Resurrecting the Champ

Somber...that was the word that occurred to me as I exited the theater amid almost silent fellow audience members.

This movie, "Resurrecting the Champ" is a cross between "Shattered Glass" and ... I don't know ... maybe something about fathers and sons. In my opinion, along with the ambition of the journalist, played by Josh Hartnett ("Blow Dry" and "Wicker Park") and the ingenuity of a homeless man who calls himself "The Champ," played by Samuel L. Jackson ("The Long Kiss Goodnight," "Snakes on a Plane" and "Star Wars"), the strongest theme centers around the need for fathers to live up to the admiration of their sons and the need for the sons to earn the respect of their fathers.

I have to admit I didn't see the plot twist coming but I disagree with the critics who think Jackson is on track for an Oscar nomination. In fact, I think his was the weakest performance in the movie. Hartnett did very well as a recently separated man who desperately wants to reconcile with his wife and son. Alan Alda ("Flirting With Disaster" and "Betsy's Wedding") is, once again, completely convincing as the managing editor of Hartnett's newspaper. David Paymer is always dependable, as is Teri Hatcher. Neither of them break a sweat in their stereotypical roles.

Wait for the captions on the DVD, as the dialogue is mostly mumbled; things are very understated with heart-felt speeches by Hartnett to both his estranged wife and his confused son.

This movie is nothing to write home about, but you could do worse...