BRUISED MOVIE REVIEW
If you’ve seen one fighting movie, you’ve probably seen them all, so when a new one comes along, you gotta wonder, “What is it about this entry into the well trodden genre that will make it stand out?” “Bruised” is the latest in the boxing/MMA movie genre that continues to be produced, despite a waning interest in films of this type. You know the formula: the underdog looking for redemption; the “Rocky” style training montage; the setbacks on the way to victory or failure. There have been films that have risen to prove themselves contenders in the genre, and Jena, Frank, Melina, and T.C. are ready to decide if “Bruised” rises to the challenge or if it’s a KO. The film is Halle Berry’s directorial debut about a former UFC fighter Jackie “Pretty Bull” Justice (played by Halle Berry). Jackie lives with boyfriend and manager, Desi, in inner-city Newark, four years after a career ending forfeit in UFC. Earning a living as a housecleaner, she relies on alcohol to cope with the tedium of her daily life. Soon, she begins down the road to redemption in the cage and finds the courage to face her demons when the son she had given up as an infant unexpectedly reenters her life. With the help of Sheila Atim as Buddhakan and the hindrance of Adriane Lenox as Jackie’s mom Angel, Jackie isn’t ready for a second chance, she’s ready for her last chance. But the real question is, does the squad think “Bruised” is worth anyone giving it any chance at all?
DIRECTED BY: Halle Berry
STARRING: Halle Berry, Danny Boyd Jr., Shamier Anderson, Adan Canto, Sheila Atim, Stephen McKinley Henderson, Adriane Lenox, Valentina Shevchenko, Lela Loren
T.C. De Witt (Screener Squad)
T.C. De Witt is a multi-awarded writer/director originally from Wisconsin and now based in Los Angeles. His life has been devoted to the arts since he was a child. He’s been a stage performer, playwright, stand-up comic, film and television actor, radio DJ, podcaster published author, recorded musician, and comic writer/illustrator. He is now a professional screenwriter and has been thriving for the past decade, regularly offering his talents to production studios in LA, Chicago, Milwaukee, and internationally in Sydney and Poland. He’s provided content for Amazon Prime, Netflix, and several YouTube partners. His films have screened internationally, and his stageplays have been performed across the country. In the last ten years, he has directed 57 films, 23 episodes of his series The One Minute Rewatch, 300+ episodes of podcasts, and his multi-award-winning short film Screen: Righter screened at the Festival de Cannes in 2016. He has released two feature films, The Princess Knight and A Christmas Sunset. He thrives on collaboration and the thrill of sharing stories in all forms.
Jena Perry (Screener Squad)
Jena Perry. Aka Luna. Aka Dion. Aka Memori. Aka Dog whisperer. Aka whiskey connoisseur. As you can see, depending on when you met this Oakland, California native, you have experienced a completely different person, each time. After finally deciding on a 13+year career choice as a Videographer and Radio Personality, Jena balances her time between pursuing her Doctorate in Philosophy, providing insightful and funny critiques on films and Television, raising her daughter and dog in Ohio, and constantly fighting off the existential dread that is being a dope black woman in America in the 20th century.
Frank Calvillo (Highly Suspect Reviews, Screener Squad)
Born and raised in South Texas, Frank currently lives in Austin and has been in love with movies ever since his father showed him some Three Stooges shorts when he was five years old. Today he loves all kinds of film, regardless of era, country, budget or genre. He believes every film has an audience and is at least one person’s favorite movie. After writing for Sight & Sound and Slackerwood, he now writes for Cinapse where his increasingly random taste in all flavors of cinema (from Rashomon to Mars Attacks!) continues to thrive. His ultimate goal is to write a script for his boyhood crush, Michelle Pfeiffer.
Melina Eames (Screener Squad)
Melina first discovered that she carried the nerd gene at the tender age of four following her exposure to a little film called A New Hope. In the twenty-some years that followed, Melina continued to grow into her geek identity through the discovery of Batman, Mst3k, Game of Thrones, Lord of the Rings and The Mandalorian. But perhaps her most significant discovery came at the age of fourteen when a night of YouTube mining led her to the review site of Spill.com. Melina became a devoted follower whose fandom did not end with the site’s demise. By then, it had worked its dark magic and left her with a love and appreciation for film criticism that she has yet to shrug.
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