Creed II hits home entertainment this month with an almighty punch, so what better time to take home some of the best in boxing – both reel and real – from your nearest JB Hi-Fi store.
Director Michael Mann’s insightful biopic of the legendary Muhammad Ali spans a tumultuous decade of triumph and controversy between 1964 and 1974. Will Smith has rarely been better in the title role, and Ali’s best bouts are vigorously recreated, including the well documented comeback against George Foreman in Zaire. Floats like a butterfly, stings like a bee.
MILLION DOLLAR BABY
Actress (Hilary Swank) and Director (Clint Eastwood), Million Dollar Baby is a quintessential boxing film, albeit with a gender reversal. Swank shows plenty of grit as the ambitious young pugilist who enlists an ageing trainer (Eastwood) to show her the ropes. This melancholic and affecting drama doesn’t pull any punches.
A new chapter in the Rocky legacy begins when the now retired champ agrees to mentor Adonis Creed (Michael B. Jordan), the son of his late rival and friend Apollo Creed, in director Ryan Coogler’s spirited spin-off feature. With a strong focus on character complementing the fight scenes and training montages, Creed is a worthy new addition to the knockout franchise.
It’s Edgerton vs. Hardy in a Mixed Martial Arts showdown. Tom Hardy plays an Iraq war hero who returns home to train with his abusive father (Nick Nolte), while his estranged brother (Joel Edgerton) is a former UFC fighter turned physics teacher struggling to make ends meet. Warrior is a rousing fight flick with lots of humanity, heart, and testosterone.
Oscar-winning performances from Christian Bale and Melissa Leo are among the highlights of this true-life boxing flick. Bale shed the kilos to play a drug addicted former fighter who trains his brother (Mark Wahlberg) for an upcoming championship bout. Not just another underdog sports tale, The Fighter is a compelling drama about hero worship and the working class.
ROCKY – THE COMPLETE SAGA
The story of a loser two bit boxer in Philadelphia not only launched Sylvester Stallone as a superstar, it won the 1976 Best Picture Oscar and spawned an enduring and beloved franchise. And it’s all right here – the bouts with Apollo Creed and Ivan Drago, Mr. T, the hard times, the comeback, and of course the Eye of the Tiger and the thrill of the fight.
David Fincher’s bruising adaptation of Chuck Palahnuik’s novel is a bona fide cult favourite with a guerrilla spirit that reflects the underground movement of the title, which we shall not talk about. A brash satire of consumerism and rampant anarchy with a knockout plot twist, Fight Club still packs a wallop two decades on.
CHAMPIONS OF BOXING
You wanted the best? You got the best! The kings of the ring are all here – Max Schmeling, Joe Louis, Muhammad Ali, Joe Frazier, Sugar Ray Robinson, Rocky Marciano, and more. This heavyweight 10-DVD box set delivers over 14 hours of knockout action, classic fights, highlights and in-depth commentaries. Pound for pound, a definitive document of the sport.