The Movie: 7.5/10
I’m all in. Once you say Gyllenhaal I’m on high alert for being impressed. Once the movie starts I’m hooked. Once it’s over, I’m convinced, Gyllenhaal is one of our best and I’m thrilled to be along for the ride.
We meet our leading man at the top of his boxing career. He’s got the big house, the loving wife and daughter. It’s almost immediately though that we understand his fighting style and the toll it’s taking on his body are worrying his family. Soon after we meet our little boxing family a tragedy comes along that challenges our leading man beyond what the toughest boxer in the ring could ever do.
It’s a story about fortitude and overcoming something so big in your life that your emotions become a black hole, a place to go and let yourself just die off and stop existing. He meets up with a boxing trainer who is no-nonsense and proceeds to find his way again. I admire the trainer’s character, played by Forrest Whitaker. He’s complicated but we only see the finished product of his life, which has led him to be the wise hard-nosed trainer with a big heart.
Nevermind that the boxing matches are very watchable, not the matches of the good old days. These punches looked like they connected, the sweat flies, the blood flows, and the grunts sound real enough to convince me they let the actors beat the crap out of each other.
The wife and daughter are beautifully played by both Oona Laurence and Rachael McAdams. In fact, I would have a whole movie about Oona’s character happily. Some people might think this movie is kind of melodramatic and over the top with the whole “poor me” thing and a man overcoming his inability to cope with the harsh realities of his life. I don’t care what those people think.
I would watch Southpaw again, and that’s a mark of approval if ever I could offer one up.
- Deleted Scenes (21 Minutes) – Breakfast, Getting Ready Extended, Billy’s Fall, Tick’s Gym, Leila’s Fight, Angela & Billy, Be Respectful and Don’t Get Hit Too Much.
- Southpaw Inside The Ring (21 Minutes) – Antoine Fuqua and the main cast reflect on the film. This is obviously one of those made for HBO early look programs but is quite interesting for what it is.
- Q&A With Cast (19 Minutes) – David Karger hosts a Screen Actors Guild Q&A with Jake Gyllenhaal, Rachel McAdams, Oona Laurence and 50 Cent.
- Extended Training Montage (4 Minutes) – A montage of Jake Gyllenhaal training for the movie.
- DVD & UV Digital Copy
Cover Art: 8/10
The right image for the right movie is all it takes to make a great poster or cover art. I would have this as a poster in my house.
Audio & Video: 9/10
Southpaw comes to Blu-Ray with a vivid 1080P transfer that uses the AVC codec. It’s not perfect as the nature of some of the digital photography creates noise during the low light scenes. Aside from that Anchor Bay have done a bang up job of making this movie look great for home viewing. Black levels are mostly inky black and skin tones are warm and inviting. Some of the boxing scenes look incredible and better than what you see on TV on a Saturday night. I don’t have much to complain about here.
The DTS-HD Master audio 5.1 loss-less track is a stunner and brings the whole movie to life. Surround sound is used throughout especially during fight scenes. Subtle detail can be found in every speaker even during dialog driven scenes. LFE rears its head quite often as well as the sounds of punches hit their targets. Dialog is central and highly prioritized and Eminem’s new music comes across aggressive and loud.
Overall Score 7.5/10