The Hammer

Posted by Marc Hodak on May 4, 2007 under Movie reviews | Comments are off for this article

Every now and then I get to do something really “New York,” like attending a screening at the Tribeca Film Festival hosted by the producer. Yesterday, I saw The Hammer, a movie co-written by and starring Adam Corolla. It’s a humorous take on the boxing underdog story.

Here Corolla, as aging slacker Jerry Ferro, is the underdog by virtue of being a hapless 40 year-old who suddenly finds himself an aspirant to a spot on the Olympic boxing team. Snicker if you will, but it’s no more far-fetched than a 60-year old guy straining to credibly portray a middle-aged boxer fighting a champion in the prime of his career. Except The Hammer is much funnier–intentionally so.

In fact, this is a perfect vehicle for Corolla. His acting skills are lightly taxed as he portrays a construction worker and boxing teacher, roles he had in real life before his career as an entertainer. He even gets to show off his native jump-roping and unicycling skills in a semi-parody of the training montage.

While this film tracks a fairly staple plot line, like the break-up with the girl who loses faith in him so he can transition to the one who believes in him, it plods along this path with just enough footwork to keep one’s interest. This otherwise predictable line connects the discrete points in the movie where Corolla gets to let loose. His verbal flurries prove to be just as potent as his physical ones.

This film lacks the quirky unexpectedness one, well, expects in an independent film. Corolla is exactly as you’ve always seen him–wry and funny. Heather Juergensen plays the cute, but appropriately wary foil to Corolla’s relentless charm, though she eventually dissolves into the role of slushy love interest. Many of the scenes get stolen by Ferro’s side-kick, “Oz,” played with gusto by Oswaldo Castillo. In fact, when the film seems like it’s getting too tired to continue, Corolla somehow manages to kick up enough dust with the other characters to keep it going, including his erstwhile rival, played by newcomer Harold House Moore.

Overall, I was pleasantly surprised by the movie. I expected something artsy, i.e., risky in a way that sometimes works, but often doesn’t. What this movie delivered instead was a conventional story, not extraordinary, but with some good punches thrown in.


Posted by Marc Hodak on March 10, 2007 under Movie reviews | Read the First Comment

For those of you who have been concerned about the sissification of America promoted by our politically correct schools, this adrenaline-charged, ultra-violent movie should calm you.

I saw 300 with my two boys. Like all kids, mine have been inundated since pre-school with the virtues of sharing and niceness, or at least the appearance of such, and the vices of ownership and competition. It���s not overstating things to suggest that the liberated, educated mothers and teachers in the lives of these boys have sought to tame their innate, male thirst for conquest and transform it into a kind of sensitivity that holds a regard for other���s feelings higher than the desire to win. The hearty audience reaction to 300, even more than the popularity of the Lord of the Rings and Star Wars series, reveals the utter failure of this indoctrination.

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