Saturday, May 28, 2011


I think a lot of people know about this one but not a lot have seen it.  Well you should ‘cause it’s fucking great.  This is an Enter the Dragon rip off from the same damn director, Robert Clouse.  He even uses the same kicking and punching sounds.  But I want to be clear that this movie isn’t high end action like Die Hard or Terminator 2 or Enter the fucking Dragon.  But if you like your action fast and dumb than this is the movie for you.  It belongs up there with the leaders in that category like Death Wish 3 and Invasion U.S.A. which makes this picture a must see.  Oh and it only has a running time of 87 minutes which is always a plus in my book.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Close Encounters of the Third Kind

I’ve been putting this one off for a long time because the plot didn’t sound all that appealing to me.  I was also afraid it might be boring.  Well after watching it the idea doesn’t appeal that much to me and it was a little boring.  But it’s not a bad movie at all.  I’m actually glad I waited so long to see it because I think I can appreciate it more now than I would have years ago.

So these spaceships appear in the sky and Roy (Richard Dreyfuss (Jaws, Tin Men)) has an encounter with one of them and gets put under their spell so he has to know more about them and blah blah blah.  Dreyfuss is great in this and fluctuates between the dramatic and comedic aspects of the role easily.  Roy is definitely not as interesting or as colorful of a character as Hooper from Jaws but he’s supposed to be a somewhat boring everyday Midwesterner whose life gets turned upside down.  Melinda Dillon plays the female lead, Jillian, and does fine here too.  She’s best known as the mom from A Christmas Story but she’s a lot more interesting in this film.  Here she has to deal with her son being kidnapped by aliens and also the same uncontrollable obsession with having to know more about the UFOs like Roy.

I tried to approach this movie by keeping in mind that this is Spielberg’s baby.  He did Jaws and broke box office records so now he can do whatever the hell he wants.  So he pens Close Encounters, a dream project for him.  He does a movie about his favorite topic: aliens.  He also throws in a little of his second favorite topic: World War II.  And you can really feel the energy and love that this filmmaker put into the picture.  You can tell that the person that made this movie is really into the subject matter.

And it all comes down to the way this film was shot because Spielberg is about visuals.  The dialogue in the film is pretty flat and uninteresting which appears to be a Spielberg trademark when it comes to his writing.  But he managed to make it work in his favor because there isn’t a whole lot of talking in this picture.  The last half hour has practically no dialogue at all.  But like I said, it’s fine because Dreyfuss’ and Dillon’s facial expressions tell you everything and Spielberg used their body language very effectively. 

Now I’m gonna go out on a limb here, ‘cause we’re talkin’ 1977, but this movie might be Spielberg’s best looking picture.  The cinematography is breathtaking.  Just about every shot is beautifully photographed with wonderful lighting and coloring.  The only time things look a little dull is when it’s daytime out but that’s only a small portion of the film.  I’m struggling to think of the last time the nighttime sky and landscape looked so pretty in a movie.

The whole thing builds to the very last scene where an entire team of scientists (and Roy and Jillian) encounter the mother ship.  As I mentioned in the intro, I’m not really interested in these alien contact movies (and I’m getting really sick of all these aliens-blowing-up-earth movies that have come out recently too) but I have to admit that the last half hour was very touching.  You can tell that Spielberg crafted that whole sequence very meticulously and had been itching to see that vision on film all his life. 

The ship looks great too.  The special effects in this film still look good.  Models are much nicer to look at than CGI.  They have so much charm to them and I think that’s a good word to sum up this movie.  Even if you’re not into space aliens ‘n shit Spielberg wins you over with his enthusiasm for the subject.  He even goes with the typical alien look too with a big egg shaped head, large oval eyes, small mouth and nose, lanky arms and legs and having the thing be butt fucking naked.  How come these classic style aliens in movies never wear clothes?  They don’t have any hair or fur to keep them warm so what if they get cold, do they have a jacket that they can throw on?

So there’s a bunch of good stuff (and goofy alien stuff) here but not everything worked or was necessary though like having a French guy in charge of this alien contact operation because for the whole movie he needs an interpreter with him.  He’s supposed to be a nod to Jacques VallĂ©e who’s a big UFO expert in real life.  But for the sake of the movie why couldn’t he just be able to speak fluent English or cast someone who spoke fluent English?  I guess Spielberg just had to have Francois Truffaut (Dir: The 400 Blows) but apparently he didn’t speak English very well.  Another thing is that I think they try to make Teri Garr (Mr. Mom, Young Frankenstein) out to be a bad guy in this by not having her support Roy but she reacts like any sane person would in that situation.   But these are minor gripes really.

You see Spielberg tried to make a serious alien movie.  Not a horror picture but a “what if this happened in real life” kinda picture.  I think it’s sort of like how there were (and still are) a ton of super hero movies made in the last ten years that try to take the position of “what if this super hero existed in real life” like the X-Men movies or the new Batman pictures.  I think part of the mission of this movie (aside from entertaining) is to rationalize the existence of aliens and alien sightings.  The argument that Spielberg makes in the film is that we’ve never been able to get video of a car or plane crash as it was actually happening.  I think he’s saying that just because we don’t see it doesn’t mean that it’s not there.  But we do have footage of car and plane crashes occurring.  I mean if you want to see a car crash then you can watch it happen in a test lab of any given car company.  He’s not making a totally invalid statement but you can’t just apply it to anything.  I can say that I’ve never seen a centaur but that doesn’t mean that they exist.  The scene that he makes this argument in is about irrefutable evidence that aliens and UFOs exist but we know that cars and planes exist and that they have crashed because we have the aftermath of it.  With UFOs we don’t have anything physical that everyone can touch or see up close.  It’s all stories and photographs that no one can verify are real or not.  We actually have cars and planes that we use every day.  It’s not a very smart argument in my opinion.  But anyway it looks like Spielberg is passing the alien/UFO torch to J.J. Abrams with Super 8 which looks a lot like Close Encounters except the aliens don’t seem friendly.

As for the very end of the film I like the way it was done with shot after shot of the mother ship in space as if to say “wasn’t that a really cool model folks?  Let’s check it out some more”.  It’s also very nicely topped off with a beautiful John Williams score. 

And there you have it, Close Encounters.  Not a terribly exciting film but it’s so nice to look at and it’s crafted with such love that you can overlook the blandness of the script.  Dreyfuss and Dillon help to make this movie as interesting as they can but the special effects, the always kick ass John Williams score and the way of communicating so much passion without the use of dialogue make this a film worth checking out.  I wouldn’t rush out immediately to see it but maybe move it up the ladder a little on your list.

Oh and did you know that the third kind of close encounter is contact.  I had no clue until I looked up an old movie poster for this film and it had on there that the first kind is a sighting, the second is evidence and the third is contact.  I’m pretty sure this isn’t common knowledge and back in the 70’s you couldn’t just look up on the interweb the degrees of close encounters so it just goes to show how much of an alien nut Spielberg is.  

And one more thing that I wasn’t going to mention but what the hell.  Carl Weathers (Rocky I-IV, Predator) has a bit part in this as a military guard and he even has some lines.  That was a pleasant surprise.  And also my man Craig R. Baxley (Dir: Action Jackson, Stone Cold) was a stunt driver in the scene where the cops are chasing the UFOs.  

Thursday, May 26, 2011


After years of neglect I finally got myself to watch Poltergeist.  The reason that got me to do it was because I enjoyed Lifeforce quite a bit and thought it would definitely be worth checking out Tobe Hooper’s “other biggest movie”.  Okay you got me, nobody saw Lifeforce or gives a shit about it.  But people did see (and like) The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974).  I think people liked that one quite a bit more than that remake they did in 2003.  But people seem to dislike The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2 and The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning equally.  I’ve already mentioned that I thought Massacre 2 was a fun movie and I even thought Massacre 3 was pretty ok.  Not real good but not real bad either.  But Massacre The Next Generation was awful wasn’t it?  What the hell movie was I really going to talk about again?  Oh yeah Poltergeist. 

Where do I begin with this one?  Well I guess I should give a brief plot summary because it turned out to be a little different than what I had originally thought.  The Freelings are a typical white middle class suburban family that encounter ghosts in the form of a poltergeist.  Their youngest daughter gets taken by the ghosts and they try to get her back.  It’s that last part that I had no idea about (but don’t worry I didn’t spoil the movie for you).  The Freelings bring in a paranormal team and a psychic to help them because they don’t know what the hell is going on.

Ok, some other stuff to get out of the way.  Craig T. Nelson (Action Jackson, The Devil’s Advocate) is Steve Freeling and he’s fine I guess.  JoBeth Williams (Dutch, The Big Chill) is his wife Diane and she’s fine I guess.  They have an older daughter Dana, a younger daughter Carol Anne and a son Robbie.  They’re all fine I guess.  I dunno man the whole cast including the paranormal team and the psychic are all pretty uninteresting.  Nelson and Williams seem like they’re trying really hard to create an emotional performance but it comes off feeling pretty forced.  The girl and boy who play the younger daughter and son are both really young so I can’t expect too much out of them.  And the older daughter seems like she’s barely in the movie.  You know what, she never does anything anyway so I don’t understand why she’s in the picture at all.

It’s shot fine and the pacing is alright.  There’s one really weird whiplash inducing edit though.  After Carol Anne slides across the kitchen floor Diane starts talking, but then it jump cuts to outside of their neighbor’s house.  I thought maybe the DVD I had was scratched but after checking online other people have complained of the same problem.  One explanation I found was that Steve is supposed to say “I hate Pizza Hut” but MGM had to cut it out because Pizza Hut objected to it.  And that’s as good an explanation as any because I don’t really give a shit.  It’s just a very noticeable thing in an otherwise well edited film.

Alright let’s get down to business.  This film is a mess.  And I think the main reason why it’s a mess is because no one knows who really directed it.  The screenplay was written by Steven Spielberg and two other guys, Michael Grais and Mark Victor who both went on to write and produce Marked for Death.  Fuckin’ A.  But they also wrote Cool World which is one of the worst fucking films I’ve ever seen.  Spielberg also produced the film and supervised everything.  I decided to dig a little on this one and depending on the person you ask who worked on the film, they’ll either tell you that Hooper directed it, Spielberg directed it or they collaborated together but Spielberg had the final say.  I read a whole bunch of different things like Spielberg himself saying that Hooper directed the thing but there’s also another account that says that Spielberg had to take over because Hooper was taking too many drugs.  If you ask Hooper he says he directed it.  But the post production people like the editor, the sound mixer and the score composer all say that they worked exclusively with Spielberg and that Hooper dropped by maybe two or three times.  I’m not sure what to believe just based on reading everyone’s memory of the shoot.  If you just look at the film it does feel very Spielbergian but with a twist.  And by a twist I mean shitty.  Not that everything that he’s done has been great but he’s usually more competent than this.

First of all this is only the second of three films that Spielberg has written (I’m not counting shorts or “story by” credits).  The other two are Close Encounters of the Third Kind and A.I. Artificial Intelligence.  Now I haven’t seen A.I. yet but both Poltergeist and Close Encounters feel somewhat aimless.  But let’s just stick to Poltergeist.  This film has a general idea of what it wants to achieve but has little notion of how to get there.  Spielberg probably had ideas for scenes and gags but didn’t know how to string them together into a coherent storyline.  And the problem with Hooper is that he needs to have a kick ass script to pull from so he has less of a chance of fucking it up.

(There’s a bunch of spoilers in the rest of this piece)

For instance the chair stacking scene, the house getting sucked into itself, the clown attack, the children’s poltergeisted bedroom are all good ideas.  They’re cool things that I want to see in a movie but I also want the non special effects stuff to work too.  I mean I don’t understand why the parents are lighting up two j’s right before bed.  I could’ve done without seeing fuckin’ coach acting all high ‘n shit and making goofy jokes.  I don’t get why Diane gets so excited when she discovers that there’s a spot in the kitchen that makes things slide across the floor.  At first she and Steve are so happy to the point that they’re giddy that there’s this weird fucking phenomena in their house.  I don’t know about you but I would be concerned and at least a little scared about that sorta shit.  I also don’t get why the paranormal team is there at all.  I mean in the end they don’t do shit.  Why did they make Diane so young when she had her first daughter?  At one point Steve says that Diane is 32 and his older daughter is 16.  That means that Diane would’ve been 16 when she had her.  That also means that she got knocked up 9 months before.  She could’ve been as young as 15 when Steve fucking impregnated her.  This is all shit that just wasn’t thought through. 

The dues ex machina type ending when they bring in the psychic pissed me off too.  All through the movie no one has any fucking clue what’s happening but then all of a sudden you got this one person that not only knows about these ghosts but also knows exactly how to get Carol Anne back.  I would accept this more if the rest of the film was better but to slap that on to round everything up feels like Spielberg gave up.  It’s like he got this far in the script but then didn’t know how to resolve it. 

After the psychic does her thing and leaves it felt like the movie should’ve ended there but I’m glad that it didn’t because the very end is the best part.  I do have to admit that the coffins coming up out of the ground with corpses popping out of them looked cool.  So I’ll give points for that.  I want to say that they should’ve just went with this ending and bypassed the psychic part but then it would’ve felt like a jip to just have the ghosts resolve it themselves.  And also you need a way to get Carol Anne back…or not actually.  That might have been a cool ending to have their daughter still in the clutches of the netherworld and you’re left with the rest of the family still lost and not knowing what to do.

I wonder if Spielberg realized that he’s not very good at writing after this one because he didn’t do another screenplay for 19 years.  But I still want to know why he would write a movie and not direct it, especially if he’s not a screenwriter?  Close Encounters is his first baby and this would be his second.  You wouldn’t give up the director’s chair on a project that you’re controlling every other aspect of.  I’ve read that Spielberg did want to direct Poltergeist but couldn’t because he had already signed on to do E.T. and he wasn’t allowed to direct two films at once.  That’s also just fucking nuts to try and do.  My theory is that Spielberg worked around that problem by getting Hooper to fill in for him officially as director but still did as much work on the film as he could.  Getting Tobe Hooper to direct this thing for real doesn’t make a lot of sense.  He didn’t have shit to his name except The Texas Chainsaw Massacre and Salem’s Lot which can’t be that impressive if you Steven fucking Spielberg.  And he’d been replaced on two other films including the one immediately preceding Poltergeist.  Why would Spielberg give his movie to this guy, he doesn’t seem like the best fit.  Well I think Spielberg wanted someone that wouldn’t be too bothersome when he took control, someone to just go along with the program.  Spielberg just needed the studio to know that there was some other guy there every day with the word “director” next to his name.  Once shooting was completed then Spielberg really didn’t need Hooper.  He could get away with whatever he wanted because now he just had to work with one or two other people at a time in a locked room somewhere.  I think Hooper got played man.  But at least he got some capital out of it that he cashed in right away to make Lifeforce.  I mean watch Lifeforce or The Funhouse and tell me that it’s the same guy that directed Poltergeist.  Some things might be similar but the overall look and feel is pretty different.

I dunno man this movie just annoyed me.  It never had me.  It never grabbed my attention and pulled me into the story.  Like I said, there were some good ideas but the whole thing didn’t come together.  I mean the effects are good, it’s nice to look at, and Craig T. Nelson is the best actor in this but it’s not his best performance (check out Action Jackson).  The character development is awkward, characters are introduced and then never seen again or not utilized, the cast was pretty bland, the intro before the credits isn’t really necessary and the family acts like it never happened anyway, every turn in the story feels like it was made up on the spot, they allude to this other world that Carol Anne gets sucked into but they never go into any sort of detail so it’s just another thing that’s mentioned but never followed up on and I think I just don’t like the overall idea.  Similar movies like The Amityville Horror, What Lies Beneath and The Haunting (at least the 1999 version, never saw the ’63 one) I didn’t like either.  But I do like the idea when it’s played for laughs like with Beetlejuice and Ghostbusters.  Yeah man, bustin’ is what makes me feel good, not a shitty co-directorial effort.  I enjoyed the fake poltergeist scenes in The Frighteners more.       

Wednesday, May 25, 2011


What do you get when you bring the writer of Alien (and Total Recall) and the director of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (and Poltergeist) together?  You get Lifeforce, a pseudo zombie/alien/vampire flick.  Right from the beginning you can tell that the type of movie these guys are making was meant for a bigger budget and for a better director but hey that’s life.  Now I don’t want you to write off this movie based on that last sentence because there’s actually a lot of good stuff here.

So we’re immediately thrown into an epic score by Henry Mancini who’s known best for writing The Pink Panther theme.  This is not a jazzy piece like that but instead more militaristic.  This is a score on a mission, a mission to go exploring in space and stumble upon fucking space vampires.  When the title “Lifeforce” comes up it swoops right into the camera with a jet flyby sound effect.  This shit is pumpin’ me up man.  The rest of the credits don’t get any sort of extra sound clip but they are shown over an aerial scrolling shot of what I think is supposed to be Haley’s comet.

When the credits are finished we get a documentary type voiceover of a guy giving us the situation aboard the HMS Churchill.  It’s a joint effort between Britain and America to explore space ‘n shit.  They’re checking out Haley’s comet and notice something it’s carrying, a giant 150 mile long fucking spaceship.  Just to give you a frame of reference this thing is equal to the distance between New York City and Albany.  And of course these guys have to check this thing out so they suit up and explore the ship.

It’s really weird how the “exploring the alien spaceship” scene was put together because it’s done in a montage of fades.  Usually there would be anticipation beforehand of what you would find, a whole build up before actually stepping inside and then you would slowly walk through the entrance meticulously checking out the first things that the explorers see.  But not here.  In this movie it gets glossed over with some voiceovers of the astronauts saying, “oh boy” and “it’s like some sort of giant artery”.  And they must’ve explored those 150 miles pretty quick or they got real fuckin’ lucky ‘cause they find the aliens right away.  They look like giant bats (get it?  (hint: because they’re vampires)).  The team of ‘nauts also find three human bodies asleep (or dead?) incased in what look like crystal coffins (or plastic boxes) and they decide that they have to take them back to the ship to check them out.

Now this whole sequence of them going into the alien ship looks fucking cool.  I mean the constant fades are kinda dumb but the look of the ship and the scale of it comes off really well.  The astronauts are these tiny specs in this gigantic fucked up looking ship.  What’s strange is that no one seems all that surprised or excited.  Well I guess the one British guy that says “oh boy” is having a good time but everyone else acts real professional like this is no big deal.  If I was there I would be freaking the fuck out.  But I guess that’s why these guys get paid the big bucks…or small bucks…or whatever the hell astronauts get paid to go into space and act cool about it.

So they take these “human bodies” back to Earth and examine them but oh shit, one of them awakens and starts murdering people.  I guess I should mention that the main alien is a woman that goes around buck fucking naked for half the movie.  She’s feeds by sucking the life out of her victims and she can also move out of her body taking over someone else’s.  Her victims become all dried out and eventually turn into space vampires/zombies themselves who look for people to feed on.  The main astronaut dude, Carlsen played by Steve Railsback (The Stunt Man), is the only one that can stop her before she destroys the world.  They have a telepathic connection with each other like Valek and Katrina in Vampires so he can see where she is and what she’s doing.  They even have telepathic sex flooded in red light while it’s lightning and thundering and there are these weird screaming noises.

The only real person of note in this is Patrick Stewart (Star Trek: The Next Generation, X-Men (oh and did anyone else see him on Extras?  His idea for a movie about a pervert with superpowers was fucking hilarious)).  He plays a mental hospital director and does just fine.  I guess I never realized this before but I think I really enjoy Patrick Stewart’s acting.  He seems to have such a relaxed but meaningful way of pulling off a performance.  It’s too bad he’s not in very good movies.

The effects look really good for the most part.  The vampires when they’re dried out look especially good as well as the look of their spaceship.  It has an eerie and nasty feel but it’s also pretty simple looking which is effective.  The destruction and havoc that they bring is put together nicely with a good amount of explosions, fire and vampire attacks.

From start to end you’ll notice that this film has such a big scope to it.  The whole outer space beginning, the score, the vampire effects and (Spoiler) by the end all of London is being destroyed by these things.  They just needed bigger stars and a better lead than Railsback.  He supposed to be tortured by the alien woman because he’s in love with her but he’s just not that exciting to watch.  He’s always angry and tries to act tough but I don’t buy it.

Overall this is a real good time.  It’s like O’Bannon and Hooper went pretty far out of their way to not make a straight up vampire, zombie or alien movie.  They wanted to blend them all together and come up with something new.  And it actually works pretty well.  I did think at first, “why didn’t they just have these things be traditional vampires” but by the end they won me over.  There’s a lot of charm in this picture that I think can’t be denied. 

Now I know there’s a consensus out there that Hooper couldn’t (and still can’t) get his shit together since The Texas Chainsaw Massacre and I would have to partly agree with that.  As this point it looks like The Texas Chainsaw Massacre was a fluke.  A helluva one-off that is arguably the best horror movie ever made.  But he still had some other alright pictures.  I thought The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2 wasn’t bad and I strangely enjoyed Salem’s Lot.  Sure they don’t show the masterful eye that was revealed in the original Massacre but they certainly aren’t the work of an incompetent person.  They’re done in more of a lazy fashion.  Yeah, lazy might be the best word to sum up Hooper’s films.

But then there’s Lifeforce.  This picture has ambitious written all over it.  It’s like Hooper finally got excited about something like never before.  There’s a feeling of wanting to craft a story that comes through and it only builds and gets stronger as the movie progresses.  It feels like he went out of his way to bring something fresh to vampire and alien pictures and I think he succeeded for the most part.  I wasn’t expecting this film to amount to anything when I first threw it on but came away pleasantly surprised at not only the amount of effort put into it but also the originality of it.

Maybe I’m over analyzing the movie and maybe nobody gives a shit ‘cause Lifeforce bombed at the box office but I for one appreciate this film.  I mean it’s not as gripping or scary as Alien or as badass or macho as Vampires but it’s trying to find its own niche.  Its own little alien/zombie/naked-chick-turning-dudes-into-space-vampires niche.     

Monday, May 23, 2011

1990 Captain America Scene

This is from the 1990 Captain America picture and it was directed by Albert Pyun who made no less than six movies either about kickboxing or have kickboxing characters.  He also did a whole bunch of films with Ice-T and has even worked with Seagal on Ticker and Van Damme on Cyborg.  Captain America was pretty bad but this scene is priceless.  I really hope there's a similar scene in the new Captain America movie.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Assault in the Ring

Assault in the Ring (also called Cornered: A Life Caught in the Ring) is about a boxing match that took place in 1983.  When the fight was over one of the boxers, Luis Resto, and his team were accused of taking padding out of the gloves which would make his punches more potent because there’s less standing in the way between his opponent’s face and Resto’s bare knuckles.  It’s a pretty nasty fight to watch but Jesus it even sounds horrible.

On that night Resto was fighting Billy Collins Jr. who was undefeated.  Resto was seen as a stepping stone in the boxing community and not a real contender.  This match was for Collins’ career and not Resto’s.  But Resto kept throwing punches and beating the shit out of Collins’ face until it became swollen beyond recognition.  As soon as the match was over Collins’ father (also his trainer) asked that Resto’s gloves be checked out and they were found to have 50% of the padding taken out.  Resto and his trainer, Panama Lewis, were sent to jail but that’s not where the story ends.  Collins suffered a torn iris during the fight and never fought again.  He fell into an alcohol fueled depression and died in a car wreck about a year after the infamous 1983 fight.

24 years later Eric Drath, boxing manager turned filmmaker, directs, narrates and interviews Resto and everyone else that was involved in the incident.  Resto lives in the Bronx and has a dark weather-beaten face.  He looks more like a junkie (and he was) than a boxer with his mangled teeth, rat tail haircut and veiny arms.  For years he lived underneath a boxing gym with no windows and garbage everywhere.  He also carries around a racquet ball that he bounces like Rocky.  But Resto also has a heart of gold as he reveals more and more as the documentary goes on.  You see he’s been denying for years any knowledge of what happened during the 1983 bout but Drath eventually helps him come to terms with it.  He feels haunted by what happened and thinks about the fight every day of his life.  He ends up going on a journey to tell everyone he’s sorry and visits his ex-wife, his sons, Collins’ widow and his former trainer Panama.

This is where things get interesting because Panama is the one who allegedly took the padding out of the gloves.  He got his license permanently revoked just like Resto but he was able to still earn a living training boxers outside the ring.  And you should see him now because he looks like a hugely successful rapper with a ton of bling, a gold grill, he barely ever takes off his sunglasses and he wears shiny new color coordinated hats, clothes and shoes.  It’s such a contrast compared to Resto who’s wearing a wife beater and shorts.  But you can tell that Panama is a scumbag and that he’s hiding something because this wasn’t the first time he was involved in a scandal.  Before the 1983 fight there was some controversy about him putting something in another one of his boxer’s water bottle to help him win.  He was never charged with anything but there’s some incriminating video of it that certainly doesn’t look good.  Anyway Resto confronts Panama about the 1983 fight twice and the documentary builds towards the second confrontation. 

You really get sucked into Resto’s story and you feel sorry for him because he’s paid for that fight every day of his life while the guy that (probably) did the dirty deed is making out just fine.  This story involves such great characters like the reserved Resto, the flamboyant Panama and the innocent bystander Collins.  It’s also cool to see Resto develop and become a more open and devoted person as he renews his relationships with his family.  This was a really great doc guys that I definitely recommend even if you’re not into boxing because it’s just an interesting story.