The Bleeder

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  • R
  • 2012
  • 6.5  (6,762)
  • 68

The Bleeder, released in 2016, is a drama biopic that tells the story of Chuck Wepner, a heavyweight boxer who went the distance against Muhammad Ali in a 15-round fight in 1975. The film stars Liev Schreiber as Chuck Wepner, Elisabeth Moss as his second wife Phyllis, and Ron Perlman as his long-time friend and manager, Al Braverman.

The movie is set in the 1970s and 80s, and it captures the gritty, rough-around-the-edges feel of the era. Chuck Wepner is a heavyweight boxer from Bayonne, New Jersey, who has always felt like an outsider. He's a working-class guy who's never had much success in life, but he's always had a talent for fighting. When he gets the chance to fight Muhammad Ali, he feels like he's finally made it.

The Bleeder is not just a sports movie. It's a character study of a man who's never quite been able to find his place in the world, and who struggles with personal demons that threaten to derail his life at every turn. Chuck is a hard-drinking, womanizing guy who's always looking for the next thrill. But he's also a loving father and husband who wants nothing more than to provide for his family.

As Chuck's star begins to rise, he becomes more and more consumed by his own fame. He starts to party harder, abuse drugs, and cheat on his wife. His marriage falls apart, and he eventually ends up in jail. But even when he hits rock bottom, Chuck never loses his fighting spirit.

Liev Schreiber gives a powerful performance as Chuck Wepner. He captures the boxer's rough-hewn charm, as well as his raw emotions as he struggles to make sense of his life. Elisabeth Moss, meanwhile, shines as Phyllis, Chuck's long-suffering wife. Moss brings depth and nuance to her portrayal, showing us a woman who loves her husband despite his flaws, but who also has her own dreams and ambitions.

Ron Perlman, as Al Braverman, is the perfect foil to Chuck. He's a savvy manager who knows how to play the game, but he's also a loyal friend who genuinely cares about his fighter. Perlman brings his trademark gravitas to the role, and his scenes with Schreiber are some of the film's most memorable.

One of the strengths of The Bleeder is its attention to detail. The filmmakers clearly did their research, and they've recreated the look and feel of the era down to the smallest details. From the shag carpeting in Chuck's living room to the vintage cars on the streets, the film immerses us in the world of the 1970s and 80s.

The Bleeder is not a perfect film. At times, it meanders and loses focus, and some of the supporting characters feel underdeveloped. But it's a powerful and moving character study that will resonate with anyone who's ever struggled to find their place in the world. It's a reminder that even in the darkest of times, there's always a chance to get back up and keep fighting.

The Bleeder
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    6.5  (6,762)
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