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Movie Review: Resurrecting the Champ

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In a marked departure from his previous, politically-charged directorial efforts, Rod Lurie delivers a thoughtful, often poignant film about family and morality in Resurrecting the Champ. Based in part on a Los Angeles Times Magazine article by J.R. Moehringer, Resurrecting the Champ tells the story of Erik Kernan (Josh Hartnett), a sportswriter living in the shadow of his late father, a legendary broadcaster. Erik is your classic hustler--quick with a lie and unwilling to do the hard work necessary to make something significant out of himself.

He's drifting through life as a mediocre writer and an even worse father until one night--as if by Providence--he meets Champ (Samuel L. Jackson), a homeless old man who was once one of the finest boxers in the world. Erik immediately sees the draw of Champ's story. He goes over the head of his boss (Alan Alda) and pitches the story directly to the editor (David Paymer) of his newspaper's magazine who quickly accepts. Now all Erik has to do is convince Champ to participate which he does with a heavy, constant infusion of cheap beer.