REVIEW: GRUDGE MATCH
Past-their-prime boxers pack a comic punch in “Grudge Match,” arriving onto Blu-ray Combo Pack, DVD and Digital HD on April 8 from Warner Bros. Home Entertainment. “Grudge Match” stars Oscar® winner Robert De Niro (“Raging Bull,” “Silver Linings Playbook”) and Oscar® nominee Sylvester Stallone (the “Rocky” films, “The Expendables”) as old boxing rivals who come out of retirement for one final match.
“Grudge Match” will be available on Blu-ray Combo Pack and on DVD. The Blu-ray Combo Pack features the theatrical version of the film in hi-definition on Blu-ray, and the DVD features the theatrical version in standard definition. Both include a digital version of the movie on Digital HD with UltraViolet.* Fans can also own “Grudge Match” in Digital HD on April 8 via purchase from digital retailers.
SYNOPSIS: In “Grudge Match,” Billy “The Kid” McDonnen (De Niro) and Henry “Razor” Sharp (Stallone) are two local Pittsburgh fighters whose fierce rivalry put them in the national spotlight. Each had scored a victory against the other during their heyday, but in 1983, on the eve of their decisive third match, Razor suddenly announced his retirement, refusing to explain why but effectively delivering a knock-out punch to both their careers. Thirty years later, boxing promoter Dante Slate, Jr., seeing big dollar signs, makes them an offer they can’t refuse: to re-enter the ring and settle the score once and for all.
But they may not have to wait that long: on their first encounter in decades, their long-festering feud erupts into an unintentionally hilarious melee that instantly goes viral. The sudden social media frenzy transforms their local grudge match into a must-see HBO event. Now, if they can just survive the training, they may actually live to fight again.
FILM REVIEW: For those
of you that were on the edge of your seats awaiting the next
Sylvester Stallone release (I can’t imagine who you are), this
would be it! However, for those of us that have seen him morph
one too many times in an attempt to return to his glory days on
the big screen, we say enough is enough “Rocky!” The Rocky
Balboa eighties’ star teams up with Robert De Niro (Jake
LaMotta's memoir Raging Bull: My Story), Kevin Hart (This Is the
End, 2013), Alan Arkin (Marley & Me, 2008) and Jon Bernthal
(The Walking Dead – TV series), in this slapstick style comedy
“Grudge Match.” This is a flick that can only be compared to
the likeness of 1993’s “Grumpy old men.” Resulting in what
feels a little like watching Rocky Balboa and Jake LaMotta
having a go at it. I would even dare to say that this is the
direct result of when Hollywood goes frequently rummaging
through its creative dumpster for never-ending sequels, remakes
and associative efforts.
On the bright side, "Grudge Match" sets the right
tone, embracing a nice balance of crowd-pleasing comedy and
lightweight family drama and adding nothing too overwhelming in
terms of substance. Stallone in particular seems to be making a
legitimate effort, to show off his softer side to Hollywood;
Though, I can’t say that it really made a huge impact on the
outcome of the flick. Nevertheless, the supporting actors are
solid throughout, with Kevin Hart adding a welcomed youthful
edge to the comedy, as their desperately broke fight promoter.
Arkin and Bernthal are solid contributors as Razor's (Stallone)
aging trainer and the latter playing The Kid's (De Niro)
One more point to make for this latest Stallone effort: The
post-credits sequence involving Hart's next fight is one of the
best in recent memory. I’ll give nothing else away, except to
say that it's pretty close in greatness to "The
Avengers" end-of-credits promo.
All-in-all, the movie is not the huge blockbuster material we
have come to expect from the leading men in “Grudge Match;”
However, it does present some level of satisfaction in the area
of comedic prowess. Without Hart’s signature style comedy I
would have probably been forced to regard it as a “flop;”
However, I’d give it three out of five stars simply based on
Hart’s ability to carry the film from beginning to end.
By Movi-Man Stan
The film is
presented in widescreen in a 2.40:1 aspect ration preserving its
theatrical format. The picture is just flawless. Not only the
picture looks great in this release, also the sound it is good,
a 5.1 Dolby Digital in English that provides a good complement
to the picture. It also includes English,
and Spanish subtitles.
Widescreen (2.40:1) 16x9
DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1/DVS Dolby Digital
5.1 (English); DTS Digital Surround
5.1 (Spanish- French)
Subtitles - English Spanish
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provides consumers with a choice of formats from a variety of partners, including options to watch on iPhone®,
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is the revolutionary way for consumers to collect their movies and TV shows in the cloud. UltraViolet™ lets
consumers instantly stream and download to tablets, smartphones, computers and TVs. Now available in both the United States
Race· The Bull & The Stallion
In the Ring with Kevin Hart
Ringside with Tyson & Holyfield
Blow for Blow with Larry Holmes
Kevin Hart Unedited
Alternate Endings with an Introduction by Peter Segal