Champs

March 201590 minutes
Documentary
100

More than just a sports documentary, CHAMPS explores the pursuit of the American Dream through boxing and paints a picture of a controversial and unregulated sport in a moment of crisis. Built around the stories of heavyweight legends Mike Tyson, Evander Holyfield, and Bernard Hopkins - who open up about their lives and careers as never seen before - CHAMPS weaves their uncensored recollections with classic fight footage and candid interviews with Mark Wahlberg, Denzel Washington, Ron Howard, Spike Lee, Mary J. Blige, and 50 Cent. Boxing has long given kids from America’s roughest neighborhoods the opportunity to escape violence with violence. But in a sport where careers are made and broken in the blink of an eye, and whose athletes are often ill-equipped for the fame and fortune that accompany a title belt, one question remains… What does it take to be a champ?
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Rotten Tomatoes® Score
Audio Language
English (5.1)
Subtitles
English [CC]
Rental Period
Start within 30 days, finish within 48 hours.
Eligible for Family Library
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Run time
90 minutes

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FRANK SINATRA FAWNED OVER HIM. WARREN ZEVON WROTE A TRIBUTE SONG. Sylvester Stallone produced his life story as a movie of the week. In the 1980s, Ray "Boom Boom" Mancini wasn't merely the lightweight champ. An adoring public considered him a national hero, the real Rocky.
From the mobbed-up steel city of Youngstown, Ohio, Mancini was cast as the savior of a sport: a righteous kid in a corrupt game, symbolically potent and demographically perfect, the last white ethnic. He fought for those left behind in busted-out mill towns across America. But most of all, he fought for his father. Lenny Mancini—the original Boom Boom, as he was called—had been a lightweight contender himself. But the elder Mancini's dream ended on a battlefield in November 1944, when fragments from a German mortar shell nearly killed him. Almost four decades later, Ray promised to win the title his father could not. What came of that vow was a feel-good fable for network television.
But it all came apart November 13, 1982, in a brutal battle at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas. Mancini's obscure Korean challenger, Duk Koo Kim, went down in the 14th round and never regained consciousness. Three months later, Kim's despondent mother took her own life. The deaths would haunt Ray and impact his carefully crafted image, suddenly transforming boxing's All-American Boy into a pariah.
Now, thirty years after that nationally televised bout, the story's full dimensions are finally uncovered. In tracking the Mancini and Kim families across generations, confessions and mysteries—from the killing of Mancini's brother to the fate of Kim's son are brought to light. In scenes both brutal and tender, the narrative moves from Youngstown to New York, Vegas to Seoul, Reno to Hollywood, where the inevitably romantic idea of a fighter comes up against reality.
The Good Son is an intimate history, a saga of fathers and fighters, loss and redemption and finally, forgiveness.
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