Bleed for ThisOverview -
Bleed for This is the incredible true story of one of the most inspiring and unlikely comebacks in sports history. Miles Teller (Whiplash) stars as Vinny "The Pazmanian Devil" Pazienza, a local boxer from Rhode Island who shot to stardom after winning two world title fights. After a near-fatal car accident leaves Vinny with a severed spine, he is told he may never walk again. Against doctor's orders, renowned trainer Kevin Rooney (Aaron Eckhart, The Dark Knight) agrees to help Vinny return to the ring in just a year after the accident for what could be the last fight of his life.
Storyline: Our Reviewer's Take
The story of Vinny Pazienza or as he's known now as Vinny Paz is extraordinary and must be seen to be believed. Director Ben Younger (Boiler Room,) has perfectly captured the rise, fall, and magical comeback of the famous boxer Vinny Paz in 'Bleed For This' with fantastic performances by Miles Teller as Paz and Aaron Eckhart as his trainer Kevin Rooney. If you're unfamiliar with the story of Vinny Paz, you're in for a treat here.
Paz is a professional boxer from Rhode Island who had a very successful career of 50 wins and 10 losses. He was a very charismatic and charming guy and was a force to be reckoned with in the ring. He was involved in an automobile accident shortly after a fight, which caused his neck to break. The doctors told him he might not walk again and would never fight again. Paz went against his doctor's orders and had a painful procedure done that involved a steel halo screwed into his skull to repair his broken neck, a procedure at the time that was very difficult.
Needless to say, Vinny started to train against the orders and will of his doctors and family and got back into the fighting ring only 13 months later and became the Jr. Middleweight Champion. It's an unbelievable story of determination, believing in yourself and never giving up, no matter what the odds. It's truly inspirational. A lot of similarities can be seen here with the film franchise of 'Rocky', with the underdog coming up strong, a few training montages to boot, and a similar trainer/boxer relationship. While these aspects might seem a bit familiar, they are far different than the Oscar winning 'Rocky' film, which is a good thing.
There are some extremely tense moments where Vinny is in his halo neck brace and trying to bench press, knowing that the slightest bump or wrong turn could kill him. Through determination and sheer will, he gets through it, which is wholly satisfying to watch. The story never meanders off its path and sticks to the point at hand. Performances by everyone involved are excellent, including Katy Sagal and Buffalo Bill himself Ted Levine. 'Bleed For This' is a raw and uplifting film that is very entertaining with a great script and solid performances. Definitely Recommended.
The Blu-ray: Vital Disc Stats
'Bleed For This' comes with a 50GB Blu-ray Disc and DVD Copy of the film from Universal and is Region A Locked. There is an insert with a digital download code included as well. The discs are housed in a hard, blue, plastic case with a cardboard sleeve.
Bleed For This' comes with a 1080p HD transfer and is presented in 2.40:1 aspect ratio. The image looks spectacular from start to finish. Detail is sharp and vivid throughout both in closeups and wide shots. You can see ever stitch of wool on the old couch in Vinny's house as well as every strand of shag carpet nicely. Individual hairs show up on the actor's faces, especially on Vinny's thin mustache.
The worn out home gym equipment and wound bandages show exquisite detail as well in all aspects of lighting. Wider shots never go soft either with every detail in the boxing ring coming to life. Colors are bright and vibrant when they need to be with excellent blues, reds, and oranges. Greens tend to pop as well in the wardrobe and are never muted or vague. Black levels are deep and inky with the flesh tones keeping in their natural state. There were no issues with any banding, aliasing, or major video noise here, leaving this video presentation with excellent marks.
This release comes with a lossless DTS-HD MA 5.1 mix and sounds great if not a tiny bit underwhelming, but that might be a good thing. The sound effects of all the hits and punches to the face and body sound very realistic and pack a powerful punch, even if the sound is subdued a bit. In this sound design, the motto was a little goes a long way and works perfectly here. There is some good directionality here as well in the boxing ring with the trainers yelling and fists flying all over. Ambient noises of the crowd sound good from the rear speakers and provide a great immersive experience.
The soundtrack always adds to the entertainment value of the story and always sounds full, while never drowning out any other sound aspect. The low end brings the bass without going into rocky territory during the car crash sequence and with the music. Dialogue is always clear and easy to follow, and free of any pops, cracks, hiss, and shrills, leaving this audio presentation with great marks.
Deleted Scenes (HD, 12 Mins.) - There are seven deleted scenes here, all of which are worth watching, but were unnecessary for the final cut of the film. One scene even includes a montage of selling tickets to one of the fights.
Inspired By a Legend (HD, 3 Mins.) - Cast and crew interviews talk about the real life Vinny Pazienza making his glorious comeback. Promo reel EPK stuff here. Nothing of real value.
An Authentic World (HD, 3 Mins.) - Cast and crew interviews discuss filming on location in Provincetown. Again, EPK promo reel stuff here.
Trailers (HD, 24 Mins.) - There are 8 trailers for different Universal films here, none of which are 'Bleed For This'.
'Bleed For This' is a solid film on all levels. Ben Younger's direction puts you in the center of the ring with Miles Teller and gives you the highs and lows of this certain time in his life. Teller and Aaron Eckhart deliver fantastic performances in this amazing true story about one of the greatest comebacks of all time. The video and audio presentations are both excellent, but the couple extras are short and don't add anything informative. Still, this release comes recommended!
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