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Sweet and Sour Science

Dec. 28, 2015
Dec. 28, 2015

Table of Contents
Dec. 28, 2015

INBOX
THE COMEBACK
The Lives They Led
  • From the Giant who became a broadcasting mainstay to the Moses who led Philadelphia to the promised land, from Tark the Shark to Mr. Cub to the Snake, indelible figures across a wide range of sports passed away in 2015

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Sweet and Sour Science

Boxing gave us the best and worst sports movies of the year

This is an article from the Dec. 28, 2015 issue

CONTENDER

Creed may be, in essence, Rocky VII, but director Ryan Coogler's dynamic, richly textured film is thrillingly fresh, full of speed and pop. As Adonis Johnson, son of Rocky's late friend and rival Apollo Creed, the impressively athletic Michael B. Jordan (near right) displays a real fighter's blend of grit and gentleness.

PRETENDER

And in this corner ... Southpaw. Jake Gyllenhaal gives a passionate performance as star-crossed light heavyweight champ Billy Hope, but the film is little more than a ploddingly predictable assemblage of genre clichés. In the obligatory big--bout finale Billy lands an all-redemptive left uppercut, prompting a ringside TV commentator to bellow, "Who would have seen this coming?!" The answer, alas, is anyone who's ever seen a boxing movie.

PHOTOSCOTT GARFIELD/THE WEINSTEIN COMPANY (SOUTHPAW)PHOTOBARRY WETCHER/WARNER BROS. PICTURES/AP (CREED)