Training Day

Film Review: Southpaw

by Chad Liffmann on July 24, 2015

Southpaw throws a flurry of clichéd punches

Melodrama make Jake —ANGRY!

Melodrama make Jake —ANGRY!

Southpaw was not what I expected. I believed and hoped that I was walking into a Rocky type fable, or maybe a modern day Raging Bull. There have been a few strong entries into the sport fighting genre in recent years, including Rocky Balboa (2006), Warrior (2011), and hopefully the upcoming Creed (2015). Sure, there are twice as many sub-par entries between the aforementioned titles, but with a superb cast headlined by limitless Jake Gyllenhaal and under the consistently solid (if not above average) direction of Antoine Fuqua (Training Day, The Equalizer), Southpaw seemed destined to be the strong sports drama entry that comes along every handful of years. Alas, it is not. The sure bets going into the final product still shine—Gyllenhaal is superb and Fuqua’s direction is effective—but the story is formulaic and surprisingly, subtly, unnervingly, kinda racist.

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Film Review: Sabotage

by Chad Liffmann on March 28, 2014

Expectations sabotaged by a lack of fun.

A moment of fun amidst a whole lot of not.

A moment of fun amidst a whole lot of not.

Don’t let the above image fool you.  This is not a fun, explosive, Arnold film.  When a movie trailer brags that it features the director of End of Watch and the writer of Training Day, ears perk up!  So why doesn’t this film even come close to capturing the cinematic value of these two prior films?…It’s because Sabotage, the new film directed by David Ayer (Street Kings) and starring the former Governator (Collateral Damage), is a load of gruesome violence packaged into a cop drama wannabe that lacks purpose and explanation…as well as non-expletive dialogue.

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