• Creed 3 Review: Best of the Bunch

    Creed 3 Review: Best of the Bunch

    The Rockyverse (is that it’s name?) added it’s latest installment last night with the release of Creed III. The movies follows the story of Adonis Creed, son of Apollo, and his rise through the heavyweight division. Today, we are going to take some time to drop a review on Creed 3 and see what it did good, what wasn’t so go, and so on.

    Major spoilers ahead for those who have not seen the movie. Reader beware!

    Creed 3: The best of the three Creed movies

    With a cast including Michael B. Jordan, Tessa Thompson, and Jonathan Majors, it was almost impossible for Creed 3 to miss. From the very start of the movie, we get the feeling we are going to be in for a great ride. Michael B. Jordan is at home in his role of Adonis Creed. He takes it very serious and is his best performance. Creed 3 only adds to that.

    We get some information early on that Adonis Creed has retired as a boxer and vacated his titles. Now a promoter, Creed is looking at promotion his new heavyweight champion: Felix Chavez played by professional boxer Jose Benavidez Jr. Coming back into Creed’s life is Damian Anderson, a friend just released from prison and looking to reconnect with a dark past.

    Creed and Anderson, also nicknamed Dame, connect and Dame makes it clear that he thinks Creed is living what should have been his life and wants to box. Creed agrees to take Dame in and let him train at his gym. One thing leads to another and Dame ends up fighting Felix Chavez for the belt and winning, pulling Creed out of retirement due to unresolved issues and a feud between the two that has been brewing for almost 20 years.

    What makes Creed 3 so good?

    Creed 3 absolutely nails what it’s supposed to be. The original Rocky movie wasn’t about a boxer, it was about overcoming odds and dealing with poverty. The movie wasn’t about being a boxer which was apparent when Rocky lost to Apollo Creed instead of winning. Rocky still won at life in that moment.

    For Creed 3, our theme was guilt, resentment and the issue with men where emotions aren’t spoken about. The latest Creed installment absolutely nails that notion. While Adonis Creed is living in luxury in Hollywood with a beautiful family, an amazing house, and retired as the champion, Dame Anderson returns and brings back terrible memories to Adonis that really put him in Anderson’s shoes knowing that it could have been him instead of Anderson.

    We see Anderson, poor and 18 years out of jail, without the same social skills as the Creed family’s lavish lifestyle. He’s a fish out of water and Creed knows he was once not as successful and rich as he was. This brings back a lot of grief for Adonis and it’s the driving motivation for the story for Creed 3.

    What we got right

    Creed 3 absolutely nailed the story. The acting chops of Jordan, Majors and Thompson are barre none and the three are some of the best in the world. After seeing Ant-Man: Quantamania just a few short months ago, it’s wild to see the range of abilities Jonathan Majors possesses in his acting tool belt.

    In Creed 3, Majors shows great range. In fact, I want to go on record and say that he truly steals the show. Majors comes out of prison and is regretful, scared and timid. Throughout the movie, we go from that, to someone motivated, someone on top of the world as champion, and someone in a moment of weakness and defeat. Majors’ range is truly incredible in general and even more so in the single

    The fight scenes in Creed 3 were also quite good. While there are some moments that require suspension of belief, seeing the sweat on Creed’s back get punched off him with a gut punch in slow motion was fantastic. Majors played a power puncher who didn’t truly know how to box. His fight scenes showed just that. He was unpolished and fought different, in a way boxers don’t traditionally do. Adonis was and he used head movement, the jab, and much more in the traditional boxer’s ruleset to show his skills.

    In the final fight between Creed and Dame, there’s a major part where the stadium goes “empty” and it’s just the two boxers fighting in the ring. It’s near silent. We hear their breathing and the hard punches being landed. This was an artistic addition that was pure perfection. It was dark, and we saw the good guy, Creed, in white and the bad guy, Dame, in black trunks. This decision to have the two fight in a “silent” stadium makes the final fight more impactful and better. It’s the crown jewel of the movie and the crescendo of what has been coming the entire time.

    The fan service in the movie was also quite good. Viktor Drago, played by Florian Munteanu, made a couple appearances and we actually saw that he and Creed were casual friends despite the bad blood between the two’s families. That was very refreshing to see. There was Benavidez, as mentioned earlier, Canelo made an appearance, Tony Bellew returned as his Ricky Conlan from the first Creed, as well as Bud Crawford, Stitch, Kenny Bayless, Todd Grisham, David Diamante, Tony Weeks, Stephen A. Smith, and many more from the boxing world.

    Any misses?

    So was there anything bad in Creed 3? In all honesty, there’s not much. While I am going to list some things in this section, it’s of minimal impact and I’ll try not to make a mountain out of a mole hill.

    In the first fight of the movie, Adonis Creed is rematching Ricky Conlan from the two’s first movie. The camera work in that section looked off. It almost seemed CGIed but not well done. I don’t know if that was a late addition to the movie and the producers sent it out to a company to do last minute or if it was just off putting. CGI or not it took me out of the movie a bit and made me question what was going on.

    Next, the soundtrack wasn’t as good as the first two. I don’t think anything will beat the first movie. It truly encapsulated what a Rocky movie was about in a new wave era of the franchise. This movie had some fantastic hits on it like Adonis Interlude featuring J Cole. But it didn’t quite grab me and get me as excited for the scenes as the other movies have done.

    Creed 3 Rating: 8.5/10

    Creed 3 was a great movie and one that anyone can go to the theaters to enjoy, a boxing fan or not. The story in itself was a deeper one than you’d expect from a boxing movie but long time fans of the Rocky franchise will know that there are much deeper things at play.

    The movie fully encapsulates the boxing aura as well without making it too basic. The movie follows the typical Rocky formula, sure, but that’s what you go to see a Rocky movie for. This one gets an 8.5/10. It’s par the course and not as groundbreaking as a moviegoer will like.

    But Rocky fans will enjoy the small universe the producers have cultivated with Creed, Drago, and now Anderson. It’s already known that Creed 4 is in the works and a Drago spinoff is in development. Now we move on and hopefully we get more of Majors, Jordan, and Munteanu in the future in spinoffs and the like. Drago vs. Dame anyone?

  • Check out the new “Big George Foreman” trailer!

    Check out the new “Big George Foreman” trailer!

    After being pushed back earlier in the year, Big George Foreman finally gets a trailer that is all sorts of awesomeness. Foreman, who has one of the best comeback stories in boxing history, will tell the tale of the rise of one of boxing’s most feared punchers, his demise to the great Muhammad Ali, and his path to God and return to boxing glory.

    Big George Foreman comes out April 28th and the trailer, which can be seen above, shows Foreman’s rise, fall, and return to boxing glory after coming out of retirement. Judging by the trailer, we will also get to see more of Foreman’s childhood and why he became a boxer which will be a breath of fresh air.

    Big George Foreman: A New Ride

    The story of George Foreman hasn’t been explored in the Hollywood. While we’ve seen stories about Muhammad Ali, Mike Tyson, James Braddock and other less popular stories. But George Foreman has been absent except for purposes of telling Muhammad Ali’s story.

    Big George Foreman was written by Frank Baldwin, Dan Gordon and George Tillman Jr. who is also serving as the director. Tillman has written and produced titles such as 2018’s The Hate You Give, as well as For Life, Notorious, and Men of Honor.

    The titular character of George Foreman is played by Khris Davis who has had roles in Space Jam: A New Legacy, Judas and the Black Messiah, and a short seven episode run on Atlanta.

    Other names in the movie are Forest Whitaker, whose name we don’t yet know, Robert Cicchini as Angelo Dundee, and Muhammad Ali will also be making an appearance starring Sullivan Jones.

    Big George Foreman hits theaters on April 28th and will be a hard hitting movie. It will join the stories of Ami, Tyson and so many more legendary boxers. Stay posted to Double Hammerfist for all the latest news surrounding this movie and all things martial arts cinema. Thanks for reading.

  • Nick Diaz set to star alongside Jean-Claude Van Damme in “Darkness of Man”

    Nick Diaz set to star alongside Jean-Claude Van Damme in “Darkness of Man”

    Nick and Nate Diaz are ubiquitous amongst MMA fans. With Nick Diaz being such a mega star and perhaps done with his fighting career, the elder Diaz brother is set to appear in the upcoming “Darkness of Man” movie starring Jean-Claude Van Damme.

    According to Matt Staudt, Diaz’ manager, the filming wrapped earlier this month and Nick Diaz was a natural on screen.

    “Nick also has a badass fight scene in the film. When it got to rehearsing the fight he took over and of course had better ideas than the film’s stunt coordinator which is what ended up being filmed and looked awesome. And as mentioned earlier you even get treated to a super short but awesome cameo from yours truly.”

    Darkness of Man, Jean-Claude Van Damme and Nick Diaz

    The announcement comes out of left field for most fight fans. But Diaz, who helped with some of his choreography as mentioned above, could be a natural fit on screen for someone like Jean-Claude Van Damme, a Hollywood icon.

    Darkness of Man is a “neo-noir” film according to the filmmakers and will star Van Damme and Nick Diaz alongside Eric Roberts, Shannen Doherty, and is written and directed by James Cullen Bressack. His credits include Murder, Anyone? and Frost.

    Russell Hatch (played by Jean-Claude Van Damme), an Interpol operative who takes on the role of father figure to Jayden, the son of an informant killed in a routine raid gone wrong. Years later, Hatch finds himself protecting Jayden and his grandfather from a group of merciless gangs in an all-out turf war, stopping at nothing to protect Jayden and fight anyone getting in his way.

    The film itself sounds interesting and this could be one of the ways Nick Diaz transfers from fighting to a post fight career. Movies have been an avenue for fighters like Gina Carano and Cowboy Cerrone to get our of fighting altogether.

  • Cobra Kai to conclude with season 6

    Cobra Kai to conclude with season 6

    It’s a bleak, dark day. Announced by the writers of Cobra Kai today, season 6 will be the final season of the much beloved show. The team announced it on their Twitter today and, while season 6 was finally confirmed, it will be the last. Pretty bittersweet.

    In addition to the announcement on Twitter, Netflix released a teaser announcement for season 6 on YouTube today as well.

    Cobra Kai Season 6: The Finale

    While it is sad that Cobra Kai will conclude with season 6, it is perhaps good that the series will finally get a conclusion and on it’s own terms. Far too often we see shows go on for too long and really lose their soul. Cobra Kai could go on for as long as Netflix will have it but the opportunity to wrap up its story will be better for the Miyagiverse.

    Of course we wouldn’t be here without the original Karate Kid movie. When Cobra Kai debuted on YouTube, the world was taken by storm and eventually picked up by Netflix. Since then, it’s been an improvement every season. We’ve seen the return of Johnny Lawrence and Daniel LaRusso as our main characters as well as friends and enemies from the past like Chozen, Terry Silver, Kumiko, and The Karate Bad Boy himself, Mike Barnes.

    While more Karate Kid spin-offs have been discussed, no news about these shows were mentioned in the announcement.

    As for what season six could be, there’s always the Hillary Swank connection is there. From the Next Karate Kid movie, a secret Miyagi student would be an interesting twist. Hillary Swank, however, said in an interview that she has yet to be called for Cobra Kai though she isn’t opposed to it.

    While I am sad to see Cobra Kai go, I am happy that we’re getting closure on everyone’s favorite karate series. Until then, let’s keep on kickin’ ass and taking names.

  • George Foreman Biopic to hit theaters April 28

    George Foreman Biopic to hit theaters April 28

    Big George Foreman will have his new biopic hit the theaters on April 28th of 2023. Long in the works and currently without a title, the film gets it’s release date and more announcements are imminent including that long awaited title and poster.

    George Foreman is one of the deadliest boxers of all time having won a gold medal in the 1968 Olympic Games and was a two time world heavyweight champion and had a 76-5 record with 68 knockouts. His wins include that of Joe Frazier, Ken Norton, and many more. His highest profile fight was against Muhammad Ali in 1974 dubbed “The Rumble in the Jungle.”

    The movie is coming out under Sony Pictures and actor Khris Davis will star as the titular Foreman. Frank Baldwin wrote the screenplay and will be produced by Mandalay Pictures.

    George Foreman: The Iconic Slugger

    George Foreman was one of the most ferocious hitters in all of boxing and was dethroned by the great Muhammad Ali. He then retired after losing to Jimmy Young in 1977 and made a comeback ten years later, winning 24 straight fights before he lost to Evander Holyfield. Soon after, in 1993, Foreman won the World Heavyweight title again by beating Michael Moorer. He went on to defend three times before losing to Shannon Briggs in a close fight.

    Since his boxing career, Foreman has become a pastor and has inspired many Christians around the world with his history and his word.

    The movie will hopefully show Foreman’s rise, fall, his return to the title and his post boxing career. While he’s often seen as the man who was beat by Muhammad Ali, Foreman’s story is very deep and has many layers to it and will likely deal with themes of impostor syndrome, Don King, and more.

    Stay posted to Double Hammerfist for all the latest news surrounding the George Foreman biopic! Thanks for reading!

  • The Way of the Dragon Review: Bruce Lee’s Best Work

    The Way of the Dragon Review: Bruce Lee’s Best Work

    With all the movies done by Bruce Lee, I am of the opinion that The Way of the Dragon is by far his best work. After going through his entire filmography, I saved the best for last, and the best it was. Featuring a prime Bruce Lee and his faceoff with the formidable Chuck Norris in the Coliseum, the movie exudes excellence. So today I want to take some time and write an updated review on the iconic Kung Fu flick!

    The Way of the Dragon was a fantastic movie that showcased what Bruce Lee loved most in martial arts. The ability to solve problems with your fist if necessary.

    The Way of the Dragon is the premier Kung Fu movie. But the movie wasn’t that easy to make. The big moment in the movie was when Bruce Lee and Chuck Norris face off in the Colosseum. But filming wasn’t allowed in the landmark which made making the final scene that Lee envisioned a bit difficult. Green screen? Nope. CGI? It’s 1974. So what did Lee and company do? They broke in to the Coliseum and filmed the movie before the Roman authorities caught wind of the rule breaking.

    Bruce Lee also did the voice acting on almost the entirety of the movie for the English dub. The film was shot without sound and the lines were added in post production. The only line Lee didn’t dub was the boss’ line, “Take him out, but be careful with that gun in public.”

    What The Way of the Dragon got right

    So The Way of the Dragon really mixed the action that we’ve become accustomed to concerning Bruce Lee and the comedy that he used in all of his movies. The bathroom jokes were not necessarily in good taste because they’re bathroom jokes, but they weren’t overdone. Lee has his aura of badassery around him and at times the baddies of the movie take off running from only that. The kitten at the high stakes, high intensity fight was also a cute and funny bonus as well.

    But it’s the action that truly stands out. Lee runs through everyone he faces. That is until he runs up against Chuck Norris, a champion from America with a bad attitude and a powerful punch. He, of course, has trained with Lee in the past and the two know each other very well.

    The fight at The Coliseum was top notch between the two. According to some, Lee and Norris pulled no punches in this scene and the fight footage was as close as you can get to an actual fight between the two.

    Where we fall short

    There’s really not much to pick on with The Way of the Dragon. The movie is superbly done and the story, while simple, isn’t incredibly convoluted. But the budget was $130,000 in 1972, which is just a bit over $900,000 today. That budget is infinitesimally small even adjusted for inflation.

    The choreography holds up over time, as per tradition with all movies Bruce Lee is in. He fights in the back alley and shows his speed in his punches and kicks. The fight with Norris is also timeless and would be perfect even under the new technology of 4K cameras we have today.

    But where it really comes up short, and this is just me nitpicking at this point, is the quality of the movie in general. It is a bit dated, although the shine of Bruce Lee puts it on it’s back and carries it through time to this day. The move is old and you can tell. There are movies out there today that are worse than The Way of the Dragon now. But that doesn’t excuse it’s aging anyway.

    Rating: 8.5/10

    For Way of the Dragon, it’s shortcomings hardly make a dent in how great the movie truly is. With the amount of star power the movie posses as well as what we know about the Coliseum scenes being illegally filmed adds to the awe of how this film came together.

    The Way of the Dragon is an iconic piece of cinema not only for fans of martial arts but movies in general. Bruce Lee solidified a legacy that continues on to this day. From his debut in The Big Boss to his posthumous release of Game of Death, Lee has made himself a transient martial arts icon.

  • Bruce Lee Biopic in the works starring Mason Lee and directed by Ang Lee

    Bruce Lee Biopic in the works starring Mason Lee and directed by Ang Lee

    Bruce Lee’s legacy lives on. Announced today, Ang Lee will be directing a biopic based on the life of the iconic Bruce Lee. Ang Lee’s son, Mason Lee, has been tapped to star in the film. The movie is coming out under Sony’s 3000 Pictures studio. No release target was announced just yet. The new movie was broke today by Deadline.

    Bruce Lee: A cinematic legacy

    Bruce Lee has a library of only five films and with that short period of time his legacy has grown from when he was alive. This movie from Ang Lee and company will provide a look inside the life of what made Bruce Lee such a pop culture icon.

    The adaptation will be written by Dan Futterman who adapted Foxcatcher, a story of the Schultz family who were Olympic wrestlers. Bruce Lee’s daughter, Shannon Lee, will be consulting and producing on the project as well as she does with most of her father’s name, image and likeness projects.

    Director Ang Lee has produced some of the best work in Hollywood. Some notable movies on his resume include The Life if Pi, Pushing Hands and Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon.

    Mason Lee most famously starred in The Hangover Part II as Teddy. But he’s had roles in such films as Lucy and Dead Pigs. If this movie is a hit, it could be a breakthrough moment for Mason Lee. Starring as Bruce Lee has enough name power to make him known to the masses.

    Shannon Lee is one of her father’s biggest ambassadors postmortem. She’s produced Warriors, a film based on Bruce Lee’s teachings. Most of her work has been based around her father’s teachings and extending his legacy.

    With work just underway for the upcoming Bruce Lee biopic, more information is scarce. But you can rest assured that Double Hammerfist will keep you posted on all the breaking news! Thanks for reading!

  • Rocky’s Sylvester Stallone wishes he never sold franchise rights

    Rocky’s Sylvester Stallone wishes he never sold franchise rights

    With advertisement for the upcoming Creed III ramping up, Rockyverse (is this the new name for it?) creator Sylvester Stallone has expressed his displeasure in where the franchise is heading and even called out producer Irvin Winkler.

    Sylvester Stallone on Creed III

    In the interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Sylvester Stallone said the direction Winkler and director Ryan Coogler took the movie is not what he believes should have been next.

    “That’s a regretful situation because I know what it could have been.” Stallone continues, “It was taken in a direction that is quite different than I would’ve taken it. It’s a different philosophy — Irwin Winkler’s and Michael B. Jordan’s. I wish them well, but I’m much more of a sentimentalist. I like my heroes getting beat up, but I just don’t want them going into that dark space. I just feel people have enough darkness.”

    He’s even expressed disinterested of the recently-announced Drago spin-off that is in the works.

    “This is a classic case of them going around and trying to continually cherry-pick aspects of Rocky without even asking me if I want to join in,” he said. “I’m not an executive producer on the Creed movies. Ryan Coogler is. Michael B. Jordan is. [Winkler and Chartoff’s] children are. Not mine. I’m the only one left out.”

    And while Stallone wants the rights to his creation back, and he’s even pleaded for it, he knows that Rocky is gone and on to new owners.

    “No. It’s never gonna happen,” he said. “It was a deal that was done unbeknownst to me by people that I thought were close to me and they basically gave away whatever rights I would have had. At the time I was so excited to be working and I didn’t understand this is a business. Who knew Rocky would go on for another 45 years? I’ve never used one [line of dialogue] from anyone else — and the irony is that I don’t own any of it. The people who have done literally nothing, control it.”

    While Creed III looks very promising from the trailers we’ve seen, it’s rather disheartening to see Sylvester Stallone, the man who started it all, to disparage the movie so much. It seems like his lack of involvement has created some resentment from the Hollywood star.

  • Creed III Drops trailer ahead of March release date

    Creed III Drops trailer ahead of March release date

    Metro Goldwyn Mayer dropped the trailer for Creed III today just after the announced release date of March 3, 2023.

    The news for Michael B. Jordan’s Creed III keeps on rolling in. After getting a release date announced yesterday in addition to two new posters, today the movie dropped a new and hot trailer showing off the dynamic between Jordan’s Adonis Creed and the new villain of the movie, Daimian Anderson, portrayed by Jonathan Majors.

    The trailer shows that Creed and Anderson were once friends before the two got in trouble in their past for some young mistakes. Anderson was sent to prison for eighteen years and is back from Creed’s past to get his revenge by beating his opponent.

    The trailer also shows Tony Bellew, who played ‘Pretty’ Ricky Conlan in the first movie, and confirms a rematch long awaited from the first movie. In addition to Bellew back, Canelo is seen in the movie as was confirmed before Alvarez’ last fight against GGG last September.

    As mentioned yesterday, Creed III will drop on March 3, 2023. The movie will be the first without Rocky Balboa and will continue the story of Adonis Creed, the son of the late Apollo. In addition to Creed III, it was confirmed that a Drago spinoff was in the works, further expanding the Rocky-verse. MGM is also looking into even more spinoffs from their Rocky IP.

    When Creed III hits, the movie will follow up two strong showings in the latest expansion of the Rocky franchise that’s been so popular since the first movie debuted in 1976. Given how the first two were generally reviewed positively, this one should live up to the hype as well.

    Stay posted to Double Hammerfist for all the latest news surrounding Creed III and all movies martial arts related. Thanks for reading.

  • Creed III Gets March 2023 Release Date, 2 Posters

    Creed III Gets March 2023 Release Date, 2 Posters

    Today Michael B. Jordan shared the new release for the upcoming Creed III. The newest installment of the Rocky franchise will come out on March 3rd, 2023. In addition to that, two posters dropped featuring Jordan and his antagonist played by Jonathan Majors. Check that out below!

    Creed III: The Next Installment in the Rocky-verse

    The movie was originally set to come out November 23, 2022 but was pushed back until “early 2023” with the March date being confirmed today. The movie follows Adonis Creed, son of the late-Apollo Creed who died by the hands of Ivan Drago in Rocky IV. The first two movies saw Adonis come into his own as a fighter and come from underneath the shadow of his father all while coming to accept who he was at the same time. This will be the first Rocky-verse movie without Sylvester Stallone’s titular character.

    In the second Creed movie, Adonis Creed came face to face with the son of the man who beat hand killed his father: Viktor Drago. Drago will also be getting a spinoff for his own movie further expanding the proverbial Rocky-verse.

    In Creed III, Jonathan Majors is playing Damian Anderson, the next challenger, albeit a new one. In the poster you can see Majors has taken the role seriously and is in very good shape for his upcoming role.

    Earlier in the year, it was revealed that boxing World Champion Canelo Alvarez had been cast in a role in the upcoming movie playing a character named “Saul,” which is Canelo’s actual name. According to IMDb, Florian Muntenanu’s Viktor Drago will also reprise his role from the second film in the upcoming Creed III. This could be a way to tie in the Drago spinoff or simply flashbacks from Creed II.

    Stay posted to Double Hammerfist for all the latest Creed III news. Thanks for reading!