Thursday, April 1, 2010

The Con is On

Billboard on the way to work this morning that I've somehow not noticed: Remember green grass? Opening Day April 8th. Of course that is just for a our little minor league team. The big boys start a little earlier. Most of you guys may not know this but I'm a huge baseball fan. I love going to the games. I love watching them on TV. I love the fields and the atmosphere and more than anything, the Series. Heck I got engaged at a baseball game. It was how Jeff and I spent most of our dating years. The only sport that I love more is cricket and that's a bit tougher to catch. So I'm so excited for the season to start. Not much longer now. I just loved the billboard and had to share it.

My real post is not about baseball although it does touch on a different sport. I'll leave the baseball post until opening day. Instead this is about my favorite con movie ever produced. No, it's not The Sting although that comes close. Or The Usual Suspects although that's another fantastic one. This one is about an much more unlikely topic: boxing.

I had dinner last night with a friend I hadn't seen in a while and it turned into a 3 1/2 hour talkfest. I didn't get home until almost 10. We had a great time. When I got home I went upstairs where Jeff was hiding out. He has a bad cold so he's spending more time in bed. As I started up the stairs he called for me to hurry. Diggstown was on. Now I love a good con film but in my mind this one trumps them all. James Woods and Oliver Platt play a pair of con men who come into a small town with the plan to con some money from the corrupt town millionare (Bruce Dern). He happens to own the entire town after betting the townspeople's money on a boxing match that he fixed. The con is simple, their boxer (played by Louis Gossett Jr.) can fight and beat any 10 men in the city of Diggstown in one day.

There is small town intrigue, side bets, and some pretty fantastic boxing. Bruce Dern is perfect as the slimy millionaire that you love to hate. Oliver Platt plays his role of bumbling doofus well and Louis Gossett Jr. is both inspiring and comical. But it's James Woods who steals the show in this movie. Alternating between smooth and witty and caring his character is played pitch perfect. The fight dialogue between him and Gossett is hilarious but the movie never loses its grittiness and tension. And then of course there is the ending which will leave you shocked and laughing. One of the absolute best con movies out there. Even if you're not a boxing fan, this movie still deserves a watching for the great dialogue and incredible heart.


Emilie said...

Best. Ending. Ever.

Cat B said...

I know!! It's so hard not to post about the ending. One of the best scenes ever.

We just happen to have the same spectacularly good taste. Of course the geekiness is just a bonus. :-)