GRUDGE MATCH Blu-ray Review

     June 3, 2014

grudge match blu-ray review

If you’ve ever watched the multiple Oscar-winning films Raging Bull and Rocky, and then thought to yourself, “Hey, what if Jake LaMotta took on the Italian Stallion in the ring? Who would win?” then Peter Segal’s Grudge Match is for you.  Strike that.  It’s for you if you want a light sports comedy that pokes fun at the aging fighters (and actors) rather than staying true to the dramatic roots of Martin Scorsese and John G. Avildsen’s iconic pictures.  That’s not a knock on the movie, just an attempt to properly align your expectations.  It’s an entertaining few rounds, even if it’s not a knockout.  Hit the jump for my Grudge Match Blu-ray review.


grudge-match-sylvester-stallone-robert-de-niro-alan-arkinJust to clarify, if you want a hard-hitting fighting drama that packs emotional gut punches, you’d be better off watching David O. Russell’s The Fighter or Gavin O’Connor’s Warrior.  This is a straight-up comedy with a little bit of heart thrown in for good measure.  Robert De Niro stars as Billy ‘The Kid’ McDonnen who lost a controversial boxing match to Stallone’s Henry ‘Razor’ Sharp 30 years ago.  McDonnen is a boisterous blow-hard and a life-long womanizer, Sharp is a hard-working shut-in with a broken heart that has yet to mend.  Other than their fighting history, the two washed-up boxers have one other thing in common: they’re flat broke.  So when a chance encounter gives them the opportunity to settle old scores while putting some cash in their bank accounts, the has-beens reluctantly start down the road to the rematch.

And that road is full of jokes at the older guys’ expense, how they don’t understand modern technology or social media, and plenty of age-related physical humor to boot.  But there’s also a thread of drama woven throughout the story, one that tells of romantic entanglements in their past that further complicates their present.  It’s through this plot line that supporting actors Kim Basinger and and Jon Bernthal come into the picture.  Basinger doesn’t add much, but Bernthal turns in a nice performance in his role.  Kevin Hart brings his signature energy and improv style, which gives a nice balance to not only the principal characters, but to Alan Arkin’s sharp, sarcastic wit as Razor’s mentor and trainer, Louis ‘Lightning’ Conlon.

Stallone struggles with some of the character moments while De Niro just about walks through the physical portion of the plot, but it’s entertaining just to see the two of them together on screen.  The supporting cast helps shore up the holes quite a bit.  If you like Hart’s brand of comedy, then you already know what you’re getting from him, and Arkin brings a welcome counterpoint to his exuberance.  It’s enough to make this one worth a rent, as long as you keep my earlier warnings about its tone in mind.

grudge-match-sylvester-stallone-robert-de-niroSpecial Features:

  • Behind the Scenes: The Bull & The Stallion (15 minutes) – A behind-the-scenes featurette that focuses on De Niro and Stallone.
  • Behind the Scenes: In the Ring with Kevin Hart (5 minutes) – A featurette highlighting Hart’s energetic promoter character.
  • Behind the Scenes: Kevin Hart Unedited (5 minutes) – Alternate takes featuring Kevin Hart’s comedic and improv skills.
  • Ringside with Tyson & Holyfied (5 minutes) – A mock interview with the boxing legends about the Grudgement Day fight and the fighters.
  • Blow by Blow with Larry Holmes; Introduction by Peter Segal (3 minutes) – Former heavyweight champ Larry Holmes talks boxing history, fighting Muhammad Ali, and grudge matches.
  • Alternate Opening with Introduction by Peter Segal (5 minutes) – Visual effects featurette showing how the two fighters were digitally de-aged in the alternate opening.
  • Alternate Endings with Introduction by Peter Segal (3 minutes) – Two additional endings with varying outcomes of the final match.
  • Deleted Scenes (6)



Around The Web

Latest News

Friday Box Office: SAN ANDREAS Opens in First; ALOHA Gets Buried

Disaster pic ‘San Andreas’ claims first place on Friday with $18.2 million. And while not yet a disaster, Cameron Crowe’s ‘Aloha’ looks a little shaky on opening day.

Kyle Newman Talks STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS, CHEWIE and Taylor Swift

He discusses why he likes the prequel films more than most and why the upcoming anthology films shouldn't try to be "cooler than a Star Wars film."

Oscar Beat: Cannes 2015 Offers a Preview of Awards Race to Come

Michael Fassbender and Rooney Mara are just a couple of the potential 2016 Oscar nominees that got a swell showcase at the film festival. The McConaissance, however, is taking a year off.

Enter Our Giveaway and Win Free JURASSIC WORLD Toys

Raptor claws are within your grasp!

TOP 5: SAN ANDREAS, Rick Baker Retiring, POINT BLANK Remake Trailer

The latest on the 'It' remake, a batch of original features, and a reminder to watch 'Jack Reacher' also hold a place in this week's Top 5.

THE SHINING and GRAND BUDAPEST Mash up Perfectly in “The Grand Overlook Hotel”

Who knew Wes Anderson and Stanley Kubrick framed their shots so similarly?

Channing Tatum to Produce, Possibly Star in Former Lifetime Movie TWO KISSES FOR MADDY

The tear-jerker memoir revolves around a single father raising his daughter.

Watch: Four JURASSIC WORLD Journals Featuring Chris Pratt Being Chris Pratt

Pratt certainly steals the spotlight, but all four videos have loads of behind-the-scenes footage well worth checking out.

Disney Pulls the Plug on TRON 3

Disney has decided not to move forward on the 'Tron' sequel from director Joseph Kosinski.

ANT-MAN: Evangeline Lilly Announces Marvel’s Micro-Tech Challenge

Girls ages 14 to 18 can win a trip to the 'Ant-Man' premiere by building a project using micro-technology.

Page 1 of 3,97212345...102030...Last »