For boxing fans only
P.K. Ryan | Albany, NY USA | 09/03/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I agree with the last reviewer that the bonus material is the real gem here. The actual 'documentary' is just a mediocre reenactment of Braddock's career, but the footage of four of Braddock's fights are worth watching alone. The famous bout between Braddock and Max Baer is shown in it's entirety, as well as Braddock's bout with Joe Louis. I found it amusing how awkward these guys looked compared to modern day boxers, but don't get me wrong, these guys were tough. It was amazing how Max Baer's mannerisms were exactly how they were portrayed in 'Cinderella Man.' Another thing I noticed which was not in the film was the fact that Baer outweighed Braddock by twenty lbs. in their fight. This might not sound like much, but anyone who knows boxing will tell you that this is a huge weight difference. If you just liked the film 'Cinderella Man' for the story, you probably won't enjoy this dvd, but if you're a huge boxing fan like me, it's definitely worth the watch."
Why I liked it
Nicholas J. La Bruno | Los Angeles | 02/22/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I am a big time fight fan. I rented this dvd thinking it was a documentary, it was not. The main feature is a boring dramatization. I am buying this dvd for the bonus material alone.
This dvd contains 4 fights that are must see's for the avid fight fan, the dvd is worth owning for these fights alone.If not for the inclusion of these actual fights this dvd is the Red Shoe diaries minus the babes, a total waste. Go straight to the menu click on the bonus material and watch boxing in an era where men were men. These guys are not "Golden boys" but they are golden. James Braddock was one tough hombre apparently with a heart of gold. The bonus material contains Braddock fights that took place between 1929 and 1938.
If you are like me and you knew who the Cinderella man was 35 yrs before you ever heard the name "Russell" what's his name then this dvd is for you.
In my mind, the bonus materials of this dvd and the movie "Cinderella Man" are complementary to eachother and should be seen together.
Tomato can do
Annie Van Auken | Planet Earth | 06/23/2010
(4 out of 5 stars)
"As the four Jim Braddock fights offered as extras on this disc show, he was not at all the exciting pugilist portaryed by Russell Crowe in Ron Howard's biopic CINDERELLA MAN (2005). The real Braddock was a plodder. Granted it was always in a forward direction, but his technique was unexceptional: roundhouse lefts, tieing the opponent with this hand hooked around his neck, slow, methodical, unspectacular. Braddock left himself open to numerous head shots; if he didn't have a concrete skull and steel jaw, this man surely would've lost more fights than he did. Wearing the other guy out by absorbing his head shots isn't much of a strategy.
The first of four fights offered is a narrated highlight film of the 1929 Tommy Loughran contest, a battle that Jimmy lost by decision. The second is a comment-free version of his '35 championship bout against Max Baer. I watched this one closely and saw a draw at best. A tie should go to the title holder but the unanimous decision went against Baer. There's no mistaking here the many boos and jeers raining upon the ring. This crowd saw what I did: a hot-dogging Baer and a Braddock who often chose the clinch and who punched in slow motion when not so entangled.
The '37 bout where Joe Louis (a true talent) stripped Braddock of the title by KOing him in the 8th is interesting for two things: Braddock's first round knockdown of Louis and the challenger's resurgence and utter dominance of a man who would've been deadly in a bar fight or street brawl but who was way outclassed by the youthful Brown Bomber. The last film is a 10th round victory for ex-champ Jimmy over Tommy Farr, but like the other three here, he doesn't inspire this viewer.
The real James Braddock story is in these fight records and not in the artsy-farty title film on this DVD or in the feature movie. During the Ali/Frazier/Foreman era, Jimmy B. would've been in the third rank of boxing, well below guys like Jimmy Ellis or Oscar Bonavena. He was a tomato can lucky enough to be fighting in an era where mediocrities were plentiful and the brilliant Joe Louis just an amateur and then an up-and-comer.
James J. Braddock's final stats:
51 Wins (26 knockouts), 26 Losses, 7 Draws, 2 No Contests"