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Thursday, July 31, 2014 
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Cinematronic by Michael Snyder
Film
cinematronic
  Against The Ropes cinematronic
  director

Charles Dutton

cast

Meg Ryan, Omar Epps, Tony Shalhoub, Timothy Daly, Charles S. Dutton, Joe Cortese, Kerry Washington

year

2004

rating rating cinematronic
  Meg Ryan's spunk almost overcomes her innate Hollywood glamour to make her believable in the role of Jackie Kallen, the borderline trashy, working-class heroine of the hyperbolic "Against the Ropes." Touted as a fictionalized account, this is a banal, somewhat-inspired-by-a-true-story sports movie about the struggles of female boxing promoter Kallen. It comes off like it was made for the viewers of Lifetime or Oxygen, complete with an empowered woman-in-charge, overheated dialogue and trumped-up crises. Detroit native Kallen had to be a tough cookie to carve out a livelihood in a cutthroat, male-dominated business. In the film, her childhood is spent hanging out in a gym where her uncle worked. As an adult, she's demeaned in her job as an assistant to an arena manager (Joe Cortese), until she discovers a potential champion in fighter Luther Shaw (Omar Epps). She and a veteran trainer (Charles Dutton, who also directed) nurture Luther's career, despite the skepticism of friends and colleagues and the dirty tricks of a mobster (Tony Shalhoub). In truth, Kallen was a sportswriter and PR agent, then moved on to guide various boxers to success. The reality must've lacked dramatic confrontations. Ryan exudes perkiness as Kallen, when she needs to be more hard-bitten. With Tim Daly as a sympathetic sportscaster.  
cinematronic
cinematronic


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