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'Powerhouse of acting' makes 'Resurrecting' a real champ of movies

Resurrecting the Champ


Movie: ****1/2 (out of 5)

DVD Experience: *** (out of 5)


Samuel L. Jackson as Champ

Josh Hartnett as Erik

Kathryn Morris as Joyce

Alan Alda as Metz

Teri Hatcher as Andrea Flak

Studio: Yari Film Group

Directed by: Rod Lurie

"Resurrecting the Champ" is a film that was forgotten by most critics (and audiences, unfortunately for that matter), but it made my list of the ten best films of 2007.

Directed by Rod Lurie, the film tells the story of a sports writer named Erik (Josh Hartnett) who can't really find his voice.

As he struggles with his job and being a father to his son, he discovers a homeless man that turns out to be a former boxing champ. This leads Erik to write an award-worthy piece about the fighter, and he is finally noticed. However, his new-found fame starts to go awry when problems arise with the story.

Normally, I don't like these sort of heavy human interest stories. However, there was something that touched me about this movie. Perhaps it was because the main character was a writer like myself. Perhaps it was because he was dealing with the struggles of being a father, which I encounter as well.

Ultimately, I found this movie to be a powerhouse of acting. The usually awesome Samuel L. Jackson gave an Oscar-worthy performance as the pathetic Champ. And Josh Hartnett, whom I normally find dull, actually pulled out some acting chops to go toe-to-toe with Jackson in the film.

The DVD comes with cast and crew interviews and a behind-the-scenes featurette. There's also a commentary track by director Rod Lurie, along with an assortment of studio trailers.

"Resurrecting the Champ" is a simple film, but it is remarkable in its own right. It's not perfect, but few films are. Sadly, it was mostly forgotten in its theatrical release. But that shouldn't stop anyone from seeing it, because it is a fabulous piece of movie making.

Kevin Carr is an independent writer, journalist and filmmaker who lives in Columbus, Ohio.