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Movie Breakdown: Chuck

May 18, 2017

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Pre-Screening Stance:

Since the Rocky flicks seem to have run their course, someone decided to make a movie about the real life guy/boxer who inspired Sylvester Stallone to create the Italian Stallion.  Is this a story that’s worth telling?  Maybe.

Post-Screening Ramble:

It’s 1975, and there’s a top 10 fighter by the name of Chuck “The Bayonne Bleeder” Wepner (Liev Schreiber) who has been given the chance to take on the Rumble In The Jungle winner himself, Muhammad Ali.  Naturally, no one thinks he has a shot at anything but getting KO’d, but through sheer determination (and with the help of a thick skull), he lasts 15 rounds and becomes a hero to everyone in his hometown.  Then, of course, he goes about ruining his life because he’s an impulsive, selfish fool.

Chuck is a fairly brief hour and a half.  You see some lead up to the fight, the fight itself and then the downfall.  I’m sure there’s more story that could have been told, but the film works as is because what’s there is grounded and relatable.  It’s full of real people doing real things, and there’s something oddly charming and warm about the way its generally unfortunate plot unfolds.  I give all the credit to Schreiber, who turns in a great performance on the screen and as the film’s narrator.  He really does well to make you feel like Chuck’s collapse isn’t because he’s a bad person, it’s because he’s an idiot.  And let’s face it, we’ve all been there.

If you want a nice matinee (that doesn’t feature superheros and explosions and whatnot) this weekend, Chuck is a solid option.

One Last Thought:

I’ve always found Naomi Watts to be an alluring presence, but something about her in this film is just intoxicating.  Maybe it’s the red hair.  Or the don’t give a fuck attitude.  Or both.

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Happy Metal Fun Time (Chuck)

January 13, 2017

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Something I have been doing while interviewing bands for my podcast, The Metal Podcast with Chuck and Godless, is asking artists about one song. A song, any song that represents a time in your life that has a story, it could be metal, it could be pop, it could potentially be anything that gives you a visceral memory of something specific. It is a tough question when you are put on the spot, but what it has done for me is made me start to think about the music that represents change in my life and movement – positive, negative or otherwise.

For instance, the song Informer by Snow, terrible song, but it reminds me of spring break 1992, the last one of high school for me, and the first time I went to South Padre Island to party with a bunch of friends, rolling at 3am screaming that dumb ass song while hanging out the sun roof of my buddies car … see what I mean? So I put together a playlist of songs that mean something to me, now I won’t be including the stories that go with them, but if you really want to know then tweet me @beardedape and I will elaborate, some of them are pretty strange. Enjoy!

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Happy Metal Fun Time (Chuck)

August 5, 2016

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A data scientist for Degenerate State compiled over 200,000 songs, analyzed their lyrics to find the most heavy metal word, or at least the word that seemed to appear in the most songs from thousands of bands. Heavy Metal and Natural Language Processing – Part 1 explained the process and at least some of the findings, and personally i was kind of shocked. I mean I figured it would be brootal and cvlt, but thought maybe Satan, or domination or something would be the one, well there can be only one and according to the study BURN is the most metal word over many years, songs, bands and genres of metal.

Which makes sense, fire, dragons, Hell, lava, so many things burn, whether it was the rash of Church burnings by Black Metal dudes or whatever the imagery stays ingrained as something pretty freaking metal. Plus I figured since we are in August, it is damn hot, time for some music about fire and burning. What I found though, is there ARE a lot of songs that fit either by title or lyrically, so here is a list of a few off the top of my head! Enjoy!

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