Big question: Can director Rod Lurie ("The Contender") find truth in this fictionalized story, expanded from J.R. Moehringer's L.A. Times piece about his search for Satterfield?
Skip it: If you're still sore over Lindsay Lohan's recent troubles. You may have the wound opened as "The Champ" describes himself as someone who went from an up-and-comer to a has-been with nothing in between. Ouch.
Bottom line: There's a troubling, not-so-subtle irony to twisting the facts of a real story into a movie about truth in reporting, and Jackson's second winning performance of the year (after "Black Snake Moan") can't fully excuse the use of the questionable-homeless-guy screenwriting crutch. The movie won't change the way you look at boxers but might impact how you think about reporters, family, and the fact that parents are someone's kids too.
Bonus: A disingenuous TV exec (Teri Hatcher) tells Erik that even total blandness is acceptable in broadcasting: "That's the best part of television. You don't have to do anything. Just be." Finally, an explanation for Billy Bush!
Matt Pais is the metromix movies producer.
'Resurrecting the Champ'
Directed by Rod Lurie; screenplay by Michael Bortman and Allison Burnett; photographed by Adam Kane; edited by Sarah Boyd; music by Larry Groupe; production design by Ken Rempel; produced by Mike Medavoy, Bob Yari, Marc Frydman and Lurie. A Yari Film Group release; opens Friday. Running time: 1:51. MPAA rating: PG-13 (for some violence and brief language).
Erik - Josh Hartnett
Champ - Samuel L. Jackson
Joyce - Kathryn Morris
Metz - Alan Alda
Andrea Flak - Teri Hatcher