Tuesday, February 15, 2011


 Wow, saw a great movie last night, "Phantom Punch" about the life of Sonny Liston, one time World Heavyweight Boxing Champion. The life of Sonny Liston makes for a great story, and this was. Never even heard of it before. I know my friend, the great writer Nick Tosches wrote a wonderful book about Sonny calle "The Devil in Sonny Liston." Nick was in talks with Martin Scorsese on making a movie about Liston based on Tosches book. It never happened. I remember asking Nick how the movie was coming a long, and Nick saying sarcastically that Marty (Martin Scorsese) was too busy making movies with Leonardo Di Caprio and Disney.
He was peeved. Can't blame him. And speaking of Maartin Scorsese, it was he who directed what many consider the greatest boxing movie ever made, "Raging Bull," starring Robert DiNero as Boxing Champ
Jake LaMotta and a great performance by Joe Pesci playing Jakes brother Joey LaMotta. Let us not forget other great boxing movies like Somebody Up There Likes me starring Paul Newman as Rocky Grazziano and Will Smith portraying the great Mohamad Ali in "The Greatest.
  Anyway, back to Phantom Punch whic stars Ving Rhames in a wonderful portrayal of Sonny Liston who started boxing while serving a prison sentence in a Missouri State Prison. The prison Priest gets Sonny started in boxing. he trains and mentors him, and Sonny soon has one thing on his mind, to one day become World Heavyweight Champion. I will not give much away, but will say that I Loved the movie. It is very entertaining, a moving story, and great historical document, not only telling a story of a Black man who rose from the depth of prison to become World Champ, the movie also shows the injustice, sometimes doled out to Black People, especially in those days. It also shows, and African Americans should take note, that not all White People are prejudiced as some of those in the movie and in real life. Just as there are bad black people, there are many more good and wonderful African Americans. Great Movie. I Loved it. It is on Netflix, that's how I saw it, and I highly recommend it. it gets to Thumbs and Two Big Toes Up. See it!
   Saw The "MECHANIC' last week. I thoroughly enjoyed it. Starring Jason Strahtom reprising the Charles Bronson role of the original motion picture made in the 70's with Jan Michael Vincent co-starring as Bronson's protégées in the picture. This remake is action packed from beginning to end and everything is totally believable. I was on the edge of my seat a good part of the movie and had to cringe at some of the violence. Nasty. OK, so I liked the movie and paid the $12.50 simply because that night I wanted to go out and be entertained. And I was. I have stated over and over, $12 and $13 we pay in New York to see a movie is way to high. Many agree, and there are 100,000s of people boycotting movie theaters because of the exorbitant price.  Opting to watch movies on TV and Netflix. On this night I was committed to paying the "High Price," as a treat to myself. I was satisfied. The movie was very good, but not so good that I would say you have to run out and see it right away. You can wait till it comes on HBO or Netflix.
   Of these two movies, The MECHANIC and "Phantom Punch," I would have to say that Phantom Punch was quite a bit better. The movie moved be, and costing just a small portion of my monthly Netflix bill, about .50 cents, as opposed to $12.50 for the Mechanic, I don't even have to tell you whcih was by far the better deal. Do the math.
  So, in conclusion, "You just have to see "Phantom Punch," if you have Netflix and I would even say it is worth paying up to $9.99 to buy a Dvd if you have to. Yes the Mechanic was very good, but I'd say wait to see it on cable or Netflix.

by Daniel Bellino Zwicke

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