernan seizes on "The Champ" as the kind of personal, humanitarian story that could give him a much-needed career boost, he falls into the trap of his own ambition, making a professional mistake that threatens to ruin his career forever. While attempting to impress his 6-year-old son (Dakota Goyo) and win back the respect of his estranged wife (Kathryn Morris, from TV's Cold Case), Kernan is groomed for celebrity by a sexy Showtime executive (Teri Hatcher), but must ultimately get his values and priorities in order. Resurrecting the Champ emerges as a surprisingly thought-provoking study of professional and personal ethics, with some equally compelling observations about the modern state of journalism-as-show-business. Directed with a delicately sentimental touch by former film critic Rod Lurie (The Contender, The Last Castle), Resurrecting the Champ lacks the sharp focus that could've made it a modest classic, but it's a welcome relief from the mindless mayhem of big-studio blockbusters. Lurie's careful handling of the material is blessed by excellent performances by Hartnett and Jackson, with stellar support from Morris, Alan Alda, David Paymer, and especially Peter Coyote, almost unrecognizable under old-age makeup as a veteran boxing reporter who sets Hartnett's character on the road to redemption. --Jeff Shannon

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What an Excellent and Well Made Movie April 10, 2008
But it Never ceases to amaze me why some people who review such films, have to spoil it for those who Haven't had a chance to see it? Any film that has Samuel Jackson, and Alan Alda in it? Im there. It was "Everything and More" than i Expected. A very moving, emotional film..that hits home in so many ways. If Jackson is Not nominated for an Academy Award? Something is wrong. One of his Most compelling, and heartfelt performances, ive ever seen. If you're looking for a movie that will hold your attention, and tell such a valuable story? This is One i highly recommend.

Why one review had to have a problem with an actor's hairstyle? Is way beyond me, its the last thing on my list, regarding a very important movie that should not be missed.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Ever Felt About 30% ? April 13, 2008
A movie about a down-and-almost-out boxer that FOR ONCE doesn't blast the entire sport of boxing. That alone could have made this film a masterpiece (or at least one of a kind). Anyone with a passion for the sweet Science will find this film well worth watching, as will anyone who seeks a drama that doesn't bore the viewer with the typical Hollywood schtick. Jackson steals his own film. You will hang on every line. Highly recommended!
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Story February 9, 2008
The one thing that drove me crazy in this movie was Josh Harnett's hair. I hate to sound like Grandpa Simpson, but "Get a haircut punk!" I suppose the act of moving his bangs out of his eyes every five seconds gives him chic points and street cred, but I found it distracting. Having said that, this is an excellent movie. There are many things to take from this movie, and I hate to take anyone's enjoyment away from the movie by revealing my perspective on it, but the father/son theme rang hard in my head throughout the movie. Samuel L. Jackson is, of course, brilliant. He doesn't even have to scream the patented Jackson scream in this movie to bring you on board. The thing about this movie that separated it from 99% of the movies of 2007 was the fact that it was a brilliant story first and a great movie second. I am sure I will receive some derision for saying this but, I did not see the plot twist coming. The reviewer said there was some problem with the pace of this movie. I thought it was perfect. I enjoyed the subtle morsel I was provided. Step by step, aspects of the plot are revealed. The characters are methodically revealed through repetition and revelation. With technology and the enhancements of the craft that have been learned through trial and error, most movies move along at a clip that can be dizzying at times. Resurrection takes its time and develops the plot and the characters and by the time the ending rolls around you receive the payoff. As a story teller, I found myself so exciting by the continuity of the conclusion I nearly leapt out of my seat screaming: "YES! That is it!" Unfortunately, it appears this little gem was drowned out by the big budget blockbusters that weren't half the movie this one was. Behind the movie Breech, I think this was the second best movie of 2007.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Resurrecting the Champ December 24, 2011
By Graham
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Josh Hartnet and Samuel L Jackson play an extraordinary duo in this fantastic movie. Hignly recommended especially if you're a fan of these two actors
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars might test your patience, let's be honest November 18, 2009
I've seen many complaints from reviewers that Resurrecting the Champ is just a flat out boring film. I can see why so many people are coming to that conclusion.

The story isn't one of the best, that's for sure, and the film is certainly NOTHING like the classic Rocky films, so don't go assuming there will be a dramatic boxing match at the end of the movie that will satisfy your secret love for intense punching action, because it ain't gonna happen. Completely different movies.

What makes the storyline sort of boring is the fact that WAY too much of it focuses on the aimless walking and talking reporter aspect, and less on communicating with the boxer himself.

I don't know about you, but I would have been MUCH more satisfied had most of the movie been devoted to scenes showing Samuel L. Jackson's character, and less on the other guy who played the reporter role.

Resurrecting the Champ is about a news reporter looking for a big story to cover for the paper, and through a painfully slow and uninteresting build-up in character development and storyline, the reporter eventually finds a homeless man living on the streets that used to be a big-name boxer a long time ago... or at least, that's what it appears. Keep watching the film to see what's REALLY going on.

Why the movie doesn't stack up to the hype is because the story is just so sloooooow to not only get going, but to actually GET anywhere. The pace never picks up for its entire 2-hour running time, and despite a magnificent performance by Samuel L. Jackson, you have to be *very* patient to sit still and pay attention to a storyline that's honestly mediocre at best.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Redefining Success and Failure October 5, 2008
While only the true diehard boxing fan is likely to be familiar with Bob Satterfield, the thunderous-punching, small heavyweight of the 1950's who missed being heavyweight champion by a hair's breadth, the movie actually has almost nothing to do with the great fighter. At first glance virtually everyone contemplating watching this movie, myself included, has already imagined this movie from beginning to end before popping it in their DVD player, certain that they are about to watch the gripping saga of a talented sports hero/celebrity reduced to the inexcusable ravages of homelessness, yet another lesson on the intolerance of our society for those it perceives as "failures" generally and of the disabled specifically. You are prepared, no doubt, to witness the heart-tugging saga of a poor soul whose brain (and/or body) has been debilitated by too many punches, and the heartless society that kicks him when he is down because they never had the courage to do so when he was in his prime. Well, that IS a great story, and is an unfortunate true story for many ex-boxers (see Sam Langford, one of the greatest fighters of all time, e.g.), but that is not this story.

The fortunate viewer is treated instead to a story about the complexity and relativity of success and failure, contrasting an admixture of various failures and successes and the complete lack of a nexus between material reward for true success, and the punishment of destitution for true failure. The movie graphically shows the difficulty, and often, injustice, of applying such absolute final judgments as "success" and "failure" to an entire life, and how success/failure are in constant flux along the failure/success spectrum, not fixed finalities.

This is Samuel L. Jackson's best performance.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Resurrecting the Champ was a typical feel good movie...
I felt this movie deserved at least 3 stars - the acting was good
but this movie will never become a classic!!
Published 5 months ago by Robert Pylant
4.0 out of 5 stars solid performance
I enjoyed this movie that dealt with some difficult journalistic issues and handled them deftly. I always enjoy Alan Alda in any role as well!
Published 24 months ago by Amazon Customer
4.0 out of 5 stars Finding fallen boxing stars and life on the streets
"Resurrecting the Champ" is a drama film that is based on true events but there are some alterations to facts from the real story. Read more
Published on April 19, 2012 by Nicholas R.W. Henning
2.0 out of 5 stars Not worth the time
I am very open minded and like almost every type of movie. My favorite genre is sports inspirational and/or true stories so I'm typically biased to like this style of movie even... Read more
Published on November 14, 2009 by Researcher
3.0 out of 5 stars What You See...
Jackson's performance in this film was top notch, though the rest of it left something to be desired. Read more
Published on May 1, 2009 by S. K. Harrell
1.0 out of 5 stars Boring
Couldn't get into the movie at all. I wish I would have saved my money
Published on November 18, 2008 by Cullen C. Scott
3.0 out of 5 stars Mediocre Feel Good Movie
Mediocre journalist, Erik Kernan Jr. (played by Josh Hartnett), continually lives in the shadow of his famous journalist father and strives to become a great writer in his own... Read more
Published on November 18, 2008 by L. A. Vitale
5.0 out of 5 stars Jackson Is Fantastic Here In Yet Another Excellent Drama Involving...
This was a very entertaining film with just the right mixture of action, drama, romance and intrigue. Read more
Published on November 15, 2008 by Craig Connell
2.0 out of 5 stars "HOW YOU FEELIN' TODAY CHAMP?" OH.. ABOUT 40 %! .....2 1/2 STARS!
It's a shame to let such a good premise end up being such a mediocre movie! 'Resurrecting The Champ' could have been a great film, but it ends up feeling about as deep as the... Read more
Published on October 12, 2008 by ! MR. KNOW IT ALL ;-b
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent movie with a great cast!
When I started watching this movie I was not sure about what to expect, Samuel Jackson and Josh Hartnett had a great screen presence and portrayed their characters very well. Read more
Published on August 5, 2008 by Felista Nany
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