This is a movie that I have very fond memories of. It is not the Gladiator movie you normally think of, but rather a low budget DTV boxing movie starring Cuba Gooding Jr. and Brian Dennehy and I adore it.
My friend Mike got this on VHS back in the day, it was a strange copy – a screened for the video store to watch and decide if they wanted to carry it. every now and then you’ll see a warning about this not being for distribution come up on the screen.
From IMDB :
Tommy Riley has moved with his dad to Chicago from a ‘nice place’. He keeps to himself, goes to school. However, after a street fight he is noticed and quickly falls into the world of illegal underground boxing – where punches can kill.
This really doesn’t do the movie justice.
There’s really a great deal of drama happening here, with Gooding boxing to support his family, and a friendship developing between the two main character – something Dennehy will not allow to happen.
Just as important to this film is the soundtrack. In an era where every film had a meaningless soundtrack of songs “inspired from the film” this had a great 90’s soundtrack album with every song in the movie. I can not emphasize how great this record is…Mike went out and immediately got a copy (which I promptly copied. Man, I wish I had a copy of this on CD or mp3 instead of cassette…)
Mike doesn’t have a VCR anymore so the tape is now in my possession and I suspect I’ll always love it. I’m not sure if this ever got a DVD release, but I know you can watch it on the pay Youtube channel for just two dollars and it’s well worth it!