Aaron Eckhart has won me over and I’ve become a fan of his work. I see that Miles Teller is primarily a one-trick pony, but in the right movie that trick works. Bleed for This caught my attention because of the pairing and my love of last years Creed. Unfortunately, while the true story of Vinny “The Pazmanian Devil” Pazienza is compelling, there are some odd plot structure choices, cinemagraphic choices, and editing choices that really weaken the overall film. I give Bleed for This the Decent Watch rating.
Based on the true story of World Champion Boxer Vinny Pazienza (Miles Teller), who was nearly paralyzed after a car crash, refused to listen to basically everyone when they said he’d never box again. With the help of friend and trainer, Kevin Rooney (Aaron Eckhart), Pazienza would continue working out while wearing a surgical halo to keep his spine from moving.
The highlight of the film was the sound mixing and editing. The use of various sounds help transition the sequences of the film. It also was used successful to highlight major moments in the film like during the final boxing match. I don’t usually pay as much attention to the sound, but something about its use in this film really pulled me in. This time I was aware of it and noticed all this little touches that added to the complete audio track. Repetitious sounds mixed together from various aspects of his life. I felt like it was extremely well done.
Director Ben Younger also directed Boiler Room and Prime
Director Ben Younger may or may not be to blame for a lot of the problems with the editing and camerawork in the film. There were moments that seemed to jump around a bit chronologically in a nonsensical way. Some of the shots that made it to the film were surprising. During the final fight there is a cut to a blurry look at the ropes where the fighters can just be seen out of focus. It didn’t serve the visual story and felt like an odd thing to make it to the final product. I am definitely still learning, but that’s usually not what be included. With those problems add in that the film didn’t live up to the intensity that Creed had conditioned me to want from modern boxing films. Of course, that’s not fair to use as a criticism of this film, but the camerawork during the fights felt uninspired by comparison.
The cast does a great job
Luckily, I think the story manages to save this film. It’s not only inspirational, but it’s well acted by pretty much everyone. Eckhart shined the brightest, but Teller held his own. Teller is still basically playing his normal role, but seemed to work in the story. Katey Sagal plays Vinny’s mother who is super religious and the ultimate worried mom during his fights. It works to add to the family dynamic and build the tension. No one wants him to continue fighting, but Vinny feels it’s the only thing he can do. He’s a fighter and nothing was going to stop him from fighting if he’s able to.
Bleed for This isn’t a film you must rush out to see. Yet, if you like boxing, bio-pics, or Miles Teller then it’s going to live up to your expectations. The film has flaws, but the story manages to cover-up the bad. Plus, I really did enjoy the sound design of the movie. Too bad Miles Teller can’t grow a better mustache.