Wednesday, November 18, 2015

The Hammer (2007)

Director: Charles Herman-Wurmfeld

Writers: Adam Carolla, Kevin Hench

Composers: Matt Mariano, John Swihart

Starring: Adam Carolla, Oswaldo Castillo, Harold House Moore, Christopher Darga, Jonathan Hernandez, Heather Juergensen

More info: IMDb

Tagline: Some Guys Don't Know Their Destiny Till It Hits Them In The Face.

Plot: Jerry Ferro's 39th birthday has brought his life into sharp relief and it's not a pretty picture. A once-promising amateur boxer--who quit so he wouldn't risk his perfect record of underachievement--Jerry has been knocking around from one construction job to another and spinning his wheels in an unsatisfying relationship, all the while with an eye toward eventually getting his act together. His last connection to the fight game is the evening boxing class he teaches to the middle-aged, middle class, middle management types at a gym in Pasadena, where he also works as a handyman. When venerable boxing coach Eddie Bell asks Jerry if he'd like to spar a couple of rounds with Malice Blake, an up-and-coming pro, Jerry reluctantly steps into the ring. Despite the ass-kicking Jerry otherwise receives, a one-punch knockdown of Blake convinces Jerry that it's time to make his return to competitive boxing. Thus ends a 20-year-layoff and begins a hilarious fish-out-of-water quest for Olympic gold.

My rating: 7.5/10

Will I watch it again? Yeah.

Hilarious and sweet!  The cast is great.  I'm a fan of Carolla's anyway but the one who stole the show for me was his buddy, Oswaldo Castillo.  That guy was fucking hilarious and he needs to be in more movies.  I really respect Carolla for getting his pal in the picture.  I listened to the commentary with Carolla and Hench (which is very entertaining) and they talk about getting Oswaldo in the film when others wanted a working actor.  Anyway, everything in this picture works really well.  The A-story of Jerry (Carolla) turning 40 and getting back into the boxing game is fun but it also goes in different directions that you might thing, especially the ending which is nice and heartfelt.  The B-story with Jerry and Lindsay (Juergensen, who is marvelous) works wonderfully as well.  The ONLY thing I didn't dig was her sudden exit from the relationship.  Considering all that came before it, her actions weren't earned or warranted.  It works out in the end, though (this is a romantic comedy of sorts) so the film makers redeem themselves for that one misstep. Carolla is a lot of fun and his contributions to this picture show his talent across the board (he wrote, starred and produced this independent film).  This is a high recommend.  The Weinstein DVD has a nice anamorphic widescreen print with the only extras being a commentary with Carolla and Hench and 8 deleted scenes (about 10 minutes). 

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