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Tyson (2009)

Mike Tyson , James Toback  |  R |  DVD
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (80 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Mike Tyson
  • Directors: James Toback
  • Format: Multiple Formats, AC-3, Color, Dolby, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: French
  • Subtitles for the Hearing Impaired: English
  • Region: Region 1 encoding (US and Canada only)
    Some Region 1 DVDs may contain Regional Coding Enhancement (RCE). Some, but not all, of our international customers have had problems playing these enhanced discs on what are called "region-free" DVD players. For more information on RCE, click .
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: Sony Pictures Classics
  • DVD Release Date: August 18, 2009
  • Run Time: 90 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (80 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B001UV4XBA
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #31,013 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Tyson" on IMDb

Special Features

Commentary with Director James Toback
A Day with James Toback
Iron Mike: Toback talks Tyson
The Fabulous Picture Show

Editorial Reviews

Product Description

The most ferocious boxer to ever step inside the ring, Mike Tyson was at age 20 the youngest heavyweight champion in history. But within a few short years, the baddest man on the planet was himself on the ropes, the victim of his own rage and fear. Told exclusively through the compelling words and commentary of Iron Mike himself, TYSON is a powerfully frank and provocative look at one of the most controversial and misunderstood sports figures of all time.

In his younger days, the former heavyweight champ liked to say, "No one really knows Mike Tyson." Director James Toback, who befriended him while making 1999’s Black and White, allows Tyson to speak for himself as he illustrates his words through archival footage and fight clips, culminating in a subjective portrait that begins in empathy before ending somewhere more enigmatic. Neglected as a child, the Brooklyn-born youth took solace in his pigeons--much like Marlon Brando's boxer in On the Waterfront--before turning to stealing and brawling in his teens until legendary trainer Cus D'Amato spotted his talent and helped him to develop the discipline and self-confidence he lacked. Tyson fought many of his most famous bouts after D'Amatos death, but never quite recovered from the loss. Toback tracks the fighter’s rise in the 1980s, followed by his fall in the '90s and ‘00s: the turbulent marriage to actress Robin Givens, the infamous ear-biting incident, and the notorious rape conviction (about which he maintains his innocence). The filmmaker captures his now-retired subject in a reflective mood, and Tyson comes across as considerably more humble and eloquent than his reputation suggests--he describes boxing impresario Don King as "wretched, reptilian, and slimy" and has a special fondness for the word "skullduggery"--but continues to battle loneliness and feelings of abandonment, even fighting back a few tears at times. Tyson may disappoint those looking for the trash-talking pugilist of old, but Toback proves there's more to Iron Mike than meets the eye. --Kathleen C. Fennessy

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
44 of 45 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Tragedy of Mike Tyson May 23, 2009
By R. Sohi
James Toback, the director of "Tyson," has commented in interviews promoting this film that he sees Mike Tyson as "a classically tragic figure." The story, as presented here, of how he transformed himself from a lispy voiced overweight kid, who was regularly bullied while growing up in one of the toughest neighbourhoods in America, to a fighter, who at his peak was among the most dominant heavyweight champions ever, to the middle-aged man shown as he is today, his face wrinkled and his belly soft, his fortunes squandered, and his sense of self publicly shamed innumerable times for various outrageous acts both in and out of the ring, is a tragedy in it's truest sense.

Toback has been friends with the former heavyweight champion for several years and it shows as Tyson unguardedly reveals to the camera the damaged contradictive person that exists behind the popular image of his merely being some kind of brutal animal. Other than the numerous segments of archival television footage showing Tyson in the ring, in interviews or being followed in public, Toback's documentary zeroes in on its subject and leaves Tyson the only person to appear on screen, his voice the only one that is heard. Sometimes he is shown in split screen with snippets of his monologue looped to repeat or overlapped to form a sound collage, presumably to evoke the confusion in his obviously tortured mind, as he recounts the various losses he has suffered, the way he sees the scales of justice always balanced against him. The result is claustrophobic.

Like any tragedy this is not an easy story to watch. At times it feels like you are looking at the wreckage from a violent road accident: once you start looking at it you want to look away but can't.
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31 of 32 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing! April 9, 2009
I was fortunate to attend an early screening of this film. This movie is incredible. If you ever had any opinion of Mike Tyson, this movie will change it- good or bad. He talks about every single aspect of his life and there is nothing from his amazing or disturbing past that goes untouched...
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33 of 35 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars I am not an animal May 26, 2009
In the classic book The Art of War, written over 2,000 years ago, Sun Tzu said: "The battle is won or lost before it's even begun."

In this movie, Tyson's public and private battles, successes and failures, wins and losses, show the truth of this saying.

Through it all, Tyson talks to camera, and his speaking style mirrors the relentlessness he showed as one of the greatest fighters ever.

As you watch the story gets more gripping, and it's easy to be amazed and perhaps a little horrified by both his blinding speed and ferocity as a fighter.

I can remember a coworker asking me one time, after watching Tyson demolish someone in half a round, if I would fight him for $4 million. I said no way. "But you would get $4 million." I said if it was Ali I know he wouldn't kill me, so I might risk it because he wouldn't kill me, but with Tyson you would have no such assurance.

In life as in boxing, Tyson pulls no punches, and it's odd, and not a little surreal to watch him talk and hear the shocking and surprising things he has to say about Robin Givens, Desiree Washington, and Don King, not to mention his celebrated fights including the ones with Holyfield and Lewis, and with Berbick, where he was battling herpes.

It would appear that his mentor Cus d'Amato instilled discipline in him, and was a huge positive force in his life. That story is very touching.

Late in the movie we see a segment where he play boxes with his young daughter, a beautiful counterpoint to all that's gone before. I wonder if this is Exodus. If it is, it's quite poignant.

If you get the opportunity, I recommend you go see Tyson while it is still in release.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Definitely changed my opinion of Mike Tyson September 13, 2009
I watched most of Mike Tyson's big fights growing up. But after the stories of uncontrollable anger, biting off part of another boxer's ear, and rape conviction, how could I not think he was the scum of the earth?

I have come to realize three things after watching this documentary. First, Mike Tyson could have been the best fighter ever, had he done a better job controlling himself outside of the ring (no question about it). Second, the media seemed to have a good time portraying him as a jerk. Third, he was only human. I consider myself a good person, but I'm sure I would have made many of the same dumb mistakes if I were in his shoes.

I found myself feeling compassion for Tyson and believing he is actually a good person. Perhaps he was just too successful at too young of an age? Whatever the case, I would love to sit and enjoy a nice cold beer with the guy.

The documentary is told in Tyson's own words. The documentary shows clips of many of Tyson's fights as well as telling his story about his childhood.

This video would be enjoyed most by people who knew Tyson, regardless of what their opinion of him is. For others who weren't as familiar with him, they likely won't enjoy it is as much but should still be entertained by the story of his life.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Surprisingly entertaining
Unbelievable! I saw this show on Neflix. When it was suggested to me by a family member, I wasn't sure that it was something that I wanted to see. I was never a Tyson fan. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Pat Rice
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Very nice
Published 1 month ago by Cemal
3.0 out of 5 stars Mike is God and chillin white dud that made film ...
Mike is God and chillin white dud that made film trying use him for money I white too. Mike keep chillin
Published 1 month ago by Choyki
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the Best Sports Documentaries of All Time
Extraordinary...completely changed my view of Tyson as a heartless brute, a monster: I actually "get him" now. Read more
Published 2 months ago by gerard hoskins
5.0 out of 5 stars Makes a great gift for boxing enthusiists
I got this for my brother who is a former New England Heavy-weight champ and after reading the book and also the one-man play made for HBO T.V. he loved it. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Sondra Hardy
5.0 out of 5 stars I would vote of this man! HONEST
Mike Tyson in his own words, he is honest, he tells you everything, good bad or not ugly. He is has grown and has wisdom, I would vote for him! This is a great movie.
Published 4 months ago by Dante
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Doc
Comprehensive video history of Tyson. Great interviews. Offers a sentimental look at the past while offering a new perspective of he man in the present.
Published 5 months ago by Stephen
5.0 out of 5 stars Tyson [HD]
My opinion of Mike Tyson is entirely different after seeing this film

Tyson's recovery and exploration of his entire career is on display through a series of interviews... Read more
Published 5 months ago by A.Miller
5.0 out of 5 stars Wow!
After reading his new book I just had to find out more. This little dvd has that. It brought me to tears more than once and just like his book, it's raw and uncut. Read more
Published 6 months ago by Egghead-8
5.0 out of 5 stars Impressed
This video tells the story and hopefully the truth in his own words. I have a little different opinion of him after seeing this!
Published 8 months ago by Cine
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