By: Jake Hatcher, Official Bookshelf Battle Blog Private Eye
BQB EDITORIAL NOTE: A special treat for you, 3.5 readers. If you’re following Pop Culture Mysteries, then you know that the Official Bookshelf Battle Blog Private Eye, Jake Hatcher, was once a formidable pugilist. His fists of fury brought down a number of vicious opponents, not to mention the Third Reich.
Thus, I decided to take a powder for this review and allow “The Jersey Jabber” to take over.
Another Saturday night and no dame to while away the hours with. I was lonelier than an injured dog with one of those safety cones around its neck that renders it unable to lick itself.
To my surprise, I stepped into my office and found an envelope on my desk. Inside? A movie ticket for the film Southpaw and the following note:
See a movie on me, Hatcher. It’s the least I can do for the man who keeps my 3.5 readers entertained with tales of daring-do.
Bookshelf Q. Battler
Blogger-in-Chief for the Bookshelf Battle Blog
Huh. Delilah must have dropped it off while I was at the liquor store.
Did I say liquor store? I meant to say while I was putting in a hard day of sleuthing.
Much appreciated, Mr. Battler. Though honestly, the least you could have done was pony up the dough for two tickets. Hell, you could have even talked that looker of a lawyer of yours into accompanying me.
Dim lights. Emotional flick. Perfect atmosphere to sneak in a little smooch-a-roo but oh well. Who am I kidding? I’ve got a better shot at stealing the Queen of England’s crown jewels than I do at stealing a kiss from the delicious dish Delilah K. Donnelly.
You know, 3.5 readers, in my day films were only shown for a limited time. If you missed it, it was tough titty said the kitty. Thus, if some turkey gobbled up the action that you missed, you’d allow him to give you an earful and you’d thank him for it, because by and large, word of mouth was the only way you’d find out about the story you missed.
Things are different today. Miss a film in the theater? Just watch it on your television. Or your phone. Or those damn i-Whatevers. Big phones basically. Watch a movie on your toaster, your toothbrush, your refrigerator, your cuisinart. If it’s a beep boop machine, then you can watch a damn movie on it.
And you can watch it whenever you want too. On the can, in line at the delicatessen, at the dentist’s office while your teeth are getting drilled, while you’re pretending to give two shits about whatever it is your dumb friend is saying, it doesn’t matter.
Bottomline – I’m supposed to warn you that this review has more SPOILERS than Ms. Donnelly has beauty, so if you haven’t taken it in yet, then take a walk, Jack.
Movieclips Trailers – Southpaw
Mr. Battler, all complaints about your cheapness aside, I do thank you for giving me the chance to watch this movie. It brought the good old days of my boxing career back to me faster than a Maserati with a brick on the accelerator.
So this fella, Jake Gyllenhaal. I take it he’s the cock of the walk in Tinsel Town these days. I’m not light in the loafers or nothin’ but I can tell a handsome man when I see one so I imagine the broads go gaga over this galoot. Guys like that have their choice of roles so it’s to his credit that he chose this one, since it’s not exactly a glamorous one.
Gyllenhaal plays Billy Hope, an ironic name to be sure because this cat becomes utterly hopeless.
At the start of the picture, Hope has it all. A mansion the Sultan of Brunei would be happy to call home. A swimming pool you could sail a battleship through. More friends than he can shake a stick at. An adorable daughter and a wife who’s hotter than a bowl full of jalapenos.
(I just have to say that to entertain the 3.5 readers, Ms. Donnelly. You know she’s got nothin’ on you.)
Have you folks taken a gander at this Rachel McAdams broad? All I can say is I’ll see your “Hubba Hubba” and raise you an “Awooga!”
That gal is easy on the eyes, let me tell you. For most of the first part of the movie, she runs around in a skimpy dress that really shows off her dynamic derriere.
Not that I want to pay attention to stuff like that, but I am a private detective. It’s my job to notice these things.
Anyway, you don’t need to listen to me flap my yapper all night, so let me give you the straight skinny.
Hope’s world comes crashing down when Miguel Escobar, a rival for the heavyweight belt, makes an inappropriate comment about Mrs. Hope. The champ gets madder than a box full of boll weevils, a fist fight ensues, and both fighters’ entourages join in the melee.
A gun is drawn and fired, Mrs. Hope takes a bullet and croaks like a frog on a log and yours truly is left to suffer without McAdams’ keister to gawk at for another hour and a half.
Again, I was just doing my job.
Luckily, there was plenty of other action to make up for the lack of McAdam’s marvelous mangoes. I won’t rat out the details but the whole mess causes Hope a whole heap of financial and legal problems, see? He loses his house, his money, his kid and hits rock bottom, a place this gumshoe knows only too well.
It’s up to down and out trainer Tick Wills (Forest Whitaker) to give Hope some hope and bring him back from the brink of self-destruction.
Curtis “50-Cent” Jackson plays Hope’s conniving manager Jordan, a real slick type who drops Hope like a bad penny when the going gets tough.
As if there wasn’t enough irony in this film, 50-Cent is the fella that springs the bad news to Hope that he’s got less cash than a check-out register at a discount dime store. Word on the street is that 50, or “Fiddy” as I hear folks call him, just filed for bankruptcy and his nickname has become more than apt.
Can anyone explain to me what a rapper is? I woke up a year ago after a 59-year nap and like a kangaroo with a sewn up pouch, I’m confused. All I can gather is they talk fast in rhyme to a beat. It’s like being a real smooth Lord Byron I suppose.
Whatever rapping is, the film is accompanied by a soundtrack that rap aficionados will want to check out. Fiddy is featured on the album, and another fella called Eminem offers up a diddy called, Phenomenal.
It’s catchy. You should listen to it. I hummed it for awhile after I got home until Ms. Tsang kicked me out of her kitchen because she couldn’t stand to listen to me anymore.
Can’t say as I blame her. Sometimes I’m not the best company. Just ask the three ex-Mrs. Hatchers.
I tip my fedora to Gyllenhaal. The key to great acting is to transform into someone the audience doesn’t recognize, and Jake does that here.
(Try not to get confused, 3.5 readers. The star’s name is Jake, but my name is also Jake. Two Jakes, no waiting.)
Hope is a mumbling, bumbling fella, a punch drunk palooka who’s taken one too many smashes to the cranium. He’s a powder keg full of rage and ready to see the slightest provocation as the match needed to set him off. Gyllenhaal plays him to a tee.
Acting isn’t an easy gig. When I first arrived in LaLaLand, I gave the old thespian routine a go and was laughed at by the entertainment industry power brokers like I was a clown in a pair of polka dot pants.
I try not to think about that though. Sometimes when you fail, all that really happens is you come that much closer to figuring out what you’re good at.
Me? I have two skills:
2) Punching dangerous desperados in the face.
Word has it Mr. Battler will even help me regale you 3.5 readers with the tale of how I became so good at the latter. All I’ll say for now is I wish I’d never allowed that scumbag Mugsy McGillicuddy to force me to take a dive. It cost me my chance at fame and fortune but even worse, my sweet, sweet Peaches.
If you want my recommendation, this film is worth your time. It’s a gut wrenching story of loss and redemption. The moral of the tale? Appreciate what you’ve got and don’t stoop to the bad guy’s level or else you’ll lose it in an instant. Sometimes the bigger man is the one who walks away.
Mr. Gyllenhaal, keep at it. I think this acting thing of yours is going to work out for you. And again, just because I pointed out that you’re a man of dapper visage doesn’t make me some kind of switch hitter for the Oakland Athletics.
Finally, I’d just like to say if my courtship of Ms. Donnelly doesn’t work out, you’re welcome to stop by Tsang’s Hong Kong Palace and eat my special egg roll, Ms. McAdams.
That’s not some kind of inappropriate innuendo. Ms. Tsang shared her recipe with me and I make a mean plate of those delicious appetizers. We could share a meal and shoot the bull was all I was trying to say.
Is it hot in here or is it just me? Must be this damn trench coat I’m wearing in July.
Jake Hatcher is a hardboiled film noir style detective who fell asleep in 1955, woke up in 2014, and was recruited in June of this year by Bookshelf Battle Blog Lead Counsel Delilah K. Donnelly to solve 100 Pop Culture Mysteries.
If you have a question about movies, music, TV, books, or other forms of entertainment, drop a dime to Bookshelf Q. Battler by tweeting @bookshelfbattle and he’ll put Hatcher on the case.