Hands of Stone (2016) (Blu-ray Review)
Directed By: Jonathan Jakubowicz
Starring: Edgar Ramírez, Usher Raymond, Robert De Niro
Rated: R/Region A/2:40/1080p/Number of Discs 1
Available from ANCHOR BAY
Follows the life of Roberto Duran, who made his professional debut in 1968 as a 16-year-old and retired in 2002 at age 50. In June 1980, he defeated Sugar Ray Leonard to capture the WBC welterweight title but shocked the boxing world by returning to his corner in the November rematch, saying ‘no mas’ (no more).
Outside of She’s All That, I seemed to have forgotten that singer, Usher, is also an actor. But I think he sticks out right away in a very good way here in Hands of Stone. Sugar Ray Leonard was a heck of a boxer and a heck of a character. Usher steps in here to really do him some justice and I’m happy to see that. We also have Robert De Niro here proving once again that she has it. If you’ve been a De Niro fan for a long time and want to see the man prove what he brings to the table once again, then Hands of Stone is a movie that does just that. I mean, as a whole, this movie isn’t Rocky by any means but it might mean more to some based on the fact that this is indeed a true story overall. I’ve heard about Duran time and time again being a fan of boxing and having heard countless accounts of the man on just ESPN alone, I was ready to see a movie like this and it didn’t disappoint me. As far as boxing movies go, this is a movie with a very real tone and nature and it helps. It does the characters well, it has great actors, and it does action well as well. I don’t want anyone to think we have a perfect movie on our hands because we don’t, but it does what it does well and It kept my attention.
Like we tend to see in boxing movies like this, we watch as our leading man rises from the bottom of obscurity, poverty, and adversity to come up and make it in the world of boxing. We have some dark shades to our very human character which helps because nobody is clear cut white or black in life and this isn’t a film that shies away from that. I don’t mean we have an unlikable or evil lead in the very real Roberto Duran, but instead, he comes across on screen like a real person and I think that has all to do with actor Edgar Ramírez. At the end of the day, this is a very solid film that anyone can enjoy but I do see it being more of a release for those who are really into the world of boxing and the story of Roberto Duran. This is a movie that does extremely well on the storytelling side of things and with the actors. It’s a movie I enjoyed even if I didn’t totally fall in love with it. Still, it is solid enough and makes for at least a good once over even if you aren’t into the whole sports thing.
– Roberto Duran: A Boxing Legend. A Nation’s Pride
– Deleted Scenes
– Champions Lyrics Video with Usher
– Champions Lyrics Video with Ruben Blades
Quality of Transfer: 96%