Chuck

2016

Biography / Drama / Sport

Synopsis


Uploaded By: ZACH
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August 02, 2017 at 02:17 AM

Cast

as Phyliss
as Linda
as Chuck Wepner
as Al Braverman
720p 1080p
808.04 MB
1280*692
English
R
23.976
01 hr 38 min
P/S 1 / 1
1.45 GB
1920*1038
English
R
23.976
01 hr 38 min
P/S 3 / 3

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by Hollywood Glee (Larry Gleeson) 8 / 10

The Bleeder is a period piece of the 1970's. In addition, it is also a strong narrative of the trials and tribulations of Chuck Wepner's life.

Philippe Falardeau, the acclaimed director of The Good Lie and the Oscar nominated Monsieur Lazhar comes forth with a period piece of New Jersey in the 1970's with a new film, The Bleeder, a drama, starring Liev Schreiber, known for his television role as Ray Donovan in the series "Ray Donovan," and as Marty Baron in last year's Oscar-winning Best Picture, Spotlight. Schreiber portrays boxer Chuck Wepner, the heavyweight champion of New Jersey, and often known more colorfully as the Bayonne Bleeder.

When he wasn't in the ring, Wepner was a liquor salesman on the mean streets of New Jersey who managed to last 15 rounds in a professional boxing match with the greatest fighter of all-time ? Muhammad Ali. Legendary boxing promoter Don King wanted a race fight and sought out a white fighter to get into the ring with the Champ, Muhammad Ali.

Wepner seemed to be a good choice to be Ali's punching bag. Wepner had a reputation for being able to take a punch. And, true to King's intention, Wepner took a beating. Not as though it was anything new for Wepner. In his ten years as a boxer he had his nose broken eight times, had 133 stitches, suffered fourteen losses and two knockouts. He was once pummeled so badly by Sonny Liston suffering both a broken nose and a broken cheekbone that required extensive stitching to heal.

Yet, Wepner had managed to put together a string of good fights and began to believe and have faith that his dream of getting a title shot was in reach. While not a great fighter, Wepner was known for his big heart, his ability to take a beating and come back for more. As a matter of record, Wepner became the first man to knock Ali off his feet inside the ring during a title fight. A furious Ali got back up and pulverized Wepner without mercy culminating in the fight ending 19 seconds into the 15th round. Sylvester Stallone based his Rocky franchise on Wepner's life.

Director Falardeau exquisitely turns what might easily have been another boxing movie into a relationship piece illuminating Wepner's most difficult moments outside the ring. He depicts the 1970's much like Martin Scorcese's Taxi Driver ? seedy, wild women, drugs, booze ? along with exceptional highs and disastrous lows.

After Rocky became the hit of 1976 garnering ten Oscar nominations and three wins for Best Picture, Best Director and for Best Editing, Wepner began letting the world of New Jersey nightlife know he was the real life Rocky and to many he was. Jim Gaffigan plays, John Stoehr, Wepner's best friend and loyal steward who is shown as mostly living vicariously through Chuck. A most telling scene occurs when Cinematographer Nicolas Bolduc takes the audience down inside the clubbing world of the honky-tonk, disco era of the 1970's with the fur coats, gold chains, silky rayon tops, sequined gowns, costume jewelry and the dance music of the Bee Gee's. Here Wepner not only succumbs to the temptation of the drugs, booze and casual sex, he ultimately seems to confuse his own life with the screen life of Rocky Balboa as John looks on in giddy bewilderment.

Soon Wepner decides to confronts Stallone about Rocky. Stallone, played by Morgan Spector, seems genuinely flattered and invites Wepner to audition for a real-life role in Rocky II. A drug infused, boozed up Wepner, blows the audition as his life is now in a virulent downward spiral. Finally, after he shows up late and misses his 2nd grade daughter's Parents Day, his wife, Phyllis, played by Elisabeth Moss calls it quits. Wepner knows he's falling. Yet, he finds a glimpse of hope with a local bartender, Linda, played by Schreiber's real-life wife, Naomi Watts. The two hit it off with some playful banter before the bottom drops out for Wepner and he's sent to prison for drug trafficking. This becomes Stallone's impetus for his 1989 film Lock Up. Wepner is called upon to be a consultant and is shown in shackles and prison garb. Yet, when he sees Stallone staging the story, he realizes his life is not Stallone's version. This is the turning point of the film and for Chuck Wepner. He reconciles with his brother John, played sharply by Michael Rappaport and eventually marries Linda and the two spend the rest of their lives together in close relationship.

The Bleeder, full of rich costuming and fine cinematography, is at its core a period piece of the 1970's including the role boxing played in the public domain. In addition, it is also a strong narrative of the trials and tribulations of Chuck Wepner's life. It's a life affirming story as Wepner goes the distance and gets the girl in the end. Warmly recommended.

Reviewed by Dave McClain 8 / 10

"Chuck" is a very entertaining and long-overdue movie.

Sylvester Stallone has denied that his character of Rocky Balboa was inspired by heavyweight boxer Chuck Wepner, who fought professionally from 1964 to 1978. Well, let's just take a look at some of what happens in the "Rocky" movies, shall we? In the original "Rocky" (1976), an unknown white boxer was plucked from obscurity and given a shot at the heavyweight title by a flamboyant black champion. No one gave Chuck, er, I mean, no one gave "Rocky" much of a chance, but he trained hard (old-school) and greatly exceeded expectations during the fight. In "Rocky III" (1982), Rocky gets in the boxing ring for a match against a hulking professional wrestler and, at one point, the wrestler picks Rocky up and drops him to the ground outside the ropes. In "Rocky IV" (1985), Rocky watched James Brown sing from inside the ring before a match. In the career of what real life boxer did all those things happen? Chuck Wepner. Who wrote and starred in all six "Rocky" movies? Sylvester Stallone. It's no wonder that Wepner called himself "the real Rocky". Likewise, it's no wonder that the bio-pic dramedy "Chuck" (R, 1:38) was made to tell Wepner's story. I could say more about the details in common between the careers of Rocky and Chuck, but trying to avoid spoilers (in case you don't know Chuck's story), I'll just refer you to something Chuck says in the movie: "You don't know me. Well, you know me, but you don't know you know me." It's worth mentioning up front that this isn't the story of the making of "Rocky". "Chuck" is about Chuck. The release of "Rocky" changed Chuck's life, but he was the same person before, during and after his proverbial 15 minutes of fame. Chuck worked as a liquor distributor to pay the bills. He was a boxer because it was what he did best. He wasn't the quickest, strongest or most successful heavyweight of his day, but he could take a punch. In fact, he could take a whole lot of punches (a beating, really) and keep coming back for more. They called him the Bayonne Bleeder. He hated the name, but he loved the fame. Chuck enjoyed being recognized and treated special ? especially by the ladies. Never mind that he had a devoted wife, Phyliss (Elisabeth Moss), and a loving daughter, Kimberly (Sadie Sink), back home? growing increasingly frustrated by the selfish and neglectful way that Chuck was treating them.

Chuck's life changed forever in 1975. After Muhammad Ali took the world heavyweight title from George Foreman in the fight known as "the Rumble in the Jungle", Ali said he wanted to fight "a white guy". Since Chuck was the only white guy among the top 10 ranked heavyweight boxers in the world, his manager (Ron Perlman) took care of the details and Chuck Wepner, little known outside of New Jersey, got a shot at the title. For this first time in his career, he trained full time for this fight which took place near Cleveland, OH. Chuck's performance against Ali (Pooch Hall) increased his celebrity greatly. Then he became even more famous the following year when the new movie "Rocky" seemed to mirror his life, especially regarding the Ali fight. As Chuck tried to take advantage of being the guy who inspired the 1976 Best Picture Oscar winner by reaching out to Sylvester Stallone himself, Chuck was also increasing his selfish behaviors, using cocaine and pursuing even more women, including a local bartender named Linda (Naomi Watts), who didn't want anything to do with him? a sentiment now shared by Phyliss.

"Chuck" is a very entertaining and long-overdue movie. Chuck Wepner's story is indeed the stuff of Hollywood ? in the "Rocky" movies ? and in this movie which reveals Chuck's story to be as interesting as Rocky's. This film had four writers whose combined efforts really do the story justice. They are Jeff Feuerzeig (known mainly for writing and directing documentaries? including "The Real Rocky" for ESPN), Jerry Stahl (mainly a TV show writer, he also wrote 2003's "Bad Boys II"), Michael Cristofer ("Original Sin", "Bonfire of the Vanities", "The Witches of Eastwick") and Live Schreiber, who, besides being the film's star and co-writer, also helped produce. The screenplay focuses on the drama, but has an effective and organic humor about it. In the hands of director Philippe Falardeau (who directed Reese Witherspoon's 2014 film "The Good Lie"), and in the practically perfect performance of Schreiber, this film portrays the most eventful decade of Chuck's life without judgment, showing his highs and his lows, and never loses sight of his humanity. Another quote from the movie sums it up nicely: "Sometimes life is like a movie. And sometimes it's better." This film is better than most. "A-"

Reviewed by Paul Allaer 8 / 10

The story behind the real life "Rocky Balboa"

"Chuck" (2016 release; 101 min.) brings the story of New Jersey heavyweight boxer Chuck Wepner. As the movie opens, we are reminded this is "based on a true story". Wepner is making a name for himself as a heavyweight boxer in the mid-70s. After a quick detour to his youth, we see Wepner and his wife Phyllis watch Ali beat Foreman in the "Rumble in the Jungle". Then the news comes that Ali next wants to fight Wepner, much to his surprise. Why? Because Ali wants to take on a "white guy" and Wepner is the only white guy in the heavyweight top 10 ranking. After Ali fights Wepner in March, 1975, Wepner is a star. Then Wepner gets a phone call that some guy in Hollywood is making a movie inspired by Wepner's story... What happens next? To tell you more of the plot would spoil your viewing experience, you'll just have to see for yourself how it all plays out.

Couple of comments: this isn't the first movie about Wepner's life story, in fact ESPN made a documentary about it for its 30 For 30 series. But this is not a documentary. While the movie is directed by Canadian director Philippe Falardeau, best known for his movie "Monsieur Lahzar" some 4-5 years ago, "Chuck" is a true labor of love for Liev Schreiber, who has been pushing this for years. Schreiber brings one of his very best performances of his career (and that is saying something). On top of that he co-produced and co-wrote the movie. If you are expecting a sports movie, you will be sorely disappointed, as this far more a character study (and a flawed character at that). The 1970s are brought to life with a perfectly matching soundtrack and production set (were the city centers really as run down as they are shown here?). The movie sports an all-star cast: besides Schreiber, we see Naomi Watts (unrecognizable as Wepner's love interest Linda--it wasn't until the end credits rolled I realized it was her), Ron Perlman (as Wepner's boxing manager) and Elisabeth Moss as Wepner's wife Phyllis), just to name those. It may be difficult to separate the unlikely Wepner life story from the movie's artistic value, but all I can say is that the movie flew by in no time for me, and that's always a good sign. "Sometimes life is like a movie, and sometimes it's even better", comments Wepner towards the end. Why? just watch...

"Chuck" premiered to good acclaim at last year's Venice Film Festival, It recently finally opened at my local art-house theater here in Cincinnati. The Saturday matin?e screening where I saw this at was attended poorly (only 2 people beside myself). Probably the picture-perfect weather had something to so with it. Regardless, hopefully this movie will find a bigger audience on Amazon Instant Video and eventually on DVD/Blu-ray. "Chuck" is HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!

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