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Actor: Mike Tyson
Director: James Toback
Genres: Documentary
R     2009     1hr 30min

Genre: Documentary Rating: R Release Date: 18-AUG-2009 Media Type: DVD

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Movie Details

Actor: Mike Tyson
Director: James Toback
Genres: Documentary
Sub-Genres: Documentary
Studio: Sony Pictures Classics
Format: DVD - Color,Widescreen - Subtitled
DVD Release Date: 08/18/2009
Original Release Date: 01/01/2008
Theatrical Release Date: 05/01/2009
Release Year: 2009
Run Time: 1hr 30min
Screens: Color,Widescreen
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 2
Members Wishing: 0
MPAA Rating: R (Restricted)
Languages: English
Subtitles: French
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Movie Reviews

The Tragedy of Mike Tyson
R. Sohi | 05/23/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)

"James Toback, the director of "Tyson," has commented in interviews promoting this film that he sees Mike Tyson as "a classically tragic figure." The story, as presented here, of how he transformed himself from a lispy voiced overweight kid, who was regularly bullied while growing up in one of the toughest neighbourhoods in America, to a fighter, who at his peak was among the most dominant heavyweight champions ever, to the middle-aged man shown as he is today, his face wrinkled and his belly soft, his fortunes squandered, and his sense of self publicly shamed innumerable times for various outrageous acts both in and out of the ring, is a tragedy in it's truest sense.

Toback has been friends with the former heavyweight champion for several years and it shows as Tyson unguardedly reveals to the camera the damaged contradictive person that exists behind the popular image of his merely being some kind of brutal animal. Other than the numerous segments of archival television footage showing Tyson in the ring, in interviews or being followed in public, Toback's documentary zeroes in on its subject and leaves Tyson the only person to appear on screen, his voice the only one that is heard. Sometimes he is shown in split screen with snippets of his monologue looped to repeat or overlapped to form a sound collage, presumably to evoke the confusion in his obviously tortured mind, as he recounts the various losses he has suffered, the way he sees the scales of justice always balanced against him. The result is claustrophobic.

Like any tragedy this is not an easy story to watch. At times it feels like you are looking at the wreckage from a violent road accident: once you start looking at it you want to look away but can't. Anne Carson suggests in her preface to Euripedes' classical Greek tragedy, "Herakles" (a play those who are interested in Tyson should read), that watching stories of other people who are lost in their grief and rage is beneficial for us. It helps to cleanse us of our darkness. If you believe that, you owe it to yourself to seek out this film."
I am not an animal
L. Power | San Francisco | 05/27/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)

"In the classic book The Art of War, written over 2,000 years ago, Sun Tzu said: "The battle is won or lost before it's even begun."

In this movie, Tyson's public and private battles, successes and failures, wins and losses, show the truth of this saying.

Through it all, Tyson talks to camera, and his speaking style mirrors the relentlessness he showed as one of the greatest fighters ever.

As you watch the story gets more gripping, and it's easy to be amazed and perhaps a little horrified by both his blinding speed and ferocity as a fighter.

I can remember a coworker asking me one time, after watching Tyson demolish someone in half a round, if I would fight him for $4 million. I said no way. "But you would get $4 million." I said if it was Ali I know he wouldn't kill me, so I might risk it because he wouldn't kill me, but with Tyson you would have no such assurance.

In life as in boxing, Tyson pulls no punches, and it's odd, and not a little surreal to watch him talk and hear the shocking and surprising things he has to say about Robin Givens, Desiree Washington, and Don King, not to mention his celebrated fights including the ones with Holyfield and Lewis, and with Berbick, where he was battling herpes.

It would appear that his mentor Cus d'Amato instilled discipline in him, and was a huge positive force in his life. That story is very touching.

Late in the movie we see a segment where he play boxes with his young daughter, a beautiful counterpoint to all that's gone before. I wonder if this is Exodus. If it is, it's quite poignant.

If you get the opportunity, I recommend you go see Tyson while it is still in release. It's natural to compare this with other fight movies, such as the Oscar nominated 'When We Were Kings' starring Muhammad Ali.

What makes this one so compelling is its unique narrative style, with Tyson talking, and the extreme nature of his successes and failures, interspersed then news coverage and segments of fights and incidents. Those who see it will understand why I would not call this a documentary. I hope you find this review helpful."
Sean Mercutio | Brooklyn, NY USA | 04/09/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)

"I was fortunate to attend an early screening of this film. This movie is incredible. If you ever had any opinion of Mike Tyson, this movie will change it- good or bad. He talks about every single aspect of his life and there is nothing from his amazing or disturbing past that goes untouched..."
Well done and what I was hoping for
WDB | Vancouver, WA | 05/07/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)

"I've seen tons of shows on Mike Tyson and am actually a big Tyson fan and I was hoping that this film would pay justice to such an intriguing story. This film is very well done and captures all of what is Mike Tyson and in many ways that Mike Tyson documentaries in the past have failed to do. While there is plenty of great footage of all of his fights and knockouts, training and of archive footage outside the ring too, a lot of the film is of Mike himself telling his story beginning from the time of his youth.

You can tell that Mike must have been very comfortable with the film makers because his story is told in such a raw and emotional fashion. It seems like it must have been just a "very good day" for him to tell his story so well. Humble and honest, Mike guides us through the different periods and events of his life and gives vivid and raw insights into his thoughts and feelings about them and about how he was feeling at the time.

It really was a very interesting story and my wife who previously didn't like him at all and every time there was something about Mike Tyson on tv she would always say "There's that big jerk, what a low life. Turn this off!" was just fascinated by the film and you could tell that she really started to like Tyson after she got the chance to see what he was actually like and not as just the circus act that the media portrays him as sometimes.

Like I said, the film is also really well done which is so important to the entertainment value of any documentary or film for that matter whereas no matter how interesting the story, if the film is done poorly it's really not that fun to watch. This film is highly recommended whether you're a Tyson fan or not.