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Cradle1

Foxcatcher Movie

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So I know this isn't the most timely topic, but I finally got around to watching Foxcatcher and am literally baffled to what an absolute abortion of a movie this was. I think I could produce a better version with an old VHS camera and some guys from the local community theater. 

As far as I can tell, the entire movie was made to be a hit piece on Mark Schultz and/or the sport of wrestling.  What am I missing here?   Did M.Schultz have an affair with the Director's wife or something? Or does it come from some sort of Hollywood disdain for masculine men, "hey let's make the story about what a complete meathead his brother was" (please let's not get political here, it is what it is).  Obviously the story is about the tragic murder of Dave Schultz, why focus on his brother that only briefly wrestled for the club seven years before? Dave was an afterthought in this disaster of a movie, it was so bizarre that at all the competitions they only would show how Mark did, and never even indicate that Dave competed at all.  If I didn't know how he did at each competition already, I'd have found that even more bizarre I think.

Honestly, the only thing I could figure was that they said "hey, Channing Tatum is the biggest star we have in this movie, so let's make it about him".   So they make a ridiculous movie about Mark Schultz, flash forward seven years and suddenly Dave gets shot.  I don't know how the audience who hasn't been introduced to Dave as anything more than a peripheral character would even care.  Tatum's portrayal of Schultz was just abysmal- whenever he was on the screen you'd just wish he wasn't.  And the implication that him and Dupont were having physical relations was just loathesome.   No wonder Mark Schultz went ballistic over the movie, I totally get it now.

Apart from how I feel about their portrayal of wrestlers, it's just bad storytelling.  If they made a movie making swimmers look totally worthless, I don't suppose I'd care much if a barely shown swimmer got killed at the end.  So bizarre.

If you haven't seen it, don't.  It's two hours of your life you'll never get back.

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1 hour ago, Cradle1 said:

So I know this isn't the most timely topic, but I finally got around to watching Foxcatcher and am literally baffled to what an absolute abortion of a movie this was. I think I could produce a better version with an old VHS camera and some guys from the local community theater. 

As far as I can tell, the entire movie was made to be a hit piece on Mark Schultz and/or the sport of wrestling.  What am I missing here?   Did M.Schultz have an affair with the Director's wife or something? Or does it come from some sort of Hollywood disdain for masculine men, "hey let's make the story about what a complete meathead his brother was" (please let's not get political here, it is what it is).  Obviously the story is about the tragic murder of Dave Schultz, why focus on his brother that only briefly wrestled for the club seven years before? Dave was an afterthought in this disaster of a movie, it was so bizarre that at all the competitions they only would show how Mark did, and never even indicate that Dave competed at all.  If I didn't know how he did at each competition already, I'd have found that even more bizarre I think.

Honestly, the only thing I could figure was that they said "hey, Channing Tatum is the biggest star we have in this movie, so let's make it about him".   So they make a ridiculous movie about Mark Schultz, flash forward seven years and suddenly Dave gets shot.  I don't know how the audience who hasn't been introduced to Dave as anything more than a peripheral character would even care.  Tatum's portrayal of Schultz was just abysmal- whenever he was on the screen you'd just wish he wasn't.  And the implication that him and Dupont were having physical relations was just loathesome.   No wonder Mark Schultz went ballistic over the movie, I totally get it now.

Apart from how I feel about their portrayal of wrestlers, it's just bad storytelling.  If they made a movie making swimmers look totally worthless, I don't suppose I'd care much if a barely shown swimmer got killed at the end.  So bizarre.

If you haven't seen it, don't.  It's two hours of your life you'll never get back.

I agree with every word of that.  I was so disappointed when it released.  Most of us on here, me included just tried not to say anything too harsh about it.  Kind of an if you don't have something good to say type of deal.  

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Movies that are "based off of a true story" do not need to follow that story exactly.  They use aspects of the true event for the purpose of telling the director's story. I believe the movie was inspired/based off of Mark Schultz's book, which is why it focused on him, and the majority of events depicted in the movie were based on real events. I agree that the story could have been told better, but it really wasn't as bad as what you are saying.  There was very outstanding acting in it (especially Mark Ruffalo).  Channing Tatum was an exception, but he isn't exactly a great actor..so what can you really expect. I don't think his performance was terrible either.  Overall I thought it was one of the better movies that year.  

I don't agree that it made wrestlers look terrible.  It depicted the situation at the time for those athletes, which was people chasing a dream with essentially no financial support.  The lengths to which they had to go (appeasing a crazy millionaire) to train were not fake and made for a good story. 

There were some really interesting aspects of the movie including:

1.  DuPont as a character: his relationship with his mother-the strangeness of these very rich almost aristocratic families who sponsor athletes as hobbies and then collect the trophies.  Just think about the strangeness of having these wrestlers/families of wrestling living on this guy's property....And of course his descent into madness. Carrel did an excellent job. 

2.  Mark Schultz being in the "shadow" of his brother.  Despite having more success (at NCAAs on the world level, etc), the movie depicts the challenges of having an ultra successful older sibling and the rivalry that can arise from that. Then Dupont comes along...But even with the rivalry, the love between Mark/Dave is clear.  

3. The power/influence of money/wealth. How it makes people do things that seem irrational to those outside the situation.  How people turn a blind eye to this irrational behavior. 

In terms of the physical relationship thing....Be honest with yoruself...Why did Dupont want these wrestlers around him?  Why did he want to train with them?  Are we really going to kid ourselves with this?  The movie doesn't imply that he and Mark had a relationship, but rather that Dupont preyed on him/the other wrestlers.  Seems very similar to the Ohio State scandal/investigation. Given the revelations there, that aspect of the movie is clearly important.  People in power abuse those without it, and that includes sexually.  

I also disagree completely that it makes Mark Schultz look bad. I think it makes him look human, which he is.  He's not depicted as a marvel superhero, and he's not depicted as a villain. He has flaws like everyone else and has lived and continues to live a very interesting life (with absolutely incredible moments and absolutely heartbreaking moments). In terms of his reaction to the movie-at times he has said he loves it and at times he has said he hates it-a very normal response to seeing the best and worst moments of your life play out on screen.  

Edited by Billyhoyle

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Of course a documentary is more accurate then a movie.  

I didn't go into the movie looking to learn the story of Foxcatcher.  I also didn't go into the movie looking for the movie to make wrestlers look good to the movie going public.  

I went in looking to be entertained and I very much was.  My wife loved it.  She's got a very positive view of wrestlers though she has little wrestling knowledge.  She came out with a very positive view of wrestlers and a poor view of rich psychopaths who kill people.  The movie basically had 1 non wrestling character and he was the villain.  Every positive character or trait portrayed was a wrestler.  I can totally understand Mark Schultz not liking it for the licenses it took, but I thought it was a great movie.

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This movei should make you feel uncomfortable as USA wrestling continued to take large sums of money from a nut who was racist and was sexual inappropriate with his athletes.  Everyone around knew johns patented move “the fox catcher 5” and there were many other warning signs and examples of inappropriate behavior but the money came rolling in and  no ine had a set big enough to cut ties.

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I remember when a world team member left Foxcatcher and said in a published comment something to the effect of "don't tell me he's just eccentric, he's a sick man and I'm not going to put up with it."

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I thought the acting was good but the movie was a little slow for my liking.  I was pumped that there was finally a wrestling movie with legitimate stars, but wasn’t terribly impressed after watching it.  Oh well, guess I’ll just stick to Win Win.

Edited by 1032004

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Every movie made involving wrestling does not need to be a variation of "Vision Quest."  This was a movie focused on the psychology of the characters, not a blow-by-blow docu-drama.  Steve Carrell was fantastic; anyone who was ever around DuPont for at least a minute knows what a creepy, disturbing person he was.  How did the entire American wrestling establishment turn a blind eye to DuPont's complete weirdness?  Money.  I remember attending the '95 NWCA convention in Atlanta, which was held in conjunction with the '95 worlds.  All the coaches at the convention were strongly encouraged to personally thank DuPont as he was lurking about the events dressed in his blue warm-up suit.  My assistant and I both refrained from the boot-kissing for The Golden Eagle--dude was just way too strange and the stories about him and his antics were already very well known.  The movie is disturbing--it needs to be.

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I watched the movie in the theater shortly after it came out and was disappointed by it.  The dialogue was painfully slow - there were a lot of pauses added, presumably for dramatic effect, but they seemed overdone and annoying in my opinion.  The trailer made it look action packed, but that's because nearly all of the good parts were in the trailer, and the majority of the scenes were slow and dreary.  The movie didn't explain some of the details that it should have, and myself and another wrestler in the theater both agreed that it would seem like a pretty boring movie to someone who doesn't know anything about the real story or about wrestling.  When the murder scene happened, most of the people in the theater gasped when the gun was drawn, as if they had no idea that was going to happen, so it seemed like many in the audience were not familiar with the story.

The movie is supposed to be based on Mark Schultz's autobiography, also called "Foxcatcher" but there were many differences.  The book was WAY more entertaining in my opinion and I recommend it to anyone on this forum.  The ESPN 30 for 30 documentary, "The Prince of Pennsylvania," and the "Team Foxcatcher" documentary are worth watching.

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On 11/21/2018 at 7:52 PM, Cradle1 said:

So I know this isn't the most timely topic, but I finally got around to watching Foxcatcher and am literally baffled to what an absolute abortion of a movie this was. I think I could produce a better version with an old VHS camera and some guys from the local community theater. 

As far as I can tell, the entire movie was made to be a hit piece on Mark Schultz and/or the sport of wrestling.  What am I missing here?   Did M.Schultz have an affair with the Director's wife or something? Or does it come from some sort of Hollywood disdain for masculine men, "hey let's make the story about what a complete meathead his brother was" (please let's not get political here, it is what it is).  Obviously the story is about the tragic murder of Dave Schultz, why focus on his brother that only briefly wrestled for the club seven years before? Dave was an afterthought in this disaster of a movie, it was so bizarre that at all the competitions they only would show how Mark did, and never even indicate that Dave competed at all.  If I didn't know how he did at each competition already, I'd have found that even more bizarre I think.

Honestly, the only thing I could figure was that they said "hey, Channing Tatum is the biggest star we have in this movie, so let's make it about him".   So they make a ridiculous movie about Mark Schultz, flash forward seven years and suddenly Dave gets shot.  I don't know how the audience who hasn't been introduced to Dave as anything more than a peripheral character would even care.  Tatum's portrayal of Schultz was just abysmal- whenever he was on the screen you'd just wish he wasn't.  And the implication that him and Dupont were having physical relations was just loathesome.   No wonder Mark Schultz went ballistic over the movie, I totally get it now.

Apart from how I feel about their portrayal of wrestlers, it's just bad storytelling.  If they made a movie making swimmers look totally worthless, I don't suppose I'd care much if a barely shown swimmer got killed at the end.  So bizarre.

If you haven't seen it, don't.  It's two hours of your life you'll never get back.

To each their own. As a lifelong wrestler who teaches English Lit. and creative writing, I thought it was a tremendous movie. I think wrestlers react against it because it shows our flaws as a community. We hate that, don't we? (As a movie, it's like those guys you lose  even though you beat people who beat them; they use your flaws against you perfectly.) On the positive side, the current RTC situation seems to correct many of the issues that created the atmosphere where Dupont could manipulate wrestlers into relying on him. 

 

It's a movie; it's not a documentary. I understand your frustrations, but I like the movie. It hurts to watch, but it also hurts to hear the doctor tell you bad news. You're still better for hearing it. 

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On 11/22/2018 at 6:25 AM, Billyhoyle said:

Movies that are "based off of a true story" do not need to follow that story exactly.  They use aspects of the true event for the purpose of telling the director's story. I believe the movie was inspired/based off of Mark Schultz's book, which is why it focused on him, and the majority of events depicted in the movie were based on real events. I agree that the story could have been told better, but it really wasn't as bad as what you are saying.  There was very outstanding acting in it (especially Mark Ruffalo).  Channing Tatum was an exception, but he isn't exactly a great actor..so what can you really expect. I don't think his performance was terrible either.  Overall I thought it was one of the better movies that year.  

I don't agree that it made wrestlers look terrible.  It depicted the situation at the time for those athletes, which was people chasing a dream with essentially no financial support.  The lengths to which they had to go (appeasing a crazy millionaire) to train were not fake and made for a good story. 

There were some really interesting aspects of the movie including:

1.  DuPont as a character: his relationship with his mother-the strangeness of these very rich almost aristocratic families who sponsor athletes as hobbies and then collect the trophies.  Just think about the strangeness of having these wrestlers/families of wrestling living on this guy's property....And of course his descent into madness. Carrel did an excellent job. 

2.  Mark Schultz being in the "shadow" of his brother.  Despite having more success (at NCAAs on the world level, etc), the movie depicts the challenges of having an ultra successful older sibling and the rivalry that can arise from that. Then Dupont comes along...But even with the rivalry, the love between Mark/Dave is clear.  

3. The power/influence of money/wealth. How it makes people do things that seem irrational to those outside the situation.  How people turn a blind eye to this irrational behavior. 

In terms of the physical relationship thing....Be honest with yoruself...Why did Dupont want these wrestlers around him?  Why did he want to train with them?  Are we really going to kid ourselves with this?  The movie doesn't imply that he and Mark had a relationship, but rather that Dupont preyed on him/the other wrestlers.  Seems very similar to the Ohio State scandal/investigation. Given the revelations there, that aspect of the movie is clearly important.  People in power abuse those without it, and that includes sexually.  

I also disagree completely that it makes Mark Schultz look bad. I think it makes him look human, which he is.  He's not depicted as a marvel superhero, and he's not depicted as a villain. He has flaws like everyone else and has lived and continues to live a very interesting life (with absolutely incredible moments and absolutely heartbreaking moments). In terms of his reaction to the movie-at times he has said he loves it and at times he has said he hates it-a very normal response to seeing the best and worst moments of your life play out on screen.  

If you don't have empathy for Mark from this movie, then you didn't even watch the first scene. That is a punch to the gut. Mark did everything all of us would ever dream to do in our sport, and he felt almost no benefits from achieving those dreams. The movie made me so incredibly sad about how our sport fails to give a proper congratulations to our heroes. I think we are getting better at this though, and paradoxically, it made realize how much I love this sport because none of this pain made me think the sport is any less valuable or worthwhile. 

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On 11/23/2018 at 5:57 AM, 1032004 said:

I thought the acting was good but the movie was a little slow for my liking.  I was pumped that there was finally a wrestling movie with legitimate stars, but wasn’t terribly impressed after watching it.  Oh well, guess I’ll just stick to Win Win.

Give us the movies that make wrestlers look as good as the stealing-lawyer-wrestling-coach, the cigarette smoking athlete, the talent leach/hide from your problems johnnie come lately coach, and the no nothing but we need somebody to coach coach. 

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7 hours ago, jcjcjc said:

Give us the movies that make wrestlers look as good as the stealing-lawyer-wrestling-coach, the cigarette smoking athlete, the talent leach/hide from your problems johnnie come lately coach, and the no nothing but we need somebody to coach coach. 

I wasn’t commenting about how Foxcatcher made wrestlers look, just about my opinion of the entertainment value of the movie.  I thought Win Win was much better in that regard.

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so anyway...as far as the movie goes, to it's credit I think the wrestling action footage was very well done and accurate for the real matches (parts of those matches) that were included. 

 

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On 11/23/2018 at 8:50 AM, Coach_J said:

Every movie made involving wrestling does not need to be a variation of "Vision Quest."  This was a movie focused on the psychology of the characters, not a blow-by-blow docu-drama.  Steve Carrell was fantastic; anyone who was ever around DuPont for at least a minute knows what a creepy, disturbing person he was.  How did the entire American wrestling establishment turn a blind eye to DuPont's complete weirdness?  Money.  I remember attending the '95 NWCA convention in Atlanta, which was held in conjunction with the '95 worlds.  All the coaches at the convention were strongly encouraged to personally thank DuPont as he was lurking about the events dressed in his blue warm-up suit.  My assistant and I both refrained from the boot-kissing for The Golden Eagle--dude was just way too strange and the stories about him and his antics were already very well known.  The movie is disturbing--it needs to be.

Bingo.  I met him and shook his hand at the PIAA Championships when he was inducted into the Hall of Fame at the old arena and walked away completely disgusted out.  Part of it was I knew the whole Villanova story and I knew a kid from Conestoga who trained there and would hear the stories.  The hand shake was very limp too.

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4 hours ago, Boompa said:

Bingo.  I met him and shook his hand at the PIAA Championships when he was inducted into the Hall of Fame at the old arena and walked away completely disgusted out.  Part of it was I knew the whole Villanova story and I knew a kid from Conestoga who trained there and would hear the stories.  The hand shake was very limp too.

The whole Villanova backstory with Metzger should have been enough to make everyone in the wrestling community cut and run from this guy.  But the money...

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On 12/2/2018 at 2:15 PM, Boompa said:

Bingo.  I met him and shook his hand at the PIAA Championships when he was inducted into the Hall of Fame at the old arena and walked away completely disgusted out.  Part of it was I knew the whole Villanova story and I knew a kid from Conestoga who trained there and would hear the stories.  The hand shake was very limp too.

Why did you shake his hand then?

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