Roberto Duran's Edgar Ramirez story goes beyond his rise, fall and comeback to the ring. Its shaped by the political turmoil in Panama during the 70's and the early 80's so when he confronts Sugar Ray Leonard Usher , his stakes are as high as to carry along his nation's pride with him. His trainer Ray Arcel DeNiro , shapes him from a bully in search for revenge, into a Champion who's at his best after he realizes dignity is much more than just winning the belt. Many have won fights but few fighters have won the respect of their foes as did Duran and Sugar Ray back in <more>
the days. True heroes with Hands Of Stone and Hearts of Gold.
Excellent Film made with the Passion of true Fighters (by ricdelrio-48119)
Hands of Stone story is exceptionally accurate and it's extraordinary characters are played by a top notched cast. Lured by Roberto Duran's Edgar Ramirez raw passion as a fighter, Ray Arcel, played by a chameleonic Robert De Niro, comes back to the champ's corner after ten years forced sabbatical. Duran reluctantly accepts Arcel's guidance but quickly recognizes the old trainer's wisdom and takes it by heart, this results in an improbable win against Sugar Ray Leonard Usher and it is him, who will teach Duran a lesson that will make him a true champion.Beyond the <more>
history, Duran's story is both poignant and complex, filled with amazing victories on the ring but also many defeats on his personal life. Only thru the love of his family, the respect of his foes and the guidance of his trainer is that, through defeat, he becomes a real champion.Great Cast, Script, Photography and Production Design, spanning two decades of political turmoil Hands of Stone is hands down a movie with a heart of gold.
Boxing provides cover for a character study of several interesting and intersecting personalities who are motivated by different things, events, culture, and history. Those looking for Rocky, Ali, or an old time boxing flick might be disappointed with the lack of drama. However, it can be more interesting to know why people are doing things rather than how they are doing them. Detracting from the film was the directors use of soft focus most of which frankly was out of focus, literally out of focus. I don't know why anyone would shoot an entire movie with close-ups that are slightly out <more>
of focus. Nevertheless the dialogue the story the characters and their motivations were conveyed with interest and clarity. Give me a movie with "too many words "any day as opposed to movies with special-effects in a linear plots. This movie provides us with the study of real life, and real people flaws and all.
Get into the ring with this elevated boxing film (by ccorral419)
Caracas, Venezuela, born Director/Writer/Producer Jonathan Jakubowicz Secuestro express - 2005 , along with producing wife Claudine Epicentral Studios leap from the Latin film arena to tell the true story of the raise/fall and raise again of showy Panamanian boxer Roberto Duran, portrayed by the outstanding Edgar Ramirez Zero Dark Thirty . With childhood sweetheart Felicidad Ana de Armas - War Dogs by his side, Duran known as "Manos de Piedra" Hands of Stone claims the WBC welterweight title in 1980 over state-side favorite Sugar Ray Leonard well portrayed by the at times <more>
too pretty Usher - The Voice , only to later utter the words "No mas" no more , walking away from a rematch. Superbly guiding Duran through his life/career is training great Ray Arcel the always terrific Robert De Niro , money man Carlos Ruben Blades - Safe House and childhood funny man Chaplain Oscar Jaenada - Cantinflas . While several side stories are briefly presented, they help Jakubowicz elevate the film from just a boxing movie. Music by Angelo Mili, cinematography Miguel Loann Litton Menz , costumes Bina Daigeler and set decoration by Denise Camargo and Amy Williams especially the Disco scene bring the film to life. Reg E. Cathey Don King and the younger Duran David Arosemena have nice smaller roles, as does one of my all time favorites Ellen Barkin Animal Kingdom as Ray's wife. "Get into the ring" with this elevated boxing film.
Though I was one of those US soldiers in Panama who Duran hated, I still love this film (by socrates99)
The sad thing is, this is a movie that every American should see and understand, but that that is almost impossible, there's just too much disinformation standing between us and the truth.This is not a big film but that Robert De Niro was willing to lend his considerable talents to it speaks volumes about its worth. The story is a true one more than difficult to find in news reports at the time and so all the more jarring when told with the passionate clarity that it gets here. I admit I have a very personal point of view about this movie. I was stationed in Panama when Duran was <more>
fighting. I wish I could have seen him fight, but the closest I came was being outside a stadium and being stunned at the uproar coming from it. I asked someone what was going on and they said Roberto Duran was fighting. Roberto was more than just a fighter to Panamanians, he was their hero. The Chorrillo district he grew up in was mostly slum. To come up from such poverty seems more than heroic to anyone familiar with the area, it's downright miraculous.As Ray Arcel, his trainer, said, Roberto had some of the best instincts he'd ever seen. He was a natural fighter. His weakness was he was also a man prone to excess and excessive pride and the film does not shrink from those flaws. But to its credit it also doesn't shrink from putting the US in a less than admirable light.There's more that isn't mentioned in this film, such as the highly suspicious way General Torrijos, president of Panama, died, or the extensive prostitution our military base promotes which Roberto would have witnessed. Still this movie is a vast improvement over the usual way Hollywood portrays Central America.The acting is excellent throughout though I especially enjoyed Ana de Armas' portrayal of Roberto's wife, Felicidad, for the memories it gave me.
Roberto Duran and Ray Arcel were good for boxing and even better for the historians (by Ed-Shullivan)
I love boxing films and even more so when the film is based on a true story in which the director portrays the sports hero s experiencing every day peoples' lows and highs that we should be able to relate to. Within the first 15 minutes of the film I was captivated with Roberto Duran, the child, the man, and ultimately the boxer with unlimited talent and an insatiable hunger to win a boxing world championship.The three main characters in the film are the Panama born boxer Roberto Duran Edgar Ramirez , his world class trainer Ray Arcel Robert De Niro and Duran's main contender in <more>
his way for a world championship Sugar Ray Leonard singer Usher Raymond .It is near impossible to capture such a boxing legend whose professional career spanned over five decades, 119 fights, 103 wins, of which 70 of those wins were by knockouts and then attempt to describe in any real level of detail of this mans true history in less than two hours of screen time. So for any of those other critical reviews that stated Hands of Stone just wasn't a box office success I say who cares? What matters is this film portrays a young Panamanian boy whose early life was filled with resentment for Americans who kept his people behind a wall in their own country, an American man who is his father and then deserted Roberto's young mother leaving her to raise her children alone. Roberto Duran's documented resentment for the country U.S.A. and its citizens may not sit well with many American movie viewers which may account for lower than expected turnouts at the box office but his story is real, and a difficult one. He had a very hard life growing up in Panama, and so boxing was his ticket out. Duran feared no one, and by the time he entered the ring as a lightweight in June 1972 to fight Ken Buchanan, his destiny was about to come true. The film indicated that there was some controversy over Duran potentially hitting Buchanan below his belt line, but as there was controversy that followed Duran throughout his 33 year fighting career in and out of the ring Duran became a world champion, won and lost over the decades to follow.Robert De Niro who played the famous boxing trainer Ray Arcel allowed actor Edgar Ramirez to be the screens main focus so I give kudos to the mega star for accepting his supporting actor role as a mentor to Duran continually explaining to Roberto Duran that he had all the god given talent required, he just had to convince himself in his own mind that he was unbeatable. Obviously De Niro had a positive affect on Edgar Ramirez's screen performance as I for one, believed these two were the real fighter and trainer.As for the actual in ring fights between Roberto Duran Edgar Ramirez and Sugar Ray Leonard Usher Raymond I have seen better fight sequences such as in the classic Oscar winning Raging Bull and the Rocky film compilations, so I was glad more time was spent outlining the man Roberto Duran outside of the ring, rather than with trying to emulate Duran's fighting technique.Additional good performances were displayed by Ruben Blades who played Duran's wealthy boxing agent Carlos Eleta, and minor but important roles by John Turturro playing New York boxing kingpin Frankie Carbo, Ellen Barkin who played Stephanie Arcel and Reg E. Cathey as bigger than life boxing promoter Don King.On a personal note the naked love scenes in this film took away from the films intention as a sports biography film and I believe if they had edited these gratuitous scenes out I am quite sure there was sufficient material more relevant to Duran's history that was left behind on the cutting room floor that would have added greater value than a bit of T&A.Overall the performances by Edgar Ramirez, Robert De Niro and Usher Raymond were top notch. I recommend Hands Of Stone for not only boxing fans, but fans of films that display poverty stricken characters rising to fame and fortune, and doing well by their rewards by sharing their fortunes with the less fortunate as Roberto Duran, world champion, has accomplished throughout his life.Scoring a 9 out of 10 rating. CHAMPIONS ALL!!
A visit in time through boxing (by sinnerofcinema)
Hands of Stone is a pleasant surprise for those willing to regress in time to experience the heights of boxing. Way before internet, there was a time and a place when events like boxing happened, specially when Roberto Duran fought, Panama would come to a stand still. Everyone was tuned into their television for the occasion. When he won, you would hear the country erupt in glee of victory with people sounding their pots & pans. The film showcases those days in an adequate manner. Yes there is the usual clichés happening, but the film's energy transcends those usual predictable story <more>
plot point to keep you engage enough to care for the characters. The time capsule through the production design and soundtrack made this film a delight to watch. There is a vast array of subliminal messages from the director, Well come to think of it, its not so subliminal as you see in the ring corners advertising to "Invest in Venezuela". Im sure this obvious product placement was a plea by the director and/or the Venezuelan team working on the film for the audience to take notice of the current situation Venezuelans are living. This strategy has been duly noted. The international cast serves the film well and brings the essence of Duran journey to life. Ruben Blades vintage soundtracks adds an unequal energy to the scenes boosting the film above your usual boxing flick. Hands of Stone is better served watching it on the big screen to truly appreciate the scope of the film.
As a kid I would watch boxing matches with my grandfather. I remember asking him; "Do they ever just quit?" He went on to tell me the story of a man this film is based on. Hands Of Stone chronicles the chaotic life and career of former Panamanian boxer Roberto Duran, as seen through the eyes of his trainer. While it is visually similar to most boxing movies, it's about real people who lived very real lives, that happen to revolve around boxing. At times it plays like a documentary. Taking the viewer on an emotional roller coaster ride with it. There is limited time for character <more>
development. The cuts are quick and the story moves right along, much like the rounds of a boxing match.
Writer/director Jonathan Jakubowicz has captured the true story of Panamanian boxer Roberto Durán and has been able to turn this rags to riches to dissipation and back story into far more than just a boxing story. This is a film that focuses on the interpersonal and professional relationship between a fighter and his trainer and it works well.The story is a rise, fall and rise again story of legendary Panamanian boxer Roberto Durán Edgar Ramírez who climbed into notoriety in 1968 as a 16 year old in his first controversial appearance at Madison Square Gardens. In June 1980, he defeated <more>
Sugar Ray Leonard Usher Raymond 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 : he was retiring from boxing. By the time of his actual retirement in 2002 at the age of 50, he had 199 fights under his belt with 103 wins and four titles as a lightweight, welterweight, light middleweight and middleweight. The film however focuses on his relationship with legendary boxing trainer Ray Arcel Robert De Niro whose own exploits in the boxing world made him the first trainer to be inducted into the Boxing Hall of Fame.The cast is splendid – and in addition to Ramirez, Raymond, and De Niro there are fine supporting roles by Ana de Armas as Roberto's wife, Rubén Blades as Carlos Eleta, John Turturro as Frankie Carbo, Pedro Perez as Plomo, and Ellen Barkin as De Niro's wife, and Reg E. Cathey as Don King.For boxing fans and for those who respect the history of sports this film is a must. But beyond the boxing and historical aspects, the interacting between Ramírez and De Niro is richly rewarding and Oscar worthy performances. Grady Harp, December 16