Boxing Movies

In the grand tradition of Freddy vs. Jason and Aliens vs. Predator comes Grudge Match, which pits boxing legends Rocky Balboa and Jake La Motta against each other in an epic battle to the death. Or, probably not. But Grudge Match is an upcoming boxing comedy coming from Tommy Boy and Anger Management director Peter Segal. It tells the story of two retired boxers who step into the ring one last time in order to finally settle an old score. It’s kind of like that episode of The Cosby Show where Combustible Huxtable races Tailwind Turner one final time, but with punching instead of running. The real exciting news about this project isn’t that it’s a boxing comedy about old dudes, though, it’s the names that are being looked at to play the two leads. The Wrap is reporting that Sylvester Stallone and Robert De Niro are currently in negotiations. These two are, of course, the two stars of probably the greatest boxing movies ever made, Rocky and Raging Bull, so there’s a whole meta component to their casting that adds to the fact that watching Stallone and De Niro clown around together already sounds kind of fun in a dumb way.

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Sitting at a formidable and weighty 98% on Rotten Tomatoes is legendary director Martin Scorsese’s Raging Bull, a biopic of Jake LaMotta, a 40s era boxer who was nicknamed “The Raging Bull” because of his short fuse and aggressive style in the ring. Michael Ritchie isn’t a legendary director. Despite the fact that he’s made movies like The Bad News Bears and Fletch, I’ve never even heard someone bring his name up in a conversation. And his attempt at a boxing movie, 1992’s Diggstown, is sitting at a paltry 54% on Rotten Tomatoes, derided and then forgotten by a cruel world unwilling to look past the ridiculous shirt and tie combinations James Woods wears in the film. This injustice will not stand.

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