Medical rehab doesn’t leave me with the inclination to jump in the car, looking for adventure. Instead, it’s days of writing, fixing meals, and TV. So, with the summer TV fare being bland at best, I take my adventure where I can find it – in movies, most often alt movies. And this week I came up with two decent sports movies to help me while away an evening or two.
The first: Creed. This takes up where the Rocky movies left off. A kid named Adonis Johnson doesn’t know it, but he’s the son of Apollo Creed, Rocky’s friend/nemesis. And the kid likes to fight. He leaves LA for Philly and searches out R. Balboa to train him. Most of the movie is in this training with Rocky. I’ve never thought Stallone was as bad an actor as some do; and in this part he shows the nuances of a seasoned actor.
Of course, the movie climaxes in the kid adopting the Creed name and fighting for the heavyweight crown. The movie’s charm is partly in its constant references to the Rocky franchise and partly in the entertaining screenplay and surprisingly good acting.
My rating: 18 of 20 stars
The Second: The Program. No mystery here; this flick follows Lance Armstrong’s seven Tour de France wins, followed by his comeuppance. Ben Foster plays a look-alike Lance, and Chris O’Dowd plays journalist David Walsh, who stays hot on Lance’s doping trail. The most enthralling aspect of this somewhat blah movie is the manner in which Foster/Armstrong can lie so convincingly, even in the face of mounting evidence against him.
Some of the movie, I’m sure, is fictionalized; we never know every conversation, every personal thought of real people in real time, and these leave opportunistic holes in the storyline, ripe for writers to fill in. And btw, this I consider an alt movie – seen via Amazon Prime over my iPad, the signal sent to an Apple TV box, which is hooked to my flat screen. Okay, I love some aspects of geek-hood, although this tangled web sometimes doesn’t work well.
Oh, and have a fun but safe Fourth out there.
My rating: 16 of 20 stars