DENNIS SCHWARTZ 
IS THERE ANY GOOD 
IN SAYING 
EVERYTHING ABOUT A MOVIE?

 
BROKEN NOSES (director: Bruce Weber; cinematographer: Jeff Preiss; editor: Phyllis Famiglietti; music: Cherry Vanilla; cast: Andy Minsker; Runtime: 75; MPAA Rating: NR; producer: Emie Amemiya; Sundance Channel; 1987)

 
"Arty boxing film."

Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz

Bruce Weber ("Backyard Movie"/"Let's Get Lost"/"Chop Suey"), photographer for those sexy Calvin Klein male underwear ads, helms this arty boxing film, in mostly black-and-white, giving it the same homoerotic touches. In the background, there's the music of Chet Baker, Julie London, Robert Mitchum and Gerry Mulligan.

The subject is the 25-year-old articulate macho posing good guy, white boxer Andy Minsker, from Colorado, who was once a Golden Gloves lightweight national champion. He's currently coaching a group of teen-age boxers at the Mount Scott boxing club in Portland, Oregon. Andy is talkative, philosophical and photogenic (looking like a dead ringer for Chet Baker), and during the course of this offbeat sports movie it's revealed he has stepparents, after his parents separate, and its further learned his abusive stepfather beat him. Its most touching moment is a conversation between the boxer and his real father, a former boxer who inspired his son to follow in his footsteps. The young man realizes his championship days are behind, as father and son call out the Olympic team of 1984 for not having him on their team despite his undefeated record. They suggest it was because he was the only white guy and was not connected with the big time management teams that bribed the team by offering them million dollar donations to get their clients on the team. 

If the boxing chatter weren't enough, Weber tosses in a scene that has Andy reading Richard II in a rose garden.

What it all means is lost in the meandering camerawork of Weber, who is both mawkish and a romantic visionary trying to say something meaningful about a subject he's obviously fallen for as a good role model for the tough sport. 

REVIEWED ON 8/9/2009       GRADE: B-

Dennis Schwartz: "Ozus' World Movie Reviews"

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