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RUNNING TIME: 104 min
Africville Music Video by Black Union featuring Maestro
Photo Gallery featuring Song Breathe by Luke Nicholson
A troubled young man gets a second chance at life after getting out of prison.
Danny Glover, Rossif Sutherland, Greg Bryk, Flex Alexander and Tonya Lee Williams
Danny Glover is still too old for this shit.
Poor Boy’s Game focuses on Donnie Ross. He’s a tough guy that’s just gotten out of jail after beating a teen into a handicapped state. Donnie did his time, but he still has personal demons to handle. Can he find peace becoming a boxer or will his past destroy him?
Today’s going to be the day that Kiefer comes calling with that role on 24. I just know it.
Jamaican director Clement Virgo seems to have done well transitioning out of American television towards the silver screen. Tackling the story of a troubled boxer coping with physical and sexual abuse isn’t easy. But, Virgo doesn’t seem to want to attack this issue head-on. So, he sets up the film as a showdown in the ring. The crippled teen’s best friend is a local boxing champ that wants to challenge Donnie in the ring. So, it’s a countdown to the throw down.
Poor Boy‘s Game fights against itself at numerous points. There are looks at race relations, sexual abuse and letting go of the past. But, that goes away for everyone outside of Danny Glover. It’s almost as though someone gave Murtagh a different script. By the time that the film ended, Glover is the only one coming out of it looking good. If I had to listen to Rossif Sutherland anymore, I was going to eat a bullet. Sutherland was good on E.R., but he was fucking killing me in this flick with that vocal inflection.
So, how we going to do this?
You get to be Apollo and I get to be Drago.
Bitch, you always get to be Drago.
Well, them’s the rules.
Danny Glover actually delivers as George, the father of the crippled teen. He rises above what could’ve been a basic revenge movie to actually side with the former aggressor. George does his best to train Donnie and keep him from getting mutilated in the ring. The amount of heart that Danny Glover slips into the role coupled with his ability to raise the material makes for a great viewing. It’s just a shame that he couldn’t be in the entire film.
Donnie Ross is an interesting character that never really got developed. The failure of Rossif Sutherland and Clement Virgo to get me to accept the character is what killed the movie. Poor Boy’s Game has the skeleton of a good movie. It’s just that they forgot to hang something upon it. Such things are disappointments, but you learn to live with them.
The South Avenue Players presents The Departed. Edna Hopper and her husband Irving called it the most daring dinner theater production that they had ever seen. Irving had the salisbury steak. It was a little dry.
Poor Boy’s Game comes to DVD in a rather standard edition from Thinkfilm. You get a music video, photo gallery and theatrical trailer. It’s the standard issue DVD supplemental pack, but it’s excused. I’m sure that when they were hauling ass to get this movie done, they didn’t take the time to make sure that they got everyone’s thoughts on this boxing revenge flick. That’s not an excuse for the lame supplemental material. It’s just me trying to make sense of their skimpy nature.
The A/V Quality is pretty strong considering that the film is an independent production. Dark colors are handled well during the film’s various night-time exteriors. The Dolby Digital 5. 1 Surround Track does well during the boxing scenes. You hear each hit with such power that it almost rivals the bigger boxing pictures of Stallone. Pretty impressive for the most part, but I wouldn’t recommend it for Home Theater reference.
In the end, Poor Boy‘s Game is a decent film that tried to be a lot of things. Trying doesn’t count. Tighter direction, a couple of re-writers and putting more focus on Glover would’ve improved the affair. It’s just sad that didn’t happen. All we get is a pretty generic boxing movie.
This scene makes even less sense in context.