Check out this outstanding column by Dana Parsons at the Los Angeles Times regarding Resurrecting the Champ. The movie is about a reporter, played by
Josh Hartnett, who finds a homeless guy who claims he was once a championship boxer, played by Samuel L. Jackson. (Photo, right, courtesy of Yari Film Group.)
SPOILER ALERT ON THE COLUMN: Parsons' piece does reveal how the story, loosely based on a true story, turns out. I won't do that here, but Parson's column does an excellent job of addressing a trend I see a lot in movies: portraying the press as bumbling, irresponsible jerks who never want to let the facts get in the way of a good story. I haven't seen Champ yet, but I've seen this countless other times, and it's getting rather old. As Parsons explains, most journalists do a very important job of bringing people factual, well-researched information about the the world around them. No, not every journalist is professional or honorable, and we all make mistakes. The same is true of every profession. Bad eggs crop up everywhere. But film lately really seems to have it in for journalists, Good Night, and Good Luck and a few others being exceptions. As Parsons points out, undermining trust in the news media isn't exactly a healthy thing for society in general.
And ultimately, the story Resurrecting the Champ presents isn't the true story. The reporter in question, J.R. Moehringer, who filmmakers have been citing in publicizing the movie, actually did his job correctly. The makers of Resurrecting the Champ appear to be the ones who didn't want to let the facts get in the way of a good story . . . or another chance to smear journalists.