Posts Tagged ‘mma’

Machinemen gives the internet another reminder of what makes mixed martial arts so great.

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Fight Film Friday: Warrior

Posted: September 9, 2011 in fight film friday
Tags: , ,

Warrior
USA, 2011
Genre: Sports, Drama
140 minutes
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1291584/

Two brothers must confront their past in the ultimate winner-takes-all MMA tournament.

Best known for his previous sports drama Miracle, director Gavin O’Connor writes and directs Warrior, a film he hopes will become “the Rocky of mixed martial arts.” With the sport growing faster than ever and all eyes on the battle for legalization in states like New York, fans of MMA have reason to be wary. Previous films, television shows, and even video games referencing the sport’s culture, practioners, or image have been far from charitable, contributing to greater unease and misinformation among the general public. But right from the start, it seems apparent that a lot of love for the sport and the people apart of it went into O’Connor’s movie. The culture of MMA is represented fairly accurately, with even a number of thinly-veiled real world analogs in the film. While the premise and backdrop of the story seem a bit on the unreal side, it’s mostly a solid simulation of the world sports fans are familiar with. Japanese cinematographer Masanobu Takayanaki does a fine job lighting up the screen with a sense of both grandeur and intimacy. Complimented with strong sound design and a moving, if a bit questionable, score, Warrior is an impressive feat of aesthetics that does justice to the sport.

It must be said that the story isn’t particularly innovative or original, and seasoned fans of sports dramas will likely recognize a great deal of popular genre tropes. However, it sets everything up well and amazing performances by the cast really outweigh any feelings of cheesiness. Joel Edgerton really gets the chance to open up on camera, and it’s amazing to see him perform such an impressive role. Tom Hardy doesn’t disappoint either, and delivers in a way that makes it impossible to fully love or hate his character. This is the very definition of a nuanced and human performance, and Hardy manages to hit just the right balance between heartless and compassionate. Nick Nolte as the brothers’ father is outstanding as well, and the three actors elevate the film from just another sports drama to something truly worthy of becoming a classic.

Although definitely flashier than actual mixed martial arts fights, the on screen matches aren’t unbelievable, and work well within the bounds of the film. The choreography is impressive and the performances hit hard. With cameras that mimic the real-life sports coverage, the scenes all feel dynamic and authentic. Fans may chuckle a bit at the fights, but I think the film deserves at least as much of a pass as boxing films do. This is a powerful film, with great action pieces and even better dramatic performances. This is the MMA movie fans have been yearning for, and this is the kind of movie we deserve. Go out and watch this movie, and bring all the non-fans you can find.

Hello Japan continues his Brazil series with this tribute to Lil Nog, the often overlooked brother of Antonio Rodrigo Nogueria. Although not nearly as successful or popular, Minotouro is still a great fighter, boasting a top level submission game and a very successful run as an amateur boxer in his native Brazil.

Aubtin gives us a great tribute to the Japanese promotion’s storied three year history. Dream is still a pretty young organization, but they’ve given us some outstanding fights. Here’s to their continued success!

Machinemen does it again. I don’t think that Fedor is really going to retire, but this video makes it seem like it’s so inevitable. Whatever happens, I think we all know that he’s one of the best there ever was, and he will be missed dearly if he leaves the sport.

Hello Japan is definitely one of my new favorite highlight makers, and brings us a fantastic look back at the amazing career of Genki Sudo, the Neo Samurai. An accomplished submission grappler and mixed martial artist, Sudo took it the extra mile everywhere he went. His phenomenal walk-out performances are legendary, his in-fight antics hilarious. He competed in K-1 kickboxing just for the fun of it, and the track to this highlight comes off of his new music album. He retired at the peak of his career, and will forever remain my favorite fighter of all time.

Machinemen always has such a beautiful sense of nostalgia in his videos, and I have to say that it works amazingly well for him. In his latest work, he details the career defining moments of Mirko Filipovic, also known as “Cro-Cop.” It’s a legendary tribute to a legendary fighter, and even if we never see him in action again, Machinemen reminds us of why he’ll go down as one of the best ever.