“Resurrecting The Champ”
A True Story Based on a Lie
“Resurrecting the Champ” is about fathers and sons and the power of redemption and it is inspiring and powerful. Erik (Josh Hartnett) plays a “Denver Times” sports writer who we see as a competent workhorse coveting the glory of a more talented man. He covers the boxing beat and his editor Alan Alda, thanks him for “filling pages.” When Erik encounters a battered homeless man (Samuel L. Jackson) who claims to be beloved ex-heavyweight contender “Battling” Bob Satterfield. Erik sneaks behind Alda’s back to David Paymer at the Sunday magazine section, and pitches him a touching, expansive personal profile of the fallen champ. At one time Satterfield was ranked No. 3 but now he’s an old, homeless and remembering past glories. He remembers the past in detail. Erik is separated from his wife (Kathryn Morris). He tells his son Teddy (Dakota Goyo) about all the celebrities he meets.
Jackson disappears into his role and is completely convincing. He’s realistic, even philosophical, about his life and what happened to him. However Erik who is efficient enough but doesn’t have enough the edges and angles to be a sportswriter.
Rod Lurie’s film is a fictionalized drama based on fact, takes the form of a story about a journalist who comes to learn about life, love and writing by doing a story about a homeless man. But it could just as easily be described as a movie about a man with little character who learns how to scam the system.
We learn a lot about Erik from the way his estranged wife, looks at him. She sees him as a lousy writer and he’s lousy because there’s something flawed in his character. He blots out whatever truths he doesn’t like.
We see him having conversations and then later describing those conversations and each time his description doesn’t match up with reality. He has a character problem, and yet the movie never confirms that by having some unimpeachable voice of authority state it. However, neither do we see him as a complete loser. Erik has generous impulses but seems unformed.
He finally stumbles onto a good story when he finds a Satterfield living on the street. Through small bribes and manipulation as well as genuine interest and concern, he persuades the man to open up and tell his story. He sees “the champ” as his ticket to the big leagues, maybe television.
- High Definition Blu-ray (1080p) presentation of the main feature
- Audio: English 5.1 Dolby Surround, French 5.1 Dolby Surround
- English, Spanish and French Subtitles
- Feature Audio Commentary from Director Rod Lurie
- Resurrecting the Champ Behind the Scenes Featurette (SD, 4:24)
- Interviews with the Cast and Crew of Resurrecting the Champ (SD, 6:26)
- Original Theatrical Trailer (SD, 2:26)