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Published on February 17th, 2015 | by Tarzan and Jane


Creepy Biopic- Foxcatcher

Tarzan and Jane here from the middle of the Pacific.  Sports biopics are common fare in our treehouse.  Big fans of ESPN’s 30 for 30 as well as other sports fare, when a sport’s biopic or feel good underdog movie comes out, we’re usually first in line to buy tickets, so when Foxcatcher starring Channing Tatum, Steve Carell and Mark Ruffalo came out, Tarzan was very excited to see this movie (Jane didn’t know any better).


Tarzan says . . .I remember watching this story unfold on the news when it happened, my attention glued to cable news much like the OJ Simpson drama.  The tragedy of the murder of Dave Schultz was horrific but I was interested to see the behind-the-scenes of this big screen rendition.  I liked the movie but I didn’t love it.  The story was fascinating and the fact that it was based on real events is a positive in my book.  The actors were excellent in their portrayal of these people; the casting was terrific.  I didn’t like the gaps and leaps in time; for example, the end jumps from 1988 to the murder almost a decade later leaving a large portion of the story untold… 7 Vines.

Jane says . . .I didn’t remember the actual events around which this movie is based, but a quick google search helped identify the key points of the story – a very tragic one.  When I sat down to watch it, I thought I was walking into the typical movie of the Olympic athlete winning his medal, however, this movie, slower than I anticipated, wasn’t the typical sports movie.  This movie is a drama wrapped in a tragic overcoat with sports as an accessorizing scarf.

The story follows Mark Shultz, portrayed by Channing Tatum, an Olympic athlete who won the gold medal for wrestling in the 1984 Olympics.  Down on his luck, he’s focused on training and surviving day-to-day with the help of his coach brother, Dave Shultz played by Mark Ruffalo.  Like a gift from heaven, John du Pont and all of his money arrives and sweeps Mark off of his feet with the lure of a proper training facility, old money, and a father-figure.  What happens isn’t the fairy tale sports ending however as Carell’s du Pont comes unhinged in an eerie portrayal of a man battling demons that can’t be seen.  Carell, who’s nominated for an Oscar for his work as this character, is creepy, though I wouldn’t have pegged the performance as “best actor” quality mainly because I had a difficult time believing that Steve Carell – an actor who’s work in Dan in Real Life was wonderful – seemed to just stand awkwardly with his face caked in prosthetic leaving him rather expressionless and his acting relegated to his walk. The movie in and of itself was strangely constructed, took huge leaps and asked the audience to make big assumptions. By the end of the movie, the only thing I could think was how sad it all was, a senseless tragedy. If you’re looking for a feel good sports movie, this isn’t it… 5 vines.

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