Blu-ray Review: Chuck

Chuck Blu-raySTUDIO: Paramount | DIRECTOR: Philipe Falardeau | CAST: Liev Schreiber, Elisabeth Moss, Ron Perlman, Naomi Watts, Jim Gaffigan, Michael Rapaport
RELEASE DATE: Aug. 15, 2017 | PRICE: DVD $29.98, Blu-ray $39.99
BONUSES: featurette
SPECS: R | 98 min. | Biography | widescreen 1080p | 5.1 DTS sound | English, Spanish subtitles
RATINGS (out of 5 dishes): Movie  | Audio   | Video  | Overall 


Rocky might have all the fame and glory, but Chuck is where the boxing-movie Cinderella story began.

Chuck starring Liev Schreiber and Ron Perlman

Chuck starring Liev Schreiber and Ron Perlman

The biopic Chuck tells the story of the man who inspired Sylvester Stallone’s multi-award-winning movie: Chuck Wepner. Known as “The Bayonne Bleeder” because of the amount of times he bled in the ring, Chuck Wepner is a New Jersey boxer who, in 1975, was trying to make ends meet when he was given the chance for a title fight against Muhammad Ali. He went up against the best, and although he didn’t win, was lauded for going the distance, falling only seconds shy of the full fifteen rounds. Sound familiar?

Unlike Rocky, Chuck had a wife and daughter when he was given the chance to fight Ali. He also had a penchant for other women and drugs, which caused friction in his family and life. Like Rocky, he’s just trying to get ahead, but his path isn’t as rosy as his movie counterpart’s.

Chuck Wepner is played admirably by Liev Schreiber, who had an obvious passion for the role and, perhaps, empathy for this flawed but likable character. While Schreiber carries the weight of the story, the movie is speckled with other great performances, including The Handmaid’s Tale‘s Elisabeth Moss as Chuck’s wife, Ron Perlman (TV’s Hand of God) as his coach and manager, and Michael Rapaport (TV’s Justified) as his stepped-on brother. It’s also great to see comedian Jim Gaffigan playing a slightly more serious role as Chuck’s loyal friend John. Naomi Watts (3 Generations) rounds out the cast playing the brilliantly mouthy Linda.

The movie is a little uneven in places, but it packs in a lot. As Chuck tries to sort out his life, he’s faced with pseudo-celebrity status from his Ali fight and feelings of seeing your story on the big screen. And he deals with all of it by jumping from one destructive behavior to another.

Still, Chuck is a solid movie that those interested in boxing as well as Rocky fans will enjoy.

The Blu-ray comes with one quick featurette that’s a nice addition to the movie. In it, Liev Schreiber discusses his respect for the real Chuck Wepner, giving a little insight into the man himself. It would’ve been nice to see an interview with the Bayonne Bleeder, though.

Buy or Rent CHUCK

About S. Clark

Sam Clark is the former Managing Editor/Online Editor of Video Business magazine. With 19 years experience in journalism, 12 in the home entertainment industry, Sam has been hooked on movies on since she saw E.T. then stared into the sky waiting to meet her own friendly alien. Thanks to her husband’s shared love of movies, Sam reviews Blu-ray discs in a true home theater, with a 118-inch screen, projector and cushy recliners with cup holders.